Shop Around the Corner | Thorn + Sparrow

Shop Around the Corner is a twice-monthly series where I share a variety of fan-tas-tic small business owners that I think you’d really dig. It’s very important to me to share the love with fellow small business folks – the welcoming community of entrepreneurs I’ve met is quite strong, and there is so much incredible talent out there!  I look forward to introducing you to great photographers, designers, shop owners…the list goes on and on!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m glad to be blogging again after the Labor Day break, and today’s fun feature is of Ashley Rodriguez, owner of Thorn + Sparrow! I first learned of her biz through Sara Lucero, who you’ll hear more about later in the post. 🙂 Ashley is a fab graphic designer who can create the loveliest items – my personal fave is her monthly desktop wallpaper collaboration with Kelli Trontell Photography, which you’ll see a sample of below. Enjoy getting to know the girl behind Thorn + Sparrow!

Tell us about your business!
Yay! Thorn + Sparrow is my outlet for all things art and design. I create anything from logos to family illustrations, from postcards and invitations to tattoos… when a pencil (or paintbrush) is in my hands, there’s no telling what will happen next! 🙂 The name is a huge part of my business because it reflects a very specific time in my life, while still serving as a reminder of all that God has done for me. Christ liberated me from shame that kept me stagnant (you can read more about that on my blog), and it is only through Him that I get to do what I do! I owe everything to Him.

 

What made you decide to open your shop?
While living in montana for six months (which was only supposed to be a six week visit!), I was able to take time to paint and draw – a passion that I’ve always had, but stayed dormant for a couple years. I started posting my work to document it, and got an overwhelming amount of support from my friends and family, so it just felt natural to start my own business, doing what I loved so much.

 

 

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes for me… living in the country, taking in God’s beautiful creation is a no-brainer source of inspiration – taking walks, stopping to examine each new flower and insect (i’m not a fan of bugs in general, but i can’t help but admire each one’s unique design!). Music is also a huge source of inspiration for me; my husband is an amazing musician so new music and melodies are always floating around our house. Museums, magazines, and architecture all inspire me… and sometimes it just comes out of nowhere. It can’t be cultivated, so I just keep myself open to inspiration and a journal nearby. 🙂

 

Favorite item that you sell?
I would have to say that my favorite item would be logos… I know it’s not technically an “item” but it’s my favorite thing to create. It’s just so inspiring and FUN to interact and collaborate with new people, who always have a different story and a different vision. I fall in love with every project, so it’s hard to nail down a favorite. 🙂

 

Any advice for those just starting out?
Don’t worry about what other people think!! It’s something I think all artists struggle with, no matter what the medium is. We so easily get caught up in what others will “like”, that we forget our passion and one-of-a-kind voice. Create, take chances, always be a student, and learn from mistakes as well as successes.

 

 

Three words that describe you/your life.
simple + eclectic + adventurous

 

Story or moment in business that was memorable/impactful?
Oh! This is a tough one because I have so many memorable moments, but I’d have to say that creating Sara Lucero’s logo was one of my top moments. She was SO much fun to work with, and I couldn’t believe how well we collaborated or how easily the vision came. I think it was the third logo I had ever created and I was totally smitten with the process… I’ll never forget how I felt when she responded to the logo, and I remember thinking, “I can’t believe I get to do this.”

 

 

Favorite TV Show?
Tied between Sherlock, Downton Abbey (gotta love those Brits!) aaand Jimmy Fallon. (-side note from Molly….YES to Jimmy Fallon!-)

 

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee

 

Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere in Europe, but preferably France. 🙂

 

 

Favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
Late breakfast followed by homemade iced lattes, record hunting, strolling hand in hand with the husband no matter where we are.

 

Favorite part of running your business?
Meeting new people!! hands down. There is nothing like connecting with people and hearing their stories, whether it’s for a logo or just someone that’s been reading my blog, it’s amazing! Close second: that I get to do what I love, something I never thought possible.

 

Ashley, thank you so so so much for chatting with me! I’m so glad to show off your work and your friendly answers. Y’all be sure to check out her site and on Facebook!

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If you have the perfect person or business you’d like for me to show off on Shop Around the Corner, please email me at molly@simplyMphotography.com. I look forward to hearing from you!