Have you ever found a piece of jewelry that really speaks to you? You love the way it’s made, it’s unique shape, and chic simplicity? It was probably a Moulton piece. Jen Moulton, one of Austin’s coolest gals, has made it her life’s work to make beautiful jewelry for the gal who loves simplicity. Perfectly blending heirloom quality with geometric shapes and versatile function, her pieces quickly become an every-day staple but have the integrity to pass along to future generations. Jen is one of the most thoughtful women I have ever met and her approach to her work completely exemplifies her passion for intentional living. Here is a little bit of her story & what being a “creative” means to her.
Full name: Jen Moulton
Location: Austin, TX
Current title/company: Owner/Jeweler at Moulton
How long have you been a full time Creative?
On a full time basis, I’ve worked for myself for the last two years! I’ve been on my own (+ part time work) since September 2011 (3.5 years)
What is your day-to-day work routine like?
My day to day routine is all over the place. I’m currently working within a skeleton schedule that gives me structure so deadlines are met and passion work is prioritized (I learned about this concept from Jessica Hische’s blog). I am a fan of batching work (I learned about this from Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Workweek, can you tell I’m an information fiend?). Batching work has been a game changer for me, I’m no longer scattered and stressed with trying to do ten things at once. Batching is also conducive to getting into flow states during creative work because I never feel like I should be doing something else since I’ve created blocks of time for my tasks (this TED talk is a must watch regarding flow and happiness).
Currently, my schedule looks like this:
M: Ship orders, answer emails, production for week
T: Metalsmithing class in the morning, production or custom work in the afternoon
W: Coffee/lunch date, emails/computer work, weekly business accountability meeting with Becky Murphy
Th: Passion work (currently a ceramics class)
F: Admin Day (accounting, back up my computer*, reconcile business miles), possibly another coffee/lunch date or I might squeeze in a little passion work
*You might think I’m an overachiever for backing my computer up every week– don’t even ask me how many times my hard drive has crashed and I’ve lost important photos or documents. I’ve learned to start doing this the hard way.
Best part about being a business owner?
I think this is a common goal amongst business owners– freedom. Owning my own business is hard and time consuming but being in charge of my own time, my own day, my own path allows me to feel free and abundant. But really, the relationships I’ve built are the best part. I’ve gained so much by the exchanges within my business, both business to customer and business to fellow business owner. There is nothing like getting to connect with your dream customer or meeting with a fellow business owner and beginning to walk your paths together.
What is some advice you wish you would have had before you got started?
Focus more on creating community. As a fairly shy and introverted individual, I never thought I’d say or believe this. I keep a small circle and I invest everything I have into them, I’ve always been the person that had a few close friends. So it’s shocking to me that as I left my comfort zone and began to invest in my creative community in Austin that I’ve flourished and so has my business. This community that you give to will become your cheering squad, they will give you feedback on your new product idea, parts of them will rub off on you and you’ll change for the better, etc. It all starts with a connection– a kind word, an instagram comment, a common friend. Don’t be afraid to reach out and create a genuine connection with them. Emphasis on genuine– not time to pick their brain or ask them to help you in someway, make sure you bring something to the table too. So often we think we are competing with each other or that we need to guard our knowledge but the opposite is true– sharing your process and your knowledge builds your expert status, attracts people to you, and others will likely react in kind. The world would be a much better place if we spent our energy on giving rather than guarding.
What is the key to making a fool proof, creative, yet professional outfit?
For me, something I’m comfortable in and can work in. This usually means an oversized boxy top, well-fitting skinny jeans, and boots or flats depending on the season. A personal rule I follow is to go with handmade whenever possible. I think personal style is really important for creatives. It’s like the idea of going to a hair stylist with great hair. If you’re meeting with clients, your outfit gives them an idea of what you’re about before seeing your work or talking to you. My other staple is my bangs. They’re like a permanent accessory, they make me feel like I’ve styled my hair even though I usually don’t. I like to keep it minimal so I stick to one bold accessory beyond my bangs– it could be a necklace with a great story, a pair of statement boots, or a handmade leather bag.
Any tips for having a well-balanced closet?
Keep a small, well-curated selection so that you’d be excited to wear any piece you pick out. Uniforms make getting dressed incredibly easy. If you love something, consider buying a few of them.
Photos by Katie Jameson