Meet Emily, owner of Strings On Sticks

Strings On Sticks
Jack Grant
Jack Grant

Founder and Co-owner

To honor Women’s History Month, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world, starting with those in our city. Throughout the month of March, we will be sharing stories from female entrepreneurs running shops and businesses of all sizes here in Chicago.

Emily with Strings on Sticks

Strings On Sticks offers a variety of macrame projects including both standard and custom designs. Some best-sellers include plant hangers, wall hangings, and coasters.

What made you start Strings On Sticks?

I’ve always been an avid crafter and creator! When COVID struck last year, I was one of the many in the world that was laid off from my job. I used this new free time to get back to my crafty roots and indulge in what I hadn’t had time for in years. I was even able to supplement some income by selling my products as well! I had posted a few things on Facebook Marketplace and received many orders and custom requests. This traction prompted me to begin putting serious effort into building my Instagram and Etsy as well.

Have there been any challenges you have had to overcome as a woman-owned business?

There have definitely been challenges, though I have been fortunate enough that these weren’t necessarily brought upon by being a woman. I’m still very new and growing though, so I don’t want to jinx myself! My biggest challenge, in general, is wanting to say yes to everything!

Do you have any advice for other women thinking of opening up their own businesses?

Start small, do your research, use social media, take good pictures, and don’t feel like you need to say ‘yes’ to every request!

Start small – even now, most of my products are made-to-order so that I don’t waste a ton of products. I make a few example items to showcase what I offer, but only make new products after receiving an order.

Social media is a great way to grow. Facebook is still my #1 source of orders, I have made a ton of acquaintances and received orders on Instagram, and TikTok has amazing small business advice and support. Post often and interact with others!

For pictures – you do NOT have to invest in a fancy camera. I use an iPhone 6 for all of my photos, and it works fine! Use natural lighting when you can, clean backgrounds, and light props to fit your aesthetic.

What is your favorite thing about owning your business?

I’ve made some great acquaintances through opening Strings On Sticks! Community over competition is really a thing in the small business world. Everyone is super supportive and helpful.

Thank you for all you do and for being such an important part of the local Chicago community!

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