Introduction and Interview by David Wagstaff
This interview with Amy is one of the first in a series of articles from entrepreneurs, compiled with the goal of providing other business owners and soon-to-be business owners with a realistic view of what it takes to run a business and some of the challenges commonly faced.
Amy’s LinkedIn profile caught my attention. Her profile starts with “I have big ideas and small pockets.” I’m sure that fits like a glove for many first-time entrepreneurs. I also love the authenticity of her story. She is stating it like it is. She is open to people seeing her for who she is, a Mom first, and who she wants to become, a successful Artist s.
And I liked the jobs she lists in her LinkedIn profile: Stay at Home Mom and Pie Maker (Pizza). And I chucked out loud when I read her skills include Potty Training – that’s an authentic profile for a stay-at-home Mom.
Because Amy asked to join the Entrepreneur’s Network, I also knew she wanted to start or grow her own business – and then I saw her artwork and loved what I saw. It felt authentic just like Amy.
And what’s not written anywhere is her passion and excitement about this story. Amy more than anyone else, wants her story to be told. She believes in and is excited by the possibility these articles on entrepreneurship create to be found. She has contacted me every day since submitting her story to make sure we don’t forget about her or simply just to say Good Morning.
In my interview with Amy, I loved her authenticity. Her answers were not polished – they were just Amy – as she yearns to find a way to do what she loves and wants to do.
And yet, she is in school for criminal justice because that’s what she feels she needs to do. I believe that feeling will also resonate with many entrepreneurs. Many want to take the next step but are afraid of what it will mean for them and their families.
When we surveyed the Entrepreneur’s Network about what they wanted, the request was for true stories, not just stories where everything worked out perfectly, but stories of the challenges of starting a business. Amy speaks to that love and passion and wanting to succeed, but also struggling to find her way. It feels like a story in which many of us will connect. With persistence, I’ve seen an amazing range of business owners succeed. I have huge respect for those who have the courage to try. Entrepreneurship is typically not the easiest nor safest path, and for some of us, it starts as a side project and grows into something that we pursue full-time.
1) What led you to become an entrepreneur?
I started painting again back in 2016/17 and discovered an app called OfferUp. I posted what paintings I had done and had two gentlemen ask for custom paintings. From there I realized I have a talent for painting. I am proud to say my art has made it into someone else’s home.
2) A brief description of your business and what are your aspirations for it?
My Etsy business is one-of-a-kind paintings. I enjoy painting what comes to mind. I named my business after myself and my 4-year-old. She loves helping with projects. Eventually, I will be adding purses that I enjoy making. Those are also one of a kind. I’ve been wanting to do this: buy a purse, donate a purse, or buy a painting, donate a painting.
3) What have you done with your business that you are proud of or that has worked really well?
I am proud that I have overcome my shyness and made my business with Etsy. I am proud of all the work that I have done. Each painting has its own story to tell. I am also proud that I can add my purse-making to the collection. It was a proud moment when I sold my first two paintings.
4) What were some of your biggest challenges along the way?
The biggest challenge was finding the time to express my art and talents at creating with two toddlers and myself going to college at age 40. But I have overcome finding the time. I have found my groove.
5) Have you overcome the challenges? If so how?
I have – I choose to make my art and designs on my time. I get my kids involved with creating art. It helps me focus on my work and my kids.
6) What have you learned and what would you like to share with other entrepreneurs?
I have learned that there is a lot of competition in the world. You just have to put yourself out there and hope to be discovered for your passion.