Episode 53: Phillip Ouellette of Springer Signcraft
Today I’m speaking with Phillip Ouellette, sign craftsman and the owner of Springer Signcraft in Waltham, MA. My friend Ari connected me with Phillip because she thought we’d have a lot to talk about and she was right. We talked later in the evening one night and maybe it was the fact that we’re both young parents and were completely exhausted, but Phillip and I were quickly able to let down our respective guards and to get vulnerable about anxiety and people pleasing in a really valuable way.
Phillip learned the basics of his craft while working for someone else, which obviously isn’t a requisite for opening a business, but it doesn’t hurt either. We talk about setting prices and sticking to them, putting things in perspective as a working parent, managing two businesses and getting comfortable in the inevitable chaos.
Phillip also has an Etsy shop where he sells beautiful sign replicas that he hand crafts. Say you climbed Mount Washington and it changed your life, Phillip could replicate a meaningful trail sign for you. As someone who’s found a lot of healing and confidence in climbing big mountains, I can relate to the emotional effect that nature can have on someone. As Phillip says, it’s a way for people to mark what they took from a hike without actually taking anything from the trail.
Personally the part of our chat about people pleasing and how much anxiety it can cause a business owner hit me like a ton of bricks. Making people happy, (or even just keeping them happy) is something that I really struggle with. I don’t mean to say that it’s not good to want to make people happy, it’s just occasionally exhausting to deal with unreasonable expectations from customers. One of my goals for 2019 is to learn to set better boundaries around what’s a reasonable request and what’s just someone flexing their power over me. Anyone relate to that?
Anyway, there’s a lot in this conversation and I hope you take as much from it as I did. Enjoy the show.
The Keeping Shop Retreat happened this past weekend and I’m still riding high from a full two days of being with people that actually understand being a brick and mortar business owner. It was a weekend filled with laughs, tears, opinions, suggestions and so much empathy. I’m grateful to my fellow attendees and I can’t wait to start planning version 2019. Email me if you want early access to info about next year’s retreat.