Carrot Top Studio can to be after creating a liturgical year's worth of worship banners as a volunteer for my home church. I discovered I loved the tactile materials combined with the design process, the connection to my faith and my appreciation of worship and worship spaces. The name "carrot top" hearkens from the childhood when I experienced my fair share of teasing for my orange hair.
|Here's one from 'back in the day!' As you can see my mom was a 'carrot top' also!|
Prior to becoming a sole proprietor I was a preschool teacher, an elementary art teacher, and a stay at home mom to my son and daughter.
|Back in my elementary school teaching days on a field trip to the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, TX. Could you guess this was the 80's?|
I checked out and read every book I could from the local library on how to start a small business and how to sell online. There wasn't any start up money for this endeavor so I'm forever grateful for libraries!
Ebay gave me the opportunity to tryout online sales. The initial offering were vintage items I scooped up at estate sales. Because I'd enjoyed making worship banners so much my marketing aficionado (always thinking of the next thing) husband suggested I take the worship banner techniques I learned and apply them to ministry stoles. I was SO reluctant but he wins the prize for this idea! The first stole was sold on eBay and Carrot Top Studio then quickly swung into action! It's still fun to watch the excitement of the eBay auctions that we sell at least one stole through each week.
|Click here to see these auctions on eBay that close Thursday this week!|
The idea process is very invigorating--whether it's collaborating with a client on the idea, or researching scripture for inspiration or stumbling upon a new thought and then working it out in the sketchbook.
What’s been your most popular item or line to date?
It's interesting to note that red stoles move most quickly through the inventory. That funny guy that I'm married to say's that they're red hot!
|Something from the 'red collection! See the Pentecost stoles here and the Ordination stoles here.|
Hearing from a client that we've met their needs and helped in their ministry to connect the Word to the visual is always gratifying. And I must confess it's nice to have a short commute (walk down one flight of stairs from my kitchen to my studio!) And, oh yeah....no uniform or makeup required.
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Learning to balance it all. I'm the webmaster, artist, warehouse manager, accountant, research assistant, media specialist, marketing guru, cleaning crew, education consultant, shipping department, and last but not least seamstress. I have to make sure that artist and seamstress don't get lost in the shuffle because the rest can consume me!
This is Jenny Gallo ending this brief interview (with herself) with gratitude that I have work that I love to do. Thanks for your support clients, friends and family.