1.What Type Of Business Do You Own?
Bird + Beau is my own handcrafted line of original jewelry + festive accessories and art.
2. Who Inspired You?
This is such a loaded question! Early on, my mother — she most definitely inspired me to create + be wildly imaginative. With b+b in particular, I was inspired to start my own line after my [now] husband proposed. To help save money for our big day, I threw up a quick Etsy shop and got to making.
3. What’s The “Good, Bad And Ugly?” Of Being An Entrepreneur?
The Good: Spending time creating, doing what I love, and then seeing that it also puts smiles on others’ faces is the best part. Feeling like I am building something, investing in myself + my family, gives me the warm + fuzzies too. I am also so thankful for the many friends I’ve made through my business — customers, fellow makers, #bossbabes — it’s such a great community to be a part of.
The Bad: Having to work real jobs to support my dream job! I am lucky to have jobs I truly enjoy, but ultimately, I’d like my entire focus to be on b+b. It’s exhausting doing all this major side hustling, but it is so very worth it.
The Ugly: Right now, my nails. I seriously need a mani/pedi — sometimes being so busy means I put things on hold. Chores, shopping, eating, + definitely pampering tend to take a backseat every now and then. It can be tough, but I try to do my best juggling my time because I am my brand and no one wants to buy jewelry from the smelly girl… with bad nails!
4. Who Is Your Brand Bestie?
I have made a few brand besties over the past year actually:
Liz Womble of Luxury Republic is one of my best girls in this local handmade community. We always set up beside each other at markets, often selling each others’ wares before our own, and we have plans in the works to go on a mini tour together this year. We’re always brainstorming new adventures.
Lauren Hood of Progeny is one bad ass chic that I’m so happy to have met last year. Serendipitously, we met just as I had lost my job of six years and she was about to open her new children’s shoppe. I started helping out at the shop with design, styling, + marketing and we have become great brand besties for sure. I just love the shop and she is an amazing supporter of my brand as well — especially my “littlest birds” line of accessories. We’re constantly collaborating + making plans to rock this entrepreneurial thing.
Becky Olson of Uncaged Artistry is another dear friend of mine who creates a mix of handmade goods. She is a great supporter of the arts in the area and will be joining me this year to help coordinate a local monthly market that I started last October. We both share the idea of wanting to build our own brands while helping others as well and hope to showcase that in growing these Makers Markets.
5. Where Do You See Your Business In Ten Years?
In 10 years, I would love to have a beautiful studio in a clean modern space with a small shop up front featuring other artists and independent brands. I will spend my days creating new work, hopefully alongside a mini-maker (we’ll see), grabbing care-free lunches with my husb, and planning all sorts of wonderfulness over delicious lattes with my pals. I will most definitely travel way more.
6. What’s Your Ultimate Goal/Purpose Behind What You’re Doing?
My ultimate goal/purpose for all of this is pretty simple. From the beginning, it’s been about building a better future for my family — one built on happiness + comfort + adventure. My father passed away when I was a child and my mom worked hard to raise my brothers and I. We never wanted for anything, but there were certain financial restrictions of growing up in a single income household; funds were not really set aside for major life happenings like school and weddings.
I learned early on that you work hard for what you want. I moved out on my own when I was 20 and I worked my way through school. When I started planning our wedding, I went into overdrive setting aside every penny. While we didn’t intend to spend a copious amount of money, we worked to pay for what we wanted. I had previously enjoyed jewelry making and still had all of my supplies, so it was an easy + obvious decision to start my brand in an effort to help our cause. Since our wedding, I continue to pour my heart into bird + beau both because it brings me personal joy in multiple ways and because I believe that I am creating a better life for my family. (That sounds so cliche, huh? But it really is true.) One day, I hope to have a little girl that can take over + have it for herself.
7. What Makes You A #BOSSBABE?
Wow! What makes me a #BOSSBABE? I’m going to say my determination. I believe in busting ass. I don’t settle. I fight for what I believe in. I work hard for what I want. I don’t mind breaking a few rules or nails now + then. I’m kind and optimistic and smile a lot, but I’m balls to the wall serious about making my brand the best it can be.
8. If You Could Collaborate With One Business/Person, Who Would It Be?
Sophia Amoruso would undoubtedly be the most kick ass gal to collaborate with. Along with 98% of the American female population, I breezed through her book #GirlBoss over the summer finding similarities in our stories + inspiration in her words. I put the book down after finishing the last page and immediately wanted to start it over. She’s pretty much the epitome of cool.
9. Do You Believe There Is A Sisterhood Within Business? Or Do You Think People Are Only Concerned With Their Brands?
Sisterhood amongst business owners is a common conversation for me. I think that it’s catching on. I am absolutely all for it. I totally believe that you help yourself by helping others; co-promoting and collaborating with fellow brands/shops is a smart decision for everyone involved. I think that we grow up learning to be competitive and some people let that mentality influence all too many aspects of their being. I’m actually a very competitive person, but when it comes to business I prefer to compete with myself and not pit my brand against other makers/shops.
I want to do better than I did last year, last month, or yesterday, but how I compare to others is irrelevant. Supporting each other + being an encouraging part of this community makes sense; it’s a learning opportunity, it’s essential for growth, and it inspires contribution across the board. I whole-heartedly believe that what we put out into the world will come back around.