Colorful Creatives: Radically You

Happy Friday!

I’m so excited to share this week’s Colorful Creatives feature, Jess Bugher of Radically You, a bohemian macrame home decor and fashion accessory line! Jess is incredibly talented and naturally creative. I was lucky enough to come across one of her posts on Instagram and got to know her better. Her story is one that I think so many can relate to, working day in and day out at an office that wasn’t sparking joy in her life, leaving her personally drained everyday. She discovered her love of working with her hands at a young age, and started to explore macrame in her early 20’s. From side hustle, to full time job, to exploring opportunities in education, Jess is pursuing her passion: “working with kids and making beautiful things to bring into the world.” I hope you enjoy learning more about Jess, and be sure to check out her Etsy store! I’m in love with the Boysenberry Macrame Coin Purse! Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Jess:

 

“I am a firm believer that you can’t think too much about the start of something. If you want to start a blog, do it. If you want to do yoga, do it. If you want to write more, do it. Jump into your life and realize that if you aren’t jumping in, you are placing boundaries on yourself. So in turn you can take those boundaries off of yourself as well.”

 

 
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1. How did you get started with macrame?

I have no professional background in this field, but I have been doing different variations of this since I was very young. I first started exploring fiber art early on in my life, when I was very young I found myself making bracelets pretty much nonstop as a kid. I have always had busy hands, so side projects I have been a constant in my life.

I started to explore macrame when I was in my early 20’s, it has been an exciting journey and I constantly find myself discovering new ways to apply this type of art. My family are all big makers of different varieties: my great aunt, my father, and my mother. My father is an artist, he went to art school and has an exceptional eye for detail and yet somehow can be so fluent with his work. My mother taught me curiosity and the joy of learning a new skill, we explored a lot when I was a kid. My great- aunt is a constant inspiration, she made everything herself and had a unique style of her own. So you could say I come from a long line of makers.

2. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. Coming from a modest middle class family, I was the youngest and I never thought of it as an option when I was growing up.

3. Are you full time on your business?

For the past few months during my transition from Orange County to Santa Monica I have been lucky enough to do this full time. Soon I will be doing it part time and working in an elementary school. In Orange County I was working in an office setting, I didn’t feel inspired by the work I was doing and I felt drained personally. I feel so excited for this new opportunity and combined to parts of my life: working with kids and making beautiful things to bring into the world.

 
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4. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome with owning your own business?

Personally, it is difficult to put my work out there into the world and so rawly show others what I am working on. I, like so many, struggle with impostor syndrome. I question what I am doing, but I feel so honored to have the support system I do that loves and supports me how they can. I am shown time and time again, that others do care and others do want to see what I’m doing. It is funny how I both feel anxiety and then relief from the same action of putting myself out there. I feel it is hard to justify a business where I get to make things I love to make and others will pay for it.

 
 

5. How did you reach your potential clients when first starting your business?

To begin with it is hard, slow, and persistence is key! For my type of business, a made item, people want to get to know the maker and who they will be supporting. So something huge is going to markets and selling my goods face-to-face to people. Lucky for me, this is also one of the things I like to do most, surrounding my small business, make connections with others.

 
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6. Do you feel you need to educate people on what you do?

I love the idea of teaching others what I do, the process of macrame. Showing them how hard it can be to have a small business can be good to, if they ask. On the flip side, I don’t feel the need to share that with everyone as it is my personal choice to go this route.

 
 

7. What is your favorite & least favorite “hat” to wear as a business owner?

Favorite hat- Creative exploration

Least Favorite hat- Advertising (I feel so connected to what I make, it feels so much like self promotion when I do this)

8. How do you stay motivated?

I listen to a lot of podcasts, read personal development books, and take self care seriously. Some of my favorite podcasts include Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, RobCast with Rob Bell, The Ground Up Show, and From the Heart Conversations with YogaGirl. What does self-care look like for me? Yoga everyday, in some way or another, reading a good book, giving myself permission to take a break and slow down when it feels right. Water rejuvenates me, my summers growing up were spent “on the lake” as we say in Michigan. I love being outside and when I feel overwhelmed taking a walk or going to the water is an easy way for me to wipe my slate clean.

9. What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am working on a bridal order for an intimate wedding ceremony. I am making bridal accessories for the entire party. I also, am putting together a new line of accessories for late Spring/ early summer.

