We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Rawls and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
This is a tricky question for me because I recognize that I grew up with tremendous privilege. This has allowed me to take significant risks throughout my life without the fear of catastrophic failure. From studying abroad in Europe during high school when I knew no one on the content to doing the same thing in college, to moving to Washington, D.C. when I was a born and raised California kid to starting my first business in 2014 to opening up my third during a pandemic, I haven’t really failed (yet…). This has allowed me to take bold risks, but more importantly it has inspired me to make sure that I create an environment around me where others can take bold risks as well! I have always had a net appear when I left, and I hope to be able to be that net for others, the way my friends and family have always been that net for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My vocational background is dynamic and sort of random. From working in hospitality and hotels to health care consulting to tourism to becoming a military contractor and now settling on crafty entrepreneur I have discovered both what I love and what I don’t love. I recognize my strengths lie in truly understand what makes for a good customer experience in any given setting. I also recognize my faults and my inability to work with/for people I don’t/can’t respect. I don’t regret any of my past positions, no matter how traumatizing because they helped get me to where I am now. They also showed me that customer service, and more specifically, customer recovery is my super power. I have always been proud of being able to respond appropriately and professionally to turn a negative situation into a positive one (or at least a neutral one!). The Crafter’s Library, my newest venture, is the culmination of a decade of trying to discover who I am, what my brand is, and how to connect with others in a meaningful and fulfilling way. And I wouldn’t be here without the lessons learned from each position I’ve held over the years.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Santa Barbara is magical. Our first day would be spent getting spa treatments. If we wanted to splurge on a day pass at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, we’d get some massages and facials and then lay out by the pool. After that we’d take a nice long walk on the beach before going out onto the water for some amazing costal kayaking with Santa Barbara Adventure Company. In the evening we would head downtown for delicious Italian food at Mizza located in La Arcada Plaza. We’d end the evening with a walk along the beach before crashing. Day two would take us into the Santa Ynez valley for wine tasting and horseback riding! We’d spend the morning going out on a trail ride and the afternoon walking from tasting room to tasting room in Los Olivos. Day three would be relaxed again, perhaps starting with an hour long foot massage at the Little Rainbow Foot spa. We’d then head to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus and take a stroll around my old college stomping grounds before getting a quesarito at Freebirds in Isla Vista. We’d spend that afternoon watching the surfers and the dolphins play in the waves off campus point. We’d end that day with a drive in movie at the West Winds drive in! Our last day in Santa Barbara would have to include a hike and a visit to the Mission of Santa Barbara, taking in and learning more about the indigenous peoples of this area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The list of people who have helped get me to this point in my life is long and difficult to weed down. The first group of people I need to recognize is my family. My mom and dad and step mom raised me to value the contributions of others, my grandmother helped me recognize the world beyond my self. My brother and step sister helped me realize that no matter what is happening in life, no matte how we may drift, when it matters family is there for you. I absolutely would be no where near as successful without some close friends. In particular I have to mention my closest friend Amber. She has always pushed me to be the best version of myself without ever telling me to change or be better. Her friendship makes me better. I also need to recognize my best friend Adam and his family. No matter how weird or goofy I was, Adam accepted me and allowed me to be me. There are countless others who have lent me support and encouragement from organizations I belonged to like the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and California and Maryland Youth & Government programs. The folks I met in those organizations are a large reason I have the cultural and political outlooks I do, valuing each person’s contributions for who and what they are.