We had the good fortune of connecting with Alana Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started this business as a wife and mother (of two) and I was really coming from this place mentally where I needed a creative outlet, but also something that was my own. I’m currently living in a 200 square foot vintage Airstream that I share with my family. There’s four of us. Everything I have, I share with them. My space, my food, mothers everywhere get it right?! When I started this business, I was going through kind of a challenging time. We were all living with my in laws while working tirelessly on a very old house that we hoped to someday live in. My husband was working 60-80 hour weeks between his job and said house. I was at the in laws raising my young boys, both under the age of 5 at the time. I wanted to start something that was just for me. I used to be a dancer and that was my creative outlet for a long time, but I had kind of let that part of my life go and I was searching for something to create. I set aside some time each day to sew new things (typically during nap time) and eventually friends and family encouraged me to try selling the things I was making. It didn’t take much convincing, and I’m glad I dove right in and didn’t look back. It’s been a huge part of my life ever since.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I actually have a full time job outside of alanamae studio. I love my 8-5 and honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m very proud to work for a respected brand that I admire. The company I work for values the same things that I value and strive to accomplish with my own business. There were definitely some challenges to get to where I am today, but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. It took me a while to realize my strengths and pursue a career that highlighted those things. I enjoy communicating with customers and helping people. I also happen to work with some incredible individuals and that makes it fun! I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously, be quick to own up to my mistakes and always continue learning. We should never stop learning, I used to think adults don’t need to learn anymore, we’re finally out of school! But I enjoy learning new things and growing as a person more than ever.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live very close to an area of Dallas called Bishop Arts in Oak Cliff (South Dallas). This location is very eclectic and exciting with so much to do! Whenever people visit us, our go to spots include Enos for pizza and Emporium Pies for the most amazing dessert. There are so many good restaurants around here and it’s really fun just to walk down Bishop Avenue and check out all the shops.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My sister in law, Candace, is the first person who comes to mind. After I had decided to start this business, I spent way too much time trying to figure out little logistical things that delayed me from opening the shop. She encouraged me to jump in and just do it. She said she related to overthinking about all the little stuff and I will never forget when she told me it’s okay to change your business over time. You don’t have to commit to one way of doing things and do it that way forever. Big companies rebrand and change business tactics constantly. That really freed me up to just do it. I opened alanamae studio the following week.