Career Series 2014: Jennifer Wilfong of Yummy and Company

Welcome to Ms. Charm’s Career Series 2014!

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Tis’ the season for graduations. It is the time that many young people think about what should I do for the rest of my life and how can I turn my interests into a career. Not too long ago, I was in the same shoes trying to figure out what career I wanted to pursue.

I am happy to bring you inspiring interviews from April 23 until the end of May from local fashionistas with boosting careers!

Ever wondered what it takes to be a professional ETSY owner? Well, meet Jennifer Wilfong of Yummy and Company.
From traveling throughout the country to sell her one of kind accessories to handling all business decisions by herself , there is no doubt she is one to admire.

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Jennifer Wilfong of Yummy and Company.

 

What inspired you to start your own business?

I’ve always loved making things, but trying to sell those things didn’t come until much later! As far as what inspires and influences my work, I truly think it’s a primitive instinct to make objects. Since the beginning of recorded history, people have been expressing themselves through the construction of trinkets, amulets, figurines, drawings, etc… I love being a part of this history, it feels like a natural fit! Luckily, for me and other makers like me, these days, many people are interested in where their purchases come from and in what conditions they were made.

What did you do to prep for owning your own business?

I had very little prep or experience in running a business before launching Yummy & Company, I just knew I wanted to make living making things! This desire led me to jump in with both feet! While I had a BFA, I had no business training whatsoever, but like most things in life, experience is the best teacher!

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Describe a typical week or describe the tasks you encounter on a daily basis.

My week consists of many different tasks and adventures! The day to day is always different, which is great because I enjoy the variety! I make a lot of my work “on spec”, meaning I get inspired and make each item and then sell it, which is my favorite way of creating. Other times, I am filling custom orders for stores across the country. But , frankly, the list of things to do is endless! Some days I am taking and editing photographs, packing and shipping orders, sketching new design ideas, buying supplies, marketing, visiting shops, and the list goes on…!

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What has been your best career defining moment? If you have more than one, feel free to share more.

I can’t really say I’ve had a career defining moment. I’ve enjoyed so many small victories along my career path and hope to have many more along the way. But, getting my first official wholesale order was pretty exciting! I also remember the first time my work was published in a magazine, and one of the best experiences is when my customers tell me that they love their jewelry, or let me know that their mom or sister or friend loves the Yummy & Company gift that they gave them.

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What are some challenges you have encountered throughout your career?

I knew growing up that I never wanted to have a standard 9-5 job. Little did I know that having my own business meant that my hours would be even longer! My biggest challenge is putting down my tools and relaxing. The life/work balance is a tough one for me. Luckily, I really enjoy what I do and don’t feel as though it’s a bad problem to have!

What are three tips you would give to aspiring etsy owner/accessories designer?

3 things you need…

Passion
Having a passion for your work is truly a gift and makes everyday a new adventure. I love what I do and am never bored! If you are not passionate about your work, every task can quickly become drudgery! If you are successful at what you do, you will have to do it over and over again, so you’d better REALLY enjoy it!

Tough skin
While it’s important to have your own individual vision/voice/style, it pays to be open to criticism. It’s not always pleasant to hear, but honest feedback is crucial if you want to improve your work. For some people, one negative comment can throw them for a loop! I welcome feedback, I don’t let it discourage me, I use it as motivation to improve.

Drive
Seek to constantly improve your work. It makes every day a challenge. Regardless of what I am working on, I try to make every piece better than the last!

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Learn more about Yummy and Company and how to intern below:

 

 

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