We're off on our Pacific Northwest adventure and Jes from Matsumoto Studio is here today to do a giveaway and tell you a little more about her story of starting a small business with her sister. I did not even realize she and I went to the same college or that we were there at the same time until she sent this to me. She also quit her job to follow her dream...
After high school, I moved from Maui to San Diego to attend college. I missed home and found myself incorporating much of what I loved about Hawaii into my artwork. After graduating from the University of San Diego in 2006 with a degree in Visual Arts, I decided to live and work in San Diego. I worked at several jobs while also freelancing as a graphic designer. Two years ago, despite having a steady full time job as a graphic designer at a museum, I decided that this was the time for me to pursue my longtime dream of starting my own design and paper goods company. My sister, Jen, who also received a Visual Arts degree from USD in 2011 was in school pursuing a graduate degree at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, but was willing to help out as much as she could. We told ourselves then and continue to tell ourselves -- If not now, then when?
I knew that if I hadn’t taken the chance at that time, then Matsumoto Studio would have never become a reality. It was exciting (but also scary!) to quit a secure job and begin this new life and business adventure. One of my major struggles was making sure that I started the business the right way. I spent countless hours researching business topics and reading tips from other handmade business owners and blogs. It was time-consuming but definitely time well spent.
I also wouldn’t have been able to do it without the encouragement of my family, friends, and boyfriend (now fiancée), Rob. My mom, who always supported me to pursue art, is also a huge help and inspiration.
Jen and I consider Matsumoto Studio to be “tri-coastal” since we live part-time in Hawaii, part-time in California, and part-time in New York. Home, however, will always be Hawaii and you will find that our Japanese heritage and Hawaii upbringing has a huge impact on our design aesthetic. We continue to be inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us, the uniqueness of the people and cultures of Hawaii, and the importance of family and friends. We also take pride in working with small local businesses and make sure that our products are eco-friendly.
A day in the life of Matsumoto Studio is never the same. Depending on where we are or what we are doing, everyday is different. Whether we are together or thousands of miles apart, we bounce ideas off of each other and work on different projects together. Presently, we are preparing for the Made in Hawaii Festival. This will be our first big festival and we are very excited (and maybe a little intimidated).
We are putting our heart and soul into this little business and excited for what the future holds!