Female Founder Giveaway Starts Today!
The #femalefounders giveaway on our Instagram starts TODAY! We are so excited to feature or first Female Founder......
Please meet Angie Davis, the founder of Byrd & Belle.
What/who inspired you to start your business?
The start of my business was a bit of an accident so I can’t really speak to what inspired me to begin but I can talk about what inspires me to keep going which I think is really the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur. Growing and navigating the future of your own business is not for wimps and dealing with a near constant sense of uncertainty is enough to make you go fetal some days. What inspires me to keep going is being close to other entrepreneurs trying, succeeding and sometimes failing to do their own thing. We can learn from watching how other people succeed, we can graft on to their momentum and let their hustle rev up our own engine but we can also learn just as valuable of lessons from people who fail. Being close to failure exposes you to a great truth. Failure of your business is not the end of you. And if you can learn to not only be unafraid of failure but to even try to see beyond failure to what your next thing would be, it may open you up to your work in a new way. You’ll likely also spend less time in the fetal position.
Where did you grow up?
What was your childhood like? I grew up in Northeast Iowa on a small farm. It was rural and pre-internet so I was fairly insulated from the world. I was a tomboy, an athlete and I was a creative kid without much of an outlet. It wasn’t until I chose Architecture as my major in college that I started to fit. I brought with me this base layer of self-sufficiency, work ethic, practicality from growing up where and how I did and I was fortunate enough to have found my way into an education in architecture, design and art alongside people from all over the world. Those two worlds are both very well represented in what I do now and I’m grateful to have lived in both.
Tell us a story/incident that happened while operating your business that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that.
It’s difficult when projects end. It’s easier when it’s your choice to end it but that’s not always the case. I’ve lost projects because I was too expensive, too slow, too stubborn, too bossy, too small (literally… my studio at the time wasn’t big enough to hold all the things they wanted me to make). All projects end. Sometimes you go down in a hail of gunfire. Sometimes with a simpering shrug. If you want to do better next time, do it. If you want to flip them the bird and tell them it was all their fault for not understanding what a genius you are, that works too. But know this: there will be other projects. Better projects. Get back to work.
Tell us something fun/unique about you that most people don’t know.
I have a giant brown mutt who follows me everywhere. She goes to work everyday and when we get into my building, she runs full speed through the halls to greet her coworkers. The UPS guy brings her treats everyday even when he isn’t bringing us packages. She is sweet and she is loved. Her name is Gertrude but we all call her Byrd.
Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a girl/woman? Tell us how.
I’ve lived and worked in male dominated environments most of my life. Underestimation happens. What I don’t have patience for is when it gets in the way of my work. It’s sometimes difficult to buy machines or to get the right tool or material. Asking questions and getting answers can be impossible. There have been a few times when I literally just have a man make the phone call instead of me. It’s unfortunate but it’s a way forward in some situations. My hope is that the more opportunity I have to get in front of people who might not think a woman capable of doing what I’ve already done, the better chance the woman behind me may have.
What are you doing currently and what are your goals?
I’m currently spreading out my work in some different directions. I own and run the brand byrd & belle which is what most people are familiar with and I’ve also begin making more time for the work I’ve typically done for fun on the side over the past decade. As byrd & belle has grown, it’s allowed me to distance myself from the intense day-to-day hands-on work (I mean, I made the first 24,000 pieces myself. Give me a break.) and work on some other things. Follow @adavisstudio on Instagram and I’ll show you what I’m working on… and you’ll get more Gertrude!
We love Angie and Gertrude!!