Anna Sagan – Disrupting LA & Building a Successful Woodworking Empire
Anna Sagan, a 33-year-old, is a marketer who found herself jobless in the summer of 2020 after Covid-19 affected the company she worked for in Chicago. She had no option but to leave Chicago to her parent’s home in Arkansas. Little did she know that losing her job was a blessing in disguise.
While looking through her parent’s garage during quarantine, she discovered her late grandfather’s woodworking tools that changed her life forever. At first, she used tools to refurbish items around the house to beat boredom. However, she started making unique wine racks for her friends and family, which led to the birth of her woodworking profession.
During her explorations, she discovered wood art that gave her joy and fulfillment. At first, she had limited beliefs about her ability to take it up as a profession. However, she turned to a book called “Everything is Figureoutable” written by her favorite author, Marie Forleo, that completely changed her mindset. After the read, she decided to pursue woodworking as a full-time profession even though the remuneration could not match her previous job. Her accomplishment was being able to pursue a career that gives her fulfillment.
When she is not working on stunning pieces, she likes exploring wine and the different wine-making methods. The wine connoisseur also documents her explorations in her blog.
Anna’s Creative Process
In woodworking, one needs to be patient and focused on achieving unique products. Anna knows this all too well, which is why she likes to focus on one project at a time. Due to her ADHD, she prefers to start a manageable project that she can work on from scratch to finish in a short time.
However, large projects in woodworking are inevitable. So when she decides to work on a larger project, she takes a different approach.
Anna says, “For larger projects, I like to make mood boards so that my end goal/vision is always in sight in front of me. I need that visual reminder to stay aligned and focused. Otherwise, my mind can completely run off and get distracted”. Mood boards always help her analyze her project and set achievable goals.
Challenges Anna Faces in Woodworking Industry
Since time immemorial, woodworking has been perceived as a man’s job. This poses a significant challenge to Anna at the workplace because of the stereotype. Her colleagues look down upon her because of her gender. They think that she is not good enough for the job.
Getting a co-shared workspace proves to be hard for Anna. Most of the co-shared workshops are dominated by men. They accuse her of causing distractions despite being decently dressed—Anna’s efforts to convince people to let her co-share working space do not yield much fruit. Therefore, Anna struggles to get a permanent space to work from comfortably.
Any Lessons and Advice for Upcoming Woodworkers?
Woodworking is an art that requires patience and persistence—creating unique woodworks that are visually stunning needs a high mental capacity to remain focused. Even though the work might take time and effort, the results do not go unnoticed.
Additionally, the road to success is full of ups and downs that require one to be persistent in the cause. When asked to comment about persistence, she says, “[Know] that failure is inevitable. The more you fail, the faster you learn and get better at the craft too”.
Therefore, upcoming woodworkers should keep pushing beyond their limits if they want to excel in the profession.
Sometimes we all have self-doubt that prevents us from reaching our full potential. Anna advises people not to doubt their ability like she once did. All one needs to do is focus on what they are good at.
One of Anna’s favorite productivity hacks is waking up early. She starts her day at 4.30 AM when working on projects. As an early bird, Anna is able to work for extended hours to ensure she beats the deadlines she set.
Any Indispensable Tools?
Anna says she cannot do without a good sander. Sanding is one of the complex parts of her profession because it takes a lot of time. Therefore, having a good one that does now blow sawdust all over the workstation is a plus for her.
Anna’s Inspiration Moments
Anna feels her best self when people react to her work. She says, “When they say “Woah, how did you do that?!” – that makes me feel amazing… or that I’m doing something that is truly special and unique”. Even though the profession has its challenges, her heart swells with joy when people acknowledge her efforts.
What Does the Future Hold?
Anna hopes to set up a woodworking business in Los Angeles. She is currently making plans to pursue the career full-time. Additionally, she hopes to find a way to make the venture profitable since she sold all her old equipment to move to Los Angeles.
Anna’s Social Handles
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