Season 1, Episode 15: An Artist, Painter, and Former Calligrapher Talks About How to Successfully Pivot Your Business with Christie Jones of Swell Anchor

Christie Jones of Swell Anchor is an extraordinarily talented artist and a passionate mental health advocate. She ran a successful calligraphy business for seven years, rising to the top of a competitive market and having what seemed like #AllTheThings figured out. When chronic health issues, multiple surgeries, and PTSD started taking a toll on her body, she made the brave decision to put her health first, say goodbye to the calligraphy and wedding world, and pivot her business to be more in line with her passion.

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Now a full-time painter, Christie creates stunning paintings inspired by her mental health journey and the world that surrounds her. She talks about the highs and lows of the wedding industry, what day-to-day life was like as a calligrapher, her journey healing from anxiety and PTSD, and how she successfully pivoted her business and launched her new art collections.

00:02:41: What's Christie's job? What was her last 9-5? What made her start her business in 2011? 

00:08:26: Did she learn calligraphy and art at school, or is she self-taught?

00:12:37: What is life as a calligrapher like? What is modern calligraphy? How long does it take to do one envelope? Christie tells about all the "stuff" that calligraphers do that takes a ton of time: sorting, drying, mixing ink, etc.

00:20:50: THE DRIFTWOOD INCIDENT! This starts our discussion on the highs and lows of the wedding industry. What did Christie love about it? What was more challenging?

00:33:00: We talk about how physically demanding being a calligrapher can be, and how the physical challenges led the way to some serious anxiety and mental health issues for Christie. Christie is super honest and open about the challenges she faced that led to her pivoting her business.

00:49:51: PTSD storytime! Christie and I have both been diagnosed with PTSD, and we talk about EMDR therapy, a specialized, evidence-based therapy for PTSD that we've both had. We also talk about some PTSD misconceptions and what it was like to be diagnosed and to manage this chronic and misunderstood illness.

01:12:00: Christie successfully taught over 500 people calligraphy in her sold-out workshops. What were the rewarding and challenging parts of teaching?

01:16:00: How does Christie set business boundaries when she gets so many DMs about proprietary information about her work?

01:21:00: Christie tells us all about her new work and what's next for Swell Anchor. 

01:33:00: Our back to the future segment: What advice would Christie give her younger self? 

01:37:00: THE DREADED SIGNPOSTS! Christie tells the story of the biggest business mistake she's made and what she learned from it.

01:41:00: A Day in the Life: what does the day to day look like for a working artist?

01:45:00: Listener Questions and Quick Answer. We have a very long Gilmore Girls conversation, as usually happens on this podcast.