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Meet Stacy Wagner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Wagner.

Stacy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always had a bit of an artistic side, honestly I think we all do! However, growing up my grandma had a big influence on me. It was maybe my 7th or 8th birthday that she bought me my first sewing machine. As I got older, we would try new crafts while I was visiting. It ranged from sewing to beads/jewelry and whatever else we found. While my materials of choice have changed throughout the years, I’ve always enjoyed some sort of creating! Fast forward to last winter and my friend and I decided to try making earrings from polymer clay. It started as something fun to do while it was cold outside, but I ended up enjoying it and making more earrings than one person could ever wear. I decided to try selling them and that’s how Swags Collection started!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I wouldn’t say that starting out has been easy, but this is more of a passion project for me. I can spend as little or as much time creating as I want. For me, the hardest part has been finding my voice and my audience. A business is only successful if someone wants what you’re making, and it can be hard to get noticed when there are so many creative people!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As far as my day to day job, I’m a civil engineer, which is very different from making jewelry/accessories! As for Swags Collection, right now I’ve been mainly focusing on polymer clay earrings and learning new techniques using polymer clay. You never know what the future holds though! I really enjoy colorful statement pieces, so you will notice a lot of my work uses bright colors!

I’m really proud of myself simply for setting up this small business. In the past, I’ve always said that I didn’t have enough time to do something like this. While at times that might be true, right now I can spend as little or as much time on the business as I want. This makes it a little less stressful than if it was my full-time job.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I don’t know any successful person who hasn’t taken some sort of risk. Not everyone is comfortable with high levels or risk and that’s OK! I would say I’m a little above average in my willingness to take risks, but let’s be honest…I’m an engineer, so I like to have a plan. I think most people are afraid to take that risk and try because there’s a fear of failure. What if no one buys what I’m selling? What if I fail? Well, everyone starts somewhere, and from every failure we learn something.

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