“Know it’s a challenge – a very rewarding challenge” Lindsay Zuelich, creator and artist of Wood Brain.
A couple months ago I started thinking about a way to connect with my clients other than just taking beautiful photographs of them. How can I connect? I thought long and hard on the process of bringing you something new, fresh and exciting…As a business owner and admirer of other creative entrepreneurs, I decided to go back to my journalistic roots and feature people who will inspire but who have taken the leap and created their own small empire – otherwise known as their own business.
To start, I wanted you to meet Lindsay, creator of Wood Brain. A Trader Joe’s sign artist by day and a beautiful woodworker woman by night! I met Lindsay and her husband, Eric, a few years ago through mutual friends while on my first official ski trip in Big Bear. I loved their energy, both artists and a fun couple to be around- so when I got home I immediately Facebook friended Lindsay. BFF for life right? haha! From that point I watched silently as she started and began to grow her new business.
Raised by a single father who was a jack of all trades, Lindsay was very much influenced by her father who wanted her to know the tools and know how to use them; “It just evolved from there,” she says. She playfully calls herself a ” Jade of all trades.”
Flash forward to the future, Lindsay graduated from FIDM in Los Angeles and started painting the signs at Trader Joe’s. “TJ’s is definitely a safety net, however, it does let me lead a more comfortable lifestyle. Owning your own business though – you are going to give a lot. If you give 40 hours to a regular job, expect to give that or even more to your own business.”
Using Etsy as her original platform, Lindsay was off to a great start! However, a local artisan paradise would soon be erected in San Pedro…a little place known as Crafted! If you have not been there, you definitely need to make the trip. If you are an Etsy fanatic like me – this is Etsy is real life! However, Crafted in all its awesomeness seemed to be burning the candle at all ends spending three days a week there Friday to Sunday- she made the tough decision to close. “Having my weekends and closing my shop at Crafted was definitely a trade off that is worth it to me in the end.”
Balance is key, when I asked her about what the future holds she definitely wants to keep her small business small, “I don’t want to get so big that I can’t keep up with it. Workshops may be another thing I see in my future.” Craft fairs are definitely the wheel house that Lindsay enjoys being apart of so she can bring her top sellers with her like the awesome flasks, lighters and beautiful jewelry.
“I am only one woman with two hands. I love working with my hands, regardless of the scars and bruises- knowing I can create allows me to conquer more challenges that are in front of me.”
Over the years, she says there have been so many new things she has learned about herself and her wood crafting such as the technical things as sanding and oil finish all the way to managing her social media accounts and keeping it geared towards her business. “Learning is a constant hunger for my business. I also meet up with other artisans and talk about our work and catch up over a beer.” She also expresses that quality and craftsmanship is key to her success learning that from the beginning through a very critical woodworking 101 teacher. “There is no cheating the oil finish process in itself.” Lindsay plans to keep on taking classes to hone her craft more and more each day.
Her advice to all the future entrepreneurs out there? “Travel and love what you do everyday. I will only have my hands for so long. Setting your own goals and meeting your own expectations is huge!”