Success Stories ~ Each to Own
Each to Own is a super fun jewellery shop by Brisbane maker, Kirsten Devitt, who designs and laser-cuts her work at home on her very own laser cutter (she also runs Short Cuts Laser cutting stuff for other makers)! She was super nice and sat down with me to share the story of her own success story.
Can you take us on the journey of your creative career path so far?
I started Each To Own 4 years ago after having my little boy. At that time I was still running a shoe shop with my family but I tended to have more free time at home than I had had before so I started making things. Just little assembled pieces with found and bought objects that people seemed to like.
I was encouraged by friends to open an Etsy shop and I started attending markets with a little collective of girlfriends. We called ourselves the Pin Money Collective as we were all just doing it for fun and a bit of pocket money. As time went on I started to put my pieces in rent-a-space stores and got a few good wholesale orders. I left the family business nearly two years ago to work fulltime with Each To Own and so far it has been great.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far in your business?
I think that the largest challenge is that there are days when I don’t know if I have successfully juggled being a mum and working full-time in my own creative business. Like many other creative people, I find it hard to be organised, and that I need to make sure that I give both my family and my business the time that they need to thrive.
What has been the biggest ‘fistpump’/successful moment for you so far?
I would say it was the day that we got the laser cutter delivered. We had bitten the bullet and decided that if the business was going to grow I needed to set up a proper workshop and go for it. When the guys unloaded it and I was in the room alone with my new “baby” I think I could have burst with excitement and possibilities. There have been some really great retail milestones too but I think it was the endless possibility that had me jumping out of my skin.
Do you ever have doubts as to your future creative direction?
Absolutely. Just about every day. I know few creative people that don’t question themselves and their decisions and work regularly. I have always been drawn to the creative side of life but I never take the business and my work for granted as you never quite know where ideas are going to come from or if they are even going to come at all. I just let it roll and continue to play and hope that inspiration and ideas still keep coming to me for a while yet.
Are there things you yearn to achieve, but haven’t yet found the time for?
Yes, but I think that you have to accept that. And you might not ever find the time. Having this little business has made me incredibly grateful for what I have and being able to come into my workshop everyday and do something I love is really the achievement I am most proud of.
Are there times when your creativity and inspiration seem to disappear? How do you handle that?
I have quite a few days that are very low on inspiration and I tend to just leave it all alone when I feel that way. I walk out of the workshop and do something else. If I stay in there and wallow and push myself it makes it worse so those times are the times to get out and about and wait to ride the next wave when it comes.
How do you balance your work with the rest of your life ~ what does a typical day in your life look like?
Firstly, I have to say that my husband Richard works with me on a lot of projects for Each To Own and we have a really great supportive relationship. I couldn’t do what I do without knowing that he has my back and supports what I do 100%.
A typical day is hustling the kid out the door to school and then coming home to make and pack orders until it is time to head back up at pick up time. It is all family time and the usual palaver until after my little boy goes to bed and then I will do another few hours in the workshop before bed.
This year I have given myself a 9.30pm curfew as we were getting slightly out of control with work hours last year. We were not in a good place when it came to sleep! This year is about working harder, learning to say no, and spending quality time with family.
What has been the best marketing move you’ve ever made for your own business?
I think that the best marketing move for me has been to fall in love with social media I enjoy it and have a good rapport with people online and I truly would not enjoy my job as much if I wasn’t sharing it with my followers on Facebook and Instagram.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give fellow makers about running a successful creative business?
Don’t get too caught up in the business side of things. Don’t let that side of things rule over what you are making and who you are. Be proud of what you do and work hard but don’t ever believe your own publicity - the public recognition for your work will always be fleeting so breathe, enjoy the life you have made and then get back to work 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Still making, still happy and still making enough money to buy one new kitchen appliance and one amazing family holiday per year. It’s not high finance but it is a lovely life.
Where to find Each to Own online:
Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EachToOwn