Be a Boss Babe!
We recently started collaborating with a local photographer, Katie Salerno, who has been doing many of our fashion and styled shoots with local bloggers. Katie recently left a corporate job to follow her passion and build her own solo photography business, focusing on family, wedding, and bridal portraits, as well as fashion shoots. Starting your business takes a leap of faith and a certain deep knowledge that you are kick ass enough to pull it off.
I am frequently asked how I started Shake, 22 years ago. I had been practicing law, doing civil litigation for three years and then running a women’s criminal justice project for five. On the side, I was painting furniture and small home decor with a friend, selling our work in local shops and through makers markets. I had always been drawn to art and creativity, having studied a bit at the museum school in Boston. When the project I was running ran out of funding, I hit a roadblock. I didn’t want to go back to doing litigation, hating the adversarial nature of it, yet I felt compelled to stay in a field that I had chosen and studied for. I found myself applying for jobs that I did not want and the turning point for me was getting a lucrative job offer and declining because I couldn’t imagine myself continuing in this field.
So, on a random weekday morning, having coffee with a friend, I watched a landlord put a “for rent” sign up in a small shop in Brookline and I literally walked across the street and rented it for year . I had been secretly imagining opening up a shop, but I had never worked in retail and really knew nothing about it. However, in that exact moment I let go of all my fears and just jumped into it headfirst, eyes open. I am usually not impulsive and I am very risk-aversive with money but honestly I had no doubt that this would work. I called everyone I knew who made cool things and asked if they would give me things on consignment, paying them only when the items sold. I gathered friends and we built shelving, painted and fixed up the place so I was open in about a month. Since that date in June 1994, I’ve had to move twice and now have a beautiful shop in Boston’s North end, having run a successful business for over two decades all by myself!
If anyone reading this is wondering if they can do it, take a leap of faith and know that you can.