Today we’re interviewing the founder of Girl Gang Craft, Phoebe Sherman, who started her business after she noticed there was a need for craft fairs that are truly inclusive and affordable for vendors to participate in. With over 20K followers on Instagram, Girl Gang Craft is a community for female-forward artists offering classes, courses, feminist apparel, a podcast and, of course, craft fairs. Ready to get your girl gang on? Read on!
1. How did you get started in your industry? What led to your passion for your career?
I got started making really shitty jewelry. That’s how I started learning about branding, and Instagram for business + the craft fair world.
In 2016, when Trump called Hillary a “Nasty Woman” I made a uterus relief print (this means I carved into linoleum and printed layers onto paper using a big printing press, this is actually what I went to school for-printmaking).
This uterus print was sold casually at the first Women’s March, and after that the uterus design was converted onto a screen and I screen printed it on patches, which I then sewed on jackets, then made our uterus zip-up pouches. This uterus design is the base of the current GGC collection, and we have always given 10% to Planned Parenthood..
I tried participating in craft fairs, and I learned quickly that many were expensive and exclusive, I wasn’t always getting in and some of these events cost $800 to participate in.
So I decided to host my own craft fair. I gathered 15 of my friends in a small cafe in Oakland, made an instagram and a website, and from there we just grew to more artists + more cities.
2. What were some of the bigger challenges you experienced in getting started?
I remember learning I hadn’t gotten an event permit for one of our first events and couldn’t sell alcohol. I was crying on the floor because I thought the city was going to come shut us down on the day of. We decided not to sell alcohol but continued with the event and it went so well!
I learned there are so many details to figure out. Do your research, but also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t figure out all of the details the first time. Running a business is a practice, be kind to yourself!
3. How has your life changed now that you’re pursuing your passion and living your dream?
Well I’m not waitressing anymore. I’m making my own hours, working from home. I’m my own boss and that is one of the best parts. I try to have fun with it.
4. What’s your favorite part about owning your own business/your career?
I love meeting fellow entrepreneurs. That is my favorite part, talking to other people about making it work doing the things they love.
Also I throw parties for a living! (Well not currently) but what’s not to love!
5. What does supporting women-owned businesses look like to you?
It is my MISSION to help female entrepreneurs make money doing what they love. Period. I love helping my community learn these systems or certain pathways. I basically figured out a lot of this on my own and wish I had more of a roadmap. It is my job to make sure you don’t make all the same mistakes that I did, plus introduce you to a bunch of other cool entrepreneurs also kicking ass.
6. How has your brand/packaging/website changed or improved your business?
My website is killer! It is sooo much more dynamic and fun than my old website. It makes so much more sense, it is easier to navigate, I swear it converts more, and most importantly it showcases what I do in a way I am proud of.
Want more info on this amazing girlboss? You can follow Phoebe on Instagram @phoebesherman and @girlgangcraft. Check out her website: https://www.girlgangcraft.com
Know of someone we should interview for our MoneyMak(her) series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org