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Daily Inspiration: Meet Erika Baker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Baker.

Erika, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started experimenting with resin at the tail end of 2019 on winter break from my graphic design program at JCCC. I’ve always worked in the arts and love playing with different art supplies to see what inspires me. I really enjoyed my resin experiments and quickly became interested in conquering this new material.

After losing all my jobs in the first lockdown, I started spending a lot of time making things which served as both art therapy and a way to try to make some money. Before I knew it, people started asking where they could buy what I was making so I made an Etsy and Instagram account. With all the newfound extra time, I decided to dig in and create my own unique brand. And now, a year and a half later, I have my products in three (soon to be four) stores, I sell online on my website, as well as through Instagram & local maker markets 4-6 times a month. I love using Desert Pear as an outlet to express my love of nature in a way that brings others happiness and helps them to feel confident in themselves and I have many more ideas to explore as things continue to grow!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well, the first obstacle was just trying to start a business in the midst of Covid but, aside from that, I’ve mostly been fortunate. I will say there is definitely a learning curve when you start your own business and I’m not sure most people realize just how much goes into it. So time management has gotten me a few times as I try to balance all the duties of marketing, product generation, design, social media, sales, events, product photography and everything else that is required to succeed. Another challenge has been learning to work from home which I mostly love but can also be difficult on days where you feel less motivated; you still have to show up because no one else is showing up for you. I think the biggest obstacle at first was just getting over the idea that everything had to be “perfect” before I could make an Etsy or do an event; you just have to embrace the experience and go for it and develop over time. But, overall, I would say the road has been relatively smooth and I feel very grateful to everyone who has supported me and who continues to support me.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’ve been in Kansas City for ten years working as a Teaching Artist, Puppeteer, Actor, Producer, Director, STEAM Educator and now Maker. I am now the owner and sole maker for Desert Pear Artisan Jewelry LLC where I make unique, one of a kind wearable art using real nature objects and resin. I use “happy colors,” florals from all over the world with geometric shapes that inspire happiness without focusing on trends and instead create joyful pieces for all types of jewelry wearers. I think my use of bright tones and pastels sets me apart because it strays away from posh, dark tones and embraces playfulness. I also utilize nature objects everywhere I can; flowers, plants, sand, gems stones, glass, concrete, ceramics, etc. I am most proud of the fact that this brand perfectly reflects who I am as a person; bright, joyful, playful. And when I am set up at events, people approach me and often say, “Your colors drew me in!” I hope I can continue to grow and create and bring a smile to people’s faces for a long time.

How do you define success?
I believe that success is about fulfillment. If at the end of the day, you feel accomplished and even proud of what you’ve worked on, then you are successful. That is not to say that every day will be perfect. Sometimes we think of success as having a direct tie to financial gain which can be true for some but not for others. Success is very personal to the individual. For me, I feel successful knowing I’m not worried about how my bills will be paid every month but others may want more than that. So, as a creative type of person, I am most concerned with feeling fulfilled with my work while, of course, keeping my bills paid.


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