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Rising Stars: Meet Megan Colwell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Colwell.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
From construction manager to independent wood artist and branding strategist, my entrepreneurial journey has had many turns. In 2017, my husband and I sold our 3-bedroom suburban home, moved to a rental, he lost his job and then completely minimized into a 23′ camper.

From Spring 2019 to March 2020, we found ourselves living out or our dream of work camping & traveling full time around the west coast. To fund our adventure, I was making and selling handmade wood burned art under my passion project, Happi Camper KC. I was also supporting us through my KC other small biz, Happi Desk.

Today, we are back in Kansas City, so grateful to be thriving and growing. When I am not doing art shows and completing creative commissions, I am helping like-minded small business owners stand out on social media.

Alright, 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?
My biggest struggle early on was losing my mother at 14 years old. She passed away on my sister’s birthday of a heart attack. My mom was my best friend and loss was devesting. The following years were riddled with confusion, abandonment and heartbreak. Somewhere in there, I met my now husband who has done nothing but support and uplift my personal and professional goals.

Fast forward to 2020 when the modern plague touched us all. Halfway through last year, I lost half my clients at Happi Desk and custom requested through Happi Camper KC totally dried up. I was worried we would have to give up our independent lifestyle and go back to the 9-5.

But I pushed through with just straight-up hustle. I stayed consistent with my marketing strategies, and of course I never stop making are and creating inspiring content. In the pandemic, I leaning heavily into my wood-burning community and even opened up a Patreon.

Now I am proud to say I am completely self-sustaining as an independent entrepreneur!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in hand-crafted wood-burned art. The medium is called pyrography, or the art of drawing with fire. I was 1st drawn to this medium because I was searching for a creative outlet that allowed me to be intensely present. You see, I struggle with thoughts of the past or anxiety about the future. It’s very difficult for me to just “be here”.

However, wood-burning changed all of that for me. In one way, it forces you to present because if you don’t you might burn your hand. And trust me a 1500-degree burn HURTS. And also, the smell of wood-burning is so nostalgic for me. I was a super sickly kiddo, and my mom used to rock me into front of our wood-burning stove to help calm my asthma. So when I wood burn, it’s kind of like I’m there with her again and that’s so comforting to me.

I am incredibly proud of the community I have built on Instagram and Facebook. To have found so many total strangers that will support my creative dreams still makes me want to pinch myself. I work hard to create content at Happi Camper KC that inspires and uplifts through the art of wood-burning.

Authenticity, hard work ethic, and empathy are absolutely what sets me apart from others.

What does success mean to you?
Success is never giving up even when all the odds are totally stacked against you. It is overcoming life’s shitty circumstances and realizing even though those around you may not understand or believe that you can, you can.

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