This time around, we're talking to Savannah Kurka of Savvie Studio. She's been with the
DIME Store since the very beginning, and her business has flourished like no other. She's constantly planning, researching, and creating. She's undoubtedly one of the most inspirational, encouraging ladies we've ever met, and we're thrilled she gave us this interview! Let's get to it!
1. Tell us about what you do. How did Savvie Studio get its start?
Savvie Studio is a home goods + accessories brand based out of Denton, Texas. I primarily focus on home goods and gifts that celebrate life, nature, and the spaces that we share with those that we love. Savvie Studio started in 2013, shortly after The Dime Store opened. I had just taken a digital fabrication class at UNT (laser cutting, 3D printing, etc.) and was so inspired by everything happening within the creative community of Denton. I decided to invest my entire savings into a laser cutter and turn my small college apartment bedroom into a full blown laser cutting studio. The rest is history from there!
2. We've noticed a lot of your new products are plant-themed. What drew you to include air plants in your work? Do you have any tips for plant care?
A huge part of that shift was to make my work more personal. I have always been fascinated by plants. I spent a lot of my childhood with my Grandmother, who could keep anything alive and thriving. After she passed away, I felt a beautiful connection to her when I would slow down to care for my small plant collection. That small collection quickly became a huge obsession that expanded into my work. The tactile quality of what I make has always appealed to a very nature loving crowd so the shift felt very welcomed. I decided to start with air plants specifically because they are so easy to care for and are a great starter plant. If you are ever interested in learning more about air plants specifically, feel free to check out the air plant care guide on my website: https://savviestudio.com/pages/air-plant-care
3. What was one of the biggest difficulties you encountered when starting out?
Savvie Studio started while I was still in college and working a handful of part time jobs. I poured every spare moment into getting this business off the ground, and was even late to my own college graduation because I was using my only day off to fulfill Etsy orders! Looking back on the beginning days of working multiple jobs at a time, and filling orders through the wee hours of the night, makes me so grateful that I can now call this my full time job.
4. How do you stay inspired?
For my own creative practice, I crave time for silence and solitude (even it it has to happen after the rest of the world is asleep). Time where you promise yourself that you won't turn on a TV, or check your phone. Nothing is streaming and no one is going to interrupt your thought process. In that time I like to explore my instinctive tugs and let my mind wander. I let my instincts take over and find inspiration in where ever my mind goes.
I also seek inspiration in the everyday tasks of life. I'm a huge believer in listening to those tiny little tugs on your heart -- those things that make you double take or smile. It could be a pattern on a fallen leaf, a styled home in a magazine, or a crazy color combination on a book cover at the library. I'm constantly photographing or jotting down those points of inspiration. I feel that those tiny moments are the way that the world is quietly telling you your next step.
5. What does success look like to you?
My goals have evolved over the years, but one thing remains the same: to live a creative life that can somehow inspire others to follow their own fulfilling path. That would be worth its weight in gold to me.
6. What advice would you give to emerging creative entrepreneurs?
If you want to live a creative life, start now. While striving for perfection is great, waiting for perfection is detrimental. You may cringe at your stumbles, but that is only a sign of progress, not weakness. There is so much value in the mistakes you make along the way as you find your voice and create your brand or body of work.
Don't let the technicalities of running a business hold you back. The business side of things doesn't come naturally to most creatives, but there are so many resources out there to help. Don't be afraid to hire a CPA, or admit what you do not know. Others want to help you, sometimes you just need to ask.
For every dollar you spend, invest two dollars back into creative growth. Make friends and learn from their experiences, pick the minds of folks in different fields and various walks of life, and make sure you are okay with breaking a few rules before you pursue a creative career. You will be paving your own path, it will rarely be easy, and the day to day will never look like it does on Instagram, but it will be so worth it.