 
 

10. Where do you look for inspiration?

Inspiration comes from everything in life. I am emotional and can feel inspired by things from nature, people around me, and places I’ve been. I find inspiration from quotes and books.

11. Where is your favorite place to work?

I love to work in my living room, on a Sunday late morning when it’s sunny and I can look out my window and enjoy the weather while knotting away inside. My dog is around always and loves to be a part of my inspiration. My boyfriend is a designer who challenges me to try new things and reminds me to get uncomfortable sometimes to grow.

 
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12. How do you start your Monday?

Monday’s start with a coffee, along with every other day of the week. I like to start each day of the week about the same, even on the weekend. I read and drink my coffee for as long as I can, typically 20-30 minutes. Then I take my dog out for our morning walk. Now it’s time to make breakfast and make the bed. Then I get ready and get to work.

13. What are some colors you are connecting with right now?

Terracotta, sage, dusty pink, and mustard. A soft palette mostly with a pop of a bright color is where my heart is leading me.

 
 

14. What are some of your favorite textures/ materials?

I love textures, lately fringy and flowy looks are something I am enjoying.

15. What is something you could not live without?

I could not live without my support system, they mean the world to me.

 
 

16. If you could travel anywhere in the world for inspiration, where would it be and why?

I would love to travel to a Greece, the Greek islands are breathtaking. The style there is so lovely and I would love to take in the endlessness of the Mediterranean Sea.

17. What’s your favorite season and why?

I love every season, I enjoy how nature seems to take it’s time to remind us of how beautiful change can be, if we just embrace it rather than fight it. If I were to choose one really special season it would be fall, there is a lot to look forward to during this season.

18. What’s your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

I love Chicago, especially hanging in Wicker Park and Lincoln Park. I remember a time when I was visiting friends and we went to a small comedy show in their neighborhood, what a good time.

Where I’m living now, in Santa Monica, CA I love going down to the beach and spending time walking along the ocean and watching as the waves crash along the shore. I can’t get enough time spent by the water.

 
 

19. As a busy business owner, how do you avoid burn out?  

Phew, that is kind of a no-no word! HAHA. Well, the best way is that when I have a day where I don’t feel like doing one thing, I honor that, I do something else that day. I can get up and do something else for a while and get motivated in another area. If I don’t feel like making a new piece, maybe I start writing and focus on that type of creativity that sparks my energy.

20. What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Personally, I am looking forward to a huge trip that I have been dreaming of for years. My grandmother has passed stories down to me about her time spent in South America, and I will soon be able to find my own narrative about this, after my trip to Peru later this year.

Business related I am looking forward to the new things that I will create that right now, I can’t even imagine. Our worlds expand as we dive into different activities and you never can predict where they will go until you are there, staring at the best thing you have made yet.

 
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21. What is a piece of advice you would tell your past self on the first day you started your business?

I am a firm believer that you can’t think too much about the start of something. If you want to start a blog, do it. If you want to do yoga, do it. If you want to write more, do it. Jump into your life and realize that if you aren’t jumping in, you are placing boundaries on yourself. So in turn you can take those boundaries off of yourself as well. I would tell myself to put myself out there and know that you will find your own stride over time.

22. Any inspirational books you recommend?

I love Elizabeth Gilbert and the way that she is in real life really inspires me, she isn’t afraid to start again. She knows that with each beginning their is fear, but diving in will ignite a new fire in your belly. Her book “Big Magic” has been one of the most inspiring books that I have read.

 
 
 
 

Why I started Colorful Creatives:

I launched my own Interior Design business last fall with the hope of creating a career and lifestyle in which I could explore my potential, help others, create beautiful and functional spaces, and live my passion. I found myself connecting with business owners of all creative fields and asking them for advice how they started their business. The feedback I received was invaluable and I wanted to share it with the world. Thus Colorful Creatives was born to empower, motivate, and inspire anyone out there who is considering going out on their own creative entrepreneur adventure!

Want to be featured on Colorful Creatives?

I’m always looking for inspiring creative entrepreneurs that are living the dream, being their own boss and pursuing their passion. If you are within the first 5 years of owning your own creative business and want to share your story of breaking away from the 9-5, fill out this form and we’ll be in touch if it’s a good fit!



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