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Episode 82

Girl Gang Craft Podcast Episode #82 “Lessons I’ve Learned with Phoebe Sherman”

Phoebe Sherman:
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Welcome to the Girl Gang Craft Podcast where we dive in deep to all things business, wellness, creativity, and activism for artists and entrepreneurs. We talk with impactful female driven companies and founders for an inside look at the entrepreneurial experience where you'll come away with tangible steps to elevate your business. Are you ready? I'm your host, Phoebe Sherman, founder of Girl Gang Craft artist and designer, and marketing obsessed. We're here to learn together how to expand our revenue, implement new organizational techniques, and cultivate best business practices as we work towards creating a life doing what we love. Let's get started.

Hello. Hello creatives. Welcome back to Girl Gang Craft, the podcast over here in my little corner of my office. Got the purple light going on. If you're watching this on social media, maybe you're listening. Hello, hello. We are talking about things I have learned as an entrepreneur. That's what we're talking about in today's episode. This is what I've learned. The these are my own truths and facts and takeaways. They may not be yours. You may have had a totally different experience. And that's cool. You know, take what you want and leave the rest. My path is not the same as your path, but I do think a lot of these can be universally applied or maybe less than universally applied. I don't know, they could maybe be applied to you and they might be helpful. And that's why I am sharing them today. When this episode comes out, things that are coming around the band are the Oakland Craft Fair. So if you are in the Bay area, please come and visit. I won't personally be there, but the rest of the team will be there and 100 vendors. We have some really rad activations this time so check that out.
Please come by this May 18th at Oakland Scottish Rite. That's right by Lake Merritt. And we also have our Mother's Day gift guide live on the site right now. So if you have been thinking about or not thinking about what to get the mom or mother figures in your life or yourself, check that out. That's on our site and we'll drop the link below. What else is happening? That's what's happening in my world behind the scenes. We're just moving into advances and making sure that we're all prepared with all the really fun parts of throwing events like venue stuff and permitting and marketing and all of that stuff. So that's what's going on and fun things. Hopefully planning my honeymoon really soon. So I'm looking forward to that. We are talking about what I learned as an entrepreneur and what I feel like is being an entrepreneur is a really big life lesson, and a lot of my own personal growth has been reflected through the entrepreneurial lens, or vice versa. It's sort of hard to pick those two apart, and things that I've learned, like in regular life, come in handy in the business and vice versa.
So it's really I mean, I might be biased, but I think running a business is not a fast track to self-healing because it's not fast. But like like you have to do healing work to run a business and at least to run like, non harmful business, you have to do some healing work. There's a lot of stuff that you have to unlearn, for example.
Right. The scarcity mindset is a huge one that is talked about a lot right? In the entrepreneurial world. Like you have to figure out how to get over that or to work with it, otherwise you can make some money. The broke artist mindset, right? I see that a lot for that. I myself and also almost worn as like a badge of honor to be a broke artist.
And I say that, we do live in a world that's right on capitalism, or at least a country over here in the US. It's run on capitalism and we have to pay our bills. So you have a couple choices, right? You can pay your bills doing something else, or you can pay your bills doing your art. My vote is to pay my bills, doing my art and figuring out how to make that work.
So working with Scarcity Mindset is a big one. Before I dive into all that, I just want to give like a little background about how I arrived here today, wherever that is, wherever I am today, a little bit about my story. And I just want to do like a little bit about it. There is a deeper dive on the first podcast episode that we ever put out, so you can go back to episode one and listen to that.
I also have like a short reel pinned on both my personal page. I think it might not be pinned on the Ggc page currently, but it's pinned on my personal Instagram at Phoebe Sherman. You know, cute little talking about who I am and what I what I do and how I got here. But a little bit about that, just, I guess going back to college a little bit.
I studied art and feminist studies after college. I was trying to figure out what to do with my hands, and I started actually jewelry business. And then I was also, I knew I wanted to teach yoga as well. I got into yoga, my last year of college. It was really healing for me, and I thought it could help other folks as well.
So I wanted to teach yoga. I was teaching yoga after school, after I did my first training and waitressing to pay the bills. I'm one of those people who, like, loved waitressing. I thought it was fun. I loved it, like, I just love waitressing. I love like the the honest other, if you will. This was supposed to be a short dive into my journey, not a deep dive.
So anyways, I did like waitressing. There was also, you know, some problems with waitressing and some of the people I worked with and for. So anyways, wanted to get out of waitressing. Also eventually wanted to get out of the yoga world for similar reasons. Toxic reasons in the yoga world. Anyways, around the 2016 election I made my a print, about a uterus.
