Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup – Part 2

Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup Part 2

Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup Part 2

 

My team and I had a crazy-good time with our weekly “Meet the Maker” series this year! Each Monday, we introduced you to another product-based business that’s creating beautiful things and making waves in the process.

Last week, we shared Part 1 of this roundup series, where we’re highlighting each of the amazing makers who played with us on our MTM feature this year.  Today we’ll wrap things up with Part 2, so I hope you’ll grab a drink and cozy up for another hefty dose of year-end inspiration!

 

Meet the Maker - Gates of Burly Stone

T. Gates Councilor of Burly Stone

high-quality men’s grooming products

 

meet the maker - this paper ship

Joel and Ashley Selby of This Paper Ship

whimsical illustrations + paper goods

 

Meet the Maker - Sweet Jenny Belle Bakery

Jennifer Rodriguez of Sweet Jenny Belle Bakery

sweet, edible works of art

 

bonblissity meet the maker

Elissa Choi of Bonblissity

single-use hand and body scrubs

 

Melissa Camilleri - Meet the Maker - Compliment

Melissa Camilleri of Compliment

gifts to uplift

 

Meet the Maker - Wynne of Crowns for the People

Wynne McCormick of Crowns for the People

beautifully tactile crowns for of all ages

 

Paul Ocopek of Modern Moose

Paul Ocepek of Modern Moose

fun, well designed and affordable home decor products

 

Amanda Wright of Wit & Whistle

Amanda Wright of Wit & Whistle

witty and whistle-worthy greeting cards and paper products

 

Megan Eckman of Studio MME

Megan Eckman of Studio MME

approachable embroidery for modern stitchers

 

Annika Bentiz Chaloff of Married & Bright

Annika Benitz Chaloff of Married & Bright

quirky yet delicately handcrafted lingerie

 

Luke and Abby Hatteberg - Wayfaren

Luke and Abby Hatteberg of Wayfaren

high quality, travel-inspired goods

 

fattysundays3

Ali and Lauren Borowick of Fatty Sundays

gourmet, fun-flavored chocolate covered pretzels

 

Meet the Maker - Little Minnow

Lizzi and Mary Bradley of Little Minnow

hand-printed and sewn accessories

 

Sarah Swell Jewelry

Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell

handcrafted precious metal jewelry

 

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup – Part 1

Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup Part 1

Meet the Maker 2016 Roundup Part 1

 

My team and I had a crazy-good time with our weekly “Meet the Maker” series this year! Each Monday, we introduced you to another product-based business that’s creating beautiful things and making waves in the process. We write each post in the hope that…

 

1. They inspire you to keep at it on days when your business feels like a bit of a struggle.

 

2. These “Meet the Maker” posts help widen your network.

 

3. That they help you keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the maker movement.

 

4. That they introduce you to a different mindset or new business tool that enables you to propel your brand forward.

 

As we wind down the year, I wanted to take this opportunity to once again share each of the amazing makers who played with us on our MTM feature this year.  We’re so grateful for their willingness to share the journey!

I hope you’ll snuggle up with some hot cocoa or a glass of vino and dive in to the first half of a fun retrospective… I pinkie-promise that your inspiration cup will runneth over. Stay tuned for our second half of our Meet the Maker 2016 Recap next week!

 

 

Scott and Margi Higdon of Ms. Betty’s Original >>

bad-ass soy candles

 

Meet the Maker - Ievgeniia MoonDome Jewelry

Ievgeniia Zlotar of Moondome Jewelry >>

raw gemstone accessories

 

Collin Garrity

Collin Garrity, Woodworker >>

playfully minimalist wooden items

 

The Vintage Honey Shop

Jennifer + Melissa of The Vintage Honey Shop >>

teething and nursing jewelry

 

katya valera

Kacie Fleming of Katya Valera and KV Wishbox >>

elegant, vintage-bohemian jewelry

 

Meet the Maker - Leela Hoehn Robinson of Native Bear

Leela Hoehn Robinson of Native Bear >>

original illustrations and block prints

 

Brooklyn Jewelry Artist Izaskun Zabala

Izaskun Zabala >>

high-end costume jewelry

 

Meet the Maker – Blue&Grae

Josef and Grace of Blue&Grae >>

artisan leather goods

 

JACKSON AND HYDE Genevieve Monroe

Genevieve Monroe of JACKSON AND HYDE >>

one-of-a-kind handbag designs

Renan Kennedy of Sans Skincare

Renan Kennedy of Sans Skincare >>

pure and simple skincare

 

Rewined Candles

Adam Fetsch of Rewined Candles >>

recycled wine bottle candles

 

Jane Pope Jewelry

Jane Pope of Jane Pope Jewelry >>

gold + gemstone artisan jewelry

 

Allison and Adam Grossman of The Seaweed Bath Co.

