Glowforge business building with Audrey@Min2Be Designs - balancing work, family and creativity

Glowforge business building with Audrey@Min2Be Designs - balancing work, family and creativity

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first came in May by the end of October November area like I paid it off so I was like oh okay this this one Audrey Min is building a really cool business with her glowforge it consists of digital and physical products as well as sourcing items and blanks that other makers might want to use in making their products she's also had really cool opportunities to work with glowforge on a variety of projects she's been interviewed about her business and she's provided some trainings on using procreate to create ornaments as well she's doing all of this while balancing a full-time job and raising two small kids want to know how she does it let's go foreign so welcome Audrey let's start kicking off with who you are what your business does how long you've been doing it yeah um my name is Audrey from n2b designs uh the name came from like a little you know play on words with my last name Min and just the idea that you're meant to design or you're meant to be here right um I've had my glow Force for two years so I've been designing and also sharing just quick tips and tricks and helping new uh and interested laser artists to get on the laser train you have a very distinct style did you have design skill beforehand did you learn all that did you just like design how did you get started I don't have a design background I learned everything from when I purchased my glowforge so I a lot of it came from YouTube videos of just like and Google trying to figure out how to do something you know like if I need to cut cut a circle I'm like how do I uh create a circle on illustrator or how do I remove this apart from I just Googled everything and followed YouTube tutorials on like little points um on that with procreate similar thing um I found a lot of tutorials on YouTube as well as Tick Tock and um I started from there just you know learning from other other people who are providing training did you start designing before your glovework came I purchased my glowforge and I was like you know I need to figure out how to use the glow Forge and I need to figure out like my personal style or what I like to create in it right because I don't know probably I'm sure for you too like when I first got it I was like I want to make everything but then I realized I don't like actually making everything you know so um just kind of like fine tuning and figuring out what actually works for you and your brand and you know what fills your cut or what makes you excited let's talk more about that so how did you go about that because I do think that you have really nailed an aesthetic I can pick out a picture and be like I think that's probably Audrey's how did you get to that point you know um it's funny that you say that because for me I'm like uh I see that with other other makers I'm like oh that's so and so oh that's so-and-so's and I'm like I wonder if I'll ever get that so you know hearing that you actually said that about me I'm like oh that's a good I feel so uh I feel like I achieved a goal without really know knowing I think just trial and error uh seeing what fits um seeing what like style I like just because someone you know you could follow a lot of people who have a lot you know huge followings and you could try to mimic what they what their Aesthetics looks like but if it's not um suited for you and like what you enjoy doing it's not going to work out your audience is going to clearly know that and it's not going to I think just trial and error and then actually sharing the process helped me figure out what I liked and just like the style that I liked and yeah so what made you want to get a glow Forge in the first place so I got my Glenda's like right when the pandemic hit or it was starting and I was like I need a creative Outlet I have a baby I'm working from home and I just need an extra channel to have something for myself and so I've I saw the glowforge ads I saw people then you know actually creating a business with the glowforge and I was like I could do this or let's try you know and so pull the plug and we actually purchased the glow Forge I had a goal to pay off my glowforge in like two three years I was like I'll just it'll be a slow side income goal was to pay off my goal Forge with all the sales that came in so that it's just equipment for me to have that's been paid off it was an urgent goal loafers came in May of like so two years ago and by the end of October November area like I paid it off so I was like oh okay this this worked out a lot sooner than I had anticipated but you know not I wasn't complaining about that did you pay it off through lots of small individual things or and where did you sell how did that work for you one thing that I did was I shared my family portrait ornaments and I actually started sharing it and um like sending it out to influencers and one of those was a jackpot I guess or I was just so thankful that one shared and actually boosted my sales it like really came from there and then you know from there I think it kind of trickled down to like um as people received it and then they shared it and like kind of started trickling but that's kind of how it happened at a design that you just wanted to do for yourself and then you shared or was it something you had seen how did you come up with that idea I had created what created one for myself and then um the idea came from just like seeing um just events on social media and just like us that kind of aesthetic or style and like watercolor and um portraits that were being created and I was like hey I have a laser I could take that style and make it my own so then that's where like you know the outlining of of the person or the individual came and that's how you know I kind of created the my style I guess it if you were to do this again or you were giving advice to someone who's starting out so they are thinking about investing in a laser they just got one what would your advice be to just get started because it sounds like you kind of did a little bit of everything but you weren't afraid to put yourself out there like influencers that could be intimidating yeah definitely because you know you're afraid of the no right because you could you could reach out to 10 and nobody could uh respond back to you