Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jackie McMillon, Founder of Mae Designs, located in Raleigh, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Mae Designs LLC is a handmade boutique design studio based in Raleigh, NC, providing small-batch home accents and gifts. I specialize in making laser-cut wood signs, statement home decor, memorial gifts, curated gift sets, business signage, awards, promotional items, ornaments, jewelry, and more.

Tell us about yourself

I started Mae Designs in January 2019. I was invited by a good friend in 2018 to join a local craft market in my neighborhood. I was completely overwhelmed. I told her I had no inventory and no idea what items I could make in bulk. Anyway, I went all in with zero plans and decided to create some personalized clay ornaments. It took off from there, and my little side hustle developed into something much more than I could have ever imagined. That Christmas, my husband gifted me a laser machine to help nurture my creativity. It was not given to me to use as a business tool. After playing with my new machine, I posted a few items on my personal social media pages. Friends and family started ordering, and the rest of my adventure started from that initial post.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to give back and being featured on the local news. You can read about the local news feature article here.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Managing time, balancing work, figuring out what works for our family and where to draw the line regarding production, and accepting new clients.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Learn your craft, be the best at what you offer, and definitely have the best customer service.

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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