Discoveries of Multipurpose Resilience
Why not have one more than one purpose for anything. If I spent an hour on this survey, one hour of my valued time, one hour of labor then, I might as well use it to gain my value. I mean after I am down with the study I do receive analyzed results and feedback about my resilience at work including strategies to improve your resilience. I recently heard in one of my "Intro to Farming" sessions I host that the equipment, tools, plants, animals, and everything in your barn or business should have multiple purposes. Abbey Palmer of the MSU North Farm in Chatham, MI says, "Everything on the farm must have two uses in order to sort of justify itself."
Hence why I will also, show off my amazing photos from Erin Elizabeth Photography and -Et Images! Erin and Emma also asked out of the blue to do an impromptu photo shoot, but low key I'm always ready! haha! I am always down for the cause, yes I will stand in the freezing cold and trek through a foot in a half of snow. I prepped my jewelry quick and packed 7 dresses, 9 pairs of shoes, 2 fur coats, and 16 lip sticks! After a 5 hour notice, my hair and makeup was on and I was out in the sticks of Skanee, MI.
Questions from Survey
When did you first identify the opportunity for the venture?
I've always had a passion for making, creating and connecting with others. My first "business" ever was when I was in 5th grade. I would draw my classmates names in markers for a dollar! It wasn't about the money really; I only earned a dollar because I didn't charge friends. I did it because people were happy and I was able to give them something custom and personal.
When I went school, I knew I wanted to perfect my craft. I never was a straight studio artist; I was well rounded. I took classes in public health, in business, and everything from oceanography to aliens. I wasn't indecisive; I was strategic. I sought profitable opportunities and balance.
I knew when I graduated with a BA in Art & Design; I wouldn't have the laid out stepladder to success as a doctor. I didn't have an exact manual of what to do next like the security of an engineer. I knew I wanted to make still and work. I took a complete five courses in jewelry while attending school. I knew I still wanted what I sought in my marker names business - happy people and being able to give them something custom and personal. My Native American roots heavily defined my manner and my environment growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan woods was my aesthetic. I knew my audience very well, and I catered to it!
I didn't know exactly want I would even sell when I started my online business. I started by blog writing first. While in school, I was blessed with an opportunity that was well worth more to me than my University of Michigan degree. I worked along side, owner of Made by Rae, as a studio assistant. I learned scientific method of art. Made by Rae was a sewing studio, she designed her patterns and fabrics and sold only online. I was taught e-commerce, wholesale, studio management, communications, and marketing. Rae gave me the template to my own business.
I started directly after graduating college (May 2015), August 28th, 2015 was my first blog post and my shop opened November 15, 2015.
The support I have received already from my family, my community and the native community has been incredible. My passion and work have come to life in the matter of a year and a half. This past year, my work has been seen adorning Mrs. Universe 2015 - Ashley Callingbull and actress Lily Gladstone. The second I graduated I knew what I had to do. I created my site that August and then by November my shop was open and I was wholesaling instantly to Beyond Buckskin. I have museums (MoCNA) and television shows (coming soon!) now representing my work.
I can work in the health field because as an artist it's more than the studio, the skills, and tools required take personal autonomy and optimism. My confidence stems from the hardships of my mother, the sacrifices from my family, the historical trauma that still affects my community. I want better. I want to bring a much-needed energy, vision, and innovation to the art world while teaching that adversity doesn’t define you. It's not the art degree that got me where I am or my positions it's the personality and the risk, the chasing of fears. Great work stems from risk; I am ready to chase fear.
My "side gig" is actually a full-time position in Public Health for my Tribal Health Clinic. I always think I can do it all. I also assumed I would need a side gig to help me start my business, which I believe may be contradicting.
However, I was taught balance very young. It is critical to me. I know to gain full success as in my passion I need to commit myself entirely. I also know I will fully commit once I feel security from my business. I also love my full-time job at the moment being with the community and traveling a lot, so I remain divided between the two. I give 40% to public health, 20% to my business, and 40% to myself (family, free time) at the moment.
This equation fluctuates here and there, this summer was my busiest time yet.
- 40% to public health, 40% to my business and 20% to myself
- 20% to public health, 5% to my business and the rest unsure
The equation is fluid and changes monthly. It also isn't where I see it forever. In the future I dream to dedicate 50% to my business and 50% to myself. That would be beautiful.......
Balance to me means an equal amount of work and play, which I am very good at. I know how to focus when I need to and I also have the awareness to know when to step back. I admit I didn't know this right away. I blame it on U of M standards. That's why straight of out college - I was a professor teaching a course + teaching a course to the youth + a librarian + running my personal business + trying to maintain a social life! (Some one also told me I had these characteristics before U of M, hence why I got in. Ps. mind blown!) I learned time management from the leaders and best and sure it wasn't the smartest, but I wanted to help everyone! I have now established the equation I need to have happiness. I know when to say no and when to fully commit. Time management is key, I am very organized, ever position I have held so far (a student, a educator, a project coordinator, a studio assistant) has taught me autonomy. Autonomy and independence of my environment.
In the Woods