Allison and Adam Grossman of The Seaweed Bath Co. >>

seaweed-based apothecary

 

jodi lynn burton

Jodi Lynn Burton >>

pen and ink illustrations

 

happy spritz meet the maker

Michelle Hutchinson of Happy Spritz >>

modern and functional aromatherapy

 

See Part 2 of our Meet the Maker Recap right here!

Meet the Maker – Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell

Sarah Swell Jewelry

Sarah Swell Jewelry

 

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re going behind the scenes with the loveliest of handcrafted jewelry artists: Sarah Greenberg of Sarah Swell, who nurtures her burgeoning jewelry brand from a stunning studio/showroom space in Sausalito, California. Welcome, Sarah!

 

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Sarah: I think I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. I almost feel like it was the only choice for me. I’d say the leap began after dropping out of art school to pursue a career as a jewelry designer. It’s been a very long road for me because of various obstacles that presented themselves, but the end goal has always been clear. Sometimes after a bad day/week/month, I think about closing the business, but then I realize that what I’d want to do is just start another business anyway!

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Sarah: I hoped that I would become one of the designers at the forefront of the handcrafted jewelry movement. We’re constantly working towards that goal.

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Sarah: We create handcrafted precious metal jewelry that exemplifies casual luxury.

 

Sarah Swell Jewelry

(more…)

Meet the Makers – Lizzi and Mary Bradley of Little Minnow

Meet the Maker - Little Minnow

marylizzi

 

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Lizzi and Mary Bradley, the sister team behind Little Minnow – a line of accessories that are hand screen printed and sewn in Austin, Texas. Welcome, ladies!

 

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as entrepreneurs?

Lizzi and Mary: We both had been working full-time jobs (Mary as a high school teacher and Lizzi as a Graphic Designer) plus working on Little Minnow at night and on the weekends. The holiday season was approaching and we both didn’t feel like we could go through another one not being able to fully devote our time to Little Minnow. So we made the leap and have never looked back!

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Lizzi and Mary: Our business started, well… not as a business. It really started with an idea to make some scarves for  ourselves and our sisters. After sewing up a few, we thought it would be cool to screenprint some of our designs on to them. It was right around the time that Etsy was first gaining a lot of attention, and after listing and quickly selling out, we started exploring craft shows and really building a brand around our scarves. We really had no idea it would grow the way it did. We define ourselves now as a women’s accessories brand, but who knows what the next five years will bring!?

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Lizzi and Mary: We are most known for our screen printed infinity scarves but our twist hair scarves are a close second. Each of our products is handmade from start to finish – the fabric is cut, then printed, heat-set and finally sewn. The last step is packaging and shipping it out the door!

 

scarves-blushfocus

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Lizzi and Mary: We are stocked in stores all across the country. I think the only state we currently don’t have any stores is in Utah. (If any of you reading this are from Utah and own a store – you can be our first!)

 

LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Lizzi and Mary: Our days usually start with a quick look at e-mail (we wish we could be those people who only look at their e-mail once or twice a week, or even once a day – but really, how can you resist?) and going over anything we need to get done that day. Mary spends most of her days handling wholesale/retail orders, managing finances, and making sure production is on track. Lizzi is in charge of a majority of the printing, anything we need designed, and snapping photos for social media.

 

LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Lizzi and Mary: Well, I don’t know if we are the best about giving advice on the topic since we started our business somewhat on a whim, but we’ll give it a go…

1. Do your research. Have a great idea? Awesome! Just make sure it’s not already being done.

2. Make sure you are setting your prices correctly. You might have to ask your finance major friends, or even just someone who is good with numbers… but make sure you are covering your cost of materials, time and overhead. Don’t just set your prices to what your competitors are doing – people are willing to pay more for higher quality items.

