Not many children know what they want to do when they grow up, but Beth Snyder was an exception.
"It all started with a friendship bracelet pyramid scheme in fourth grade that landed me in the principal's office," she says. Her early entrepreneurial enthusiasm continued, transitioning into a high school polymer clay jewelry and accessory business, successful enough to fund her college education. It didn't stop there. In 2009, Beth and her childhood best friend, Carrie, bought their first letterpress, opened an Etsy account, and launched their company 1Canoe2. Now, with a company seven years strong, Beth is proving that the third time really is the charm.
Always embracing girl power, Beth says she owes a lot of her success to her Official Ladies Business Club. The group, which meets every other week, provides her with the support and feedback she needs to stay motivated and always moving forward. Based in Columbia, Missouri, her Midwest roots also laid the groundwork for the company's voice and inspiration.
"There's something magical about pulling a freshly printed piece out of the letterpress," Beth says. "Illustration allows us to curate our view of the world. Through 1canoe2, we can share the beauty of our corner of the world with everyone."
Each design is inspired by what Beth calls her "general zest and curiosity of life," but the beautiful illustrations aren't the only exciting projects on the forefront. The team of 12 is developing a candle line and also launching their first brick-and-mortar store in Fulton, Missouri this fall.
Launching a business is challenging. We asked Beth the difficult questions to make it easier for you to get your start-up off the ground. You're welcome!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started?
I wish I had had more confidence! No one knows your business better than you. No one. Business is hard, especially when it's creatively based. There are lots of feelings when you are an artist! Trying to make the best business decision without too much personal emotion tied to it is the biggest challenge.
What tech tool are you going crazy over right now?
We are completely obsessed with Slack right now. We can chatter, share files, work collectively on projects. It's amazing!
What's the hardest part of your day-to-day responsibilities?
Being brave and trusting your instinct, but still seeking information and making informed choices. Also, growth in any major amount is really hard on everyone.
Did you have a business plan when you first started?
Heck, no. First of all, we never could have charted where we were going. Second, I think many times business plans are excuses for people to stall and not get started. Just START.
What advice would you give to someone starting off now?
Keep your money straight. You'll never know what's going on with your business if you buy yoga pants on the company card.
See more of her work at 1canoe2.