Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're beginning a new blog series in which we can continue sharing the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.
We're kicking off this series with James McDonald, Founder and Designer of I Lost My Dog. In celebration of the unique landmarks and details that make different cities, boroughs, and towns special, James draws every aspect of his maps by hand right down to each individual letter—not a single typeface is used; every word is custom-designed.
Read on for more of our Q&A with James below.
Did you have the entrepreneurial itch early on in your life? Or looking back, are you surprised your journey led you to starting your own business?
I’ve 100% always had the entrepreneurial itch. It all started when I was 7 years old, selling lemonade at my own stand at the drive through bank with my sister. The amount of five and ten dollar bills we got from customer on line during the summer was amazing. Location was key!
My mother was also very creative and we would always come up with business ideas and inventions to make life easier. I will save those stories for the next interview! During my early professional career as an art director and product designer, I’ve always had side-work: designing logos, CD covers, packaging, murals, etc. It’s safe to say that I always like to stay busy and make art as a hobby.
Over the years your art has evolved from graffiti art to graphic design. What other ways have you evolved as a Maker?
I now get to start things, dream and follow through with my own designs—instead of solely doing outside work. It's also made me a lot more business and sales savvy, you have to wear all of the hats and I have grown to really enjoy that.
Our community wants to know that their support of you and your product has made a difference. Please tell us if you were able to grow and in what way due to the sales, shares, and visibility you received from The Grommet and our Community.
Being a part of the Grommet community has made a huge difference. It has helped me reach new audiences in a way I couldn’t do without a huge marketing budget, where I used to only see a majority of orders locally to where it’s now spread throughout the country. Big things!
Any additional advice for entrepreneurs and our Maker Community?
James: Read more books! Here's two: Damn Good Advice by George Lois and How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie --read them if you haven't already.
To learn more about I Lost My Dog, be sure to watch our video here.