Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EITNB: Meet Sarah

I am so excited to introduce you to Sarah of On A Good Note, and writer for Sweet Lemon Magazine blog, in a very delayed version of Entrepreneurship is The New Black. It was actually this post written by Sarah that inspired me to start this series, I realized how many of us small business/entrepreneurs are out there and I would love to create a space that could highlight what so many of us are doing, or strive to do.
Sarah is a native Hoosier and proud DePauw University alum. She graduated with an English degree in 2011 and launched her stationery shop a few months later in October. The shop features fun and fresh designs and has grown to include items ranging from mugs, magnets, iPhone cases, and other gift items.
Sarah grew up with two self-employed parents (they run their own screenprinting business), has always been a writer and adored fine stationery, so the path to owning her own stationery company seems like it was where she was meant to go! So without anymore (and there has been many) delays, meet Sarah...

How did you come up with the idea for On A Good Note?I have always been a writer (I was actually an English Writing major) and I think liking stationery goes with the territory. My background is heavy in communications and journalism so I had an interest in learning more about graphic design. I purchased the Adobe Suite while I was still in school and started playing around in Illustrator. After a while I designed some note cards that were inspired by my friends. We started writing letters to each other a lot more since graduating and everyone is spread out. Initially I launched an Etsy shop to have something to do while looking for a job, but this past June I decided to focus on it full-time.
How do you get out of a creative rut? I like to spend some time checking out examples of really great design, usually through Etsy. This happens most often when I am working on a custom design project for someone, especially when the customer doesn’t always have a clear idea of what they want. Sometimes I’ll also put down what I am doing and walk away. Focusing on something else for a while is often helpful.

(TwentySomethingIndy.com - a magazine Sarah runs)
What is the best/worst part of running your own company?The best is schedule flexibility. I am much more productive at night, so I am glued to my laptop in the evening, and take it slow in the mornings. It is nice to be able to arrange meetings and still do things important to me. The worst would be the isolation. A lot of twenty-something’s have social interaction through their co-workers or work events. I didn’t work anywhere before On A Good Note, so it has been really challenging to meet people.
How did you go about learning all the ins and outs of starting your own company?
My dad offers advice when I seek it but he tries to keep his distance, and not get overly involved. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with other female entrepreneurs, both virtually and in person. Young Female Entrepreneurs has fun Twitter chats, weekly interviews, and a great blog. Locally I joined a group called Indy Alpha Chicks, I m the youngest one but it’s a great group of women who are all really supportive of each other’s ventures. And of course I read articles form online sites such as Inc. Entrepreneur and The YEC. A few weeks ago I wrote a post for Sweet Lemon Magazines Blog, on some great books I’ve used, you can check it out here.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?“You have to figure out what you can do every day that is going to make you money. It is easy to get wrapped up in the little tasks like cleaning your desk or answering emails. Those are necessary but they can’t eat your whole day if they are not going to get you anywhere.” I have heard versions of this from both my dad and a Barbara Corcoran (of Shark Tank) interview. I admit it is still difficult to follow through on this.
What’s next for you and your company?I’ve just started venturing into doing gifts and craft shows. I’d like to pursue tat a little more, which gives me a good excuse to travel!
I want to thank Sarah for all this great insight, and all her patience.
Check her out on Twitter//Facebook//Instagram (@seeutsler)//Pinterest
Email (sara(at)onagoodnote(dot)com, and of course over at On A Good Note.

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