Name: Maegan Bergstrom
Shop URL: mountainmusings.etsy.com
Tell us a little about yourself:
Well, I’m a self-taught hair accessory designer and wannabe author. I get around pretty much exclusively by bicycle, which is a good thing because one of my other huge hobbies is cooking and baking. I’m also a huge geek and love tabletop rpgs and the occasional computer game. If I’m not working on a fabric flower, beading a hair stick, baking a cake, bicycling, volunteering at my church, slaying imaginary monsters, or reading a book I’m most likely asleep or out in the garden. I’ve got a great husband, a sweet cat, and a nice little house. I feel pretty blessed.
I made beaded hair sticks and fabric flower hair clips (called Kanzashi).
What got you interested in your work?
I’ve always enjoyed crafting, and I have an insane amount of hair. Combining baking and hair is a bad thing so I had to come up with a way to keep it out of things once a ponytail wasn’t cutting it anymore. My first hair stick was a chopstick, and that got boring so I bought some beads and it just went from there.
How did you get started?
After hearing people tell me “I could totally sell that” about a dozen times I discovered etsy and took a small nest egg of Christmas gift money and bought some supplies to make hair sticks. Then I bought more supplies and some of the hair sticks started selling, so I took that money and bought even more beads and sticks and eventually fabric in order to see if I could make some flowers I’d seen online. It snowballed from there pretty rapidly.
What are your inspirations for your designs?
Well, I live in Colorado on the Front Range, so there is a lot in nature to inspire me, but more often than not I see a bead, or a blank hair stick, or a certain fabric pattern and something just clicks. Then I have to see if I can make what is in my head come out in the materials.
How do you balance your business with your life?
My business is not really a full time deal, and I wouldn’t want it that way. Currently, unless I’m working on a custom project or on a deadline, I do everything I need to get done around the house and THEN I work on my business projects. So far, I seem to be able to keep the shop pretty well stocked as well as meals made, house cleaned, yard cared for, and everything else that goes along with life in general. I doubt it would be as easy if I were counting on my business for a significant income. My method would really only work well for the part time crafter and hobby shop owner.
Taxes. I have a hard time figuring out exactly what I need to withhold. I think I’ve got it down this year, but Turbotax is not very clear on what it’s doing and why, and the tax forms sans any help are hard to follow. I really hope this year doesn’t end with me hyperventilating into a bag again.
What goals do you have for your business?
I’d like to be at a point where I was turning an actual profit of about 500$ a month. It’d be a nice little extra income. I also have a list of projects to do with my small business profits (this year’s was finishing the guest bedroom so it was usable) and it makes me feel good to be able to cross those off. I feel really good about where I’m sitting product wise and stock wise. I also have to make sure I give myself enough breathing room and down time. I don’t want to get to the point where creating is a chore.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve made or make? Why?
Oh man, that’s hard. I generally fall in love with something as I’m making it, then something new comes along and I fall in love with that. If I have to choose, I’d probably say my dice flowers. They were something totally unique and all my own design. I really have fun matching dice with fabric and then coming up with a geeky story blurb about the flower.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for featuring me! It was fun.
A big thanks to Maegan for taking the time to be our featured seller! We hope you go visit her store and check out some of her amazing work.