A Jar of Pickles

  • Hi Kirstie, nice to meet you! Tell us about yourself and what you create.
     
  • My name is Kirstie Wang and I create playful, simple cards & other paper goods at A Jar of Pickles.


    What was your AHA moment?


    I created a lot of graphics such as logos and flyers for student groups in college, and my roommates convinced me to start an Etsy (which was pretty new at the time!) I opened a shop for fun, thinking I’d sell maybe 1 or 2 cards—when I got my first couple orders, I’d print them on cardstock at Kinko’s! But my true AHA moment was when I was getting a consistent number of orders per week—the number wasn’t huge, but it made me realize people might actually like and want to share my stuff!

 

Where do you draw your energy and inspiration from?

I honestly spend at least 2 hours every day on blogs or Instagram, exploring new creative accounts and being so amazed by how many super talented people there are. It’s really motivating to see others working on creative pursuits, and from those interactions, I get to connect with some and my energy really comes from chatting with the creative community about to-do lists, challenges, and dreams—they’re all different from person to person but, at the same time, there’s so much to relate to.

 

What are you go-to’s as far as podcasts, books or blogs?

I listen to Proof to ProductWorkLife with Adam GrantHow I Built this, and read a lot of blogs about UX design—mostlyMedium design articles and the Invision blog. I also scroll Dribbble for daily graphic design inspiration.

What is the most challenging part of running your business?

One of the more difficult parts about running Pickles is that I have always worked full time while doing so—which I absolutely love, because I love my full-time job—but it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation after a long day of work to develop new products or package orders. But the MOST challenging part of working full time is that I have to take ALL my social media/product pictures on the weekends, during those golden hours of 8am-3pm when the sun is bright in the house, since I’m working during those hours M-F and I miss my chance!!

 

What is your favorite part of running your business?

My favorite parts about running A Jar of Pickles is anything to do with the customer: reading reviews, order checkout comments, or chatting with customers at pop-ups & craft fairs. There is truly nothing like hearing people talk about products you’ve created and why they’re buying your designs—“it’s perfect for my grandpa, who loves beets,” “my best friend always send each other bunny videos”—they really are profound moments.

 

What is the best advice that has been given to you?

Your business does not define your life. Knowing a greater life purpose, goal, and something to reflect on before bed & have it be the first thought that you wake up to—it makes a really big difference. There are times when I forget that and negatively obsess over sales numbers and regret some Insta-posts, there’s no peace in anything I’m thinking about—it’s super draining. But when I remember my faith in the Gospel & that I am made for something greater, every part of life (especially Pickles) becomes much clearer and more exciting!

What is the most challenging part of running your business?

One of the more difficult parts about running Pickles is that I have always worked full time while doing so—which I absolutely love, because I love my full-time job—but it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation after a long day of work to develop new products or package orders. But the MOST challenging part of working full time is that I have to take ALL my social media/product pictures on the weekends, during those golden hours of 8am-3pm when the sun is bright in the house, since I’m working during those hours M-F and I miss my chance!!

 

What is your favorite part of running your business?

My favorite parts about running A Jar of Pickles is anything to do with the customer: reading reviews, order checkout comments, or chatting with customers at pop-ups & craft fairs. There is truly nothing like hearing people talk about products you’ve created and why they’re buying your designs—“it’s perfect for my grandpa, who loves beets,” “my best friend always send each other bunny videos”—they really are profound moments.

 

What is the best advice that has been given to you?

Your business does not define your life. Knowing a greater life purpose, goal, and something to reflect on before bed & have it be the first thought that you wake up to—it makes a really big difference. There are times when I forget that and negatively obsess over sales numbers and regret some Insta-posts, there’s no peace in anything I’m thinking about—it’s super draining. But when I remember my faith in the Gospel & that I am made for something greater, every part of life (especially Pickles) becomes much clearer and more exciting!

 

What is your favorite thing about the handmade community?

I love how supportive it is. You’d think that since a lot of us are targeting the same audience, using the same social hashtags, etc, people would be stingy sharing resources or quiet about their insecurities, but in every creative group I’ve been a part of, it’s been really opposite—people are super engaged with each other and always rooting for each other. I think we all know how exciting running a small business is and want to celebrate, but also can share in the challenges when they come.
 

Who are some people you admire or look up to in this community?

The people who have started these amazing communities. Katie Hunt of Tradeshow BootcampRebecca Saylor of SF Etsy,  Grace of Craft Your Life Collective, and Sam of Makers Movement—these are all communities I interact with on a daily basis via Facebook or other online group forums.



If you could work on that one dream project, what would it be?

I really want to foil everything I make. I’ve only had one foil card, because I struggle with production, but, man, everytime I buy a planner or notebook or card I’m always drawn to those who FOIL. I used some gold leaf, hand-foiling for my wedding name cards and it was super fun and I loved the final product—maybe someday ✨


Find Kirstie online:

ajarofpickles.com // instagram.com/ajarofpickles_ // facebook.com/ajarofpickles