My super extra supportive craft pal and real life friend Alexa Allamano of Foamy Wader is our featured Premium Member of the week. Alexa is my good friend - true - but she is also the hardest working person I know. I sent her a few interview questions to help us get to know her a little better:
Tell us how you left the world of banking behind and started making your living with delicate jewels:
I was working for (now defunct) WaMu Bank in 2008 at the onset of the Great Recession. As a creative outlet, I had been teaching myself wire-wrapping and occasionally selling my jewelry throughout the year which led to opening my Etsy shop in September 2008. When WaMu was acquired by Chase Bank, due to redundancies in the company I lost my job -- literally two days before Christmas. For a couple months I moped and fretted on what to do next. The only thing I enjoyed doing during those low months was making jewelry. I decided to put all my focus into my business and give it a real try. And here I am; still at it with years of experience and a Brick+Mortar store of my own. I like to say I got fired, and then I got fired up!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give someone who is just starting - or thinking of starting their own business?
This is two-fold: figure out how much you need to live (and I mean really NEED, because some months will be slow) in order to know the smallest amount you will need to earn in your business to get by, then price your work accordingly. Leave a threshold for profit/growth/rainy day funds, but setting your baseline now will prevent growing pains later.
What is your proudest accomplishment since you started your business?
Opening my Brick+Mortar shop in Seattle! My husband and I are both artists and each have separate studio spaces in the back of the shop. Making art and hanging out with my favorite person everyday in a beautiful little shop where we make the rules and don't have to answer to dumb bosses -- what could be better?! Plus, we just moved to a new house on Whidbey Island, so we get to take a ferry boat to work. DREAM LIFE!
Bonus Trick Question: Who is your favorite road trip companion?
Rosalie Gale is my #1 road trip soulmate. Nobody road trips like Rosalie road trips. We managed to manifest a salad bar restaurant in Montana, a Seattle-themed cafe in North Dakota, and got out of a $500 ticket. She's magical.
Awwhhhh, thanks Alexa. (That's me. She's talking about me!)