Emily Meyer: Young, Creative, & Opening a Business
I first met Emily in 2016 when she was working the counter for The Good Shop. The Good Shop was founded by Tippy Tippens, who was featured here in 2015. Emily then began working with me at Church Alley Coffee Bar and has been an essential piece of my business ever since. Emily owns La Lune Studios, a creative costume making and sewing business located just two blocks from the coffee shop. I asked her to write a few words about what it feels like to be just starting out. I hope you enjoy what she has to say as much I did!
It has been a very long and winding road and I’m just getting started.
When someone asks me how long La Lune Studios has been in business I usually tell them the short answer. That I started in 2016 and my first event was a pop up for Artwalk in Lafayette. Because that answer is easier to explain than the real one. I actually started my business in 2013 when I was 19 and didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
I had no intention of starting a business at all but when you’re young you just do things and don’t really think too hard about what it actually means. When I made my brother-in-law a bound sketchbook for his birthday, he told me I should try to sell the things I made and that I should check out a new shop that opened up called Red Arrow Workshop. I had no idea how wholesale or retail worked but I called the shop regardless not knowing what I was about to get myself into. To my surprise they wanted to work with me! They wanted me to sew products for them and help me develop products of my own. It was exciting news but I felt like a fraud.
They had no idea how young and inexperienced I was. That I learned how to sew by watching my mom and never received any real lessons. But I’ve always been really good at faking it until I make it so I started doing things to make it seem like I was more of a business - and less like a clueless 19 year old about to drop out of college.
I came up with the name La Lune and registered it as a trade name with the state so that I could open a bank account for my business. I asked my sister to design a logo for me (I still use it to this day). It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a vision or goals or plans for what my business would be like in the future. At the time I barely even knew what I wanted to make but I just kept going. I had a burning desire to make something, anything, and so I pushed through the next few years of really not knowing what my creative voice wanted to say. There were countless failed products, things I hated but thought other people would like, things I liked but thought other people wouldn’t like, things that were really awesome but I hated the process of making it.
Realizing what I didn’t want to do led me closer and closer to the things I’ve become so incredibly passionate about. It took a very long time to get here but it has been worth it. La Lune is still growing and changing but for the first time it finally has a clear direction and a cohesive style. It’s about a lot more than just products now. It’s about supporting a community of makers and inspiring creativity in everyone.
5 Things I would tell someone starting a business:
Most people don’t know what they’re doing either - don’t feel alone.
It’s ok to go at your own pace. There are no rules for how quickly you need to grow your business.
Make something everyday - even if it sucks and especially if you don’t want to create that day.
Taxes appear scarier than they are. Take a deep breath and pay an accountant.
Collaborate. It helps to get your name out if you partner up with other businesses and most importantly it fuels your creative fire to work alongside someone else with a fresh perspective and new ideas.