Stitching it all together... -

Stitching it all together…

This year has brought about some incredible developments… both personally, and in my career. One of my main goals has been to find my sweet spot.

The awesome thing is, getting clear on my sweet spot over the last year, I transformed the clients I was attracting into exactly the kind of clients I want to have; doing the work I’m passionate about:

My mission is to support small business owners and creative entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with ease and grace.

In September I started working with a new startup that hired me on for 15 hours a week. I know that may not sound like a lot to you, but I’m often juggling ~6 clients and ~4 other side projects. Quite frankly I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage it.

The great news was that it wasn’t difficult at all, because it was a pure JOY to be working with this team. Hello, sweet spot!

Solo Entrepreneur to Collaborative Entrepreneur
I often describe my Creative Business Consulting as the intersection where ‘Art meets Business meets Tech’. Given my experience as an artist myself – as well as my background in tech and entrepreneurship – I love empowering creative small business owners with the systems and structure to optimize and catalyze success.

Last year I declared I wanted to stop working solo, and instead collaborate on a solution that’s disrupting/game-changing my industry. To this end, I’m proud to announce the grand-fantabulous news:

I’ve joined on as Co-Founder & VP of Marketing at Stitch Labs!   

L to R: Andrew (Illustrator/Intern), Michelle (Co-Founder/Designer), Brandon (Founder/CEO/Developer), Jake (Co-Founder/Biz Dev), Willo (Co-Founder/Marketing)

Considering my first reaction after seeing Stitch was, “Why weren’t you around when I started my product line in 2007!?” it was only natural that I sign on to amplify their marketing efforts; shouting the good news from the rooftops, “Finally, there’s a better way!” In the first few months we tripled their traction, I traveled to Baltimore for the Summit of Awesome (a conference dedicated to the business side of craft), and we collaborated on two local speaking events focused on supporting small business owners [1, 2].

Some of you may have seen my posts about Stitch over the last few months. In particular, 5 Things I Learned the Hard Way: Tips on Inventory Management, and more recently our new animated overview video, How Stitch Works (yup, I dug into my old school Flash Animation skills to crank this out):
Note: While most of what you see in the overview video is my illustration and animation, the illustrations of John & Laura, from the Stitch website, are thanks to our talented artist/intern, Andrew.  

Moving forward in my new role as Co-Founder & VP of Marketing, I’m excited for the opportunity to continue connecting authentically with our current customers, further develop our branding and communications, and partner with Jake to reach out to the millions of makers and sellers whose businesses can benefit from the unifying power of Stitch.

With my background in Design and UX/UI, I’m able to work with Brandon and our awesome designer, Michelle, to continually refine the usability and effectiveness of our web app.

I’m also really excited to help grow our team, and have a hand in cultivating our company culture. While we all wear many hats, it’s clear that we agree we’re most effective when we work within our strengths. A gospel I’ve been preaching for a while now.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work (Yes, I just used that)
Going back to the Sweet Spot, I realize this won’t always be easy, nor am I getting paid the big bucks – because hello, it’s a startup – but when I believe in something whole-heartedly, I’m willing to take risks. Dive in. Make it mine. Do whatever it takes. Additionally, I’ve come to realize how much I thrive on collaboration, and it’s been a priority above all else to find synergistic partners.

After being self-employed for so long, I didn’t make this decision lightly, but working with this rockstar team for the last 4 months has given us the opportunity to see how well we work together. It’s been heartwarming and inspiring to witness the level of humility, communication, and mutual respect; not to mention the wicked talent and ability to iterate fast–one of the keys to startup success!

In just the last few months we’ve received unbelievable press coverage, blog support, launched Etsy integration, and continue to move at a lightning fast pace. Exciting times!

I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the Stitch Labs team, developing a solution that’s revolutionizing inventory management and helping so many awesome, independent creatives. And the best part is… this is only the beginning.

Come say hello to @StitchLabs on Twitter, join us on Facebook and tell your maker, mover & shaker friends about Stitch!

Thanks for reading, and for all of your awesome love and support.

Related Post: Here’s Jake’s announcement post on the Stitch blog!

UPDATE: We Raised $1 Million in Seed Funding!

Leave a Reply 10 comments

laura - December 19, 2011 Reply

Congratulations Willo! This is so exciting. It’s fantastic to see you truly thrilled at this opportunity, and it seems like the perfect fit for your expertise and personality.

Steve Holmes - December 19, 2011 Reply

Congrats Willo!! Its been a privilege to collaborate with you on a few projects and have your amazing gift at connecting people actually affect me! You’re a wise and talented person who’s only limitation is your own ambition.

I look forward to seeing kick-ass work from you and Stitch. Rock on!

David Delp - January 5, 2012 Reply

Nice work Willo. I love hearing about your new collaboration. Collaboration is probably the best thing anyone can do in this world. Collaborate is also a word that is fun to say. Sounds like an engine, which ranks it among the onomatopoetic.

    Willo O'Brien - January 5, 2012 Reply

    Onomatopoetic is a fabulous word in and among itself!

    Thanks, David, and wonderful connecting with you more today.

The Second Rule of Pricing: Keep it Sustainable | papernstitch - February 7, 2012 Reply

[…] *image via WilloToons: Sweet Spot […]

Rebecca Waggoner - February 13, 2012 Reply

You are an inspiration, and I LOVE your venn. If it’s geeky, then colour me geek. I’m in.

    Willo O'Brien - February 13, 2012 Reply

    Yay! Thank you, Rebecca! Geeks FTW. 🙂

A New, Yet Familiar Face in the Lab….Permanently! | Stitch Labs Blog - February 18, 2012 Reply

[…] product, more customers, and an even better team. If you’ve got a couple more minutes, please read her blog post about coming to Stitch Labs. It’s worth your time. You’ll also notice, her blog is much more nicely done than ours. […]

John Corcoran - July 18, 2012 Reply

I have a version of this ven diagram hanging on my wall next to my desk to serve as a constant reminder to find stuff/clients/work in my sweet spot. However, the diagram is nowhere near as elegant and nice as yours. So I’m going to print this one up instead. Thanks!

    Willo O'Brien - July 19, 2012 Reply

    Thanks, John!

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