This month we are excited to launch our next big thing: our first chapter! Having chapters will allow us to deepen our community by being able to have more in-person events and connections in our chapter areas. First up, we are launching a chapter in San Francisco (if you are interested in being part of the San Francisco chapter or being part of the beginnings of other chapter locations, sign up here). Leading this group of entrepreneurial makes is Rebecca Saylor! Rebecca is smart, dependable and runs her own thriving handmade business Oodle BaDoodle. We wanted to introduce Rebecca to everyone!
Q: Introduce yourself. What do you make and how did you get started?
I'm Rebecca Saylor, I grew up in Ohio in a family of makers. My Mom made a lot of our clothes, both of my grandmothers quilted and made crafts, my grandfather and uncles are master woodworkers and my Mom and Dad even have their own creative businesses. Prior to starting my business in 2012, I spent 15 years in Corporate Human Resources and technical recruiting. I worked for large companies like Royal Caribbean and small start ups. Working in the start up world showed me the excitement and challenges associated with being a small business owner.
In 2011, I left the start-up world and wrote down a business plan for myself. The only problem was, I didn't have a product! After a lot of trial and error, I made an owl pillow for a friend. At that time, I had just moved to San Francisco from Miami and I was really inspired by men's fashion here in the city. I made this owl with really cool glasses and a vest and bow tie. I entered a show for handmade artists and quickly realized that there was a market for these well-crafted handmade pillows. That same year, I expanded my line to include a series of sea creatures and huggable version of my favorite SF landmarks, like the Golden Gate Bridge. I've been in business ever since.
Q: Tell us about the leadership role you've already stepped into for makers?
After joining SFEtsy, I really wanted to exercise those corporate business muscles that I had developed over the last 15 years. As a recruiter, I have a natural ability to connect opportunities and people for successful partnerships. The SFEtsy team asked me to use those skills as the Community Development Liaison. For 2 years, I worked with local small businesses like Rickshaw Bagworks and Ruth's Table, to create opportunities for our team to expand their business by partnering with a larger business. In my tenure, we held design contests, craft swaps, creative workshops, and a small holiday market.
In 2014, I was chosen to be the new Co-Captain for the SFEtsy team and along with 12 other amazing creative business owners, we have held multiple pop-up events, creative workshops, social meet-ups and are currently planning a bigger Holiday Market.
Q: Why are you excited to be pioneering an Academy of Handmade chapter in San Francisco?
I take my business very seriously. I am excited to help elevate the artisan and handmade business owners and help them grow and expand to supporting themselves and their surrounding communities.
Q: Share a little about the handmade community in San Francisco.
The handmade community is large and diverse here in the Bay Area. We have a wide range of creative people making things and selling them and a wide range of artisans in different stages of their businesses. I love that there is room for everyone here and the city appreciates having such a diverse community.
Q: What's your favorite thing about San Francisco or the Bay Area?
I have to admit that I love all the artisan food! It's difficult to travel to other cities and compare. We have the quirkiest and most unique food chefs at all levels. It's really amazing. Because I didn't grow up in a big city, I am just in love with the hustle and bustle of city life. I love that you can walk anywhere and find something interesting and there is never a lack of things to do on the weekends.
Q: Where can people find you online?
My website: http://oodlebadoodle.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/rjsaylor and http://instagram.com/oodlebadoodle