you could uh all 10 could respawn but you know no none of them could post about it you just really don't know it's really a gamble I guess but it's um it's investing in into your business uh I think I would tell people if they wanted to start to just start like you you know like you don't need all the plans you don't need everything all laid out just just start try making something that you enjoy that you want for yourself or your family and then go from there share that share the journey and then I think creating that relationship with um your audience or your customers then you know builds that like people are buying you or buying you know I don't know if that makes sense but you know more than the product they're they're buying something from you if you're Crea if you're if you yourself is the entire brand so um yeah just share the journey and and then you'll definitely be able to figure it out and also I think uh connecting with other makers um you know I think the community in like this community is super friendly very um helpful you know so if ever you have like any questions people are always willing to chime in to help um and I think as people do that you start doing that too um you know like if everyone was a newbie right you everyone purchased the first laser everyone had to go through the trial and errors so everyone's always will and those people all received help from other people I'm sure so you know it just kind of trickles down and just share the love my favorite communities are friends you know laser friends or creative artist friends all came from Instagram and Tick Tock and um I think those you you gain a lot of one-on-one relationships you could build relationships that way you could encourage one another on each other's platforms and just kind of help each other Blossom and Thrive um I also am part of a lot of Facebook uh laser Community groups but I think um those are a little bit harder to gain friends from or even like um find honest feedback without getting hurt so uh I think you're starting off Facebook is okay but then you may you have to go in knowing that you will get both sides of from in terms of receiving answers right you may not receive any answers you may receive a lot of helpful answers you may also receive some people who are not so friendly and are kind of rude and then you're just like second guessing why you even got into this industry but um yeah Instagram and Tick Tock is where I uh made friends well I find you very helpful on Instagram and I'm very glad to connect with you because I agree Instagram's definitely where I found the most people that I like if I'm like what how do I do this do you sell on Etsy and your own website what was your process there what's your and your recommendations yeah I started off on Etsy and I still have my Etsy account um and then I this earlier this year I um shifted over to my website and so whenever I'm promoting anything or sharing links it's all on my personal website meant to be.com but um I have Etsy running because Etsy is its own like platform own playing field you know people specifically specifically go onto Etsy to find like custom handmade crafts and you know art um and that would be hard for me to not be a part of especially just in this um you know you want to have a little bit of every Market I guess or I I do um for people who are starting off I think you I think it's a good idea to start off on Etsy you kind of get gauge like what people like or don't like um but the drawback of starting of being on Etsy is that when people purchase something they say that they purchased it on Etsy it's not you as a brand and so if you're wanting to build your own brand and become or become a brand uh you know that's definitely something you want to consider and maybe even start off having both you know it really is something to consider think about it's also a financial thing too right because if you're starting off on Ground Zero with no money you don't want to create a website where you have to pay fees as well as Xyz there's a lot of fees that comes with having your own website there's a lot of things to consider but yeah I think having both is a good option how far into your business did you start your own website so yeah and a half and did you feel like you had enough traffic or just the bandwidth what was the impetus to go that way I wanted to become a brand of meant to be meant to be designs and you know I'm still in the process of figuring out what that brand is um uh if if someone you know I'm sure people don't really go onto my website that frequently like or and if they do they go on it for the purpose of purchasing something they're not on there to like uh review what what I'm posting or what I have on there or my my like style or whatever right but if you were to go on my website like every once a week or so you I I think people would be like hey it changed hey it changed again like you know I'm still trying to figure out my Aesthetics or just what I like and what I don't like um and so I and I think that's okay right and I think that's the beauty of having your own website is that you could you could customize it to your liking and then if you don't like it you could always um change it up you knew you wanted to be a brand and so the net that was kind of the next logical step then was to have your own website that you could Define have another space that you owned right that was not just Instagram but was your space yes and I think um around that time um around like last uh last holiday season as well as like the beginning of the year so that's when like Etsy started announcing that they were going to raise their prices and then um I then started seeing a lot of etsy owners shop owners complain about how like their account would get locked or uh Etsy would hold on to some of their like earnings for you know whatever reasons that they created and you know it just kind of etsy wasn't a part like wasn't rooting for the maker right and um as good as a platform it is I wanted to make sure that I um wasn't fully dependent on Etsy and that if uh people started going away from Etsy that I wouldn't lose my clientele um you know so I needed to like switch over ASAP when you think about your business going forward because right now it's part time is your goal to go full time it is what does that look like for you what is what are those next steps to be able to go full time so my goal I guess and I'm currently in the process of