Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Laura Mitchell. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Alright, Laura thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Being a business owner can be really hard sometimes. It’s rewarding, but most business owners we’ve spoken sometimes think about what it would have been like to have had a regular job instead. Have you ever wondered that yourself? Maybe you can talk to us about a time when you felt this way?
Like so many things related to happiness, it depends on the day, right? Some days I love the flexibility, the control, and the opportunity being a small business owner allows for me to grow and learn . However, other days the unpredictability and fluidity of it all can make me a little unsure of myself. The hard thing for me is not having that linear trajectory some other jobs offer–not knowing where I am going and if I am on track. I try to remind myself that although other people (in more traditional jobs) might appear like they have it all together, they are probably questioning themselves and their decisions just as much as I am.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
After acquiring my Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, my career started working as an art consultant at a contemporary art gallery downtown Minneapolis. My intention was to go into advertising; however, I quickly decided after an internship and a few agency interviews, that industry wasn’t for me.
Working at the gallery not only fulfilled a creative outlet, I also loved having the opportunity to work with clients and artists from around the world. I quickly went from being the gallery’s lead art consultant to the Gallery Director where I continued to manage and develop client’s art collections, but also took on the responsibility of curating and putting together exhibitions–truly a dream job!
I worked at the gallery for a couple of years, before I ultimately decided to leave to pursue another interest of mine–traveling. Before I got too far down the road with my career and still had a decent amount of flexibility, I decided to join some friends and backpack around Southeast Asia. When I returned several months later, I ended up shifting gears yet again and looked for a position outside of the gallery scene. Although I thoroughly enjoyed being apart of the art world, there weren’t quite enough opportunities for growth in Minneapolis, and having recently met my now husband I wasn’t considering positions outside of the city.
After several months of networking, I landed a job at a publishing house that specialized in children’s books. There I worked as a Designer and Art Director hiring and art directing illustrators along with designing both nonfiction and fiction titles. As much as I loved my full-time job, I knew after five years, it was time to take a leap of faith, bet on myself, and start my own business. which is how I ended up as the Founder and Creative Director of Merimoi Press–a Minneapolis based stationery and illustration company.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Believe it or not, most of my clients still come from Instagram. I’ll be the first to admit that keeping up with social media is not my favorite part of the job, but it definitely is what seems to have the highest return on investment.
Have you ever had to pivot?
I’ve pivoted quite a few times. I started in advertising, jumped to work in the fine art world, worked in children’s publishing for five years, and eventually landed where I am now working as a small business owner of an illustration and stationery company. I’ve tried to pursue opportunities that align with my interests, and it has seemed to take me a few different directions in the creative world.
- Website: merimoipress.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/merimoipress
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/merimoipress
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/merimoipress?lang=en