Can you believe it's December already? To kick off the month I am delighted to introduce a talented, ambitious woman, Paige Davis. Paige and I met through Instagram, from there I asked if she would be interested in being featured here on I Am Woman. About a month ago we had a phenomenal conversation and I’ve been itching to share it with you all ever since!
Paige is from South California where she grew up her whole life in a town called Camarillo, just 2 hours away from LA. Paige graduated highschool early and is currently enrolled as a full time student at her local community college, where she is majoring in business. While she is a full time college student, Paige also runs her business PaigeSewsStuff full time. She has been running this business since she was 16 years old, and just a few months ago she celebrated 2 years of business.
I was so excited when Paige agreed to talk with me because I knew I wanted to know more about her experience as a young business owner. As I mentioned previously Paige started PaigeSewsStuff at 16, while at first it was for fun and some side change, it slowly morphed into a full time career. Paige explained how there were many hoops to jump through in starting legally because of her age, but she also talked about her struggles of learning as she goes. Many entrepreneurs go through schooling, trial and error, as well as life experiences that help to mold their journey into a smoother one. Paige spoke on how since taking business classes in school, her eyes were widened to all that she did not know. Laughing to herself, Paige explained “The first thing you learn about in business school is how to write a business plan to start, but when I started I walked out of my room and said ‘Mom I started an Etsy.’” While it can be helpful to start chasing your dreams after a few years of learning and preparing, if you feel in your gut that you are ready to fulfill your destiny, then go after it. Do not allow yourself to wait on your dreams when you could be actively making strides towards goals everyday. Paige acknowledged she had a passion for something and put in the effort to make things happen.
With that being said, Paige’s advice for young entrepreneurs is to go for it. Find something that you love and work hard at it everyday. Some of you might be thinking that you don’t know what you want to do or that you can’t turn what you love into a career. Paige expressed to me that for a long time she was really unsure of what she wanted to do for a career and sewing was just a hobby of hers at the time. It wasn’t until she started sewing more frequently, running out of room for all that she was making, did she think to start selling what she made. I truly believe that you take whatever makes you happy and make it a career. The world is changing from strictly 9-5 jobs, where people can make money in various different ways that cater to your wants, needs, and likes. Take advantage of this shift and put yourself out there no matter how you are. Young or old, your dreams and goals are valid. I know that for the rest of my life I will be striving to reach the stars, you should too!
In the age of technology, starting business tends to come with the task of creating a social media platform for the business. Social media in itself can be extremely challenging for many of us, however having a social media for a business opens up a new realm of vulnerability that showcases the products made by those who have poured their heart and soul into it. Posting pictures of yourself is already extremely vulnerable in the sense that you are showing yourself off in hopes to get positive feedback from others. For businesses not only do they post themselves, but also the items they have spent time and energy on. It can be nerve wracking to see how the public will respond to it and if there's a negative response it can be so disappointing. Luckily for Paige she has received a lot of positive feedback on her items, but even still she explained that it can be hard to show up on social media for her business. She spoke about how hard it can be to get on her stories, especially if she feels like she's having a bad acne day, or she’s worried she doesn’t look good enough. I say all this to say, be mindful that behind every small business is a hard working person, with insecurities and feelings just like you. Kindness goes such a long way; tell someone they look beautiful on social media, compliment your favorite business owner on their items, praise your coworker when they're working hard. It can really make a difference in someone's life.
When asked about her greatest achievement Paige responded, “I don't think I’ve reached it yet.” To this my jaw dropped. Paige is the definition of ambitious and I love it. She graduated highschool early, she runs a successful business at 19 years old and she is still on the hunt for more. Let that sink in. What were you doing at 19? For many people this would be it, they would ride this wave for as long as they could thinking this was all they were capable of, but that's not true. We all are capable of being just as ambitious as Paige, we just have to unleash it and start to believe in ourselves! If there is anything you take away from this article, I hope you will realize you do not have to settle for anything in life. Keep pushing yourself to unlock new levels. Ambition is something we are all born with, but it’s not something everyone unlocks in their lifetime, be someone who can unlock it.
While things have been going well for Paige and her business, there have been bumps along the way. One of her toughest obstacles to overcome has been trying to find balance in her life. She explained how last year her family took a trip to Arizona during the holiday season, and she brought all of her sewing supplies with her. She ended up working through her whole vacation. She went on to express how exhausting it can be to work 24/7, but it is also equally as hard to take breaks for herself. This has been a popular topic amongst the creative, independent workers I’ve talked to in the last year. Let this be a public service announcement for all the overworked friends, being both ambitious and self compassionate is possible! Working hard does not mean working endlessly, and setting boundaries to take breaks does not mean you’re selfish or lazy! Anyone with tips on how to overcome this battle be sure to share the wisdom with the rest of us in the comments at the end of this article!
To finish up this article, Paige attributes her greatest supporters to her mom and grandmother! A huge shoutout goes out to both of them for being there day after day!
In 10 years from now Paige hopes to have a storefront for PaigeSewsStuff. She discussed with me how her mom and herself have dabbled with the idea of opening a bakery, where they would sell not only Paige’s items but other items from other local businesses. How amazing?
With that being said, that is the end of this article. I hope you all have enjoyed getting to know Paige! I am so lucky to have made a new, amazing friend and even more lucky to share her all with you! If you enjoyed this article, scroll down and subscribe to receive notifications every time I post a new article! Let me know in the comments your favorite part of this article!
As always, if you have a woman in your life you feel deserves to be featured here I Am Woman please be sure to send me an email nominating them to firstname.lastname@example.org! I can’t wait to speak to more of the beloved women in your life!
PS: Tomorrow Dec. 5, Paige will be hosting her first vendor fair, so for those in the South California area, be sure to reach out to Paige or myself for more details! You can follow Paige on Instagram @paigesewsstuff and stay connected with me @iam.wwoman!