3. Don’t be afraid to evolve or make changes a long the way. We were so nervous the first time we had to make changes to our fabric colors. We were convinced there would be a flood of emails from angry people saying “the fabric use to be cream and now its ivory”. The truth is that nobody noticed, and life went on!

 

louistwist

 

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Lizzi and Mary: We are both list makers. Mary takes it a little more seriously, often making lists about making other lists.

 

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Lizzi and Mary: Our decision to quit our day jobs is pretty high up there. We were fortunate enough that our business was able to support us by then, but it would have been really hard for Little Minnow to grow if we weren’t able to focus completely on it for a few years.

A second decision that really impacted our business was hiring help and teaching our processes to other people. As our business grew, we realized that we couldn’t do it all on our own. Having extra hands has allowed us to focus more on the business and less on the day-to-day production.

 

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Lizzi and Mary: People often say that you shouldn’t mix family and business. And the truth is, sometimes we fight. It’s just the nature of being sisters and working in close proximity together. But it is often for the best. We get frustrated, we need to vent, and the next day we are always back at it, working hard (and usually with a little more awareness of each other’s needs – although neither of us is good at admitting it.)

Being honest is important in any business relationship. You don’t want to tell your business partner you like their ideas (when you don’t) just because you are afraid of hurting their feelings. You won’t feel good about the outcome or be fully on-board about where the business is going. As sisters, we have been brutally honest (and I mean really brutally) with each other since we were kids. Things haven’t changed. She will still tell me if a pair of pants make my legs look short, and I will tell her if I don’t like her hair. But in business together, we feel entirely comfortable to voice our opinions without hesitation, and even get a little bossy every once in awhile.

 

travelbagstackshelf

 

LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?

Lizzi and Mary: We donate to Healing Haiti, an organization that helps to bring clean water to the poor and vulnerable people living in Cite Soleil, the poorest city in Haiti.

 

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Lizzi and Mary: 1. Our friends who also own small, creative businesses. They are so great when we have questions, need help, or just need to vent. It is such a blessing to have friends who have similar experiences and are willing to share and help out – together it is way more fun, and we’ve all found more success.

2. Our iPhones. They help us stay connected and get work done on the go, or from bed.

3. Square credit card readers – remember when you could only accept cash or had to make a carbon-copy of someone’s card and prayed it was legit? Ancient history.

 

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Lizzi and Mary: This a very timely question, as we have been having some major discussions about the future and how we see Little Minnow growing. We both agree we want to continue to grow our brand, add more stockists, hire more employees and maybe even start a new line. We both really enjoy the design aspect of our company, so getting to a place where we can be full-time designers with a staff that helps with all of the production would be really awesome!

 

LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?

Lizzi and Mary: Cereal – it is such a guilty pleasure for both of us!

 

LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…

Lizzi: When I need to focus, it’s all Banks and Adele.

Mary: I’m not ashamed to admit I love country music.

 

Meet the Maker - Little Minnow

 

LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.

Lizzi and Mary: Eating candy when working. Sometimes we look at each other (especially when we are feeling stressed) and say “I can keep going, but I’m going to need a sweet treat,” and then someone heads to the gas station for some Hot Tamales and Peanut M&Ms.

 

LBC: If you could hire someone to do just one thing that you sort of loath doing, what would it be?

Lizzi: Resizing images for the web and convincing Mary to take pictures of me for social media.

Mary: Typing up wholesale orders and taking pictures of Lizzi for social media.

 
Thank you, Lizzi and Mary, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love what you’re doing with Little Minnow, and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for you and your company. We’re cheering you on!

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

Meet the Makers – Ali and Lauren Borowick of Fatty Sundays

fattysundays3

fattysundays1

 

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re going behind the scenes with sister duo Ali and Lauren Borowick, co-founders of the contemporary gourmet food brand Fatty Sundays – a line of deliciously decadent (and incredibly fun) chocolate covered pretzels. Yes, please… Welcome, Ali and Lauren!

