What do the owners of a boutique lingerie shop, a recycler of reclaimed vinyl, a lending library visionary, a real-life Willy Wonka, and a neon artist have in common?
More than you might think, and the common threads that ran through our interviews with the modern-era fabricants can teach creatives valuable lessons on bringing ideas to life.
Let passion kindle your ideas
Sam Bard of SHAG Brooklyn smoothly transitioned her artistic interest in sexuality and intimacy into an erotic boutique that’s made Brooklyn sexier than ever. Her business partner Ashley Montgomery was compelled by a passion for artisan business owners to use the space to help artisans bring their products to market.
Monkey, the man behind Wreckords, was motivated by a love for New York’s manufacturing industries, and Matt Nelson of Mellow Pages Library by a love of small presses.
Daniel Sklaar of Fine and Raw Chocolate possesses a zeal for chocolate that might have turned into a detriment to his career as a chef, but when he used it within the logical context of a chocolate factory, success was assured. And Matt Dilling turned a childhood fascination with electricity into the brilliant Lite Brite Neon Studio.
While you don’t have to love what you do to be a successful professional, if you want to break out of a professional life you don’t love, pursue your passion.
Embrace failure as a healthy part of the ideation process
Failure will happen. It’s inevitable. Rather than fear it, embrace it. Run to it! It’s an important part of the process, and our Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs assure us that resiliency in the face of failure is critical to delivering a product that’s unique.
Matt Dilling put a fine point on it:
“Maybe it’ll be amazing. Or maybe it’ll blow up. But you’ve got to try, right?”
Seek out unidentified markets and unmet needs
SHAG Brooklyn fulfills two distinct needs: a place for customers to comfortably explore their sexuality and a place for artists to share their hard-to-retail projects. Lending local talents this space gives the boutique a cozy, curated atmosphere that makes customers feel right at home.
Likewise, Matt Nelson saw a need for a space dedicated to book lovers and to those small presses that are often underrepresented in larger book shops and libraries.
Both ventures demonstrate the power of providing singular products to eager, overlooked markets.
Watch all of our Fabricant Way interviews to gain inspiration and insight into creative entrepreneurship. Our new season launched in July, and you’ll be able to catch the new episodes here over the coming weeks.