We had the good fortune of connecting with Anita Maldonado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anita, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking has played a major role in my life and career. I took a huge risk when I decided to leave my “secure” government job of 16 years. It was a risk not knowing whether my business idea would work or whether or not it would succeed. However, I didn’t take the risk based solely on the business model. I took the risk on myself. I knew my work ethic and my drive. I knew I would make it work no matter what and that I would learn and grow and adapt as needed. Although I wasn’t sure if the business idea would succeed, I knew I would. Whether that meant pivoting and changing my original model, I knew I’d be successful no matter the circumstance and I feel that’s exactly what I’ve done.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Our art and DIY studio is set apart from others in the culture we’ve created. We are not just another art studio, we are a creative gathering space for the community. We’ve paid a lot of attention to detail to create a welcoming space for both the creative and non-creative to come in and feel at home. I am proud that we’ve created a space that crosses all generations, from young kids to tweens and teens, to moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. We’ve had them all! I’m also proud that we’ve been able to partner with some great businesses, our most notable is our relationship with Harrah’s Resort Southern California where we provide a monthly crafting event for their guests. They partnered with us just 4 months after we opened. It means a lot that they put their trust in us and we now have a year-long partnership with them.
How I got here professionally? The journey here was not what you’d expect. I had a career with the government for 16 years and although I had always been creative at heart, this career was anything but that. I came to a point in my life where I knew I was meant for more than what I was doing and I had to decide whether to continue on the well-traveled path or create my own. Was it easy? Yes and no. It’s never “easy” stepping out into the unknown. It’s never easy going against the status quo. It’s never easy leaving a “safe and secure” career and building something from scratch. However, is it worth it? Absolutely. I placed a bet on myself, I know my work ethic and I know how I’ve handled challenges in the past and so I knew I would be successful no matter what. I’m also a woman of faith and I knew, if God was for me, who or what would be against me and I hold fast to that today.
The lessons I’ve learned…I would always hear people say or read in books that as a business owner, you will never work as hard in your life, and that is a fact! I left a 9-5 to work 12-15 hour days. I’ve worked since the age of 15 and many times two-three jobs and this by far is the hardest work I’ve ever done but it’s the most rewarding. It may sound cliche but you get out what you put in. I’ve also learned to be resourceful and willing to change. You have to be constantly growing. You cannot be content if you plan to be a successful business owner. I’m constantly thinking about the customer and how we can provide the greatest experience for them. I want them to continually learn something new and make lasting memories in our creative space.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am blessed to live in such a great community like Temecula. There’s so much history, culture and of course plenty of restaurants and wineries to choose from. We are located in a small historical area known as Vail Headquarters. It’s been renovated and restored with some amazing businesses and you can spend a whole day here. We would start off with amazing coffee and delicious pastries from the Press Espresso. We would do some shopping at Nectar clothing store and Downtown Apothecary. We would stop in at Grazing Theory for some lavish charcuterie and mimosas and then grab lunch at one of the many eateries in the Cookhouse. Some of the other places to visit would be Old Town Temecula, which is filled with tons of amazing restaurants. Of course, we’d have to visit some of the gorgeous wineries in the valley and maybe even take a ride in a hot air balloon..
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to shoutout my husband and business partner, Gabriel Maldonado. If it wasn’t for him believing in me and supporting this crazy idea to quit my career and pursue this creative dream, I wouldn’t be here today sharing my story. It’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page and it makes the journey much more enjoyable. My husband keeps me grounded and continually gives me new vision and ideas towards our growth. When I’m overwhelmed with the “business” side he helps bring back the creative side and vice versa. I’m so thankful to have a supportive spouse by my side.