Not long ago I had the honor of speaking with a friend and “competitor” Lisa Denson, one of the co-founders of Ekocreashunz. Ekocreashunz was founded by Lisa and Alexis Denson, a dynamic mom and daughter duo. The two started creating jewelry as a hobby in 2008 and heeded to the requests of friends and family to turn it into a business in late 2010. Designing jewelry has always been an outlet for the two of them. Inspired by nature and beautiful scenery, colors and geometric shapes, they create unique, timeless, wearable pieces of art for men and women. Every piece is handcrafted in their studio in Grayson, Georgia, USA. In case handmade, eco friendly goodies isn't cool enough, every item sold plants a tree!
Transcription of The Podcast
Hello, everybody. It's your girl. Angie clay. I am back with another segment. This is liberating ladder and you are taking a journey with me and my friends to self-care while you are creating a creative business. So today I have with me. Lisa Denson, she is here to talk about her lovely business, Eco creations, and she's going to tell us about the really cool spelling of it too, so you don't get online and start typing it in. and so, we're really excited to talk to her. Today, we're going to talk about building a business implementing self-care and how to not have a fixed mindset when it comes to other businesses that are doing the exact same thing. And we're going to get more into that Lisa and I both have very similar businesses but drastically different and we're going to talk a little bit about how we are able to maintain a friendship, a business relationship. Ship without feeling competitive with one another. And so, we're going to talk about that today. So, hi Lisa, how are you doing? Hello, how are you? Thank you for having me. Oh yes ma'am, of course, I am so glad that you're here. So, when we get started with our interviews, we really start off like a little journaling prompt because that's one of the things with self-care that I just preach about all the time. That's using journaling as a modality for self-care. And so, today's prompt is Head Held high. So, what is when you hear that phrase, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? So, head held high to me that means like regardless of what's going on around you, no matter what your circumstances are, you still keep your head up high and know that you're putting your best foot forward and as long as you're doing that, everything else will fall into place. Like I love that head held high that that's like a mantra that we should incorporate. Wait in our everyday. Well, very good. You to look at that. You have a journal. I do have a journal. It's got a lot of blank pages in it. I'm not as consistent as I would like to be. I've done it for probably like 45 days straight and then it's like once I reached the end of a challenge or something, like it's like life happens and throws me off. And then it's like oh I'll get back to it tomorrow and then it's a couple of tomorrows before I pick it back up. So, I am going to get better. With that. Okay, we'll have to give you some of our journaling prompts. Hey, look at that. You already need two steps ahead of the game. Awesome. Well, so let's go ahead and get started. So, tell us a little bit about your business and like how did you get it started? Tell us the inside scoop. Okay, so Eco creation started with me and my daughter is living started as a hobby. She was about eight years old and she was super creative. She was being homeschooled and she wanted to learn how to make jewelry. And so, we took some jewelry classes and then she, we already had a non-profit at the time called Team Green. So we were super eco-friendly just as a family in general. So I wanted to like mesh the two together. So we started with like Denim and like repurpose and then we would get old jeans and cut them up, and she would turn them into, like, scrapbook, covers and make earrings out of them. And then, she took the formal classes. She learned how to bead and We learn how to stitching that was a very first thing that she learned and it just began to be a way that we bonded as mother and daughter and family and friends started to see the things that we were creating. And they were like, hey, you know, like can you sell this to me? Can you make this for me? And so it was like the entrepreneur that was deep inside of me before I. Hey, why don't we turn this into a business? And that's kind of how he co-creation was firm. Okay, nice. So It's a little bit about your creepy. Co-creation like, what do you sell? Okay so we create handmade jewelry. We also do organic bath and body products and we do custom gifts, like wood-based gifts that are engraved. We don't do a lot of acrylic, but we have done some acrylic but it's mostly wood recycled metal repurposed leather. We could partner with garment and upholstery factories and we Get their remnants from the leather. And so that allows us to create really unique pieces of jewelry. Because it's limited because we only have like what they sell us or what we buy by the pound. So instead of going to like the leather high store and buying these big old brand-new hides, we get the scraps that the upholstery Garment factories have leftover in the tournament so we're apart, I'm up club metalsmith and I use recycled Metals, I only work with suppliers that recycle their medals and they like get the metal from the plumbers or wherever like the bigger pieces are being used like trays or like for silver. I got the trays and all of that. They get that metal and they Mill it down and they turn into the why you're interesting that we can use for jewelry and it funny because it's a little more pricey. So purchase those supplies which is crazy to me, right? Because it's already been