transitioning most of my product to be digital so um I have a handful of SVG files both on Etsy as well as meant to be.com but I want to provide more right of that I have a lot on my computer as well as my iPad I just haven't had the chance to like sit down and start testing and actually producing or uploading and launching um so that's the next step to have like an actual portfolio and even like options for more makers and then that that's and then as as uh income starts flowing in then I'll uh good job what is your ideal day in your business look like if you could make a day that was your perfect business day what would it look like um it would I think it would start off with you know family time of like breakfast and all of that and I'll have some like design time um some testing time uh and then some like interaction time with like other makers and even just customers who are looking for um for a specific item and then just a time where I could explore um you know just testing out new product testing out a new style yeah so a lot of times those are my Saturdays um I kind of kind of like if described as Saturday um an ideal Saturday I guess where like I would have a couple hours to just like catch up on all the logistics stuff of the business um all the computer stuff and things like that and then I have a couple hours like in my garage like I got a news scroll saw recently so then I'll be able to scroll saw something and just kind of test that out learn how to actually use it um spend some time sanding and you know just a lot of like little things everything takes time so I just need a lot of time um I that's I'm like all over the place so I just need like a lot of blocked hours so like you know whether it's like two hours in the morning then like time with the kids and then once they go to take a nap like another couple hours to just like work on something and then spend time with the family and then once everyone's asleep then I have like a couple more hours uh but yeah that would that would I guess be like that ideal day or that's what a day would look like uh if I was doing this full-time in your ideal scenario would the majority of your income come from digital designs and then maybe custom work some really specific things that allow you to kind of do more of the interesting trial fun things yeah definitely I think the um digital would all be like the passive income right where I don't have to actually fully like that would um yeah that would be my majority of the income and then uh I would take on a handful of custom work per month just so that I can um you know be creative I guess and find what people are interested in so we talked about family portraits uh family ornaments things like that so this is uh like yeah so here's a family portrait this was actually my very first portrait that I created um yeah I painted that afterwards too so um even my painting style and maybe even like the style of this kind of change but I do love this uh this look enjoy painting no [Laughter] so you know ideally family portraits um in the long run is that I'll be able to create and draw the portrait portion for other makers and then they'll be able to um take that cut that out design it and sell it off you know so I do offer that kind of service but that's that would be ideal so then I don't have to actually do the making part um yeah and then I have another one right here this is a um am I showing it too this is uh embroidery so you know just just keeping myself um curious in in other fields and just um learning different mediums of material and processes uh it's been fun you have opportunity to work with glowforge directly a few times how did that happen and what was that experience like yeah um I they reached out to me on Instagram so that's just how it kind of all worked out I was posting videos I was posting um like pictures and tagging them on there and then I guess you know that started the like flow of interest and then um you know they reached out to me and we worked uh together on a couple things and it was it was nice to work with the company that you're you know like I have a blow for it and I really love my glowforge so it was nice to work with them for them to know who I am and like you know kind of like promote each other like yeah I'm promoting goal Forge at the end of the date right but then it would they share um me on their platform that brings in um traffic my way too so I just take it as like a marketing option what was the most exciting day you've had in your business so far um my and my one day where influencer shared my Instagram uh shared my uh ornament that I made for her family and um that day that at that moment my internet actually went down so like I was like okay I'm done I have to wait for my internet to come back so that I can start working you know and we were just sitting on the couch just like what should we do and then all of a sudden my phone was like blowing up it was like and I was like uh what's going on like what what's going on so I had to like take off my Wi-Fi on my phone um to see what was going on and then I went on to Instagram to see that like she had tagged me and tagged my um Etsy shop and I was just like floored with just you know gratitude that like that had happened and you know it's like I was able to create something that I loved for a lot of people where do you get inspiration how do you find inspiration um I think inspiration comes from everywhere like a lot of it has it comes from my kids and just like things that they enjoy um doing or maybe even like what they had said or like uh our experience together outside um you know on our walks or just like we went on a vacation so things that I see you know in a different city uh those are where I get my inspiration from uh and then you know I I also see what's trending and you know on social media and then I try to like merge them together to be to become something what was your most frustrating day in your business so far um I think my most frustrating day was when like I was I was trying to use the glow Forge I was trying to use the pass-through on a big project for a friend and it was just not working um and so I lost a lot of time I lost a lot of material and like I couldn't figure out um what the issue was or like you know what was wrong with my file or why the machine was just like not like understanding it and at the end of the day I had to just kind of throw in the towel realize that like this wasn't