We were lucky to catch up with Alexandra Goodman recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, thanks for joining us today. Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about success more generally. What do you think it takes to be successful?
To be successful, you have to WANT to be successful. You have to push through hardship, inconvenience, and negative experiences. Stay your course, remain strong, and maintain a level of flexibility. Success may not always come painted like the picture we have in our head, but it’s important to recognize and be proud of our accomplishments,
Alexandra, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My name is Alexandra Goodman. I’m a graphic designer by day and covered in resin the rest of the time.
While I have always been into “arts and crafts,” I only started painting in 2018 – just as a hobby. After watching countless videos and finding inspiration from online artists, my interest advanced well beyond just acrylic paints. After filling the walls in my home with canvases, I began experimenting with other textures and backdrops. Eventually, I started playing with alcohol inks and resin. Creating vibrant and unique coasters quickly became my favorite project. I found my niche in creating one-of-a-kind coasters and trays. I didn’t stop there. My inventory has grown to include many more things – geodes, magnets, keychains, ornaments, jewelry dishes, various Texas-themed items, and so much more!
One of my most popular items (especially around the holidays) are custom coasters using photographs provided by my customers. The photos range from favorite vacation moments to grandchildren, to pets! This is a very unique gift idea for holidays, house-warming, birthdays, weddings, and graduation!
Friends started buying my work and my family convinced me to turn this newfound hobby into a business. I started selling my work at the Dallas Farmers Market in 2019. I’m now working towards expanding my presence in DFW.
I do custom orders! I created a custom set of draft tea handles for a tea shop in West Village (Teasom) and I made a 20ft strand of custom chicken wing LED lights for Wingstop.
I offer such a wide variety of products that I certainly have something for everyone. On the off chance that I don’t… let’s talk! I never say “no” to new challenges and/or adding new ideas to my inventory.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
One of the very first commission pieces I did, the customer requested an item for her desk at work and told me to create whatever I thought was best, she just wanted it to be girly. Ultimately, she hated it. She said it was unprofessional and there was no way she could display the piece at her desk at work. I gave her a full refund and asked that she return the item to me. I never did receive that item back, and honestly, I was so embarrassed, it made me question if I was wasting my time even trying to start this side business. I was discouraged and unmotivated for weeks. With a little encouragement from loved ones, I was able to put the embarrassment behind me and focus on the lessons I needed to learn from the experience. You can’t please everyone. Just because one person doesn’t like something, it doesn’t mean that everything you create is garbage.
Any fun sales or marketing stories?
One day when I was set up at a farmer’s market, near the end of the day, another vendor came over to me and said she was about to open a brick-and-mortar store and she wanted custom tap handles for her tea bar. She wanted a variety of colors, and she wanted tea leaves floating inside the handles. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to accomplish this, but I agreed because I thrive off of challenges and problem-solving. I did a lot of research, figured out my cost, and presented her with my ideas at our next meeting. It wasn’t going to be easy, but the idea of my product being on display at a local business was all the motivation I needed!
There was a little trial and error, as to be expected, but the final products came out amazing. Then we had to troubleshoot the installation, but the hardest part was over! The 11 tap handles were installed before the grand opening and they looked amazing.
I had no idea what I was really agreeing to when I said yes to this project but reflecting on how it turned out has given me the confidence to always say yes to new things.