out there, but it's because they have to go through that process to change it from what it was to what it is so that we can still use it. Hmm. Yeah. And it seems like you can correct me if I'm wrong because you know, a lot of those things are you have to learn it as a craft to get something. Recycle it, break it back down, to make it usable again and so naturally, Cost will be a little bit higher but based on your business Mantra, if a lot of people did that, then the price will go down because more people like if more people were more eco-friendly, right? And say, oh, you know, he should recycle and do those types of things that when people learn the craft. So wrap, it would be like, second nature. Like it would just be like a way of life and it wouldn’t be this small segment of people that are trying to make a difference in the impact would be larger to. Hmm. Yeah, I mean, I'm just learning something new today. I've known many here. I'm like, wow I mean, it's my mind's like wild, that makes sense. So amazing. So tell me how did you have to Pivot like during the whole, like, Commando covid is still here but I mean like the initial, like, kind of like explosion of it. How did you have to Pivot with your business absolutely? Like, for us, most of our business was with other businesses, we would create private label and wholesale products for other small businesses. And so when Co that happened, those other businesses were brick-and-mortar so they shut down. So then I started to realize what part of my business I had been neglected which was the retail side and it was like okay let us pivot and ship to retail and nurture them and what that what that was a lesson for me because what it taught me was I have to like, really nurture, both sides of my business model in times like this, so that because if that had happened and I had already done that, when covid-19, pandemic took place in the shutdown happened. There wasn't there wouldn't have been like a gap in our Revenue, whereas I had to build it back up, but it's been great like we've made more connections and it's like the retail side is still going really well. Now and now the brick-and-mortar stores are opening back up. So those wholesaler private label orders are coming in to so it's made us more of a sustainable business. Like, no matter what happens, we can still Stand Fast head held high, right? Well that's really great. And really awesome to hear a lot of these success stories and people taking the time to Pivot. So they're laying down and seeing what was me, you know? Right. So that has been a saving factor in your business because there are some people That decided to swallow and, you know, it's right, that was a detriment of their business. It wasn't so much of a pandemic, but it was their mindset and because of their mindset, their business flop or it dropped, like, almost to nothing. And they had to build it all the way back up. Now that the world is starting to open back up a little, is still a little scary for me. Like I've yet to sit down in a restaurant and have dinner, right? Yeah. Totally, I get that me. Neither So that, that was great because the next question I have with you is like, you know, I want to talk about mindset. And so I talked about Wellness keys and two of the keys of Wellness, that leads to a really well-rounded self-care is occupational and emotional occupational. That is like, really loving your job and loving what you're doing and so I can hear that in your story. You started something with your daughter. And you've built it, changed it up. Like it's like clay, just keep moving and squishing the parts together until you turn into something. Beautiful and then emotional, today, I really want to talk about emotional because that emotional piece in business. And, you know, when we think about emotions and talking about feelings or who, but really emotional. Also talk about emotional intelligence And you really need that within mine. That because we have the fixed mindset where it’s like, always thinking and lack or the world's mindset of believing like, you know, there's just more for is room for everybody. So how do you implement mindset of having a good mindset in your business? Well, I do say, I will say, I dislike, I start every single day with meditation, right? And I can tell like, if I missed it, I'm off, right? I can tell like, right away but it's really about setting. Those are Affirmations and implementing them into my core values of my business. Like, it has to become a part of me. Like, it can't just be something that I do every once in a while. Like, it's something that I have to actually live and there are moments, like, where we get discouraged and we get frustrated. But we have to remind ourselves like I'm not doing all of this hard work for nothing, you know, and remind ourselves that no matter what happens. The are enough to make those things like come to fruition. And I think that that's been the biggest thing because there are like, you can have head trash. That will abort your mission before it even gets started. Like, if you don't have the right headspace, like there's, there's no way you'll never get off at the starting block like. So, in order to be successful, you have to constantly remind yourself. Yes, There are going to be challenges. Yes, I am going to have obstacles, but I have enough inside of me to get over them and I think that's the biggest piece of it. Very good. Yeah, because, you know, we're all more similar and connected than we realize and when growing a business and reason why I really wanted to talk to you because I had an incident with my business, where one business I was assisting for private. Well, wholesale felt we were competition and so I was so eager was helping this been. I was so excited. I had