Alana Rivera of Etta and Billie [Maker Stories: Episode 72: Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 72 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story features Alana Rivera of Etta + Billie in San Francisco, California. As you'll learn in this episode, this is not Alana's first appearance on Indie Business Podcast.

After you enjoy this episode, I encourage you to listen to the first episode we did with Alana over five years ago (link below) because it will provide a super fun overview of how things have evolved in her life and her business during the past several years. Enjoy my interview with Alana NOW!

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Episode Show Notes

Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:

  1. Alana went from using soapmaking as a distraction, to using it as a business. (starting at 4:13)
  2. How living and working in San Francisco positively impacts Alana's entrepreneurial engine (starting at 6:00)
  3. The San Francisco Maker vibe that Alana taps into and loves. (starting at 8:00)
  4. Alana's transition from home manufacturing to a facility outside her home. (starting at 10:13)
  5. How having a baby have temporarily shifted Alana's priorities, mindset, and how the runs her business. (starting at 17:32)
  6. What Alana says you should consider if you are an entrepreneur contemplating parenthood. (starting at 28:35)
  7. How to follow Alana, and a little bit more about her products, artisan products for foodies. (starting at 39:50)

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

In this episode, Alana and I mentioned the following resources.

  1. Etta + Billie's first appearance on Indie Business Podcast
  2. Local manufacturing non-profit: SF Made
  3. Etta + Billie's Website
  4. Etta + Billie on Facebook
  5. Etta + Billie on Instagram

A few of the entrepreneurial points Alana and I discussed in this episode

  1. How parenthood changes everything.
    Alana talked about how challenging it is to be a parent and an entrepreneur. For those of you listening who are contemplating parenthood, Alana shared that being flexible is critical. She also mentioned how important it was for her to allow herself to “grieve” the life she had before a child was introduced into the situation. I think this is so wise. it may be hard for people who are not parents to fully understand the meaning behind that, and how it is not a negative thing, but really just a reality. Your life and your business will change if you decide to become a parent.
  2. Acquiring help and studio space.
    Alana has moved from her home office and manufacturing studio to a small space, to now, two spaces. She also has two full-time employees, two part-time employees, and a seasonal employee. This is a lot to manage, and Alana pointed out how getting help with her child is one of the chief things that has allowed her to integrate things so that all aspects of her life come together in a manageable way.
  3. Growth on your own terms.
    I love how Alana shared honestly that, for her, choosing parenting has also meant choosing a slower growth for her business. Not everyone will make a similar choice, but it is so freeing to know that you can choose what is right for you and not what other people think or say is right for you. A business does not have to be huge to be successful. Not only that, as Alana and I discussed, you can always change your mind and grow faster or grow more slowly as your journey unfolds. As she said, you are in the driver's seat!

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.