About uterus. I made a print of a uterus, which is our uterus designed today, which it was based off this. It's a nasty woman. It was a relief print. So that means carved out of linoleum. And that was in response to Trump calling Hillary a nasty woman. And it was in response to thinking our reproductive rights would be taken away.
And, last, here we are, the reproductive rights have been taken away anyways. So that was sort of my first piece of feminist art that I was selling. I actually have been doing feminist art for a long time, I guess maybe even back to high school, but definitely college time in my Art Ma feminist studies degree and so yes, I was I made this uterus, print, and then I was screen printing this uterus print on to various things like vintage jackets.
I would pick up or custom jackets that people would send to me. And then I made these little zipper pouches with the uterus design on them, and then eventually the uterus pin. And I was trying to find some place to sell all this work. Finding some of these events were exclusive and also expensive to participate in. And so I started my own event and that was the first Frog and craft, Lucky Duck Bicycle Cafe in Oakland.
And we grew and grew. And that's the short version deep in those weeds. I was doing whatever I could to stay afloat waitressing and teaching yoga. And as I sort of started to transition into doing gdq full time around the end of 2019, alas, right before the pandemic, a little bit before that, I was also trying like a million things.
So I was, doing some photography. I was designing websites for folks. I was not really quite starting to do coaching, but more like the tech aspect of things, like helping folks with their social media, with their website. I was also doing some art projects. I was doing dog portraits. Those are really popular. For a while I was doing digital dog portraits, and I guess capture a dog and cat portraits, portraits.
And I was also doing the titty Committee, which was some boob portraits. So my little tagline was the best boob job you will ever get, which is true. And that was really empowering and fun. And so I was really trying to do whatever I could to pay my bills, make it work. So that's like the fast story. There's other portions of it about the pandemic and really getting things online and leaning into brand partnerships and teaching.
And, you know, now I'm over here on the East Coast trying to expand our growing craft community and help the entrepreneurial community. You know, make money doing what they love and helping others, you know, in sort of an exponential way, helping others to help others, to help others. And, you know, we want folks who have been overlooked or harmed by society to have money so they can make political change and help out the community.
So really impassioned about working for yourself. And I want to help others work from themselves too. Not to mention, you know, fighting back against things like, well, you know, sexism in the workplace, racism in the workplace. Those are big ones. And also things like hustle culture, just like making a schedule that works for you, that pushes back against societal norms and restrictions.
I'm a really big proponent in, you know, taking it one day a time and doing only what you can, and you can try to make a plan that works for you. I'm going a little bit on a tangent here, so let's circle back to my notes and talking about things that I've learned as an entrepreneur. Oh, this this goes right into it being kind to yourself.
This is so important because if you are rude to yourself, you're not going to do good work. So learning to be kind to yourself is so important. And yeah, especially if you're dealing with things like chronic pain or, you know, caretaking of other people or, you know, things like ADHD, depression, or even just like it's winter outside, like being kind to yourself with however you show up each day and taking on the amount of work that makes sense or that day or not.
Right? Resting. These are things I'm still learning myself every day, but I try to really be in touch with who I am and what my capacity is. Each day to like, tackle my to do list or projects. and part of this in my own journey was learning to not manage, but like knowing about my anxiety and depression and also learning about my ADHD.
My ADHD is recently discovered. That's maybe a whole other episode that I want to talk about soon, about how I'm like, learning to work with my ADHD and what that looks like for my business. I'm so privileged that I have created my own business, so I don't need to tell anyone else. Like, I can't do this today or whatever.
It's really empowering to be able to make my own schedule every day and have my team work independently. And yeah, to just show up and lean into the projects and interests you have and give yourself capacity for a rest or like pivoting or just like, you know, even if you're like on your cycle or whatever. Like this day, I actually don't have much energy.
I'm going to do these things and like this day, oh, like I am. I am like a little Energizer bunny. These are some really good things that I can tackle today. So listening to the like the waves of your body and your brain and soul and like figuring out how to match your workload with that, I think I know is the most important thing that you can do, and it's my most important work on an individual level, right?
Not on a community level. But I ultimately think that as a community, we can also all do these things. And like push back against, again these these harmful things like hustle culture.