 

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Ali + Lauren: Our Mom’s chocolate covered pretzels were the original inspiration behind Fatty Sundays. Before we got started, I was working as a graphic designer for Equinox, and my sister Lauren was supposed to work for Ernst & Young as an accountant. We couldn’t shake our idea of re-inventing  and modernizing chocolate covered pretzels. The challenge and thrill of starting a business from scratch (with no culinary background!) and sharing our crazy pretzel idea with the world was what pushed us to take the leap as entrepreneurs.

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Ali + Lauren: A sister-run, family business selling modern-day chocolate covered pretzels. The go-to company for sweet + salty indulgences for all occasions.

 

fattysundays4

Photo Credit: Munchery

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Ali + Lauren: Fatty Sundays makes gourmet, fun-flavored chocolate covered pretzels. We’re re-inventing and modernizing everyone’s favorite sweet + salty treat with unique flavors and eye-catching packaging.

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Ali + Lauren: Online at www.fattysundays.com and at gourmet retailers like Dean & DeLuca, The Plaza Todd English Food Hall, Foragers, and Handsome Dan’s, to name a few! For all of the New Yorkers reading this, we’re also at the iconic Union Square Holiday Market from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It will be our 5th year there, come visit us, rain or shine!

 

LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Ali + Lauren: We subway, walk or bike to our offices in Brooklyn. We usually eat breakfast at our desks and scan a bunch of emails while talking about a few things that have priority for the day. After that, Spotify gets turned on! Lauren leads production, so we’ll typically discuss the schedule for the day and any other important orders coming in. The rest of the day is werk, werk, werk, werk, werk! On any given day, we’re working on a wide variety of projects, sales initiatives, social content, marketing campaigns, packaging projects, etc…As a small biz, we wear lots of hats! Lunch time comes and goes, and before we know it, the day is over (some nights later than we’d like!) Of course, we can’t forget snack time somewhere in there – we always have broken chocolate covered pretzels laying around (“rejects,” as we lovingly call them!)

 

fattysundays6

 

LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Ali + Lauren: 1) Is there anything else like your product out there?

2) Do you stay up at night thinking about the idea?

3) What’s your Plan B?

 

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Ali + Lauren: We remind ourselves that we’re making and selling chocolate covered pretzels, and that our ultimate goal is to make people happy with a delicious sweet + salty treat!

 

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Ali + Lauren: • Taking the leap to start Fatty Sundays.

• Building out our own production and office space.

• Ultimately trusting our gut in everything we do.

• Taking Pina Colada pretzels off of the flavor list!

• Talking to a variety of mentors along the way for advice.

 

fattysundays3

 

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Ali + Lauren: Mistakes?! We don’t make mistakes… just kidding! In the bigger picture, one of the biggest challenges for us was figuring out how to make it ALL happen. When we started Fatty Sundays, we were literally making every pretzel while simultaneously mopping the floors, designing all marketing materials, and reconciling our bank account, among many other things! As we’ve grown, we’ve overcome that feeling of having to “do it all” by learning to prioritize and focus on what we are good at, and what we want to be doing. We’ve made it a point to find the best people to outsource certain things to. It’s no easy task, but something that we’re continuously working on as a growing business!

 

LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?

Ali + Lauren: For the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) we sell hot pink pretzels and donate a portion of sales to Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This is a cause near and dear to our hearts, and we do this to honor our Aunt Laurel, who passed away from breast cancer two years ago.

 

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Ali + Lauren: 1) Google Docs and Dropbox.

2) Our big wall calendar to see what’s ahead.

3) Quickbooks.

4) Our team! …That’s more than three, but this list could go on and on!

 

fattysundays5

 

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Ali + Lauren: In everyone’s pantry and all gourmet shops in the USA and Canada. We also hope to expand to England and Japan. We’d love to do more pop-up markets (like we do in New York City at the Union Square Holiday Market) in different cities.

 

LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?

Ali + Lauren: Chocolate anything!

 

LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…

Ali + Lauren: Mostly pop music, sprinkled with some moody Kings of Leon and Billy Joel oldies. We’re also newly obsessed with listening to podcasts in the kitchen!

 

LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.

Ali + Lauren: Dipping a Fatty Sundays pretzel into a jar of peanut butter.

 

fattysundays7

Thank you, Ali and Lauren, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love what you’re doing with Fatty Sundays, and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for you and your company. We’re cheering you on!

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!