Posted on February 10 2017
We love a story that begins with, “So I quit my day-job and then…”
But as many new makers have learned, that leap of faith it doesn’t always go as planned. Ashley Procopio, an emerging entrepreneur in West Roxbury, sat down and shared her story of her first year in business as a jewelry designer:
OG: Did your transition to 9 to 5 life to self employment go smoothly or were there some bumps along the way?
A: I tried starting my business once when I was still working at the hospital. And I left my job and I hadn’t started anything with my business before I quit, and I ended up going back to work full time. That just doesn’t work. If you do it cold turkey and don’t have anything in place it’s just too daunting, where do you even start?
OG: What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow those footsteps to be a maker?
A: My rule is one thing a day. So, just do one thing a day . Do research or sketch or start something new. Start an etsy site or design a business card. And then one thing turns into 5 and 5 things turn into 10 things and it just snowballs from there. The other things about one thing a day, it’s like watering a plant or feeding a cat. You know you’re tending to it everyday, it becomes your baby. You eat and breathe it, you form a habit.
OG: Even though owning a business is more stressful and has higher stakes, are you happier?
A: I haven’t felt this challenged since grad school. And it feels good. I don’t do well with idle time or being bored. I always have to be busy and going and doing. So owning my own business is good for me. I still stress about money, but now I’m happier. I don’t dread every day. And I dreaded every single day. And now I love everyday. Even if it was a crappy day, it’s because it was really challenging, and that’s okay.
OG: What’s next?
A: I really want to keep making everyday, wearable, realistically priced jewelry. But, I definitely want to get into engagement rings and wedding bands. One of my favorite part of this business is doing jewelry shows and meeting people and hearing stories, so I would love to be able to sit down with a couple and design a family heirloom. That’s a really awesome responsibility and being a part of that is what I really want to do.