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But tied into this is also pushing yourself a little bit and knowing how to push yourself, because there are some things that we don't want to do right. And we have to figure out how to do them. And yeah, we can do the best to like, match that with the energy we have. And sometimes also we just have to show up at her desk and do the thing for me, these are some of the most important things that I have a hard time doing, like emailing, which I'm going to talk about in a second about like pitching. And I've learned recently that the things that I have the hardest time doing are the things that, like my ADHD can't do, like task switching. It's like the hardest times to focus. those are the hardest tasks I have. And that's task switching. Like where I where each thing, like takes two seconds and then I have to move on to another task.
Those things are hard for me. And some of those like actual examples are emailing. Right. But like for me personally permitting accounting and taxes like some of these like, things I have to still do them or you have to hire someone else to do them. So, you know, do the hard things now and maybe eventually these are things that you can outsource.
But starting out, you're probably gonna have to do some of these things yourself. And so like, how can you make space and incentivize yourself to do these things, like things that I've helped with, like setting the stage. Right. Like making sure your areas clean, having a candle or like, you know, maybe giving yourself cookies afterwards, like whatever your incentive is to do these things, or like, I can do a creative project after this or, you know, working with your own energy to like, so maybe you're mostly motivated to do these things in the morning for me, actually, I've learned very recently, like a couple weeks ago like that, actually, some of these hard things are
easier for me if like, I'm also watching TV, which is really weird and pushes against a lot of things that I've learned because like, I've thought maybe TV helps me not focus, and that is true in some capacities. But for some of these things that are sort of like rinse and repeat, the TV helps me do the things. So again, whatever, like your own chemical and makeup is like figuring out the ways that makes things work for you, not what someone else is telling you to do. Staying flexible. This is a huge one. We've all heard about the pivot, right? Like really if you want if the goal is to run a business, figuring out what is working for you in the business and what's not like if something's not working, like being okay about dropping it.
If something is starting to work and you have like interest in this other thing, or like your own interest or other folks interest, like trying that thing and seeing if it could happen, figuring out like following, you know, be following trends like, but also following your data and also like following what's working for the world at large and also for yourself individually.
Yeah. Again, like try trying things. I really think for product based businesses especially, you have to go for it. You have to like really lean into all the revenue streams, right. That's wholesale making sure you're you're doing PR, making sure that, you know, your social media email game is tight. And then also like maybe you try out a service like component of your business, right?

