We love hearing stories about our coworking members who turn passions or hobbies into exciting career paths. Sandi Sanchez is a shining example of this, although her journey hasn’t been without its ups and downs. While it’s exciting to be able to do what you love for a living, many creatives and small business owners can attest to the countless hours of extra work that goes on behind the scenes. This creates a challenge of finding balance between hustling and finding time to relax and appreciate the little accomplishments.
Over the course of a few years, Sandi was able to grow her passion of resin art into a successful Etsy shop, an instagram page with 12K+ followers and a business that offers online and in-person learning opportunities. We asked Sandi eight questions about her journey getting to this point, and what she foresees for her business in the years to come. Check out her answers below:
When and how did you get started experimenting with resin?
I started experimenting with resin in 2019. I was looking for a hobby at the time. Initially I wanted to try acrylic pours or dutch pours from videos I had seen on YouTube. I ended up getting a bottle of resin by accident. Once I realized what resin was, I started experimenting on my own. The first few resin casts I created were definitely not my best but over time and practice they started looking pretty decent! I still do acrylic pours at times though.
Did it start as a hobby or was it always a business?
Becoming a resin artist never my intention. At the time I was working at a local shoe store while going to school, I wanted to be a teacher but things don’t always go as planned. Having a hobby helped me focus on something else when I wasn’t working or studying. After some time I started getting better at creating and I used Instagram to display my art. It wasn’t until recently that my art account really took off. Still it was not a business, just a hobby. In the beginning I really had no system so I knew it was time to get serious about it. Social media made it possible for me to grow a decent following rather quickly. But had no idea the struggles of actually running a business.
What’s something surprising people might not know or understand about resin art?
There is so much to learn about resin art! So many different specializations, types of resin systems and ways to use resin. Floral preservation, woodworking, functional or decorative pieces for the home are just a few. Not just that but you need to how to work around resin, she is very finnicky and likes attention. For example, you have to work in a certain temperature otherwise some pieces may not cure properly.
This is now your full-time business, right?
I actually do a little bit of other things alongside resin art. I offer resin art workshops, mostly as a way to connect with others but also as a form of therapy. Creating soothing or entertaining videos is a fun way to have my art reach thousands of eyes sometimes but I really have enjoyed having people see and experience it for themselves. I am also working with other creatives I’ve met online on how to use social media to either grow or start using social media to improve their business marketing. When I’m not teaching, creating, editing, I am an eye technician at a family owned ophthalmology practice!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
The most important lesson I have learned as an artist is that everything takes time. Whether it’s learning a new medium, technique, to understanding the business side of getting paid as an artist. Everything takes time to learn. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like my art and that is ok. You start to build a community that will always support you and that is probably the biggest reward for me. I strongly believe we are all artists and bring something beautiful to the world.
How do you stay creative in your work?
Because resin art was initially a hobby turned business, I quickly became burnt out because I was no longer creating for fun. So for some time, I decided to stop selling to get my flow back. Like writers, I believe artists can get creativity blocks. It comes in waves and you just have to ride them. The best way for me to stay creative is to create just for myself again until I am ready to share again. I also listen to my community to see what’s something they would love to see at my upcoming product launches.
Can you share a bit about your intro to resin art course?
Yes absolutely! I created this online experience for anyone interested in learning the basics of resin art. Terminology, procedure, safety measures, supplies and equipment as well as a unique resin discount code for the resin I use. I wanted to be able to provide an online resource as well as an in person experience. Shout out to WordTopia Sisters I met here at Hygge for helping through technical difficulties!
What’s next for you in this venture?
Even though I am still experiencing a lot of firsts as a maker like pop-ups, local shows and group workshops, I have plans to be able to teach other small business owners in particular creatives and makers how to use social media as a resource. Like I said before, we are all artists and social media definitely helped me embrace that. Even about myself because I never considered myself an artist until now.