We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Stemper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Like I’m sure most mothers would say, their view on work life balance likely changed the moment they became a mother. My story is no different. I worked a traditional and fast paced career in advertising before heading off to start Wondermint Goods. I truly loved that job; the people and the work; but the hours and flexibility were pushing me every day towards burn out. I constantly felt that I was failing at one role at any given point; and unfortunately, work ended up getting more attention than my children during that time. Going back to the notion of burn out; that’s why balance is so important. We need to evaluate our priorities in life and take the necessary steps to make sure nothing is standing in our way of tending to those priorities. That’s one huge reason why I love owning my own business. I’m in total control. If I want to be busy, I can be. If life is in a season of me needing more personal time or my family needs me; I can scale back where needed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Although Wondermint Goods offers a variety of goods from wood signs to acrylic jewelry; I’d like to think it’s my acrylic jewelry designs that set me apart from the rest of the crowd. In my heart, I’ve always been a jewelry designer first. My grandfather designed and made his own jewelry, from mining the stones to the metalsmithing. I grew up hunting for rocks and gemstones with him and it’s the reason I have such a fascination with it today. The world has so much wonder to offer us; we just have to slow down to look for it around us. My jewelry is fun and colorful; I want it to spark joy and wonder for whoever wears it. My jewelry designs have evolved a lot over the years; and I think I’ve found my niche in making acrylic jewelry. I am in awe over the colors and the translucency of it; the way the light shines off of it and the ability to cut and engrave my own designs. Getting to where I am now has not been an easy road. I am a one woman show at Wondermint Goods; which can lead to it’s own challenges. I so often want to focus on the creative path alone some days, when in reality I have to wear so many different hats to keep everything running smoothly. Automating certain processes on the backend and outsourcing help along the way has been instrumental in allowing me to focus on the heart of the business and to keep coming out with new designs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I like to keep things pretty low key. I love to spend my time outdoors, so if a friend was visiting, we would likely look for a nearby festival or market to browse and shop. I’d also be sure to take a trip to Roswell to go on a hike at Vickery Creek; we’d likely end up in downtown Roswell at Variant Brewery or Gate City for a beer before heading back home. I’d make sure they got to taste Antico Pizza and have some Jeni’s Ice Cream before heading home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My main supporter and the one who is always there to cheer me on is my husband. I certainly wouldn’t be here today owning by own business if it wasn’t for him believing in me and pushing me to go for my dreams. He’s also the one to take care of our 3 children when I need to catch up on orders or need quiet time to design. My friends and family have also always been there for me. They were my first customers when I thought I wanted to open my shop and the ones who keep showing up for me year after year. From a creative standpoint, it was so important for me to find my tribe of creative entrepreneurs that I could share with and learn from; I found my tribe with the Society for Creative Founders (https://www.societyforcreativefounders.com). I attended their conference in October of 2018 and it was a game changer for me to meet so many amazing creative women who own small businesses like me. To this day I’m close friends with so many of them and they continue to push me to be better every day in my business.
Keira Davis Photography: https://www.keiradavisphoto.com Meredith Rikard Studios: https://meredithrikardstudios.com