stop f'n around. build a business doing what you love.

I’m going to be trying something new here on the blog every week. Instead of constantly beating you over the head with how to create a successful creative business. I’m going to take a page from my mother’s handbook. Bear with me as I drift into an anecdote.

When my siblings and I would misbehave as children (not me, of course. *angel grin* I was just guilty by association of DNA) my mom had one particular phrase she would always say. The phrase meant: “Don’t want to listen to me when I tell you to do or not to do something? Just wait to see what happens.” It was:

I can show you better than I can tell you.

As much as I hated hearing that as a child *cringe,* it may be appropriate now.

I can give advice until the cows come home (what does that really mean anyway?! 5 points to whoever can tell me where that phrase originated from.) that you can have a sustainable business doing what you love, but without examples, you’ll think I’m just shitting you.

So every week, probably on Fridays from now on, I’ll highlight a business owner or brand who is turning his/her creative passions into profit.

Here’s your first round.

Ashley G & Drew rock.

I first read about them in an issue of one of the business magazines I usually drool over in my local book store.

I was inspired by their story. It goes a little something like this. Cue dream sequence.

Ashley was a kid growing up in St. Louis and she loved to draw.

She thought “Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if I could make a living doing this?”

When she was about 15, she realized hardly anyone where she was growing up actually made a living that way.

So she gave up on her dream and went to nursing school, because, hell, that’s a totally safe and respectable career. Right?

WRONG!

Ashley grew up and, in September 2005, discovered Etsy.com.

It took her 6 months after that to officially dive in, but that’s alright, by July 2006, she’d sold enough of her works to justify a 3-month break from her “day job.” F’n sweet right?

It gets sweeter. In 2008 and 2009 they (Ashley G and her biz partner BF, Drew) signed licensing agreements with Urban Outfitters. Very cool.

In 2009 they brought in $100,000 in revenue.

This isn’t to say that “OMG, all you have to do is make some stuff and you, too, can get an Urban Outfitter licensing deal.”

Uh, no.

But if you take your passion and put some serious hard work, determination and a little business sense behind it, you can make it more than a hobby- or at least something that can buy you a cool handmade print every now and then. Check out Ashley G and Drew here. They have some pretty cool work.

Creativity Loft has a lot in the works for 2011 to help you with your creative business. New blog workshops, ebooks, classes and more consulting packages to win!

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2 Comments

  1. Great story about Ashley and Drew. I enjoy their creative work on Etsy. Etsy.com is a creative business success story in it’s own right isn’t it?

    Thanks for all the great advice so far. From author branding to creating a website you’ve given me lots to think about and DO.

    Kate

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