1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
I’m a mom of two boys, which is my most important title. Harry is 10 and Charlie is 6. Everything I do ultimately is for them. When they’re happy, I’m happy. More importantly, I’m raising them, ideally, to be successful young men, which is my most important job. I’m divorced, so when they’re with me, we’re a threesome. A pretty awesome one, if I do say.
So, then, I have a few other jobs. I have a full-time job as a Program Manager at a software security company in Portland. It’s great, challenging and I love the people I work with. But there is a creative outlet it doesn’t quite scratch. I’ve always had the entrepreneurial itch. I got as far as registering as a business for two other ideas before Grown & Crated, and very close on about five other ideas. I spent hundreds (thousands?) of hours over about 15 years, pursuing entrepreneurial ventures before Grown & Crated was born. Grown & Crated has been the only one that has ever “stuck.” And now that I’m here, OH MY is that exciting.
Which brings me to Grown & Crated, which, after my two boys, is my baby. It’s my creative outlet and the source of very much joy. I curate gift boxes made up of locally-made products, from shelf-stable food to housewares to apothecary. Almost all of my entrepreneurial ventures have had one thing in common: supporting small, local businesses. It’s always been an intrinsic value for me to “shop small” as much as possible, as to me it’s a way of preserving authenticity. It’s my feeling that the conglomeration of business with mass-production and gigantic brands dilutes and genericizes creativity, craftsmanship and the character of commerce in America.
Grown & Crated takes the best of the artisan world — the small-batch, high-quality foods and wares made lovingly by hand — and merges that with the benefit of e-commerce — the ability to reach a wide audience without having to sell through a mega-corporation. It delivers Pacific Northwest artisan products into the hands of those who have the same core values as the makers. And as the curator, I apply my subjective criteria for selecting only the best, most creative and interesting products — a knack that comes naturally to me, that I consider one of my strengths, and that brings me so much joy.
2. Describe your workspace. What’s your favorite thing about it?
I just moved my workspace from a small warehouse in the back of a local food co-op, to a dedicated space in my house, which has been such a wonderful transition. It’s so nice to not have to leave my home to go to work in my business. My warehouse is full of shelving where I store my inventory, boxes, ribbons, etc. and a large table where I assemble the boxes. And a desk. Pretty simple.
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3. Where do you find your motivation when you feel stuck?
Nature, podcasts, and my bathtub.
4. What did you think you’d be “when you grew up,” and how does it differ from the person you are today?
When I was young I wanted to be a newscaster. Which I find very odd given that I know now I’m an introvert! I also loved to throw “parties” in my front yard for my stuffed animals. Which probably relates better to what I do now than the newscaster. 🙂
5. What is one piece of advice you’d give to women that want to be their own boss?
If you really want it (and you have to REALLY want it), Do. Not. Give. Up. You will likely have many “failures” before you have a “success.” I think I read once that Walt Disney failed 14 times before he was successful. I can relate. But looking back, every single one of those trials gave me skills that I am using now. How to build a website, how to create keyword-based content, how to register as a business, how to create Google ads, how to create a business plan. And on, and on. If you have the entrepreneurial bug, you WILL be successful, eventually. I heard a great description of an entrepreneur on a podcast the other day: A person who is willing to work 24 hours a day for themselves to avoid working 1 hour a day for someone else. If you can relate to that – keep going. Don’t give up! And reach out for help – there are so many other women in so many groups/forums/meet-ups who want to support you!! Including me!
You can learn more and find Elizabeth’s products at her website, and you can find more interviews with women of small business HERE!
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P.S. If you’re a female small business owner and would like to be featured, please visit our contact page to drop me a message. And don’t forget to sign up for The Caffeinated Mom Club newsletter to stay in the loop.
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