Minnie Erickson, the founder of Minnieology, loved to curate gift boxes to give friends on their milestone birthdays. The presents were a hit, and friends began asking to purchase Minnie’s creations. That was her cue to begin Minnieology. “I am here to help send sunshine to your people when you can’t be there with unique personalized gift boxes, non-toxic candles and reed diffusers,” Minnie said. Then, the creative entrepreneur shared more about her booming side hustle. Read on.
Artisan Joy: How did you get started creating your art?
Minnie Erickson: I was creating gift boxes for my best friends that had milestone birthdays. Next thing, I had friends asking to purchase my curated gift boxes.
AJ: When did you realize that you could turn your craft into a business?
ME: When customers kept buying, requesting and reordering my products for any occasion and for themselves.
AJ: Where do you find inspiration?
ME: My customers. I curate my gift boxes by asking about the recipient’s favorite things. The candles and reed diffusers are non-toxic, which came about after tons of research after going through infertility and finding clean products. Minnieology soy wax candles and reed diffusers are free of parabens, phthalates, carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, organ toxins and acute toxins.
AJ: What would our audience be surprised to learn about you?
ME: I can remember dates like no other, and if you tell me your birthday, anniversary or a significant date, I’ll remember!
AJ: As creatives, we can continuously create and refine our art. How do you handle perfectionism?
ME: I try to remember that handicraft is unique and to embrace tiny imperfections.
AJ: What advice would you give to someone interested in putting their work into the world but feels vulnerable about it?
ME: Embrace it and know that your uniqueness is not going to be liked by all. Not everyone will be your customer—you just have to find your niche.
AJ: What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?
ME: How much work it is to run a business from sales to operations as a one-woman show! I wouldn’t exchange it for anything, as I enjoy creating joy for others.
AJ: Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?
ME: I’ve received a lot of suggestions and recommendations. I consider them all as people share feedback to help me be better!
AJ: What’s a cause you are passionate about and why?
ME: Minnieology donates a portion of sales proceeds to nonprofits every quarter! The second quarter will contribute to a topic very near and dear to my heart as I battled infertility. Gift of Parenthood helps families and individuals overcome infertility through education, awareness and fertility assistance grants. Infertility Awareness Month is celebrated worldwide during the month of June.
AJ: And, of course, we have to ask—what brings you joy?
ME: Creating my gift boxes with my candles and reed diffusers to spread kindness to all.
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited slightly for length and clarity.