For me, there is something so exciting and alluring about owning your own business: the schedule flexibility, the sense of accomplishment, the community, and the ability to make it whatever you want it to be.
Some of you have been following my business since before it was Sound+Circle (psst, I co-owned a business previous to opening this one), and some of you are new here! If you follow me on social media, then you know I looooove anything Behind the Scenes (give me all the documentaries, bonus episodes, tours, I want in on all of it!). In this post I’d love to tell you a little more about myself and show you what a typical day may look like for a business owner and mom!
A Little Background
I live in Tacoma, Washington with my husband of nearly 12 years and our three kids (almost-7 and 5 year old boys, and a one-year-old girl). My husband works as a Nursing Home Administrator and, as you can imagine, it’s a busy job in general but has been magnified during this pandemic. I taught middle school math and science but stopped teaching after having my oldest son. When he was 4 months old a friend and I decided it would be fun to open an Etsy shop and just see what happened. It was a great creative outlet and a way to “have a life” outside of being a mom. We owned that business for around 5 years and learned a lot about business and the products we wanted to produce. Not being trained in graphic design or having any experience with manufacturing paper goods, it was really trial and error to figure it all out and create high-quality products. I am so proud of how hard I worked and how much I learned.
Paths diverge and goals change, and in April 2020 I stepped away from our partnership and began planning out a new business as a sole owner; I opened Sound+Circle in June 2020 so we’re coming up on one year! It was exciting to take all of my previous knowledge and put it towards a new, cleaned up vision and fresh start.
My first job is being a mom, and the flexibility this job gives me is a blessing. It definitely means late nights and sometimes being distracted, but I know that if needed I can always step away when my kids need. Starting the business when we were all at home was a challenge but it solidified that it’s still something I am passionate about and want to continue.
While my previous shop started out with hand-lettered prints, my passion has really formed into the organizational aspect of the business. There are obviously tons of other paper goods companies, but so many of them just don’t appeal to me. They are either not my style or, more importantly, SO structured that I was set up for failure almost instantly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. While new habits are a great way to make positive changes, sometimes we just need tools that seamlessly fit into our life and make our days easier.
If you’ve seen my home, my clothes, or pretty much anything I own you know that I love neutrals, clean lines, and classic looks. The colors and patterns in my work reflect that, and I know that while that’s not everyone’s cup of tea there are so many other people out there who would appreciate a neutral palette in their stationery.
My other priority has really become the customizability (is that a word??) of what I offer. Because I make everything in-house, I make everything to order and can edit any product to fit a customers’ needs. Many stationery and planner businesses outsource their products to larger manufacturers; so they buy their product in bulk and sell through it. While this would make it A LOT easier for me to fulfill orders (put the right product in a box and mail it out), this wouldn’t allow me to create new products whenever I want or customize very much for customers.
Because of how well things have gone this past year (WOW!) I have been able to afford larger equipment that allows me to produce my products more easily and quicker. This has led to some opportunities to become a “print shop” of sorts for other small businesses. Having printing done through a larger company can be expensive and require high minimums that small business owners can’t always afford. My hope is to continue to expand this offering so that businesses can save money, test out a product, or get their product off the ground before committing to a larger quantity.
I hope this helps you get to know me and my business a little more. Being able to put a “face” to a business is something huge that puts Small Businesses ahead of large companies and big box stores. Yes, costs are sometimes higher and shipping time is slower, but knowing that you are buying from someone who sees your name, makes your product for you, and puts so much into their offering something beautiful and helpful is priceless.