V19. The Collective (of Us): BOLD Broads * Julie Skon of Makers and Goods*

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Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Julie Skon of Makers and Goods, an online store focused on gifts that give back.

Let's meet her, shall we? 

1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

I think I have always done things a little bit differently. A typical 9-5 has just never worked for me and I find so much fulfillment in working hard and seeing things that I am passionate about come to life. My creative zone is sometimes way before the sun comes up and often after I tuck my daughters in bed, so starting a business was the clear and natural path for me.

2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?

I surround myself with strong, creative, badass women who support each other. Having your own business can be lonely and challenging and when it lives in your own head sometimes you need to bounce thoughts and ideas around with people you trust. I actually feel incredibly lucky that it is rare that I meet another woman trying to "one-up", in general we are all very supportive of one another.

3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?

The Collective (of Us) and the Mastermind program gave me a supportive community of creative women from all over the United States. It helped me open up and be vulnerable with the ups and downs of life and business. I was also very lucky to launch my business in Santa Barbara, CA which is a community filled with event professionals who just love to help each other out. I also have to say that talking about business with friends (who are in completely different professions) is so helpful in getting a fresh perspective. 

I think overall keeping a continuous conversation flow about what you do is very helpful. Never be afraid to talk about your business, ask questions, and explain what you do.

4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?

TIME. When I began my business delegation was not in my vocabulary. I truly thought I could handle each element (marketing, website, design, assembly, ordering...etc) all on my own. I now realize that I was actually hurting the growth of my business by trying to do it all. The truth is we are all good at SOME things, not everything. So...find people that can help you with the things you aren't so great at so you can focus on what you strengths are and watch your business thrive (and you will be happier too).

5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.

The advice that "I am my brand." 

It was the best and scariest moment of realization when it came to my business. It was easy for me to hide behind photos of products that I love and to tell the stories of makers I believed in, but when it came to talking about my self or adding my personality to elements of my business I felt terrified. That piece of advice allowed me to let go of that fear and now creating with my business is more personal and meaningful.

I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...

I do what I love EVERY day and it makes a difference. I get to meet creative makers who make incredible products and together we give back. From supporting the education of women and children around the world, to supporting wildlife and nature, and local kick ass organizations, every product that I sell has a layer of impact and THAT makes me feel like a bold badass.

BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP OR WEBSITE?

I am a fan of Trello, it keeps my wandering mind organized and on point!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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My name is Julie Skon and I own Makers & Goods.

Most importantly I am a proud mama of two daughters Layla and Navah, they rule my heart and my world. With business I try and find the most passionate makers who create badass goods that give back in some way.  

I work with individuals, corporations, and event professions to create impactful gifts that look good and do good.