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Meet Trailblazer Katie Sabin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Sabin.

Katie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I feel like my creative life really started after I had kids. Growing up, I didn’t consider myself as creative or crafty and I remember thinking that there were always girls who could draw or paint better than me or could dance or cheer better than me, etc. I scrapbooked a bit, took a textiles art class in high school and learned to crochet and sew at a very basic level but never really pursued anything specific because I didn’t think I was “skilled” or “talented” enough. Lack of confidence for sure played a part.

Fast forward to when I was 28 and became a mom to twin boys. The first year of their life is all a bit hazy (twin momma’s know what I’m talking about!) but when they turned one, my husband quit his job, went back to school full time to get a Masters degree in accounting which kept him busy day and night, and I realized I needed something to do with my limited downtime. I re-discovered a love of pretty scrapbook paper + new to me Mod Podge and I started papering wood frames and boxes — pretty much any flat surface I could cover with paper — I did! I sold my wares at a very small local craft fair and it was like an awakening for me where I realized that being creative was open to everyone and could be showcased in so many different ways! Fast forward a few years and I began to discover a few of my loves — bright colors, craft supplies, and sign making! I sold signs with one of my best friends at BIG craft fairs in Utah (Swiss Days in Midway, UT) — it was amazingly fun, a big confidence boon + incredibly energizing! That was 5 years ago and I’ve been making signs ever since. Instagram has played a big part in my business and has been an amazing place to help me grow. I’ve loved connecting with other creative makers and have made some great real-life friendships because of it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Has the road been smooth? Hmmm, there’s definitely been ups and downs and times where I really feel like I’m succeeding at both business and life and other times when one or the other has taken a hit. I’ve found that when I seem to be struggling the most it’s because I’m trying to go full on 100% in one area or the other. Balance is such a finicky thing and different for everyone.

Just in the last year or so, I feel like I have found a formula that works well for me. I sell my signs via Etsy and hold monthly restocks of a set number of sign designs. I promote the sale date on my Instagram page and once the sale has ended (usually an evening + the following morning) I get busy on sign production. The 2-3 weeks following a sale I am busy, busy making signs and getting orders out. I do nearly 100% of every step along the way from buying the wood, cutting, sanding, designing, painting, and shipping. It’s working well for me so far this year!

For the last 2 years, I have taken my summers off and it has been amazing! I’m a happier mom as well as a happier person all around. I’m free to take my kids to the beach or pool as much as we want and at the end of the summer I am excited and rejuvenated to start up with my business again! I now have 4 kids ages 11, 11, 8 and 6 and all of them will be in school full time this school year. I’m excited to get my craft room organized and in order + work on some fun collaborations with others and see where things go as I have more time to put towards my business. Time to dream BIG!

My advice to other women? Don’t allow your thoughts to bog you down when things don’t seem to be going your way. Stuff happens for a reason and even when the path seems long and convoluted, it’s taking you to where you’re meant to be! (Can you tell I listen to a life coach podcast?? Better Than Happy is a favorite of mine). Allow yourself to take “time off” whether it be for just a week, a month or a whole summer. Priorities really seem to come into focus when you do and can jump start you into new and exciting endeavors!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Just Add Sunshine – what should we know?
When people ask me what I do my first reply is always “I paint signs”. But really, it’s so much more than that! I create home decor that has a bright, happy uplifting vibe. My Instagram bio declares me a happiness seeker, creative mess maker, and a colorful sign painter. All are true! Sunshine and rainbows make me a happy girl! I want to be known as someone who creates uplifting art for the walls of someone’s home, office or classroom and that I provide light and goodness in times that can feel dark and depressing. And I try to do all that in a colorful, vibrant way!

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Can I give a few pieces of advice?

Be yourself.
Be kind.
Support others along the way.

Be yourself. If you’re not sure yet who you are — take some classes to discover some new and varied interests, listen to podcasts, try new things even if you don’t think they appeal to you! Somewhere along the way you will feel a spark and find what it is you are meant to do!

Be kind. SO important! Treat everyone with kindness and if you come up against a situation where your first reaction is to be unkind — STOP! Realize that you don’t always know both sides of a story and be kind anyway!

Support others along the way! Embrace the talents and accomplishments of others and they’ll hopefully do the same for you!

Contact Info:

  • Email: justaddsunshineinc@gmail.com
  • Instagram: justaddsunshineinc

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.

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