Like, can you teach classes? Or I was just talking to Jenny Lennick of Jenny Lemons on the podcast earlier for an interview that's not airing yet. She, you know, really leaned into teaching corporate workshops. You know, I've talked about taking corporate money, corporations have money. How can we tap into that? What makes sense with our business? What makes sense with your interest?
I think workshops are like a really great way to make extra money. So try not anything. See what's working for you. People are always going to talk badly about you. It's just the world we live in. Unfortunately. And whether that's to your face or not, to your face or online, people are going to talk. If you go look at anyone's account, that's any sort of famous, whether they're our president or a celebrity or an influencer or, you know, a big artist, it's like whiplash.
The comments I mean, I this is a really good example. I was there was like Coachella posted the Doja Cat performance and those comments were wild. I was like, this is so badass. I'm like, you know, I start to look at the comments and it is, it is so polarizing. People are saying she's like, you know, goddess. And so go.
And then there's like, people who are just trashing the shit out of her. And that's standard that is around the that's that's for everyone. Unfortunately. So like how can you create a way to, to get over it, to get over the trolling, to move past it. That's something you're resistant to. Feedback, feedback and trolling are different things. And having sort of a plan to like clear out that energy or to move forward or just to know I mean, I just think, you know, knowing that everyone's going to talk is something that's a baseline, right?
You're not you're not special or extra witchy or something for being talked shit about. People are going to talk shit. And how you move forward gracefully is going to be remembered by others and by yourself. So keeping in mind your why and why you do what you do, you know, if I have stopped running craft fairs because people were saying they were bad or something like I wouldn't still exist anymore, right?
You can't let those couple people who are saying bad things about you stop your business and bad things are going to are easier said than the people who think good things about you. So you will have more like bad stuff than like positive things often, and just have to remember that you're still move forward if it's important to you and important to the community.
And I, I'm just kind of at the thing where it's like, you know, be kind, especially if there's like business relationships, right? I mean, this is like different than, like toxic people. But if you have to continue to work with people, let's say, you know, people at the city or the permit office or like that one person who just rubs you the one, right, got that blow, you know, whatever.
I'm not pointing at anyone specifically. I'm just saying, like, give me an example. Like if there's, you know, some people that you have to work like be kind, especially if you're going to have to continue to work for that people. That doesn't mean like not standing up for yourself, not standing up for like harmful things. But unfortunately, the way the world works is like, you might have to continue to work with certain people and figure out a way to do that.
That protects yourself. We already talked about trying new revenue streams. Try them. Try new revenue streams. Try some things. That's the coolest thing about running the small business is it's easy to try new things. Easy in the fact that you don't have to go through the manager, who then has to talk to the director and then has to talk to the ball a lot.
You can do relatively low. Let's to try new things right? Connect with people. You never know who you're going to meet. Go to meet up. You know, talk to people at craft fairs. If you're an introvert, still talk to people. I'm an ex extrovert. I'm recently an introvert, and it takes a lot of energy for me to talk to people and at least ask me outside of my house.
Talking to you on the internet is a little bit different for me for some reason, but it is so important to talk to people because, again, you don't know who you're going to meet, who knows someone, or blah blah blah. And or if you're going to find a new friend or, you know, it's it's important to talk to people, hire help.
So the things that you hate doing, the things that someone else can do see about hiring help. So production is a really good way to do it. Maybe you're manufacturing, maybe you're getting like a sewing factory involved in your process. Maybe you hire a candle, or maybe you hire, you know, a shipping person. Hiring people is going to free up your time to do other things.
And if you think about doing every little thing yourself, you're going to get stuck in that. And so figuring out how to outsource tasks is one of the most important things that you can do. And another, the last thing I think I have to say is about pitching. Like I said, some of my most important work is emailing people, and this can be wholesale partnerships.
You know, press emailing people and pitching and having a pitching system for whatever your goals are. Again, wholesale or like brand partnerships are the ones that I talk about the most. It's important you can ask for what you want again, like pitching yourself for podcasts or press or, you know, just seeing if you can speak at that conference or seeing if that person wants to do a collaboration with you.
Whatever is some of the most important work. And I think I've called this I've called this kind of work many snacks before in other episodes. How can you take actionable steps to make it happen? How can you get yourself to the desk sun on some of those days that you maybe don't want to do it and like and make those emails happen?
And this is often one of the sticking points for me, but I really make sure that I add this into my weekly schedule. You know, some of the biggest opportunities I've had, I've just asked for. So you can ask for things and you can make things happen. I think that's all I have today. We have a new phone line.
It's (413) 961-0855. You can tell me your things that you have learned as an entrepreneur on that phone line. No one's going to answer. It's a voicemail. So go ahead and tell us the things that you have learned as an entrepreneur that are important to you. I'd love to hear them. We'll share them. Also, please leave a review. It's really helpful.
One person a month is going to get a coaching call with me and the reviews get our podcast in front of other folks. If not, that's on this podcast to your business besties. We want to help more entrepreneurs kick ass at their business. And also, if you have a guest suggestion or you want to be on the podcast, feel free to call us or send us an email.
Thank you so much for listening. Take care.

Thank you so much for listening to the Girl Gang Craft Podcast. Head to for shownotes and more. See you next time.

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