How did you become the Savvy Sister that you are today?
I am a young professional living in San Antonio, Texas. I am a Digital/Technical Product Manager who supports a mobile application. In my free time I like to travel, shop, and make things. I have always been the person searching for her next project. These days that is typically some form of home improvement project or home decor.
In 2018, my fiance and I got the most adorable Sheepadoodle (English Sheepdog and Poodle) named Zora. It was meant to be because I actually found her on Craigs List. Whoever was suppose to take her home originally backed out and she needed parents. Obviously, that had to be us! She is 2 years old now and has the biggest personality. My obsession with her lead me to start an Instagram of her (so basic.... i know). BUT, throughout that I found this huge community of people who loved their dogs.
A little over a year ago, I got an iPad pro with the Apple Pencil. I began drawing random stuff and eventually had the idea to draw Zora. I had no intentions of turning it into a small business but once people started seeing the drawings they would request one. So, I decided to make it an official thing.
I knew a lot of people drew dogs. It wasn't a unique skill and, being the person I am, I felt like mine weren't as good as some of the other drawings I had. I knew that I would need a unique product offering. Thats when I figured out how to incorporate Redbubble into my business.
Redbubble allows you to personalize a TON of different products and allows other people to find and buy your art. It was the perfect thing to use. I mean, who doesn't need their dog on EVERYTHING?
I continue to look for ways to expand and improve. Right now, I am focused on learning how to use my drawing program in new ways to improve my art!
What keeps you going when things get tough?
My love/obsession with my dog is how I started all of this. I am catering to an audience who also loves their dog so much that they want drawings, stickers, blankets, and more with their dog on them. I think the mutual love for pets is what keeps me going when things are slow or I have a tough client.
What's one of the biggest lessons you've learned since starting your own business?
I have struggled with the right platform for selling/promoting my drawings. Right now, I conduct most of my business through Instagram. Initially, it didn't feel "professional" to handle business through DMs.
I have tried a lot of different ideas. I started with Etsy, a personal website, and a few other things. Nothing really simplified or improved my business.
Well, why fix something if it isn't broken? I have come to terms with using Instagram as my main platform. I have been researching ways to make it more professional and I think there are opportunities I didn't know about before that I am looking forward to trying out.
What first started out as feeling unprofessional has actually seemed to be a benefit. Having conversations with people via Instagram makes the experience more personal. It helps create a connection with the other person and allows for real time communication to make sure they are getting what they want. It takes the ambiguity out of making a purchase. They don't have to pay without understanding the process or even having a conversation about what they are looking for.
All to say, the biggest lesson I have learned so far is not to always feel like you have to conform to the way other people are conducting business and what you have been lead to believe is "professional."
Find what works for you and keep at it!
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give younger you?
Be who you are not who you think you should be. I feel like this is a pretty common one but its true especially for younger girls.
I always felt pressure, like I was doing something wrong, when I had two amazing best friends and not a friend group of 20. Even though, I didn't have any real connection with many of those people and didn't really want that many friends. It's ok to value the quality of the relationships over the quantity and it is certainly OK to want to be close friends with only those who have the same goals, beliefs and ambitions as yourself.
As an adult, I now know that it's ok if you prefer to have a few close friends. You don't need to have a bunch of friends to feel loved and supported.
I also didn't date much at all in High School/College. Yes, I felt self conscious about it. I wish I hadn't. Because while other people were focused on boys, I was getting good grades, getting internships with politicians and Fortune 500 companies, leading organizations, and enjoying my friends.
It's ok if you have high standards, and it's ok to wait for a significant other with ambition and goals.
And you know what? Despite doing some things differently, I have a handful of close friends and found a great guy to marry.
What are three of your greatest strengths?
I will get anything done that I have committed to. This makes me reliable and efficient. In the corporate world, this makes you a high performer.
Commonsense. I am definitely more street smart than book smart but in a lot of careers that is more important.
Being adaptable and teachable is a huge strength. There are a number of careers that can be taught as you go if you are willing and capable of learning.
What's your go to stress reliever?
During COVID, I have taken up Pilates that I LOVE. It is so relaxing while also a good source of exercise.
One thing that has always helped me is an afternoon alone. I like to go get my favorite Starbucks drink or Sonic drink, hit up Homegoods, Target, and other favorite stores, then get my nails done.
What's something you're currently celebrating?
Right now, I feel like I have a lot going for me in an environment where many people aren't so lucky. I have a job with a company I like, my drawing business is steady, and (despite a few tweaks) getting married in January!
Follow Rebekah on Instagram! @Solidgoulddesigns