My name is Danielle, and I am a small business owner.
There’s a sentence I thought I would never write, but it’s true! Last year I took a leap of faith and opened by own Etsy shop. It’s like my most public secret. By day I run a residence hall, and by night I craft (and run a residence hall).
I’ve been “artsy” ever since I was a kid. It started with drawing, and then painting, and then exploded into a need to pick up a new hobby every few months. Making jewelry became a particular love of mine when I became enamored with chainmaille in college. I expanded into beadwork, and then wirework, and most recently metal stamping. At some point I realized that I would love to make a side business out of my work, but I didn’t think I was ready. I didn’t know enough. I wasn’t good enough.
What changed? No idea. I woke up one day and told myself that I needed to stop coming up with my own barriers. I settled on a name and opened for business! The best part is that I envisioned my shop as a conglomerate of all of my latest hobbies, so it is always free to expand and change as my own interests change.
The entire process was oddly organic for me. I never “made the decision” to do something outside of my SA work because I never expected not to. For me, there has always been something “else”. In high school, it was ice hockey. As a Chemistry undergraduate, it was being an RA. Now as a full time professional, it’s running my shop (among other things). Focusing more of my time outside the workday on crafting, I find that I’m able to be more present in my hall director role. I also had to cut back on mindless video games and Facebook scrolling in order to fit in my business work. Running the shop is also a huge challenge for me because I’ve had to learn how to market myself and use social media to reach my audience. I’m teaching myself even more skills that can help me as an #SApro.
The funniest question that I get from friends is “How do you find the time?” It’s an overused answer, but I really do make the time. I found out that things I was doing after work that weren’t fulfilling. I utilize my lunch breaks occasionally to deliver packages to the post office. I make a new bracelet instead of watching an episode of the latest TV show.
At the end of the day, my side hustle isn’t doing quite what I need it to yet. I’ve easily spent more than I’ve made, and I doubt myself often. However, I love the work and I know that everything I’m putting into it now will help me be successful as my business grows.
Now all I need to do is figure out this marketing thing.
Visit me at ZoesWishingWell.com!