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Life and Work with Alex Davies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Davies.

Alex, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In February, I sat on the verge of quitting my job to be home with my kiddo. Even though I felt excited to be present at home and leave my job, I was also feeling the entrepreneur bug, So I knew I needed a space to write and share my latest projects – a creative outlet while home.

Without a super clear direction, I jumped in. After weeks of writing till 1 am and playing with website design while my toddler napped, I finally hit publish on SeeAlexWrite.com. What I had was a hobby, not a real business. Every time I remembered that it caused me to doubt the hours I was investing in learning how to shoot layouts and edit photos or watching webinars on social media growth.

I rode the doubt up and down. I was either floating on a high of excitement because one of my guest posts was published, or I was wallowing in disappointment, feeling silly for trying to put stuff out there and questioning whether I really had a story to share. When people asked how it was going, I shrugged and said, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

But photographing and blogging helped me zero in on what I love to do – make stuff and inspire others to unleash their inner creative, too. I kept deciding that if at the end of the day the only person who ever read my bog was my mom, I would still have exercised creativity and practiced storytelling. Even if there was never an audience, that would be a success for me. Since course correcting with this new intention, I’ve just enjoyed making and sharing.

I’ve been redecorating, writing, sewing up a storm [I’m joking about changing my website to See Alex Sew] and this week, I’ll be sharing a DIY on how to strip the varnish and paint off a headboard and refinish it. Plus, I’ve even started to turn a little profit, selling commissioned sewing projects like my custom bags.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any business, even a fledgling hobby one like mine, the road is bumpy with highs and lows, enthusiasm and bummers. For me, the biggest struggle has been keeping my eyes off the number of followers on my Instagram account.

Watching tiny metrics distracts you from your vision and the why of what you’re doing. Those fluctuating numbers that seem pitiful compared to bigger brands can discourage you and cause you to doubt your success when you’re only getting started.

Countless times in the past few months, I’ve felt the doubt when things didn’t take off at light speed like I secretly hoped. To other young entrepreneurs, I’d say, remember that success might seem overnight when you look at other people’s stories. But it never is. It’s a long road that requires patience and persistence.

I’d also encourage others and myself not to define your personal success by the number of sales, followers or article shares. Get clear on why you’re pursuing your passion and make that your metric for success. For me, that means any day that I get to stretch my creativity or encourage others to listen to their own creative bug is a win.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with SeeAlexWrite.com – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’ve been a maker my whole life. My mom sewed and my dad is a custom cabinet builder, so I grew up with handmade pieces all over our home. Making was a normal part of life, and craft supplies were always easy to find.

Then I married into a family of entrepreneurs and started working for my aunt who is an incredible creative brain, artist and entrepreneur. She’s mainly to blame for instilling this entrepreneurial itch.

So I launched SeeAlexWrite.com because I wanted to share how much fun it is to make things for yourself, whether that’s a painting, a dress, a furniture piece or beyond. And I wanted to inspire others to unleash their own creative side because I think too many people just assume they’re not good at art or projects or whatever it is they secretly would love to try.

That’s my basic idea: to make life more beautiful and celebrate things that are handmade and heart made

Out of that core intention, I’ve been able to share everything from:
•Some of my Free Watercolor Printables
•How I Stained My Headboard
•DIY Face Wash Recipes

To:
•What Should You Do When Your DIY Project Fails?
•Why Comparison Drains Your Creativity
•How I Overcame Fear to Grow Our Family

Most recently, it’s led to developing a new brand of custom handmade clothing and bags that I’m calling Heartmade Designs. I’m planning to launch Heartmade later this fall, so stay tuned!

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?

Absolutely! Today, women own 9 million businesses in the U.S. alone. That’s 30% of businesses. And we’re starting more each year. According to Entrepreneur, “Women are founding companies at a historic rate.”

Thank you Internet for making it easier than ever before to launch a brand and connect with customers all over the world all from home. This opens up doors for moms who in the past had to choose between leaving home for work or staying home and surrenduring a career.

Where I think women have a unique advantage is on Instagram. This whole new culture of “Influencers” is really fascinating to me.

We’ve known since the 1950s and the days of tupperware parties that women hold the purchase power in most households. But today on Instagram, women have leveraged this power and convinced major brands to send us a paycheck for something we were already doing – telling our friends about the products we love to buy.

Companies used to hire celebrities like football players or movie stars to promote them. But now companies have a allocated budgets for sponsoring everyday women to basically tell their friends. I think it’s amazing.

And it also creates a fantastic opportunity for women to support each other. I think that thanks to social media, a lot of smaller women-owned businesses like Rylee + Cru, Rais Case, Tubby Todd, Plum + Sparrow or Solly Baby have experienced tremendous success. (These are all local San Diego brands by the way.)

Who have you been inspired by?
I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out but for sure my mom who always helps me refocus on what’s important when I’m freaking out. And she loves to have fun, which is good for my stay at home finishing a project hermit tendencies.

And Sandra Angelo who is my Aunt Sandi/my boss/my friend. Every time I’m around her, my head spins with my own business plans or clever ways to market something. She’s one of the few people who see that part of me and draws it out.

My mother-in-law is another talented super faithful woman who models the whole juggling kids and a household and a business called A Simpler Time Alpacas and Mill.

My best friend Natalie Hill always inspires me because she sees people so clearly and is confident to wait for what she wants. And she always nods along and encourages me when I’m describing some crazy new scheme.

There are honestly so many outstanding women like my sisters-in-law, my aunts, my friends, and they all show me new ways to grow and help me laugh at life when I need a perspective shift.

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

3 Comments

  1. Cathy Beck

    August 20, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Alex is a wonderful example of the creative spirit. Have been following her blog on Instagram. Full disclosure I am also privliged to be one of her aunt’s.
    Aunt Carhy.

  2. Ann

    August 21, 2018 at 1:44 am

    She is an amazing young mom, wife and creative person. So cool to see her figure this out, so she can spend time with her kiddo. Every moms dream to stay home!

  3. Dana

    August 21, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Congratulations Alex! So happy to see your creativity and progress!

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