On Herbalism And Education: Jayna Anderson of 5th Dimension
this fall, our theme is: flourish.
flourish (n.): to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
When we make work under our best conditions, we do more than survive—we thrive.
And what grow toward (or say no) to has a lot do with it. Whether you’re a small business owner, independent artist or side hustling creative, your career pathway will take resilience and strategic decision-making. Where do you choose to go? What makes something a yes? Which environments are best for your growth?
Those answers are nuanced, and for the most part they vary. So, as we prepare for craftHER Market Fall ‘19, we’re interviewing some of this market’s featured makers to learn more about their businesses and the ways they create favorable environments for their work. Read on for a peek into their process.
about today’s featured maker: jayna anderson of 5th dimension
Jayna Anderson is the founder of 5th Dimension. 5th Dimension is a small deep South herbal company that focuses on supportive skincare and alcohol-free herbal remedies. She is from Philadelphia, has lived everywhere from Vermont to the Mojave Desert, and currently calls South Louisiana home. She recently completed the reclaim program at Samara School of Community Herbalism in New Orleans where she studied herbalism for Social Justice.
How would you describe who you are and what you do?
I’m an herbalist, artist and craftsperson who runs an herbal brand and is the co-owner of a metal fabrication & design studio. I’m a nose to the grind, head back laughing at the sky, big smile, wide eyed kind of person. I take my work extremely seriously but have a quick wit sense of humor to lighten things up when I’ve overdone it. I am a Libra after all.
What are some of the biggest growth moments you’ve experienced as a creative and/or business owner over the last year? What can others learn from your experience?
I recently had the opportunity to create 7,000 bottles of my best selling product for a vegan, cruelty free Beauty Box company (based in Austin!). This opportunity pushed me to elevate my branding and packaging, become more strict with my schedule, hire an assistant, move in a larger work space, revamp my website, add a new product line… the list keeps going. In order to flourish in this new opportunity, I had to push myself beyond my limits. I’ve never made 7,000 units of anything before, so taking this process from start to finish has been wild! It’s taught me that I am not an expert at everything, and hiring help when I can is the best way I can focus on where I thrive- in making and sales! I've also learned how crucial walking away from work is, even if it’s for a long lunch with no phones. The daily recharges keep me going
How do you handle criticism and feedback?
First, I step back. The last thing I want to do is be reactive if someone is being critical of me. If the criticism hurts, why is that so? I usually take the side of reflection. I joke that I went to art school, where I put yourself in debt to sit in a room with others and be picked apart for hours. All joking aside, criticism is always a bit painful, and while sometimes it’s just haters, there’s always a moment for growth. Whether that's learning how to brush it off, or learning how to shift your perspective, improve your brand voice or look within yourself.
How do you hold yourself accountable to the goals you set? How do you bounce back when something doesn’t go as planned?
I pride myself on my goal oriented nature. I find goals allow a certain freedom in my mental space. When I have a goal, I can problem solve and work to reach that goal. But when I don’t have a strong focus, it’s hard for me to stay on track. If something doesn’t go as planned, which happens a lot in small business, I have to detach the emotion. I ordered 7,500 bottles in the mail and over 800 were shattered to bits. To my own surprise, I didn’t bat an eye, I just got on the phone and worked to solve it. That's one major example, but things happen differently than planned all of the time. Running a business really comes down to how well you can solve the shit, as we say over here. I’m the shit solver. I don’t take it personal anymore, I jump into action. Honestly, this might sound crazy, but I pretend I’m solving a puzzle. It lightens the insane weight of what I’m doing, and minimizes the stress.
Any final thoughts you want to share with the craftHER community on supporting local businesses?
Supporting local business is one of my main priorities in life. I’ve seen how community support can shift the trajectory of a business, and therefore the community. When we give our hard earned dollars to a local restaurant, crafts person, artist or herbalist instead of saving a few dollars at target or a chain restaurant- you’re essential investing in your own community. Shop local, share your fav artist on social media, leave them a comment! It goes a long way.
Would you like to meet Jayna in-person? Come out to craftHER Market Fall ‘19 on October 12 and 13, 2019 at Fair Market and stop by her booth. Click here to learn more.