The Journey of Becoming a Small Business Owner

The journey of being a small business hasn't always been a straight-forward path. Since I started the business in March of 2021, there have been many failures, various obstacles to overcome, and many days of looming imposter syndrome. Despite those factors, being a small business has been very rewarding and I wouldn't change it for the world. 

It started in January of 2020. I was working as a graphic designer at a wholesale manufacturing company in Rhode Island. After graduating with an Associate's degree in Graphics, Multi-media, and Web Design, this was my second job post-college. I had spent the better part of a year with this company, all to realize during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that this was a dead-end design job in a toxic work environment.

Discouraged, burnt-out, and frustrated over the lack of acknowledgement from management, I started to mentally withdraw at work. My only daily escape was in my downtime when I was fantasizing about owning my own creative business one day. Around this time, the pandemic was at it's peak. I elected to work from home to possibly allow myself time to move into my new apartment and work on other projects that might fulfill me creatively. 

I had always been drawn to the 'boho' aesthetic, and I was looking for some décor for my new apartment while I worked from home. I was surfing on Etsy for a macramé wall hanging, when I decided, "hey, I have the time! Why don't I learn how to make one myself?" I bought some macramé cord, foraged and cleaned a piece of wood from my backyard, and watched a DIY macramé tutorial on YouTube. 

Honestly, it wasn't the neatest macramé wall hanging, but I was proud of myself for completing the piece! I found macramé to be relaxing, so I started practicing and making more wall hangings/plant hangers. Slowly, I started posting them on social media, and got several messages asking if I could make custom pieces! I was so excited, I felt like this could actually be a great opportunity to start my own business.

The more I thought about it, I realized that if I were to start my own business, that I would want to sell more than just macramé décor. I've always loved art, so I thought it would be worth-while to try designing stickers and art prints.

I decided to splurge and bought myself an iPad and purchased Procreate. After teaching myself Procreate, it re-kindled my love for drawing and art. I started drawing more and more, and I realized that this idea of owning my own creative business could actually come to fruition.

Finally in February of 2021, I decided to quit my full-time job as a graphic designer and delve into freelancing and starting her own business. Though I had absolutely no business experience (and let's face it, no idea what I was doing in general) I was excited to take this leap of faith. My husband, friends and family were extremely supportive. I figured, if I don't try this now, I never will!

From there, I chose my business name "Knots of Art" as a play-on-words "Lots of Art", since I would be selling macramé and art goods. I used my skills in graphic/web design to build a cohesive brand that I felt fit my 'boho' aesthetic. I started developing products and posting them on social media to get feedback. It turns out, people seemed really interested in what I was making!

I am still continuing to grow my business and learning as much as I can along the way. I am so grateful to my support system, as well as the community of like-minded creators that I have met on social media! I strive for perfection in my business and I am hopeful for the future.

Despite the low points, all of the high points of this journey have made it completely worth it. Finally, I can say I own a creative business, and I've never been happier or more fulfilled in my life.

I hope to encourage you to keep faith in yourself and inspire you to follow your dreams!

Cheers,

Genevieve (Knots of Art)

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