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interview :: anna eaves of arrow + sage

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featured-annaName Anna Eaves
Age 29
Business Arrow + Sage
Anna is the owner and maker behind her small business and brand, Arrow + Sage. Her home studio offers handmade, small batch ceramic wares for garden and home.

website / faceboook / twitter / instagram

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you feel called to do? I’m Anna, and Arrow + Sage is my new brand and home studio! I handcraft small batch ceramic wares. Ultimately, I feel called to live a life loving others, making art, and being the art and workmanship of our Creator’s hands. In the words of Emily Freeman, “Jesus reminds us we are art and empowers us to make art.  There isn’t only one right way to do the job of glorying God. There are many ways, a million little ways, that Christ is formed in us and spills out of us into the world.”

How did your business start? I have a lifelong background in fine arts and photography. My mom graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BFA and she taught me so much growing up. My brothers and I always had paper and paint and supplies to make and do just about anything creative we could dream up. I minored in Art/Design at NCSU in 2007, but when I graduated I just couldn’t see myself doing anything with art to make a living. I didn’t even really entertain the idea. I just went straight to a day job that had “design” in the title. I switched careers eventually, and thought I was happy, but I wasn’t. Last fall, my husband encouraged me to leave my day job and take some time to be me before we started a family. I’d played around with pottery, but never anything serious. My mom’s also a potter and she taught me to hand-build. Once I left my job, I had the mental space to think, create, and breathe and my art just started happening in so many ways! Pottery was one of them. I started getting requests for planters and other ceramic wares and so I decided to open an Etsy shop. It’s all really pretty new to me!

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go here What is your favorite part of owning your own business? http://nepa.nl/tmp.php What is the most challenging part and how do you work through it? Oh man, getting to create all the doggone time! It’s a big part of who I am, and who God created me to be. When I think about God as our Creator, the Designer of the world and universe, and of people and hearts and souls, I’m overwhelmed. When I think of how He designed each of us, made us each in His image, I know deeply that there’s something in us that longs to make art. Whether that’s art by the world’s standards, or the art of hosting friends for dinner, it’s all art. And when we make our art and give it to the world, something amazing happens. Oh but it’s hard! My biggest challenge is getting caught up in the sale or the wholesale inquiry, and forgetting that I’m making art because I’m designed to make art, and what comes of that is ultimately in God’s very capable hands. Sales are vital and necessary to run a business, but I have to remind myself that I have control over how much I take on and what I want my business to look like. It can be tiny, it can be large, and either one is OK!

go to site Where do you get your creative inspiration from? Gosh, it’s everywhere! There are so many makers and doers to watch, learn from, and be inspired by. But I’ve learned that it’s important to make sure I spend time doing other things, besides just cranking out pottery. It gives my mind and creativity space. I love to garden, and that’s a great way for me to step away and be refreshed. When my mind is at rest, ideas often just pop up!  I jot them down in Evernote and keep it movin’.

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How do you keep from falling into the comparison game – comparing yourself to others in your field?  What a struggle in this day and age!  I love Instagram – most days. Ha! When I find myself comparing myself to someone else in their life or work or art – or all three! – I remember a very down to earth quote from Jon Acuff: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” We are all in different places, and businesses, and seasons in our lives that only the Lord fully understands. Let it be what it is and move forward with listening ears. Learn from mistakes, learn from those you admire, and keep growing!

Is there an area in life or business that God is calling you to take a risk? For sure. I recently made the decision to turn down a wholesale offer with an online brand/retailer that I was so excited about. It just didn’t feel like the right time, and I let it go.

What are your fears within that risk and how are you navigating it {well}? I was totally afraid I’d never have another opportunity like that. But, God knows what He’s doing with me and with the work of my hands! He just keeps reminding me every time I forget that His plan is best and I try to listen to Him. Honestly when I let it go, I felt such peace. It was incredible.

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What do you know now that you wish you had known 5 years ago? I wish I’d taken time to make space for my art while I was still working my day job. People do it all the time! My husband has always been such an encourager of that part of me, but I just didn’t listen to him. I wish that I had!

What advice would you give to women who are striving to have a healthy work/life balance? That’s so tough! I would say, it’s OK, no, I would encourage you to learn to say no. Too often I’ve said yes when I should have said no and it’s never pretty. God can definitely use those overwhelming times to speak to our hearts and we can learn so much! But, sometimes, just say no.

What is your afternoon pick-me-up routine? Iced coffee. Fully loaded. Cream and sugar.

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What scripture do you cling to? Rev. 21:5-7 “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.’”

How has your faith played a role in your journey as an entrepreneur? Oh how much I have to let go and trust to Jesus. He is the Beginning and the End. My plans are just my plans. There’s comfort in knowing that no matter the direction I take in my life or business, He has made it all work for His glory, and for my good.

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Name 3 people you would want to invite to dinner. Emily Freeman (I love her book “A Million Little Ways” – changed my life, in case you couldn’t tell from my interview answers!),  Melanie Shankle (She’s hilarious. And honest!), and Ashley Christensen (Local Raleigh, NC chef!  But I’d rather go to dinner at her place.)

Salty or Sweet? Both, at the same time! Like, sweet kettle corn with salt and butter. What?!

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