We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Bumgarner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I was in high school I was a part of a prestigious visual arts program and it stretched me a lot. I loved getting to learn new skills and techniques and grow into different mediums. My teacher bought a button maker for our class so we could advertise for our program and I learned to love it almost immediately. When I graduated and came to college, I still had that drive and creative itch, so I asked for my own button maker as a Christmas gift. Needless to say, when I opened that button press on the morning of December 25, 2019 my life would never be the same; my creative flame was back. I decided that I would use the button maker to make gifts for friends and football games, but quickly came to realize I could make a profit and that’s exactly what I did. I brought my button press back to college with me and got to work in my freshman dorm. I invested in a few stamps and some envelopes and curated an Instagram page to promote my work. My family and friends supported me and spread the word like wildfire and before I knew it, I was a full fledged small business–from my dorm, to your door.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My creative process is a little all over the place. Some days I can come up with ideas faster than I can write them down, and other days I can’t think of a single thing. It’s tricky navigating my art because no one else has gone before me and is able to show me the ropes. There are some incredible pros for being the only one doing what you’re doing, but also some cons. I love being able to love on my customer base with my art because it’s customizable and personal. When there’s competition and a lot of other people are doing the same thing you’re doing, there’s a lot of pressure to make your product “yours”, I have a little bit more freedom because not many others do what I do. I have learned so much from starting this business, whether it be learning how to troubleshoot shipping or having to fix misprints or just simply failing over and over with my designs. If there’s anything I’ve really gotten good at through this whole process it’s to always expect the unexpected. Lots of things end up out of my control and I have come to learn that that is okay. That’s one of my favorite things about my brand; it’s authentic. I try and I fail, I mess up and keep going. I have gone from a small side hustle out of my freshman dorm to a full fledged small business and I am really proud of all the progress I have made. I am super thankful for all my followers, supporters, friends and family for helping me get my little project off the ground.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents have played an absolutely pivotal role in my creative ventures. They’ve given me space to get things wrong while also investing time and love into me. They’ve been my encouragers: my biggest fans. I would not have been able to get to the place I’m at today if it weren’t for their support and guidance.
Abby Davis Photography