all these dreams Seems like all this is how I could really help this business, grow blah blah. But all of a sudden, he became like over competitors and so that made me really think about. This is a great topic because I was like, Lisa and I we have we talk all the time about our businesses, we exchange ideas, and we go off and we do something totally different. If you put our business side by side, it is we're about freedom and like taking a journey within but the same time like we're giraffes. Sickly different her business. Every time you buy something, they plant a tree, you know, I feel like, you know, I've been this is like totally different, her stories. You can hear from the beginning of how she started her business, is totally different how she comes up with a preamp. Ideas are totally different in mind even though we're vibing in the same Circle, there's no I was gonna say like the ideas. We all have them like we all have ideas but the consistency. In execution is what going to be The Little Engine That Could gets up the hill is going to be the tortoise, I passed the hair. What do you think wrong? Absolutely, Because and there will be people that pop up and try to like completely knock off your business model and that happens any use of frustrated me like to know in, but it would be like, people that were like, once removed from my circle, but they're close enough to where they can study my every move and Then it's like now oh, we real conscious like really like, okay. And that was like really upset me but it's like don't, they'll always be one foot behind because I'm the innovator. I'm the Creator. I'm the one that's coming up with the ideas and implementing them and the people that don't have the passion their Fade Out fast. And so, with that, I guess like it's easy for you. And I because we both have Different passes but your Thrive off of self, self care, and journaling. And yes, So, care is a part of our business model but like the journaling is like the thing that ties you together and I think that's like your USP like that's what sets you apart from everybody else. It’s like, let me show you how you can not only do self-care but dig in deep inside of you and get those things out. And I think that that is like, really your gift. And that's what sets you apart from everybody else. You No, and like me. I think it's the environment, like the passion that I have for the environment. Like I really get irritated when I see like construction sites and they're just cutting down trees and it's like a whole empty lot across the street. I used to have a Twitter called, I spy right. I spy, with my little eye, In society, exposing these big companies and like, there's a whole empty lot across the street, they could have used for the same purpose. It became obsessed and so I had to like really back in, but like that is the thing that drives me like I just really want more people to care about the environment and I think that the separation between us all is what drives this? What's your passion? Like that's what separates everyone in the whole crabs in a barrel like mentality. Like we have to get over that, you know, that whoever that business was that feltlike you were becoming their competition instead of looking. That you like a partner, which is what the way that you wanted that relationships ago, that's something that she or he has to overcome, you know. Like and I think that's the easiest way to break that down. Yes, because I was thinking, you know, we're happy when we're peer into our own passions and you know, wonderful things start to happen. We start to execute all these things and you execute your goals of these two, like your dreams coming true. So then you have to ask yourself before you go and knocks one else's business. Why would you want to destroy someone else's dreams? So, it's like you're trying to do your dream and live. It like, Yay, right? Don't turn around us, might as well your competition to me. Because if Walmart felt like that, with against all these other giant with Target, I mean, I mean Walmart and Amazon. I mean, like, those guys are like I mean, it's like, there's so many people in this country that, like, there's no way we can reach them all, like, no matter how awesome our business is and how much we wanted to go. There's no way that one business can reach them all. It's I think it's just understanding that there's enough for everybody, you know? And that was what I really appreciated when I went to Ghana, Italy, everybody was an entrepreneur. Everybody had this slice of a business and it was thriving, you know, box stores are like one time. We were traveling and I think we went to like who's California LA or somewhere in Southern California and I was like, I just stopped for a second. I was like we're on vacation going to the same box stores that we went to and wife and did just in a different town. I don't just like this is like ever at that point was like it was no longer fun because I was like what? Yeah, cuz I want to get off the beaten path. Like everywhere I go I'll try to find something that's different. I look for breweries in every city that I visit and there's so many like that's my thing, like crappy. Here's my thing is, so I dig in and I find them wherever I am and it's like, sometimes it's off the beaten path. And it'll leave me so like a Most of them are in like artistic districts and so I like the little eclectic mom and pop shops where you feel like the what drives them, you know, like, you know that this isn't just something they put up because they thought it would be profitable like, it could less sweat and tears into it and you can feel that energy when you come into the place. Like, that's what I look for and I agree. Like, I would hate to go to a Walmart in another