Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meg Crocker, Founder of Evergreen Summer, located in Spring Lake, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Inspired by free-spirited sunny days and life by the water, Evergreen Summer sells beautiful, artistic goods that brighten your day and make the spirit of summer last all year round. Our colorful abstract artwork and illustrated hand lettering bring joy, creativity, and inspiration to the lives of our customers, and our high-quality products elevate the meaning of casual cool. Whether you're sending birthday wishes, gifting something special to a friend, or need a new task pad at work, you don't have to be near the sea to smell the salty air.
Our customers are looking for something unique and different to brighten up their everyday lives and add color, creativity, and joy to their days. Whether treating themselves to something new or purchasing a gift, they are searching for artistic products that allow them to express their own creativity.
Tell us about yourself
I have loved to draw, paint, and create for as long as I can remember. After high school, I attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. After graduating, I worked in ad agencies and on in-house marketing teams at brands. I always loved making art on the side and spent most nights and weekends painting. I always painted cards for friends and family on their birthdays and holidays and loved how much joy it brought them.
I launched Evergreen Summer in early June of 2018 with 25 cards. My goal was to create the kind of cards people would actually want to send. No puns. No pop culture. No cliches. Just beautiful cards that anyone can send anytime. I wanted to share my artwork with others and spread the happiness that came my way when I would give someone one of my cards. My experience as a graphic designer, art director, and marketer allowed me to create a business and not just a passion project. My vision as an artist allowed me to create something that stood out. By the end of June, I had my first wholesale order.
Over the past five years, Evergreen Summer has expanded from 25 cards to 200+ designs. In addition to greeting cards, we also sell notebooks, notepads, mini cards, art prints, and a yearly limited edition collection of hand-painted home decor items such as vases and ornaments. Our cards are available in over 100 independent retailers internationally as well as nationally at Anthropologie.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I love how much the line has grown and expanded. I'm very proud of how much the style has evolved yet still holds true to the vision I started with five years ago.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a small business owner, there's always more to do and never enough hours in a day. As a result, work-life balance is something you have to be very intentional about. It's difficult to step away from the to-do list when everything feels so important, but finding time to relax and recharge has been crucial to staying sane as my business grows.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't sacrifice quality for speed or efficiency. There's already too much junk out there, and nice things stand out.
- Instead of focusing on your mistakes, focus on what you can learn from them.
- Be kind to everyone.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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