This week in our “Sub Spouse Small Business” series, meet Brittany Albrecht of East Ave Art! Based in Portsmouth, Brittany creates handmade, small batch, unique polymer clay earrings. What started as a pandemic hobby turned into a great, lucrative business. Read more of her story below!
Name: Brittany Albrecht
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Current Duty Station: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard- Kittery, ME
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: My business is called East Ave Art. My product is handmade, small batch, unique polymer clay earrings. I chose the name of my business from the combination of both of my kid’s names (Easton & Avery).
Q: What made you choose this type of business?
A: Sounds like the typical COVID thing to say…but I came across the idea of creating with polymer clay through TikTok. It was smack dab in the middle of the pandemic when TT really became popular, and all these trends began. After seeing more and more videos of others making these amazing pieces of jewelry, I thought it would be fun to try something new…what better time to start then while stuck at home, right?? I love to craft, and it is such a relaxing outlet for me (especially with 2 little ones at home)!
Q: What motivated you to start your business?
A: I went into the polymer clay world with absolutely no intention of making it a side business or selling anything that I made- I intended for it to be a hobby I did to wind down at night after a long day with my kids. But as I started to really dive deep into creating, I really started to fall in love with it. My mom took it to her advantage that she had her own personal jewelry maker (she was also my guinea pig at the beginning) and started to ask me to make her pieces that matched outfits and that she could wear to work. Family and friends really started to take notice in my work, asking if I had any I’d be interested in selling to them. With the pandemic in full swing, online shopping became more prevalent, so I figured what better way to get my art out there than by selling on social media- where most people spent their time! There is nothing more exciting to me now then seeing people out and about wearing something that I created with so much hard work and love (and time),
Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a submarine spouse?
A: Some days are absolutely harder than others. Being a stay-at-home-mom is a huge job in and of itself, but to add a small business is a whole ‘nother ball game. I try my best to take advantage of nap time and bedtime for one. Of course, there are dishes to be done, or laundry to be folded, but I like to use the time I spend on earrings as self-care time for myself. It really keeps me sane. My husband is also such a great supporter in everything I do that involves my small business. He does not hesitate for a second to take the kids to the park or play with them in the other room so that I can pop my headphones in and get some uninterrupted work done- whether that be taking photos of my product, endless amounts of sanding, or packing up orders to get to the post office. He is such a huge help!
Q: Any advice for fellow submarine spouses who want to start their own business?
A: I say just bite the bullet and go for it! I was honestly very hesitant about the amount of labor that came with starting a small business (and some days still am), but it was the best thing that I have done for myself. I have an outlet that I am genuinely passionate about and love sharing with others. While my business is still on a smaller scale, there is always room for growth- more customers, starting a website, more branding materials. No matter how small it starts, just starting is enough. If you can share your passion with others, then why not just do it?
Q: Favorite thing(s) to do in your current duty station?
A: My favorite thing to do in the Maine/New Hampshire area is to go apple picking and to the pumpkin patches. There is nothing more amazing than fall in New England-the changing color of the leaves, apple cider, cider donuts, the crisp, cool air-there’s nothing better!
Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?
A: East Ave Art can be found on both Facebook (East Ave Art) and on Instagram (@east.ave.art).