Makers

Maker's Musings: Find your perfect work-life balance

So, you want to be an entrepreneur

Do you find yourself wishing you had more time off to spend with family? Maybe you wish you had the time to coach your kid's soccer teams or volunteer with their schools. Maybe you have a side hustle you want to turn into your fulltime passion. These two Flagstaff Crafted makers understand where you’re coming from! Both have managed to create a life they love by turning their passions into a full-time job with the flexibility to enjoy family time. We were thrilled to interview these two amazing women and share their insights.

Candace, Sweet Three Designs

Candace offers a large selection of jewelry designed and/or handcrafted by herself and her three daughters. Having started as a Civil Engineering Technologist and pivoting to esthetics, Sweet Three Designs provided Candace with the flexibility needed to keep her family the number one priority in her life. “Sweet Three was born out of a desire to show my three daughters how to take a passion and turn it into a business.” With her daughters making and selling slime to their friends at school, Candace could tell they had entrepreneurial spirits. She wanted them to develop their experience by building a business. They love fashion and crafts, so making jewelry seemed like the perfect fit.

When COVID-19 hit, Candace put her esthetics business on hold and decided to commit to Sweet Three completely. She quickly saw this working for her family. Flagstaff Crafted provided encouragement and the resources that Candace needed to get her business off the ground and Rachel Mielke of Hillberg & Berk gave her inspiration and advice.

Some of the challenges Candace faced included lacking money to invest in inventory, time for her burgeoning business, and resources to balance her workload. “There will always be big challenges, but it’s a person’s drive and resourcefulness that can help a business succeed.” The biggest learning experience for Candace has been focusing on her own path and not being distracted by competitors. Being authentic to her personality makes Sweet Three relatable to customers.

“I love being able to work alongside my daughters. I love that I can create a flexible schedule so I can be present for their lives, coaching their sports and attending their school functions. I don’t take time with them for granted. Have confidence in yourself and don’t let personal fears hold you back. People will feel your passion for your product and invest in your brand because of your enthusiasm.”

“Have confidence in yourself and don’t let personal fears hold you back. People will feel your passion for your product and invest in your brand because of your enthusiasm.”

Candace Patten

Jessica Mose, Prairie Soap Shack

Jessica Mose handmakes all-natural soap bars, herbal balms, and body products using wildcrafted flowers and herbs from her own farm. For Jessica, Prairie Soap Shack isn’t just a brand — it’s a lifestyle! Having always been interested in the “homesteader” lifestyle, she began making 100% natural products from scratch. Connecting with the prairies, foraging for wild plants, and sharing her knowledge with others became her passion. After her mother commented, “I’m surprised you haven’t made your own soap yet,” Jessica started researching and decided to give it a go!

Her first year in business, Jessica focused on mainstreaming her product line. “I should have started with one or two things and planned my recipes better so I could order materials in bulk,” Jessica notes. Online marketing provided another challenge, especially during a global pandemic. “People are shopping online and it’s so important to be easy to purchase from. I learned how to develop my own SEO-optimized website and store and create newsletters and social media business pages. The learning is endless!”

Growing as a person has been Jessica’s most rewarding experience so far. “I have learned so much being an entrepreneur… It has changed all aspects of my life,” she says. “It has also connected me with so many like-minded people and I really value those relationships. I love the freedom of running my own business and being able to involve my family in my work. My husband and kids help me forage for many of the wild ingredients. Being home with my family and balancing the work is exactly what I want to be doing.”

“My advice for people starting out is not to be afraid to ask questions! We’re all learning and growing and can give advice when asked. Also, utilize all available resources. Flagstaff Crafted has helped grow my business in so many ways!”

"Utilize all available resources. Flagstaff Crafted has helped grow my business in so many ways!”

Thank you, makers

Flagstaff is filled with uniquely talented makers. Stay tuned for more insights from our community.