Hello Loves! I am so excited to bring back my “Friday Faves” for the month of October. My first interview is with my longtime friend, Alana. We have known each other for many years, and though our lives keep us super busy, we still get together once or twice a year face to face with a few special girlfriends. Usually we can only keep up with each other through the magic of Facebook, but I’ll take it! She’s a wonderful woman, super creative, and I can’t wait to introduce you to her.
Your Name: Alana Hinojosa
Name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project: Frisky Fish
What is your role there? Founder/creator/owner/operator
Tell me when and how you got started in your current business: My son Rex was just born, and I had three kids under five and absolutely zero time for myself. So when Rex wanted to eat, I would sit on the floor in front of the fish tank in my daughters room and observe the fish. I found this to be a combination of entertainment and meditation, and began talking to people about my “Frisky Fish” when a friend told me I should use that as the name of my business.
At the time I didn’t even have a product, and I was attempting to make candles with essential oils. I also started making roll-ons for friends, when a friend told me “stop with the candles, put a label on these and sell them”. It was almost too simple. But I needed it to be simple. So that’s what I did.
What inspired you to begin this Business/Company/Product/Project? I had given up my career when my second daughter Flora was born and knew I wanted to do something creative that allowed me the flexibility to be with my family. I LOVE the idea of working with my hands and creating and I had been using and blending essential oils for years. Because I was at a point in my life where I didn’t have time for things like yoga, meditation, reading, etc. I began to realize that you can find inspiration in the mundane and every day, like your kitchen when you’re cooking dinner for the family or on the floor of your daughters room, while your feeding your baby. I have this candid picture of myself that my daughter took around the time I conceived of Frisky Fish and I love how awful I look in it. In the picture I have breast milk stains, my hair is a mess and I’m the heaviest I have ever been in my life. But I’m smiling. And I like that Frisky Fish was inspired during a time when nothing around me was what one would traditionally find inspirational.
What were you doing before this? I was a special education teacher and a therapist for children with autism. Then a SAHM. And now a WAHM.
In what ways is your Business/Company/Product/Project making a difference, or how do you hope that it will? I source almost all of my materials from the USA, pay fair wages to my (currently) one employee. I use all natural materials. These are small things, but important values I believe.
What do you love the most about what you do? So. Many. Things. I love developing and naming new products and collaborating on the design and packaging. Working with retailers that my product is in, meeting fellow makers, connecting with people who use my products are also exciting parts of this business.
If Current You could go back in time and share a message with You From 5 Years Ago (or 10, or High School- your choice) what advice would you give to yourself? That’s hard because I’m pretty happy with where I am now and I know that where I am is a culmination of all of those mistakes and detours that I made. I think if there was something I could’ve learned a little sooner is that I didn’t need to, nor could I please everyone all the time and not to give my time and energy to people who didn’t appreciate it.
What is your favorite daily ritual, and why is it important to you? Before I had kids, it was meditating and I’m finally at a point in my life that I can see that there will be time for that again. But for now, it’s cooking dinner for my family. And yes, I do it daily. I sometimes complain about it, but I’ve found it to be something that balances my need for something familiar and daily and my desire to nurture my family by providing a (somewhat) lovingly prepared meal that we sit down and eat together.
Are there any new projects or products you are working on? Currently I am developing two different ritual kits (solstice ritual kit and full moon ritual kit) that are set to be ready by the end of this month. I’m also ramping up my my wholesale game. I’m in around seven smaller stores now and will soon be in all three of my local West Elms as a part of their LOCAL assortment (Eeeeep!). I’m in the process of creating a more attractive wholesale program and am enrolled in Lela Barker’s wholesale matchmaker program which is amazing so far.
Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”? Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! (Okay, so you will, but then just remind yourself not to and move on). You have something unique to offer to the world and to tell your story in your own way, whether if it’s by offering a service, a product, writing or drawing. Put it out there! You’re awesome.
How can people get in touch with you?
- Website: www.friskyfishla.com
- Instagram @friskyfishla
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FRISKY FISH is being added to West Elm’s LOCAL collection. Santa Monica, Beverly, and Pasadena West Elms will have 4 FRISKY FISH products on their shelves soon!