I recently had the good fortune of visiting the studio of Lauren Greenwalt, local Portland artist and owner of Loop Jewelry. She was kind enough to answer my questions about how she stays organized as a small business owner. Check out our conversation below:
How did you get started making jewelry?
I come from a family of artists. When I came home from school, I painted instead of watching TV. As I got older and continued to paint, I noticed that I had a tendency to leave work unfinished. One day I just had the thought that working with metal would be a great medium for me. And I found that when I started making jewelry, I finished every project to completion with enthusiasm and didn’t stop until each piece was totally dialed in. I think that completing any task is like that – you just have to figure out how to make it speak to you. It has to be a conscious process.
How do you keep your studio so organized?
I know where all materials are, at all times. If I need to grab something, its right there within arms’ reach. I try to keep the most important items at my fingertips, always. That’s really important because – for me – structure and form equal function. When my studio is organized, it helps me to focus on creating, rather than spending energy trying to find things. And my jewelry is all about form and structure, so I feel like staying organized is mirrored in my work.
How do you stay on top of orders and processing times?
I process orders as soon as they come in. That helps me to stay on top, even if things are slow. I never procrastinate because it… blocks me. I have a three day “grace period” policy and all orders must fall within that window. It’s all about flow.
Tell me about your jewelry display here! It’s beautiful.
Thank you! This display is not inventory, these are original pieces that I work from when I’m creating a new piece. When I go to fill an order, I pull the key down and use its shape and size as a model for the new piece.
They’re so organized… how did you come up with that idea?
I used to have the keys boxed up in individual Ziploc bags inside of a box. It was very difficult to find what I needed. It probably took an extra 10-15 minutes per necklace every time I went in looking for the key. Now, it’s visual, easy to find and I don’t waste any time finding the piece I need! I love it.
What is one tip you could give to other small business owners about keeping their workplaces organized?
Take your time, do one thing at a time. Lists are heaven sent! And make sure you have a functioning efficient space that you enjoy being in.
Lauren’s gorgeous Loop Jewelry creations can be found on Etsy and in a number of Portland boutiques as well.