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Life & Work with Sarah Savage

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Savage.

Hi Sarah, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In 2012, I was a stay-at-home mom to (at the time) four kids, all under five years old. My husband Jason and I now have five total! I had begun painting for personal art for our home when I had several requests from family and friends to paint something for them as well. By 2014, I decided to start selling my art after many (good intention) pushes from those that knew me well. I opened an Etsy shop and began my small business journey.

At the time, I was painting canvases and doing a lot of custom work as my business started to grow, mainly by word of mouth. I would paint anything at that time! I hadn’t quite developed a style and just did a lot of random things from cartoon-like animals, paper mache, to lettering, to flower designs. I also got my first circular saw for a home project in 2014. That opened the door to learning how to make pallet signs. A lot of my early work was building and painting signs made from repurposed pallet wood or buying fence wood to turn into signs. I can honestly say I do not miss those days of hunting for, picking up and taking apart old pallets! I hope to never again!

As time went on and I began to purchase more woodworking tools, I started developing my style into what it is today. Today you can find my signs made from cabinet-grade plywood. They are solid interiors that I paint with my own designs and then finished with a custom fit frame. Most of my work is purchased through my Etsy shop by customers all over the globe. I’ve shipped all over the United States and have shipped internationally to places including Canada, several countries in Europe, including United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Slovenia, as well as Australia on a handful of occasions and New Zealand. Other ways I sell my work is through local pop-up markets around the Triangle Area. I love this avenue of selling as it gets me face to face with my customers. I get to meet them, talk to them, and even help them pick something out. Overall, my journey over the past seven years has been one of great joy. I’ve learned a lot about who I am as an artist and I’ve developed a lot of skills in the process. I am forever grateful to the friends and family who pushed me to start this business all those years ago.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road so far has been smooth. I think because my business started off as a way to help contribute to the family income and not be the sole income, it’s provided a less stressful journey.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
From the time I was in elementary school, I’ve always loved art in almost all forms; visual and performance. Art is a way for me to express myself and destress. I’ve always been drawn to color. I couldn’t tell you my favorite color because I love them all! So when I am creating art as a personal piece, I tend to use colors that are bright and cheerful. I am known for using the whole rainbow at a time and I even make lots of ACTUAL rainbows! Using wood as my main canvas gives me a good base and flexibility to experiment with lots of different mediums and textures in my art. I can cut the wood to different sizes and shapes. I use acrylic paint, latex paint, spray paint, glitter, gel medium, gold leaf, and other various supplies in my art.

I am most proud of developing a style that is my own. In a world where a lot of people can DIY almost anything-it’s the style and technique, I create my art that, in turn, is a process only my hands can do. Sure, someone can replicate my work and get close, but each artist brings their own variation to their work. I’m not afraid of being replicated as there is no way to control that. But what I do offer in my art is authenticity in design as well as superior customer service. I believe that customer service is just as important as the quality of the art. My customers are the reason I have a business and therefore, I will always take care of their needs and wants during our time working together. My hope is that they feel that as well.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I wouldn’t define luck (good or bad) as a key character in my story. I believe we are all on our own paths in life and there are several ways it can pan out. The roads are infinite depending on which way you choose (or don’t choose) to go. There is no way to determine what might have been if you were able to go back and have a do-over.


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