Isn’t it wonderful when you can actually turn your hobby into a full-time profession and then be able to make money out of it?!
We often feel caught up in jobs and professions we have to drag ourselves to, that just don’t have our hearts. It’s like a baggage we feel we’re carrying every day. So we find ourselves envying people who are crazy about their professions. But, following your passion comes with its hurdles too, the biggest one being ‘fear of failure’.
We are in conversation with Leyna, from Urb Apothecary who followed her heart and her passion for medicinal qualities of plants led to such a cool shop! Read on.
We must tell you, we’re in love with the packaging of your organic bodycare products and the whole feel of your shop! Tell us, how did you come up with the shop idea?
Thank you! It has been a slow metamorphosis of the overall brand look but always with the same philosophy. I didn’t have enough money when I started to hire a graphic designer to create a whole cohesive look and have done just about everything myself. I wanted the brand to be approachable, yet a little rebellious and weird without being alienating. It’s a bit embarrassing to look back at older logo/labels designs but it also shows how far the brand has come!
I learned that fear itself can be a tool, but it shouldn’t rule our actions. It is a threshold to be pushed and challenged, and the sense of empowerment and confidence that you feel once you have is thrilling.
Could you please tell us about your initial days after you started your shop?
I have had several Etsy shops, one selling leather fringe necklaces and jewelry that I made and another selling little vintage objects. Since I had some experience working in the Etsy universe, I thought I would open one dedicated to my newfound fascination with herbs and the healing medicine that you could make from them. It was a passion-hobby/project and one that I initially didn’t think would be carrying to where it has today.
Who/what has been your biggest inspiration? Who/what do you look up to?
Some of what inspires me most is watching other businesses and makers thrive, seeing them harness their unique creativity and hone their craft is a constant well of inspiration. Another and pretty obvious inspiration is learning more about plants and their many, many properties and how they let us channel that healing into topical and internal medicine.
If you had the chance to go back in time and relive a day, which one would it be and why?
Probably that day I spent solo on the Yuba river in 2008. I remember feeling so at peace, content, yet so excited for what life had to hold.
Don’t be afraid of failure! If it is your dream to start your own business, don’t let fear of failure stop you from doing it. You won’t die and if you do fail (which I doubt you will) you will come away with so much knowledge that the next time you try, it will be a success!
Let’s look at the bigger picture. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
That’s always a hard one. I see myself continuing to run my own business, either Urb Apothecary or another one, balance a family and have happy and fulfilled employees. It’s a broad vision but I don’t usually project into the future more than two years.
We all have a favorite quote that keeps us going. Which one is it, for you?
“You will be lost and unlost. Over and over again. Relax, love. You were meant to be this glorious. Epic. Story.” – Nayyirah Waheed
If you look back, what is that one mistake you’ll always regret making in your journey? How could we learn from it?
I don’t have many regrets, but I think I would not let fear of starting my own business hold me back for as long as it did. I learned that fear itself can be a tool, but it shouldn’t rule our actions. It is a threshold to be pushed and challenged, and the sense of empowerment and confidence that you feel once you have is thrilling.
Please give us some tips on how to manage time better. We could really use them!
I could ask you the same thing! Balance and efficiency are my two mantras. The more efficient tasks are, the more balance you have in your work and home life. I am constantly problem-solving in my head, thinking of more creative ways to maximize time, i.e. finding the right tools to use when filling bottles, using apps to automate/streamline shipping orders, etc.
Some of what inspires me most is watching other businesses and makers thrive, seeing them harness their unique creativity and hone their craft is a constant well of inspiration.
How do you keep up with your personal life apart from work? It must be getting too hectic at times.
I have had a production studio for the past year that is completely separate from my home which has vastly improved my ability to leave work at work, but that is also a huge luxury. I think when you are working from home it is important to at least be able to close a door to your work, be sure to set firm boundaries for yourself, i.e. stopping at a certain time of day and taking yourself for a little stroll outside.
Lastly, what’s the one advice you’d like to give us?
Don’t be afraid of failure! If it is your dream to start your own business, don’t let fear of failure stop you from doing it. You won’t die and if you do fail (which I doubt you will) you will come away with so much knowledge that the next time you try, it will be a success! Also, the learning curve is steep but very rewarding. Oh, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask other businesses for advice or help. Many may not want to share, but there are those that are willing to help.
Loved the post? Check out our previous conversation with another successful Etsy seller here. Let us know what you think about this shop in the comments below! We’d love to know your opinions.