We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Squalls and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, any recent epiphanies you can share with us?
The greatest epiphany I’ve had during the Covid-19 Crisis has been to be patient with myself and those around me. I’ve always had the go go go mentality, which is essential in the pursuit of entrepreneurship, but when you can’t go and your mind is still moving quickly how do you slow down your thoughts. With all the extra time, I’ve been able to take a step back and reassess how I handle life’s unexpected situations. I redesigned my bedroom, began actively meditating and doing yoga, and have been working out consistently. All of these things have helped me maintain mental wellness and balance during this time and are things that I believe I needed to incorporate into my daily life, but I never had the time.
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.
I’m a self taught designer and mother to an 11-year old daughter, Princess Kennedy. I started by making handmade greeting cards then expanded the business to reach all areas of life that require paper, custom invitations, craft classes, dessert tables, and scrapbooks. Each item is handmade with love and creatively designed to meet the visions of our clients. In fact the very first custom invitation I made was for my baby shower! Priority wise motherhood is first for me, which is the reason I knew I had to pursue entrepreneurship so that I could be flexible with time. There’s no more important project that I’m working on than my daughter as far as ensuring she has the tools, confidence, compassion, and strength she needs to enter this world. I worked in banking as a financial compliance analyst for 5 years then quit my job because it became to much balancing being a full time employee, full time entrepreneur, and full time mom. It’s a sacrifice that I’d make again and again if it meant that I’d be able to take my daughter to and from school everyday. I specialize in all things paper. Decoupaging, paper layering, stamping, embossing, and die cuts. I like using non traditional items and mixing them with paper to create mixed media art. I usually start each project with a sketch or idea in mind of what I want to create, from there I use my Cricut Die Cutting Machine to format the design specs, and cut out any pieces I may need. If I’m working with cardboard then I’ll start by drawing out the design on the cardboard and use my fine scissors to cut out the shapes. I’ve carved out my own stamps in rubber before to create texture on both invitations and greeting cards. I also love embossing. I truly think it’s the little details and overall cohesiveness of a project that bring it to life. The main lesson that I’ve learned over the years is to follow your intuition! We as “human beings” living in this fast paced world get so consumed by the social constructs that have been imposed on us, that we lost sight of what we truly want. Don’t let this world sway you from getting what you want out of life.
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?
The first place that I would take a best friend visiting my hometown of Inglewood would be to the Forum! This place is legendary and thankfully it has made a comeback as a concert venue over the last few years. Then we would head over to Rusty Pot Cafe and eat some good food. After, that we would take a hike and see the Los Angeles view at Kenneth Hahn Park followed by a refreshing snow ball dessert treat from Snow Balls. Of course during this trip I would take them to In N Out! I would take them to the In N Out in Westchester so that we could also watch the planes landing, which is a super cool experience in my opinion. We would also hit the traditional spots, The Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and The Grove. We’d also have to hit an amusement park, either Disneyland or Universal Studios. We would see a lot tourists at these places and street performers. I would also take them to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Yang Chow in Downtown LA and walk around the area to take in those sights. As far as local bars, we would hit Melody Bar and Grill on a Friday night for some good drinks, food, and music.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to my family and the books that I’ve read over the past year. My family has always supported my dreams and visions, even when I didn’t think I could push through. They’ve been there to give me sage advice and help me resolve problems as they arise. My mom…there is so much that I can say about my mother, but I know that the she fostered the light within me which helped me to make me the person I am today. I would spend days before Christmas packaging up cookies, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and pecan sandies, in holiday cookie tins for her to sell at her job for extra money. She instilled the entrepreneur mindframe within me at a young age and always push through any adversities. My mom is my superhero. I’m also super tight with my father, but that came later in life once I became an adult. My daughter especially has pushed me to give everything my best effort because I know that she watches my every move, even when I don’t think she’s looking. Had it not been for my daughter I don’t think I would of pursued my artistic dreams, she’s motivated me in ways words can’t describe. She’s been by my side through every phase of my business.