Hi everyone! Time for a new interview in the Creative Business Diaries series. This week is dedicated to Samantha, the wonderful creator behind The Crystalline Moon.
Intuitive Mala necklaces & bracelets. I make mostly non-traditional, but I can do either. I just released my very first oracle deck, Crystalline Oracle, which features crystals, chakras & mantra/affirmations. I also like to curate custom gift boxes.
2. Why do you create?
It makes me happy. It allows me to use my intuition and just let my creativity flow. Since I work with crystal/gemstone beads that each have their own metaphysical properties, it gives me a sense of purpose, a way that I can feel like I’m helping others, or inspiring, encouraging or just making them feel good about themselves.
3. When did you start creating?
I’ve only been making mala jewelry since 2016, but I’ve created my entire life. Drawing & painting were my first love, I found out very early on that I could look at something and draw it, but I got busy and got out of the habit of honing that craft. I’m trying to get back into it now though. I took ceramics in high school and absolutely loved that. I’ve found that anytime that I’m creating- whether it’s drawing, painting, creating malas – that is when my mind is the calmest and focused, not anxious or stressing about anything (other than my work being just right!)
4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to share their creations/start a business but doesn’t know where to start/is afraid of reactions?
Just do it anyway! Start where ever you are with whatever you have. You are going to make mistakes and mess up, but those are teachers in the process. You can’t really learn and hone your craft if you never mess up. When you mess up, you learn how to do whatever it is better. And try to not be so judgemental of your work, that holds you back and keeps you stuck. If you don’t like something, step away and come back with fresh eyes, or scratch it and start again. Don’t worry about people not liking it, because not everyone will. But chances are if you create something you like, someone else will like it to. Just keep going, don’t give up! (I’m taking note of all of these suggestions myself! Sometimes your advice is also your own best medicine!)
5. Favorite social media to promote/to find inspiration and what tips do you have to succeed on that network (if any)?
I use Instagram as my main platform for showcasing/promoting my creations, I also follow a lot of other small shops/businesses that I love on there as well. If I’m in need of inspiration or motivation, I usually take to Pinterest. I search for mood boards or crystal properties, themes, art or quotes even that might inspire me in my creative process.
6. Who inspires you and why?
Oh man, there are lots of people that inspire me, and they aren’t all specifically artists. Devin Strickler of Ambient Light Tarot and Love, Light & Legacy is a big one, I’ve been connected with her for a few years now. She does soooo much, offers so much and she’s just one person, a wife, and a mom to two little boys. I don’t know how she does it. She must have the same hours in a day as Beyonce. 😉 Samantha Roberts of Escaping Stars inspires me because of her connection with self and her spirituality. She creates beautiful Sacred Pause boxes, several of which I have purchased myself. I admire her openness and her consistency in keeping rituals, which I fail miserably at. Katy Hearn, she is a fitness gal turned entrepreneur, that I have followed for years now. She is so open and down to earth, the kind of girl you’d want to have in your circle. She started out with her own fitness journey which led to her getting certified as a personal trainer offering online coaching, to opening her very own gym and launching her own supplement line, meal service, and now her own CBD company, on top of being a wife, and now a brand new mama. Talk about role model/inspiration!
7. What are some of the disadvantages of the business you are in and how do you beat them?
As with anything really, I’m not the only person creating mala jewelry, and I’m fairly new to the scene in comparison to a lot of other shops, so it’s just trying to create jewelry that is unique to me and stands out, and just trying to be seen. Social media now has these really hard to combat algorithms that are hurting a lot of small businesses. I’m trying to build up my stock (and courage!) to do local festivals and arts and craft shows just to get more exposure. I’m a bit of an introvert and get exhausted in crowds fairly quickly, so selling online was the perfect option for me, but I want to share my offerings with more people.
8. Was there a moment when you wanted to quit? Why?
Yes! I did actually for a bit. I left my job back in 2016 to pursue creating jewelry full time, and after draining my savings account trying to get started, I had to hang in up and go back to the 9-5 office job for stability. I hated it, every single minute of it, but it was necessary at the time and it helped pave the way to where my husband and I are now. I kept making jewelry in my spare time though and posted it on Instagram and Facebook to keep it going. Flash forward to June of 2018, I finally had enough of working my toxic job that was literally making me physically and mentally ill, and after much discussion with my husband, I quit and immediately launched into the jewelry head on. I’m now going into my 4th month of working my business full time and although I haven’t made up the steady paycheck just yet, I am working towards it and I wake up every day grateful that I get to do this as a job. That I get to be my own boss, create a schedule that works for me and my body, one that allows me to rest when I need to and work longer when I have to, one that allows me to be present mentally & physically with my family and friends, and that I’m doing something that gives me purpose & has meaning to me.
9. How has your business evolved since you started it? Did it go in the direction you were expecting?
It’s definitely had its ups and downs! But where I am now, is amazing, and I’m really just getting started. I have SO many ideas!
10. What makes you mad about the creators’ community and how would you change that?
Hmm, I’m pretty new to it all so I’m not even quite sure I’m actually aware of much that goes on, but I guess I’d say that the things I’ve noticed are that it’s really hard to be seen when you are new, as there are sooooo many talented people already. I have seen a lot of my favorite creator’s having issues with people using or stealing their art, and that’s never okay. If you want to showcase something, then at least ask permission or credit the source properly.
1. Chocolate or Pancakes? Depends! I like both, although oddly I do not like them together.
2. Sweet or Salty? Salty! I eat pretzels & hint of lime Tostitos like they are going out of style.
3. Wine or Beer? Wine, though I rarely have any. My vice really is Mountain Dew!
4. Swimming or Skiing? Snowboarding! One of the coolest/hardest/most painful things I’ve done.5. Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings? After all this time, ALWAYS. HARRY POTTER ALL THE WAY! (As I sip my coffee from my “Don’t let the Muggles get you down” mug. 😉