What do you LOVE to do? It’s so funny/scary how hard this question is for me to answer! I turned my favorite hobby into my livelihood, but luckily that means I really love my job! As lame as it sounds, I really love to exercise. I grew up a pretty intense athlete. Sports were my world. After making a deliberate choice to not pursue a collegiate athletic career, I was able to open myself up and explore other interests. To this day, though, working out or playing something (volleyball, basketball, etc.) is definitely one of my favorite activities. I also love to cook!
What skills are you most proud of? Mom skills, work skills, life skills—whatever! I make a pretty badass toddler lunch. I’ve also got some really solid pop-a-shot skills.
Why did you start your business? Ahh. This question. My answer isn’t romantic, but it is honest! I have a BS in sociology, and was working in restaurant management. For those of you who don’t know, that is what one does when one has a sociology degree. 😉
Anyway, I had just ended a four-year relationship and felt as though I no longer had any “ties” that I needed to worry about. I had always been curious about making jewelry, and had done my fair share of beading, but was really drawn to big chunky rings and things that required metalworking skills in order to make them. I didn’t want to get another bachelor’s degree (I am fairly impatient and when I want to learn/do something—I want to it to happen NOW), so I got online and found a trade school of sorts in San Francisco called the Revere Academy. It was geared toward learning the fine jewelry trade and becoming a bench jeweler, so I learned a TON of stuff that I don’t currently use in my work. It was amazing, though. I learned how to make jewelry day in and day out for about four months.
“It’s taken me a long time to learn how to ask for help, and it’s still something that I struggle with.”
Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up on your business? Why didn’t you? Man. There was definitely a time when I probably should have been thinking about it (jk, jk), but it never actually crossed my mind. I can’t imagine doing anything else. We went through a time (right after our son was born) where we tried to transition completely to wholesale and it almost wrecked us. It took some restructuring and a ton of introspection, but we got everything back on track and things are better than ever!
Can you share a time when you struggled to balance it all—work, kids, relationships, life? Ha! Every single day, does that count? Seriously though, there’s truth to that. It’s hard! It’s taken me a long time to learn how to ask for help, and it’s still something that I struggle with.
When do you feel most powerful? When I’m dancing. I’m not a trained dancer or anything, but when I’m in the studio by myself blasting music, or in a Body Jam class … I don’t know. There is something about dance that just makes me feel like some sort of Amazon warrior.
“Be yourself, allow yourself to be different, and stay genuine. It’s not easy, but you can do hard things.”
What’s your best advice for a mom about to launch her own business? Don’t worry too much about how other people are doing it. Do you. Be yourself, allow yourself to be different, and stay genuine. It’s not easy, but you can do hard things. For reals.
What’s something that surprised you (good or bad!) about being a small business owner? TAXES. Taxes, taxes, taxes. Pay your quarterly taxes. Please. Pay them. Pay all those horrid taxes. 🙂
Why is the MILK Community important? Any opportunity for women to find other women to support is important! We need as much of that in our world right now as we can get.