Josi Siefker | She Ran: Stories From Women Who Found Their Own Way
Meet the fearless Josi Siefker, artist and mother, living in sunny Las Vegas.
Josi’s story goes to show that launching a business is often born of necessity and in Josi’s case, out of survival. I love her story because she also proves that entrepreneurship can happen at any life stage. Some of my clients tell me they feel “too old” to begin… here’s proof that it’s never too late to start.
What do you do, and how did you come to do it?
I’ve always had a love for crafting and creating things. As a broke single mom, I would find ways to make extra money because I never wanted my kids to do without. Child support was never enough.
My skills ranged from sewing and making wreaths for craft fairs, to hanging wallpaper. I actually HATED painting until I discovered decorative painting. After my kids were grown and gone, I remarried. My husband encouraged me to paint full-time, which pushed me to get my paint contractor’s license. Eventually, I opened a vintage furniture and paint store. Now, I own my own line of paintbrushes called, Paint Pixie.
I am so PASSIONATE about painting that I believe in using the best paints and brushes because my customers deserve to use the best tools. This attention to quality led me to a manufacturer in Italy who now makes my brushes. We’re a brand new company with an overwhelming response. We’re headed to Italy in May to meet the manufacturer and discuss introducing new products to the line. I’m also getting ready to launch my own line of brush soap.
What's your mission? Why do you do what you do?
I want to inspire other women. You can’t use bad situations in your life as an excuse to not try and better yourself. I really hope to inspire my two daughters and my granddaughter as well. They should always know they can do whatever it is they set their minds to. I was brought up by a very strong woman married to my dad — the most wonderful dad in the world — that taught me from an early age that I shouldn’t count on a man for anything.
Who inspires you? Or, where did you get the idea you could work for yourself?
My daughters inspire me. When their dad left they were two and six. I knew I couldn’t fall apart because they needed me. When my oldest turned 18, I started working part-time for a friend four mornings a week making $6 an hour. There went half my child support. I knew I was talented and realized I could make more money doing my side jobs than I could by working for someone else. After finding my skills for decorative painting, I realized I could work a few hours on the weekend faux-painting a bathroom and make twice the money. Plus, I was doing something I loved!
What is the greatest part about building your own business that you want other women to know? It’s the feeling of satisfaction, knowing that you’re the one that built your business up from the ground.
What are some of the hidden challenges of working for yourself that no one talks about?
The time involved in keeping up with all the paperwork and reports. Social media becomes a job, it’s not for fun anymore.
What's your favorite social media platform and why?
Facebook because I can interact easier. I find it’s just easier to use than Instagram and all the hashtags.