Amanda is a very special person to me, personally and professionally. She was one of the very first members of our support community bite the biscuit and has been a huge support to me as we have navigated building businesses around our Creativity.
Amanda's website: https://www.pilgrimsoul.ie/
Q: Tell me your first memory of Creating and when did you decide to build a business around your work?
Growing up, I was naturally drawn to art & had always been told I was ‘good at it’ but the older I got, the way it was taught always left me feeling unsatisfied & lacking the kind of meaning I deeply craved. In 2009 I set up a nail art business I called 'Girl-Wise" where my idea was to teach pre-teen girls about self-esteem through creativity.
Q: Was there something you discovered about yourself once you started to run your business?
About 3 parties in, I came down with a massive case of imposter syndrome as I realised I couldn't teach something I'd never actually learned to do for myself! This inspired me to sign up for what was supposed to be a 6 weeks introduction to counseling skills course and turned into an honours degree in psychotherapy with a focus on creative modalities. It was at this time I also discovered my love of learning. Over a decade later now and I'm still studying.
Q: How did you grow your business from the kitchen table to now, was there one thing that really changed everything?
I was fumbling my way through a women's business network group and struggling to really connect with anyone; I felt a bit like an oddball creative running a 'fisher price business'. I met Tara online in the early days of my now, business; she validated my creative vision & offerings. Finding belonging to a like-minded creative community changed everything.
Q: What was or IS the biggest struggle with running your Creative business?
Entrepreneurship has been so much about personal development for me. It has and continues to grow me in ways I never expected. I've had to grow my worthy backbone, work on my money story on top of the obvious things like learning about business & technology.
Becoming PROFITABLE has been my main struggle, one I'm overcoming through investing in business coaching. Most currently, I'm recovering from some pretty severe burnout (and learning to delegate - which circles back to profitability) after a very difficult but also game-changing year due to the pandemic.
Q: Why Did You Choose To Use and Join The Biscuit Factory?
I truly believe in the power of coaching and community. There is no other way to grow than to invest in yourself and your business. From the very beginning, Tara's support, validation, and vision for us creatives to be profitable and not the stereotypical 'starving artist', absolutely gave me and so many of us a wing beneath our wings. Her belief was contagious.
Q: Have you had any reservations about entering the Biscuit Factory?
Of course, in the beginning, it feels counterintuitive to 'spend' money... before I learned of the power of investment, I was trying to 'spend' as little as possible, thinking I had to make money 'before' I could afford to part with any. But I learned actually, that investment is the best strategy for business growth.
Q: What Measurable Benefits Have You Seen?
I have travelled Ireland several times with my workshop, with many of my very first students coming from the biscuit community. I always had an unhelpful 'story' about being 'bad' at networking, until the biscuit community came along, that is. Now I have such a robust network of creatives all over Ireland and beyond, with whom to share resources. I do most of my gift shopping directly with makers, which gives me such a sense of joy as I know I'm not only giving more meaningfully but I'm supporting my creative community in the process. Also, because of the viability of my business, which I absolutely credit to having met Tara and the biscuit community, my life has been given such a sense of purpose, that I've not only got a business I love, but I'm now a person I love. I'm 4 years sober from alcohol and cigarettes and I know this is thanks to the healing I've found in purpose and belonging.
Amanda, you are an inspiration to so many.
Thank you Pilgrim x
Categories: Case Study