• Taylor Bragg

From Carpenter to CEO: How I Started My Small Business


In the pre-covid world of 2019, my life was good. While mundane, routine and sometimes boring, I had stability, a decent place to live and a job I did not hate. In May 2019, I made one of the biggest changes in my life, although I did not know it at the time.


I was a recent college graduate working for a hemp and CBD company. It was the only company of its kind in the area and I was part of the young, growing management team. I was on track to be making a decent salary and eventually be an executive of the company, which was absolutely insane thinking back on it now.




Long story short, the constant stress and anxiety of working in an industry that was in constant threat of being shut down by the government was getting to me. I was glued to my desk for ten hours a day and had taken up a variety of unhealthy habits. In May, I handed in my two-week notice and took a job that was a complete change of pace, carpentry and furniture building.


I walked into the workshop on my first day, nervous but thrilled to be in a new environment. I was surrounded by a room filled with more experienced woodworkers, all men. They did not know what to make of me at first, they could not understand why a small, skinny 22-year old woman would want to build wooden furniture with a bunch of dudes.


Slowly but surely, I showed my worth. I worked as many hours as I could to get better at building, lifting and cutting. I wanted to prove myself as an equal and eventually a leader. My boss at the time sold the furniture we built on Etsy, which was my first introduction to the platform. We were swamped with orders and he needed help with the back end so I became his unofficial assistant and customer service representative. It was here I learned the building blocks of starting my own business.




When the COVID-19 outbreak hit in March, we were all furloughed from work. Unfortunately, I did not qualify for unemployment benefits and had to figure out how to make money during the quarantine. Then, the idea came to me- why don’t I start my own Etsy shop? I had a house full of paintings that were gathering dust, so I decided to start listing them. I created an Instagram account to post my work and bought some shipping supplies.


A few days later, a cash register “cha-ching” sound came from my phone, it was my first Etsy order. From that day on, I was hooked. My shop started to grow and it gave me a new sense of confidence in my work that I was lacking. With my newly-developed carpentry skills, I decided to start making my own furniture too. Since March, my shop grew exponentially, I have become part of a leadership team of local artists and I no longer have to work a 9-5 to support myself.




I never thought I would be my own leader, I never thought I would be a business owner, but here I am. While I would not call myself a leader in the truest sense of the word, I think determination, adaptability and persistence are the keys to success and leadership, no matter the circumstances.


My bottom line is if you are on the fence about making that leap, starting that business or asking for that promotion, do it. 2020 is showing us that life is too short to wait around for things to happen. You are in charge of your own destiny, and you have the tools to make it happen.


Are you ready to make that leap? Are you ready to become your own boss? We have tools and resources at the ready to help you succeed. Whether you need a website, logo or social media management. We are ready to help you start your business. Contact us today for a free quote.

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