the project that I could accomplish at the moment and you know go and tell my friend that I couldn't do it and give them the money back and you know it was that was like it hurt my pride it hurt my like it hurt my everything you know I don't want to fail um I don't want to tell someone no after I said yes uh but yeah so that was like very frustrating how did you come back from that how did you pump yourself back up um you know when I get frustrated like that I just like I turn everything off I have to do like a power reset on my mentality on just like my emotions everything so I just step away from you know my workstation and then go go do something else and then I'll come back when I'm like recharge or refreshed and I try not to touch it so frankly I haven't object and you know I told myself like I'll come back to it one day and I'll you know like I'll gift it to them just you know just because kind of deal but I've never think I'm still traumatized why would you say that you obsessed over in your business that you're really glad that you did I think just like uh being okay with me like being okay with where I am I think that's like you know I was like I wanted to make sure that whatever I made um was something that I enjoyed that that I wanted to do and I didn't want to like step away from that and create something that everyone else made you know like um I think if you go on like Facebook and you're in Facebook groups you start seeing that everyone is designing similar items right like you see something and they're like oh hey I made that too here's mine here's mine and everyone has the same Aesthetics so I think I wanted to even from the beginning I wanted to make sure that I created something that was me like that and I wasn't trying to follow Trend 100 like I wanted to make sure that even if I was doing something that was trending that it still had me in it still had archery or the Audrey Aesthetics or mint Aesthetics in it um and I think you know sometimes I wonder like is that like hindering my business or you know is it helpful and I think for the in the long run it's definitely going to be helpful because you know you're then going to be your specific Style Like meant to be will be a specific style that people come to and look forward to and look to you know but um yeah I think just like I know it's not an actual I like item or or part of the business but yeah that's like something that I've always like wanted to keep true to for myself that you know everything that I do it looks and it's forced for me well and I think that's something I've talked about with a couple different people is I've seen I've seen a lot in the Facebook groups people complaining about saturation and go for just everywhere and everyone has one but what you're saying and what other people have said is if you're making things that are unique to you there's room it's when you're trying to copy these Trends right and you're trying to like use somebody else's best seller to drive your business you that's not sustainable right and it won't you said before I think you said won't fill your cup and I think that's really true have you found that to be the case yeah you know like so you know um people will share hey like there's a sale going on at you know this store go go get your like coasters because they're my number one sailor or you know like um this uh this ornament is like is trending and it's selling I made so much money from it like here's the file or buy you know whatever um and I've noticed that for people who won like you know you have to kind of be lucky to also follow that train or get that traction and then two if you do gain that traction you have to like continuously find the next one so that you could ride the wave otherwise once that Trend ends you're done right so like I think that's why the importance of figuring out what your brand style is um is very important you may be able to ride that wave to pay off your glowforge and maybe it helps you to figure out pick a few files that you think you know buy a few files from people that you think might be an aesthetic that's something you like to do make those things so you're not spending time you know learning to design getting frustrated that but don't make that your whole business model what is your least favorite thing to do in your business painting um actually it's not too bad I would say but like the um I think that my least favorite is like the trial and error process of like trying to figure something out and like when something doesn't come out the way you want like that's frustrating and just trying to figure it out over and over and over again um that's like my least favorite because I don't have patience and um like I don't like um not being good at something or like I'm failing so yeah like there's just that trial and error like I initially love it and like I left the initial part I love the end part but like that middle part of just like struggling with it like that's like oh it makes me so frustrated and I just want to like throw the towel in the messy middle yes what is your favorite thing to do I would guess it's designing am I right it's designing and um just like figuring out what like what other customers or other makers are struggling with and making it easier for them I think that's like what I love and you know um I have files that sell on a regular basis and sometimes like you know they don't always tag me and that's fine you don't you know I I don't think makers who purchase files need to like tag the file maker right because that's your like you're buying it so that you could create something with it but when I see it come up on like my Instagram page that someone is cutting a file that I made or like designing something like it makes me so happy where should people find you yeah um you could find me um so my website is called meant to be m-i-n the number two and then be.com that's where all of my stuff is but you could also reach me personally on Instagram or on Tick Tock at meant to be designs you can find all of Audrey's information in the description below if you're looking for a supportive community of makers who are growing their laser businesses we started a Facebook group called laser maker school and it's hosted by myself Jacqueline Kyle of the fabletree and John kaipoff we'd love to have you there you can find all the information in the description below

2022-09-05 12:25

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