We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebeca Mojica and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebeca, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
This is such a great question! Not to be cliche, but I think the simple answer is to never give up on what you’re passionate about. It doesn’t mean that your goals and tactics can’t change…but certainly, if there’s something you absolutely love doing and you feel as though it’s your purpose in life, then find a way to keep doing it. If your passions change, then keep going, just in a different direction. To me, “giving up” robs you of the chance to succeed. Giving up is different from failure. Failure typically comes before success. More accurately, failure typically happens many, many times before success! So long as you are learning from each experience—and still passionate—then keep forging ahead. If you’re doing what you love doing, but you aren’t making any money at it (trust me, I’ve been there), it doesn’t mean you should give it up entirely. You might need to change around your business model, or do it part-time (or even less than part-time). But don’t give up something that you truly love and that is aligned with who you are as a person. After I closed my company in 2016, I re-opened as a sole-proprietor a few months later, several time zones away. I set different goals for myself and found new ways of “keeping going” – even if it meant I was working on my passion part-time, or that the top-line number was significantly lower than it used to be. I’ve become very attuned to which opportunities I am excited about, and which ones don’t feed my soul. I ask myself, “If money weren’t an issue, would I be so excited about this that I’d do it for free?” If the answer is anything less than “Hell yeah!” then I don’t take it on. I’m so much happier now, and excited to keep going through the next stage of my journey.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a chainmaille jewelry artisan – yes, chainmaille, the same techniques used in medieval armor . I’ve been linking tiny metal circles since 2002 and I’m best known for vibrant color ombres as well as intricate, multi-layered patterns. My instructional jewelry book CHAINED has sold more than 40,000 copies. I’m certainly an accidental entrepreneur. I started off by making jewelry as a hobby, and once I started teaching and selling supplies, my business, Blue Buddha Boutique, really took off. At our peak, we had 18 employees and shipped about 400 orders each week. The team was the best group of co-workers I’ve ever had, and I’m really proud that we created such a fantastic place to work. After downsizing back to a sole proprietorship, I partnered with toy manufacturer Neat-Oh! International to create Linkt Craft Kits, the first line of chainmaille jewelry kits for ages 8 and up. The line received multiple industry awards in its first year. It’s been such an up and down journey, and I think what I’ve learned is to completely value self-care. For most of my business life, I worked myself to the bone and always wanted to take care of everyone else—customers and employees—before myself. I felt like if I didn’t spend every second working on my business, it meant I wasn’t serious enough, or my business would fail. Well, guess what? It failed anyway! It took needing to shut down my business, combined with emerging health issues, for me to step back and realize that my stress levels were way out of control (I hadn’t noticed, because I’d gotten so used to being stressed). My business is a lot smaller these days, and I’m a lot happier. Maybe I’ll grow the business again someday. But for now, I’m perfectly happy working on my own schedule, taking time to meditate and exercise, and making sure I focus my time on what makes me happy.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m a complete escape room fanatic, so, we’d definitely have to squeeze in at least one visit (probably Fox in A Box West Hollywood, because it’s so close to me and very nicely done). We’d also have to head to some trails, maybe Runyon or Kenneth Hahn). We’d have to go to the Poetry Brothel and a burlesque show. My favorite restaurant closed last year, but in my ideal world the chef, Daniel Son, would open another sushi restaurant so I can continue to experience his exquisite creations! The Museum Of Jurassic Technology is a given, as is dancing the night away at Bar Sinister, preferably on a Femme Domme Fatale evening. To wind things down, we’d likely spend time at the cat cafe Crumbs and Whiskers or The Dog Cafe. And, because we’re also total nerdy introverts, we’d invite some friends over to play board games.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I could write a whole novel of Shoutouts, but for now, I’d like to recognize Jackie Sloane of Sloane Communications. I did a college internship with her company about 25 years ago, and wound up working for her for the rest of my undergrad years. Over the years, she’s been a mentor, coach, customer and friend. I learned a lot about being a good boss from her. And I learned a lot about how to empower myself, set boundaries and live a life I love.
Other: http://www.rebecamojica.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueBuddhaBoutique https://www.etsy.com/shop/RebecaMojicaJewelry