Interview: Randah O’Doherty Creative

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Like pretty much everyone on the planet, I can't get enough of polymer clay earrings. You would think with most people not actually leaving their homes (hopefully!) and the complex process of putting on a mask over earrings, they wouldn't feel so important, but alas, I can't stop buying them or getting excited over brands doing a really impressive job of making them.

One of those brands I got excited to find over the past year or so was Lola + Finn. Randah, the creator, has since rebranded to Randah O'Doherty Creative, and in addition to continuing to make the most adorable statement earrings, she's constantly creating truly wonderful graphics and stationery. Everything she's making is such an aesthetic dream, and I just want to live in the retro, colorful world she's creating. After falling in love with her earrings and drooling over her content for a while now, I was so excited to talk with Randah and learn about how she got her start and what her goals are for the future. Enjoy!

My pick: Just like Randah herself, I'm in love with the Mod Cow Print Earrings!

Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?

A: Absolutely! So when I first moved to Kansas City about four years ago, I joined an all-female collective @CherryPitCollective. I was so excited to meet other creatives in this new city and gain friendships and connections. The founder had an extensive Etsy course that was offered and I decided that that was something that I really wanted to learn about. I wanted to create something that emulated my aesthetic and join a popular platform where I could sell my goods.I wanted to do this for myself to grow as a designer and maker and have that opportunity to share my work with the community. It brought me a great sense of joy when I was validated for my work and customers purchased from me. When I started out, I did my research, used my resources, and networked with fellow creatives to figure out what I needed to do to build everything from the bottom. You just have to take the leap and be willing to put in the hard work to be successful.

Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?

A: I initially started out creating greeting cards and postcards and the support I got after doing my first “pop-up” was all of the validation I needed to ignite my passion to continue to create. I then received an overflow of support and love when I started creating earrings back in Spring of 2019. From then on I knew that I wanted to continue doing this and expand even more!

Q: What were your friends' and family’s reactions to you starting to creating your brand? Were you nervous to share it?

A: They were very supportive and proud of me for putting my heart and soul into creating something. I am a very determined person when it’s something that I believe in and am passionate about.

Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?

A: It’s not my full-time job, but I would love to eventually be my own boss someday, whether that’s with jewelry or graphic design, or some other creative venture! During the day, I am a full-time Graphic Designer for a local company. My dream is to one day become a freelance illustrator/designer and license out my artwork to different brands.

Q: What do you wish you had known when you first started your brand?

A: I wish I would have known different tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way, BUT I think it’s really important to keep trying, keep experimenting and not expecting things to come easy or free. It’s okay to make mistakes or do things unintentionally. We are all on our own paths. I see a lot of new makers expecting to grow so fast or try to get a ton of followers without actually putting any work into it or ask other successful makers that have put years into their craft, for free advice or knowledge without trying to figure it out themselves. I started creating polymer clay earrings about 2 years ago when it wasn’t so mainstream and information wasn’t so readily available and put a LOT of hours into learning and getting where I am at today. I think it’s so important to understand your brand, build a relationship with your customers and social following, really hone in on your design and aesthetic and have lots of trials and errors.

Q: Obviously, we’re in strange times right now so I have to ask everyone I talk to - how has COVID-19 affected your business and what are you doing to keep everything going during this time? What can people do to support you and others during all of this?

A: If anything, it affected it in a positive way. I was in-between jobs from March-July, so I was thankful to have that time off to be able to focus all of my time and energy into my craft. I think a lot of people have also started shopping small businesses more, because we’ve seen the effect that COVID-19 has had on a lot of small businesses, specifically brick and mortar shops and the service industry. Things aren’t easy for a lot of people right now, so getting any support that people can offer, whether it’s sharing a post, liking, commenting, recommending shops to friends, buying gift cards, or anything at all. It doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary, because we all know that times are very difficult right now.

Q: Can you tell me a little about your recent rebranding process and what the decision was behind that?

A: I wanted to do a rebrand for a while now and I thought that it was time to just jump in full force and create a fresh, new brand. My business name now reflects me better and reflects my overall aesthetic. It’s super vibrant, funky, and retro and just makes me so happy!

Q: What do you wish more people knew about shopping small?

A: I wish more people knew how important it is to support your community. When you buy from a local business or small business, it directly impacts and supports that individual or their family. I know that when someone purchases something from me, that income directly affects aspects of my life and I am so appreciative of it. Shopping small also means finding unique, higher-quality items more likely made my hand and not mass-produced. A human actually made that item and poured their heart and soul into it. It should feel good on both ends (a win-win) that you’re supporting someone’s dream, helping someone pay their bills, helping to put food on someones table, or helping someone provide for their family.

Q: Favorite item in your shop currently?

A: My favorite item in my shop are my Mod Cow earrings! Cow print is really “in” right now and I loooooove making them!

Q: What goals do you have for your business going forward?

A: My goals are to make a wider variety of items. I want to eventually do more graphic-based art, such as illustration or surface pattern design. I am always trying new mediums and I think eventually my polymer clay earrings will faze out (just like the trend).

Q: Lastly, let’s spread the love. What are a few of your favorite small shops owned by women that you personally shop from?

A: Some of my favorite shops that I know personally (and are local to Kansas City) and have shopped from are:









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