Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Jen Shank Gunn. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Jen, appreciate you joining us today. Are you happier as a business owner? Do you sometimes think about what it would be like to just have a regular job?
Whether it’s posting IG stories on my actual wedding day (got to ‘beat’ that algorithm!) or missing family hang night in order to finish a rush order (already a full day late!)– my life is not my own. Sometimes I daydream what it would be like to watch a show on the couch with my beautiful husband, on any given night. Heck, if I had a ‘regular job’ I would have a start and a stop to my day, not to mention tasty delicious benefits (Oh to have a dental plan!), and PAID (?!) leave. So, while I am not blind to all of that, I am also not convinced having a dental plan is all it’s cracked up to be either. So, instead of me joining my guy on our family couch, he now joins me on the couch in my studio because as a fellow small business owner, he gets it too. Sometimes your daydream is your day job.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
My creativity is constant, whereas my medium isn’t always. I sew, paper-craft, paint and stamp. I also love photography and writing. I relish all different types of materials.
When my daughter entered the world in 2006 she was my newest canvas! I loved dressing her up– bows, frills and all sorts of swank! In 2009 I found out I was having a boy and was determined that he too would be swanky!
While my art has been tamed, my insatiable desire to create has not! Art and Craft Fairs have been my Art’s home until 2011 when I joined the Etsy marketplace. It is there I get to sell my art and participate in life stories. With Swank’s message of inclusion we hope to help amplify historically marginalized voices and help represent the underrepresented. And that makes me beyond happy, gratified, and fulfilled.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Tags on Instagram. That is what marketing has boiled down to for hand-made artists in 2022. We are a slave to the algorithm monsters.
Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?
I have gleaned so much from author Donald Miller– from his books (for sure!), but also his quick 1,2,3 videos on the socials. Outside of that, Brene Brown has taught me how wonderfully super-human it is to be both humble and authentic.
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SwankyShank
- Instagram: @swankyshank
- Facebook: @swankyshank
Lakin Stearns Photography, Bonnie Nichoalds Photography and Chasing Goldenlight