Friday, September 12, 2014

Arroway Creative Design

A series: Homemade Business 
Featuring small businesses, with big dreams, making beautiful things

I am so stoked to feature my dear friend Megan and her homemade business for my first post of this series! 

She is the owner of Arroway Creative Design: "A whimsical pretty print and graphics shop for a happy homemade life." 

Megan is a college friend, and so rad. 
Here are a few reasons why: 
She rocks Chacos and socks. 
She has a stellar creative eye. 
She loves Jesus. 

I love how fun, simple, and inspiring her designs are. She makes beautiful watercolor and hand-lettered prints. She also does custom logo designs and business branding. 

Get to know her and her business:

1. When did you open your business? 
I opened my business in June of 2014.

2. Why did you choose Etsy as your platform?

I chose Etsy because of the reputation, marketing and statistics they have available. Every new item you post gets essentially bumped up to a beginning page or so. My shop has seen more exposure to random Etsy users than it really has to my readers or followers. I also love how you can view the stats for your day to see how many people have viewed your shop. Etsy is just a huge website and a lot of people are familiar with it. 
3. What are your current business goals? 
One of my biggest goals is to get to the point where I can completely run a creative business full time. I'm not sure if that will be Etsy + my custom graphic design business or if I'll add more stuff as the months go on, but I hope to be able to have a full time creative business. 

Another vision for my business is to really help non-profits improve their branding and marketing. I understand a lot of the branding and marketing side of a business, and I would love to be able to serve God through that by helping ministries and non-profits get the word out there.

4. Where do you draw inspiration for your designs? 

A lot of my inspiration comes from books (I'm kind of a lit nerd) or the great outdoors. My husband and I are huge outdoorsy people, so on our backpacking trips I always bring a journal and jot down notes or doodles. I also love to browse the cute shops downtown and get ideas for my online shop.

5. What do you do to foster and grow your creativity? 

Honestly, I currently have a creatively draining job that I'm working on getting out of. So it's so hard to foster creativity when I come home every day so mentally drained from my boring desk job. But more than anything, I think I foster creativity by bouncing ideas off my friends (I'm a verbal processor), going outside is huge for me, and really just serving in the church brings me a lot of creative ideas on how to improve things.

6. What would you tell someone who wants to start a small business, but is afraid of failing? 

I would tell them I was right there. I was terrified it wouldn't work out. And to be honest it has been slower than I thought it would be. And at first I was so discouraged, but I've honestly began to pray that God would prosper my business, and I've seen that happen in the last few weeks. My biggest piece of advice is take risks, test them out, if they don't work, move on. Always be learning, improving and working towards something better. And pray a lot. God will guide you.

7. What resources do you draw from for business advice, planning, etc. 

A huge resource for me was the Global Leadership Summit. Even though I'm not essentially leading anyone in my own personal business, it made me realize that I need to have a vision for my business. I've grown so much in my business because I constantly recast the vision to myself. 

I also was incredibly inspired by [the book] #GIRLBOSSSophia [the author] talks a lot about the gritty side of business. It's really not easy, but if you work hard, you can make things happen. A lot of times if I want to try something new or I'm trying to figure out how to price something or whatever, I just look for examples.  I watch other people very closely. I see what they do, and then I tweak it to work for myself.

8. What big dreams do you have for your business? 

A big dream for my business would be to produce inspirational prints that are featured in stores. I also would love to be a public speaker at Christian women/blogging conferences for creatives. I feel like creative people get left out on leadership + business because people think they are too far left to function in that society.

 A lot of people don't take ultra creative people seriously, or even creative people don't think they have what it takes to run a business. But that's entirely wrong, a creative person can be an excellent business person and I hope I can one day encourage and foster growth among the creative side of Christian women.  

Thanks Megan, for sharing your heart and business. You are lovely.

Check out her blog here, her business here. 

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