city like especially on vacation like let's do something else. Yeah, exactly. You know, other little small businesses and I guess that's why I was attracted to reading, like Little House on the Prairie and bartering. And like, I just don't know what it is about that, but it just seems like it was just simple. And everybody had a little share in something you can feel ya. Awesome. So when you were building your business because a lot of times people make these choices because of fear and this individual that I had to deal with is probably really is fear almost like research. So everyone research before you go and Start have relationship with the business like research, and on my end to, I didn't really do research. I was just delighted to help someone else in a small town, Lanka need to build their business. I really didn't care in the same town but because my goal was a way different than where I'm trying to Pivot my business. So but you know, you have some fear. I would suggest studying different businesses, if you wanted to go work with Lisa wholesale, like, like interview her, like, get on her website, see what she's about, so thinking, me or came in when this Individual didn't realize, not like I am I all that and a bag of chips but I think she realized like how intricate and deeply rooted. My business is in this town, right? So I think was fear. So with you was there like fear that, that was presented to you or came up for you, when you were building your business. But, absolutely, I think it was just, like, fear of the unknown because it's quite, I'm gonna, People where it's like all or nothing, you know. So I went all in and it was like oh you know so it's kind of like the horse before the car and then I had to as I gained more knowledge it's like I had to go back and fix things and I'm still fixing things. I think that's an ongoing process but the fear of the unknown because this is your livelihood, you know, and you still have to like I have kids. So I have to make sure that everything is taken care of and so The fear of like what if this doesn't work? And I had to overcome that because that that's that goes back to that myself black, you know, like not having enough. And so once I overcame that it was like, things started falling into place, it's crazy how much a shift in your mindset, really changes. The whole outcome of each and every day because if I wake up and I'm in a funk and I don't shake it off, If my Flatline like no engagement it's almost like regardless of how happy the post is. It's like my energy is still on it, you know, and it doesn't go anywhere. Whereas if I check it if I check that mood when I feel it because that's part of it like identify, hey I feel this coming on and I need to snap out of it and then doing whatever it is, if it takes it's a walk, you know, just getting some fresh air change of scenery, taking a drive, Whatever it is, do whatever I need to do, to get out of it, as soon as I identify, and not sit in it. And I think that has been a bigger shift for me. And when my mind is right, I could tell like everything happens, the way that it needs to happen. And so, I just have to make sure that I stay on top of that because you're right, like serious is like, the killer of everything fear is the biggest thing that will stop us from doing anything, right? And I had to overcome that, because that, that The one thing that I saw that was the biggest obstacle especially when the pandemic happened. I was scared. I was like, oh well what am I going to do? Like we have to do this quickly, you know, because it was still it was beginning of the year. You know, first quarter is usually kind of slow. Anyway it's so point where we're projecting. This is going to be the biggest quarter like because everything is opening up this warmer outside. People are out more and so this was going to be like March, that was like when we were preparing for April, remember, like you were getting ready for a show in Tacoma the weekend that everything went well. Yeah, I think that that's a big. That was a big fear like what? Now yeah, totally I remember that for me to was like and when I was actually waiting to Go at out of town for a show and I was getting ready to go pack up the car and all of a sudden was like canceled and then like one by one. All of my shows like were just like a moment of like Oh, well, that's who you are. And what you have to offer. Yes, thank you so much. So as we wrap up, you know, a business really is like almost looking In birth to almost like a kid because like you got to take care of it. You have to nurture it if you're not working in it, like it just like slims on down and just write dies away. So I really appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk to us today. So as we close out could you give us a few tips? That how a person? And I mean all of us is always constant. So none of us are like a head of each other. Like, with mine said, it was always something that we have to keep. You have the best mindset today. If You don't keep adding things like positive in your mind or saying, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. I mean, you could just fall down become the hair. You can survive anything. Take a little nap with your mind saying because the tortoise. Yeah this passion he liked me. What happened? Because you aren't your mindset gross for a little bit so what are three tips? You could give maybe someone that's maybe struggling with it or discuss. I'm all of us business. Creative business, owner, Absolutely one like always be off. I think that's the first one like be who you are like whoever you are connect. Let that be a part of whatever you're trying to build and you won't ever like, feel like you have to put on a different face, you can always be yourself. Like