allison daw heads up day three creations, a wonderful print shop that highlights organic botanicals, aka real plants. a fellow oregonian, she has a heart full of nature and has taken it upon herself to create beautiful portraits of the pieces nature that are always surrounding us, whether we see them or not. allison is running her amazing shop while also being a mom and supporting her family. she's figured out how to run a successful business and shares some of her insight below.
what is your background?
i grew up in colorful colorado, where i developed a love for both art and science. in 2007 i earned an m.s. in botany, specializing in the evolutionary classification of plants. during my time in graduate school i taught labs in botany and plant identification and spent summers locating and collecting plants in the foothills of colorado for use in these labs. i taught students to collect, identify, press, mount, and label plant specimens for use in an herbarium, which is a library of preserved plants used by researchers.
how did you come up with the idea of day three creations and your pieces?
within a couple of years of my graduation, i was married with two kids, and i had decided to stay at home to raise and homeschool our kids. in 2011, we moved to oregon at which point my husband transitioned out of his career in engineering and into full-time christian ministry and started attending seminary. i began looking for a way to earn income at home while raising our kids. wishing i could find a way to combine my love for creating art and enthusiasm about plant science, i was reminded that i had all the skills required to make scientific artwork from real plants! thus, one evening in 2013 we decided that making artfully arranged herbarium specimens and selling them on etsy was the perfect side-job for me, and so we started our business, day three creations.
the name was inspired by genesis 1:11-13 which says that god created plants on the third day of the creation week, hence, “day three creations.”
what has been your favorite trek out to get botanicals?
a couple of summers ago while vacationing back home in colorado, we – my parents, my brother with his wife and daughter, and my husband and i with our kids – all decided to go camping one weekend. we found this serene camping spot by the river. steep, rocky crags bordered the opposite bank of the river. on our side was a field of wildflowers – black-eyed susans, butter 'n eggs, purple rocky mountain beeplant, and wild hollyhock. beyond our campsite was a hiking trail that climbed a thousand feet upward from the river where we found penstemon, harebell, wild onion, and an open patch of crimson red indian paintbrush at the top. the best part of this trip wasn't the crisp air or sapphire sky, or even the hunt for exceptional plants – the best part was getting to do it with family.
what has been the best thing you’ve done for your company?
the best thing i've done for day three creations has been to work hard at building our business. it took a lot of work from both my husband and i up front to make this little business profitable within just a few months. it has also taken consistent work to maintain its growth. it hasn't made us wealthy, but it has largely supported our family while my husband is in school and while i stay at home with our kids.
what are you looking forward to most this next year?
it's not official yet, but we may be moving out of state in the near future. if this happens, i'm looking forward to finding some different plants in some different places and adding an additional collection of plants to my existing oregon and colorado collections.
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
i would say, try to find your niche market doing something you can be the best at. when i started, there were only a few other established artists on etsy doing something similar, but i've been careful not to directly compete with them as my shop has grown. in fact, when i receive questions or custom order requests that aren't within my niche, i will often refer the customer to one or more of these other shops. this philosophy has helped me grow my business by allowing me to focus on developing my own unique product and brand, and i hope it has helped the other shop owners as well. win-win!
allison is kindly offering everglow handmade readers a 10% coupon to her etsy with the code 'everglow10percent'. code is good through april 30th, 2016.
thanks so much for sharing, allison! it's so awesome to see all of your hard work pay off, and to admire all the beauty you've created and highlighted. we're excited to follow along with you on your next adventure!