MAKING THE LEAP TO FULL TIME
Recently I was interviewed by Abbey McGrew of Wayfarer Design, who created my beautiful new logo and branding for me. She interviewd me for her Heart-Lead Brand podcast and it was such a blast.
If you're a small business there are lots of juicy business details in here, but even if you're not a small business owner and want to get to know more about me and my business practices, leash up the dog, tie your sneakers, and have a listen!
On not knowing what she wanted to do in college, but eventually finding her calling with jewelry:
“So being an artist who can't really figure out what she wants to do, it took me a while to get through college because I started out doing interior design. I went to the art Institute of Seattle and I guess I thought as a college student, I need to make money from whatever my career is, right? Iinterior design was kind of one of those things where I was like, I could get paid for being creative. But it was not long before I figured out that that was not the right place for me.
Here in Seattle with an associate's degree, you can transfer into the University of Washington. And so I did that and I went in as an interdisciplinary major because still could not figure out what was my thing. I liked all the things! And so one day was going through the class register of like what classes to pick. And there was metalsmithing 101 and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that's so awesome!’ But the class was full. And I must've talked to the teacher at some point and she was like, ‘Come on the first day of class and if someone doesn't show up, then we'll do a lottery for their class. And she pulled my name out of a hat and I got into that class and was enamored, like totally fell in love head over heels. I loved every single bit of it. And yeah, I think like midway through I changed my major and was like, oh, I am going to do this.”
On making the leap from a side hustle to full-time in her business:
“I think my best advice is just to hang on. And for knowing the right time, yeah, there's definitely not a right time. But I think for me, having that time to set up my systems and to be in a place where I could see what was happening.
In August of 2019, I did my first wholesale trade show where I was selling jewelry to shops, store owners, buyers. It was my first time doing that and it went well. So I went again in February and that was right before the pandemic. And it was great also! I did about the same at both markets and that was the final like indicator to myself and my husband that yes, this is going to work. I can do this. I can quit my job and we'll be able to make it work.”
On the importance of community for founders:
“There's enough for everyone. We don't need to be gatekeepers. Community is so important and valuable to me and there's so much we have to learn from each other. I just want people to feel safe asking questions and feel safe not knowing.
I love when I can say ‘Hey, does this price feel weird to you?’ or ‘What do you think about this?’ or have someone reach out to me and ask those same questions. Like, I think community around art is the best thing. There's so much room for everything that anybody has to offer and that we shouldn't feel so competitive with each other.
Going to shows and talking to my booth neighbors and and hearing how their market went and like being frank about that. Not just me like, ‘Yeah, it went well’. Like, ‘Well, my goal was to make $3,000 and I made $3,500.’ I don't think that I need to compete with them and that I need to make exactly those same amounts, but it kind of gives me an idea of like how much money we can make, how much money other people made is important.
When you go and apply for a job, you know what your salary is going to be in the creative industry. Wouldn't it be helpful if we were all upfront and frank about what we're making? So that we can all be industry standards together. And so I feel like that's what's to come from community is just being open to talking about those things.”
Follow Abbey on Instagram
Visit her website at wayfarerdesignstudio.com