We had the good fortune of connecting with Clay Campbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Clay, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The topic of risk when it comes to running a business is a challenging one. The answer to how much risk to take when making decisions can be a blurry line sometimes and as most small business owners would probably agree, I’ve found that more often than not creating a successful business requires a bit of trial and error in the beginning.

When I first started Timber Wave, it almost felt like every decision I made was based on impulse and that the future of my success as a business was based on what little knowledge and intuition I had at that time. Big decisions with higher risk such as, what material suppliers I should use, weather or not I should take out a business loan or invest in buying bulk supplies, were topics that I spent a lot more time researching before considering. Smaller decisions with less risk such as signing up for a business class, building a website or applying to sell my goods at a street fair, were much easier to make and as I’ve experienced the results of my decision making I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and I always try my best to calculate and discern the risk vs. reward before making any career decisions.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It has been a long challenging journey to get to where I am now as a business but the greatest thing about it is that there’s always room to grow. Learning is what keeps me excited and motivated to continue creating art and I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of support in pursuing what I love and turn a hobby of mine into something that generates income. One of the core values that sets my work apart from others is that I want to tell a story more than I want to sell a product. I want to share my passion for the ocean and the joy it brings to my life. As a starting point, each piece I create has to be unique and have it’s own personal touch. This is the main reason why I choose to primarily work with wood, because every piece has it’s own uniqueness and is part of something that was once living. In a world where mass produced, factory made products are the norm, I believe it is not only important to create a product that is meaningful, but also necessary to utilize sustainable materials and production methods whenever possible.

The most important thing I’ve learned about running a successful business is that you have to love what you’re doing. The moment you lose the love for what you put into the world, is the moment you lose sight of your purpose. So my goal has always been to make sure my job never feels like a job. I love the way Steve Jobs paints this picture by saying ” Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My family and I are pretty easy going when it comes to entertainment and we also live in one of the most beautiful laid back locations in the world (southern CA) so the day would likely start with visiting one of our local beaches for some surfing or possibly having brunch and a cocktail at The Fisherman’s restaurant on San Clemente Pier, overlooking the ocean. Then perhaps we’d cruise up the street on foot to Avenida Del Mar for some ice ceam or live music at The Beach Fire Grill. There are so many great little shops and restaurants in the area but my wife and my favorite place to have dinner is a place with fancy spanish cuizine called South of Nicks. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, my wife Chelsea has always been my number one supporter. Weather it’s helping me package and deliver orders to the post office, lending her advice, or holding down the fort with our 3 children so I can spend the weekend away selling at street fairs, I can always count on her for an extra boost of encouragement and motivation to keep doing what I love.

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/timberwave

Instagram: @timberwave

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