Hi, I am Lauren Anderson. I grew up in Las Vegas but have since lived in Utah, Dallas, San Antonio and now Cincinnati for my husband’s residency in pediatric dentistry. I am a wife, a mother, and a maker. I have three children and a background in American Literature. I love to excercise, eat, and travel. I recently started an etsy shop, joliment.market, where I am currently selling dress up angel wings for children.
How did you come up with the idea to start joliment.market?
I wish I could say starting joliment.market was this grand idea but the truth is I wanted to create something that my kids could not destroy! And really more than anything I wanted to try something I had never delved into before and feel a sense of accomplishment. I researched and came up with a few ideas of things I could possibly make but realized in the end I wanted to have an original product. I had seen different variations of dress up angel wings trending on blogs and Instagram and when I could not find any shops selling them on etsy I decided to jump in and make my own version. I made the pattern and remade it and remade it. I tried to make the best product I could come up with and then opened up my etsy shop. And here I am, kind of exciting- and nerve wracking.
Tell us about the beautiful angel wings that you make.
Right now my shop is three different sizes of angel wings. Like most families, dressing up is a huge part of play in our home. I have a 3 year old daughter who literally thinks she is Elsa and loves every gaudy, tacky, sequined thing she can find. I will often go in her room after she has fallen asleep and have to take my high heels off of her feet. Making these wings has helped me realize that I can steer this love of fancy things by the options I give her and in turn I can (hopefully) help refine her taste while letting her dress herself. Another important thing to me is that I am supplying something that is loved and actually used in my own home. When these wings are not on my kids, they are on their dolls, their stuffed animals, or hanging on their wall.
What are some things you’ve learned since starting your own business?
Starting my own small business has been a huge lesson in making things happen. I literally have zero background in any of this so I’m always studying what step to take next. I do not really like uncertainty or feel comfortable talking to people I do not know but I have forced myself to get out there and do it. I have learned that work life balance really does not exist and that being grateful for the busy and slow times helps me navigate this part a little bit better. One thing I have learned and am continuously being reminded of is how nice people are out there behind the pictures and the emails and the business. I am so impressed by the people I have come in contact with since starting this shop. Very supportive and just good people.
What marketing strategies do you find most useful for joliment.market?
As stated before I have no background in business at all and by nature have not sought the spotlight so marketing has been a brand new experience, and definitely the most uncomfortable for me. The thing that has probably helped me the most in this category, besides learning from friends with successful etsy shops, is having an original product. At least for now, my category is less competitive than other accessories for children and that has made it easier to collaborate with people. From the generous people who have responded to collaborating with me only one has turned me down because of a business conflict. This is actually why I intentionally sought to make a product in this category, I am not a competitive person–it gives me anxiety!
Do you have a favorite quote that helps motivate or inspire you?
A quote that has always helped me move forward is “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working” by Picasso. It helps me get off of my phone, my insecurity, my excuses, my time wasting and just start. Plus it always works!
If you could interview a creative woman, living or dead, who would you interview and why?
I am really fortunate to be surrounded by creative women both in my family and the family I married into–and I interview these people on a regular basis! From flowers arranging, sewing, crocheting, knitting, gardening, interior design, quilting, gourmet cooking, hair styling etc, I have an expert at my fingertips for which I am extremely grateful. If I could interview a creative woman that I do not know I think I would choose Mary Ann Shaffer. She wrote one of my favorite books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but died before she could completely finish writing the book (her niece finished the editing and rewriting.) Just based on how endearing the story and characters are that Shaffer created I think she must have been such a fun and charming person. Her book always puts me in a good mood and I would love to spend time with her for that very reason.
What are some other creative things you enjoy doing?
Aside from angel wings, I really enjoy a lot of the things that I listed before. My mom is one of those people that is good at everything she does and has 5 sisters in the same category. I also have 2 sisters and 7 sisters in law who are all very creative. From these women I have learned so much and my favorites would have to be sewing, quilting, decorating, cooking, arranging flowers, and blow drying hair. Assuming that last one counts as doing something creative.
What is your favorite thing about being a creative woman?
My favorite thing about being creative is definitely the confidence that it brings. I think its one of those things that provides an extreme amount of self efficacy that in turn helps me in my everyday life. I know I can figure out different situations because I have done it before in so many ways. And there is a lot of personal satisfaction and beauty in that type of accomplishment.