We had the good fortune of connecting with Vandissa Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vandissa, is there something you believe many others might not?
I don’t believe that anyone should be pigeon-holed into anything. Gender or age or anything else can’t decide where you end up. There are no “boy’s sports” or “girly hobbies”. There was a time when only men wore pants and look at us now, women are rocking the hell out of pants! When you listen too closely to the “shoulds” you block yourself from some incredible “coulds”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I actually started making stickers for myself. When I was in grade school I discovered scrapbooking and quickly realized that the industry was not catering to me. All of the graduation stickers were diplomas in White hands and don’t even try to find a Juneteenth-themed anything. By the end of high school I gave up looking and started creating my own. The better I got at it, the more I was willing to show my work to friends and family.
Eventually, my family talked me into trying to sell some of my art. I didn’t even consider myself and artist (I still don’t most days)! I gave myself six months to either open up a shop online, or drop it, and I dove right in five months and one week later. I’m a procrastinator, I’ll admit it, but that procrastination had me opening up shop at the very tip of a pandemic. I received so much support I couldn’t believe it. I began networking like never before and made my first 200 hundred sales without even noticing how much work I was doing. I love what I have built and cannot wait to expand into other stationery and planner items down the line. I am doing what I love and what drives me. I want other girls like me to be able to see themselves in my art, and so far, they do!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Phew! A week is just enough time to get to all of my favorite tourist-y things. I’d start off by taking her to my favorite sushi spot, so that we could grab a great lunch and maybe some sake. We’d take it easy at the beach to round out her travel day so that we could get up early the next morning for a sunrise hike. There are awesome views all over the island but I think I’d take her to Crouching Lion first. I’d make sure she gets all of the major eats while she’s here: poke, pineapple whip, shave ice, and of course a luau. If she’s up for some adventure we’d also try parasailing and probably ride a couple jet skis. We both love to eat, soak up the sun, and get lots of fresh air while we catch up.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my husband for recognizing that this business was my dream, even before I did. My two best friends for encouraging me to go for it. And finally, my fellow blogger buddies for their support and networking efforts.