if you start out trying to be someone else, that's going to be a hard act to continue. You know, and it's like now then you, when you try to get more comfortable, it's like, well, who's this? You know, when you should just Be authentic from the beginning. Like, don't try to be someone that you're not. I think that's the first thing. The second one with mindset. You have to do it the same way you do exercise. Like it has to become a habit. It has this something that is not something that you just do every once in a while. You have to, like, literally exercise it every single day, and know when it's going left, like, when you feel yourself shift or you feel Negative thoughts are limiting beliefs coming in. You have to identify them and bring it back into Center. I think that's the second one. The third one would be Follow Your Passion, like whatever you're passionate about. Like I know I've met so many people that that have want to be an entrepreneur and they're not quite sure where to start because they like doing a lot of things. And my first question to them is always what are you passionate about? Like what drives you what is something that you would do whether you make money from it or not? and then build that because entrepreneur is not like being an entrepreneur is not a quick fix and a lot of people look at us like wow you have your own business, they have no idea like what goes into keeping this thing alive. It's definitely not for the faint at heart and if you don't have any passion for whatever it is that you're trying to build Going to end quick and you'll be on to the next and that's why you see so many serial entrepreneurs because they haven’t found their passing it. So, I think that if we follow our passions from the beginning, that you'll see more longevity in businesses, I just think that that's like, I think those three would be the three. Perfect. And what do you do for yourself care? My cell. Okay So care for me, is Sunday's self-care Sunday is like a holiday in my house every week and even if there's like something that I'm doing with the kids from whatever time I wake up until noon, they are not allowed to bother me like that's mommy's time and whether I'm reading a book or I go to the trail or take a long bath, those are all things like I'm a photographer to so I Nature and I'll go out with my camera and I'll take pictures some of them never get edited because that's not fun for me. The fun part is taking the pictures, you know? It's so it's just like being out in capturing those moments and having them when I do decide to edit them during their, I think that those are the main ways that I do selfcare. Yeah, see I'm already entrepreneur. I'm like well there it is. You can be a professional editor. Like, for photographers who hate doing that part because we all have our own gifts even within our own thing that we're doing, you know, absolutely. I hate editing pictures. And I think that's part of like the thing that stopped me from doing it as a profession because it started out as a hobby and you know, how it is like you start a hobby and then people see you doing it well and it's like, hey can you do this for me? and before I knew it, I was like shooting graduation parties. I don't even have a business card. I was on this platform where people could like book me and it was just like I'm done with this. I just want to take pictures for fun. I don't need another hustle. You know, I think I need to hide me like that, that, that's so important. Like you just need a hobby that you do to decompress. Don't feel like everything has to be turned into something monetary right? Yes. Yes that is great for us. To end on. So, regardless of how many people in your industry, there's always space is always something that you can always carve out if you need to, to make yourself unique and position yourself in a way that stands out for someone else. Hey, you might be here this today and say, you know what, I am so good at editing photos, you know what? I'm even think of that genius. Aren't you know, you started this wonderful business, right? So I'm probably because I have a whole bunch of them. You got your first client, right? Right there. So Lisa tell us how people can get in touch. With you or that person ready to start their business Totally. So for Eco Creations so it's in the process of changing. So just Eco right now we are at Eco Creations on all social media platforms and the website is shop Eco now.com. But yeah we're driving Creations because like I said that started when she was seven or eight and so I realized that this really hard to Market so it's just going to To be Eco, and it still has the same message. We're still rooted in its trees and the environment and we're a Lifestyle brand, you know. And so yeah. So I'm Lisa dancing on Facebook and Linkedin and I think that's it. And that's it. Is Eco with the K, correct? Okay, it's Eco with the K. Correct yes, okay. Okay great just in case you go and start putting e Co because Lisais she threw a krn and be unique selling proposition. So thank you all for tuning in and we really appreciated that. Anything was this interview today resonating with you, please reach out, and let us know what Lisa would love to hear from you. I would love to hear from you. Definitely, if you're interested in journaling prompts, you can head over slavery andother.com and just click on the journaling section. You sign up drawing prompts come to your inbox once a month and you definitely can find out how to do there Yes. All right guys, taking out what our CSU got to journaling prompts. So on all handles you can find this at liberate and lather so have a great day and everything you need for links. Will be in the show notes and we'll see you soon. Thank you Bye-bye. Thank You.