Years in Tampa Bay
Artist, Designer and Owner of Fox & Crow Paper Co.
What do you do?
I own a small stationery, greeting card and gift company. My mission is to make people smile, activate joyful imaginations and help spread love and kindness. I create whimsical art prints, greeting cards, pins, patches and stickers inspired by animals, flowers and imagination.
Why do you do it?
It makes me happy and makes other people happy too :)
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
I took a big leap of faith and moved to St. Pete. My husband Rob and I were living in Brooklyn, NY. We were both making art and doing our full-time day jobs. I was mostly selling on Etsy, and getting some commissions and freelance projects, but the more success I was having in my business, the less sleep I was getting. I'm not sure where it came from, but at some point we got this idea for "art year." The seed was planted and we kind of became obsessed with this idea that our lives could be different. We decided we would move somewhere more affordable and sunny for one year and really give our creative work some space to grow. It was a really scary and exciting thing. "Art year" has turned into a whole new life. We've been here for two years now and we actually just bought a house. We regularly say how lucky we are that we found St. Pete.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
A huge misconception I had was that making good products would be enough to find success. There is so much more to having a successful business than making a great thing. I'm learning to love sales and spreadsheets, which are two areas in which I didn't think myself capable.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
I used to work as an elementary school art teacher, so when I first went to work for myself, I felt a little isolated. I really missed having colleagues and students around and feeling like I was part of a community. However, once I started doing the local art markets in St. Pete, I made friends with so many incredible and creative people who are doing exactly what I am! I also became a teaching artist with Nomad Art Bus, which has turned out to be one of my favorite things and connects me deeply to our community.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
I know it's a cliche but "double your rate of failures if you want to succeed." It took me a long time to internalize this one (and some days I definitely forget). The first time I got rejected from a show and when I didn't get a wholesale account, I felt like all my worst fears about not being good enough had been confirmed. Not true. Try to look at everything as a learning experience, and train yourself to have a growth mindset.