We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Morrison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
To be honest, there wasn’t much of a thought process behind it in the very beginning. I’ve wanted to have my own design business since I was young but I didn’t do much planning for it. It just kind of happened. When I was a kid, my mom would come home from work and I’d have redecorated the whole living room and moved the furniture around while she was gone. My first magazine subscription was to Better Homes & Gardens. Weird I know. Home decor and design has always excited me for some reason. I’ve just always been fascinated by it. Over the years I’ve challenged myself to see what I can create on a budget. It’s just fun for me! So when it came time to start my business I didn’t really have a plan. A few years ago, I had corrective bone surgery on my foot and was stuck at home for about 6 months. That’s when my creative vision began to hatch. I started making giant dreamcatchers then I branched out to macrame wall hangings. It started as a fun project and when I posted a few photos, people began asking to buy them. Next thing you know I had customers loving my products and recommending me to their friends. I started my Etsy store and was getting a few orders, but most of my sales were by word of mouth. This spring I started my own website, 9livesdesigns.co, where I started to showcase all my work. Once I began to turn a profit I decided to try my hand in the wedding world. After I was hired to decorate my first wedding I fell in love. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I just love weddings. I had so much fun planning and decorating my own wedding down in Key West that I wanted to do it again. Now I had the opportunity! It’s so rewarding to see the bride and groom’s faces when they see their decor for the first time! To get back to the question, it really was just trial and error behind the beginning of my business. When it comes to design and crafting I’m a “do first, think later” kind of gal. (I wish I was like that in all aspects of my life!) It’s very rewarding to be able to take an idea and from that create art that you can see and touch. And when people want to buy it, even better! My business started as a fun project that eventually turned into something profitable. However it has been a lot of work. If you are thinking of starting a business, make sure it is something you truly love! There will be days when you ask yourself, “What the heck am I doing here?” but if you stick with it, it can be extremely rewarding!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think every artist would like to think they stand out from others. I’m not creating to be different, I’m just creating to add more beauty to our world. It’s a good feeling to be able to make people happy, and when I can do that with my art, it’s a good day! I’m proud that I was able to start a business from pretty much nothing. I made my first dreamcatcher from scraps I had lying around the house. I bent a metal coat hanger I had in my closet to make the hoop. I didn’t spend a dollar. I’m proud of myself for taking such a small idea and turning it into something big. I’m proud that I stayed persistent and didn’t give up when it became challenging. It definitely was not easy. It’s scary starting your own business because some days you feel really confident about what you’re doing and other days you feel like an imposter. I just had to keep believing in myself and know that no matter what happened, I was giving it my all. I’ve learned that not every idea is going to work, but sometimes if you tweak it and rethink it, you can turn it into something amazing. I’ve also learned how to manage my stress. I tend to get multiple ideas at once and next thing you know I’m starting five different projects. I’ve had to slow it down and learn to focus on one thing at a time. This is still a challenge when I get really excited about something. My company, 9 Lives Designs, is all about love, peace, and acceptance. I’ve had to overcome some personal obstacles in my life and have dealt with mental health challenges as so many of us have. I’ve overcome a lot to get to where I am and I’m grateful everyday. I now feel the desire to spread happiness and hope. If I can make one person’s day brighter then I’ve done something positive to contribute to the universe.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Now is an interesting time in Miami and all cities. Going out doesn’t exactly look like it did before. I’m all about good food and natural beauty and you can definitely still find that! Since Miami has warm weather year round we are fortunate enough to have outdoor dining available to us even in the winter months. Some of my favorite outdoor dining spots are Sugarcane, the Rusty Pelican, and Mandolin. If you want to feel like you’re on vacation, sit outside at the Rusty Pelican and take in the views of the bay and downtown Miami. Mandolin and Sugarcane have more of a cozy outdoor garden feel. I don’t drink, but sugarcane has some great cocktails and mocktails. Some of my favorite outdoor places to visit are Vizcaya and Key Biscayne. Even just a walk down Miami Beach can be a fun afternoon. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll see. If you’re lucky you may even see a manatee saunter by! Now is a perfect time to bring back picnics on the beach! My company offers luxury bohemian picnic set ups. We bring all the decor, you bring the food and family! Kayaking and paddleboarding around the bay is really fun too. I’ve seen dolphins and stingrays! There are so many beautiful neighborhoods and parks in Miami. We are so lucky to have all this beauty year round. Now is a good time to throw on your mask and get exploring outside!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to three people! One to my husband, Jason, who has been my right hand man. He’s the kind of person you can show any idea to and he’ll have the whole thing drafted out in a day. He does a lot of wood working for the business and helps me create things I couldn’t do on my own. My business wouldn’t be where it is today without his hard work and creative thinking. He also has shown me nothing but support when it comes to my crazy ideas! Next I’d like to dedicate this to my mom, Louann. She has shown me nothing but support from day one. She is the one who bought me my first subscription to Better Homes & Gardens. She also showed me that you don’t need a lot of money to create a beautiful and peaceful environment. She taught me how to be thrifty and creative with what you have. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but it never felt that way. My mom always made our homes and gardens beautiful. I’d also like to mention my grandmother, Aileen. She had a great eye for design. Her home was always beautiful and tidy. She dedicated a lot of her time to her garden club and she was very skilled when it came to making floral arrangements. She won quite a few awards! I’d like to think that’s where I got my design eye from. When I started making floral arrangements for weddings I remembered everything she taught me when I was a kid.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/9livesdesigns/
Cassandra Trcka Jessica Babic
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