Be Original Americas

This week marked another virtual presentation that we were honored to be a part of thanks to an amazing organization called Be Original Americas. Be Original Americas celebrates individual design and promotes the protection of designers, their companies, and their authenticity. This week’s presentation was unique in that it was Be Original Americas’ first Worldwide Virtual Student Fellowship covering the many details of being a business owner in the world of design.

We, Modern Metal, got to take on the topic of GROWING PAINS: HOW TO START A COMPANY AND DO IT ALL YOURSELF. This topic is one our team is very passionate about, and we always enjoy the opportunity to be open and honest with students about the grit and glamour of being a business owner. Listed below are the top 5 most important details our team discussed with the students. Check it out!

  1. Stay creative and open-minded when pitching your ideas to other professional people! Always remember that those in other positions and careers may not have the same thinking process as you as an artist. For example, here at Modern Metal, we spend our days pitching to contractors and other construction people. Because of this, it is important to stay aware of the fact that they may approach our ideas in a more technical manner while we always think creatively. Be sure to find the parallel between yourself and with those you are speaking in order to truly get your ideas across.
  2. Mistakes happen! Find a silver lining and learn from them. Sometimes in your career, and life in general, the only way to learn is by making mistakes. Don’t let those mistakes define you, and use that new knowledge as power to propel forward.
  3. When it comes to education and career paths, go where the wind takes you! At times the pressure to define yourself academically or professionally can feel unbearable, but remember that you never know what the future will bring. Annie Kantor, our director of design, had a stint in law school before studying textiles, then ended up working with HVAC systems and starting Modern Metal. I, Marissa Connors, our project manager, went to school for fashion before joining Annie. Susan Wyman, our sales director, studied printmaking, fashion, and interior design prior to joining our team as well. No matter where you go, what you study, or what previous jobs you’ve held they will provide lifelong skills that can be applied to any field. Follow your passions and work hard, that is what will pay off in the end!
  4. When starting from the ground up, be prepared to do it all! Be realistic – you will not go from a team of three to a large scale company in a matter of months, so be prepared to take on each and every role for the sake of budgeting and building up your archive of business knowledge. In the beginning years of your business, you will be your own shipping department, sampling department, catering staff, receptionist, and so on. While this may sound tedious, these perfected skills and dollars saved will make a difference in the long run.
  5. 5. Most importantly – BE ORIGINAL! Always stay true to yourself and let those ideas, YOUR ideas, flow.