Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynn Herring, Founder of XOX! Share the Love, located in Kingston, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
XOX! Let's share the love! I designed this award-winning, artist-signed board game to combine my love of fun and art. It's a special edition game that appeals to your senses, engages your strategic mind, and satisfies your appreciation of beauty. The game is a contemporary twist on a classic game that's easy to learn but challenging to master, making it so much fun to play. The objective is to populate as many rows as possible while blocking your opponent to rack up points before the board is filled. You can play it one-on-one or in teams of two. Only 500 of these special edition sets were made, so it's a truly unique gift for board game lovers that takes a game night to a whole new level.
The vibrantly colored and sculpturally shaped iconic X's and O's (kisses and hugs) are surprisingly solid with a premium lacquer finish, making them look and feel like smooth gems in your hands. It's a high-quality and unique board game that everyone will be proud to leave out on their table. Plus, it's really fun to play! That's the beauty of XOX! Share the Love.
I created this game with art and design aficionados in mind, appreciating the contemporary design and the quality materials used to make XOX! Share the Love. People looking for a creative and unique gift or a beautiful and interesting objet d'art also love XOX! Share the Love. Those who appreciate limited edition or special edition, artist-designed games are also fans of XOX! Share the Love. After all, it's art first and a game second. However, everyone is surprised at how fun, challenging, and strategic the game is.
Tell us about yourself
As a conceptual artist, creative director, and designer, my artistic work is heavily influenced by my love of design, sculpture, and conceptual art. In 2016, I took a break from my advertising career and sold my dream home in Woodstock, NY, to attend graduate school. My desire was to enhance my highly accomplished and decades-long conceptual art practice in sculpture and printmaking, with the goal of using art to help heal our world in some way.
During my first year of studies, I crafted brightly-colored and organically-shaped wood Xs and Os, constantly questioning why I was doing this. However, I never gave up on my artistic practice and continued to trust the process, holding the intention of bringing people together through art. By the second year, my research led me to devise a beautifully-designed artistic game that incorporated strategy, purpose, contemporary aesthetics, a sense of fun, smart rules, and a good challenge. I constructed a complex and wonky-shaped game board to go along with my Xs and Os, with the goal of finding a path forward to help bring people back together in a positive, fun, and loving way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Actually launching XOX! Share the Love at the NY NOW Winter Market 2022. We won Best of Market and Best Home Design Product. It was so thrilling to be recognized for creating something that not only visually attracted people but it also brought strangers together through fun & challenging each other.
"I have been surrounded by people who have supported me with extraordinary kindness and generosity to help launch XOX! The original idea of making an art piece that brings people together in a positive and loving way has been mirrored back to me time and time again during the entire process of creating XOX! That positive spirit is now living in each one of the XOX! Share the Love games." - Lynn Herring.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Sometimes it's a lonely path in making important decisions. It's important to have really smart people to be able to bounce ideas off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research to see if what excites you will also excite others.
- Find out who your buyer is. Who is that person who wants what you have to offer?
- Be patient. There is so much to learn, and it takes time, trial, and error to find your way.
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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