Feature Friday: Jayna Anderson
Hi Jayna! Can you tell us a little about yourself and all of your business ventures?
Hi! I’m an artist and maker. I own 5th Dimension Skincare and co-own a metal fab business The Junkyard Co. with my boyfriend/partner Justin. I live in Louisiana with my dog, cats and chickens. I eat an obscene amount of pickles. I just had to get that off my chest. My little sister Cara and I share a brain. Not actually, but pretty much. I know when she’s upset even though I live thousands of miles away from her. I have to include that in this intro so that everyone knows that I’m literally linked to this other human, who may or may not be an alien, for the rest of our lives.
You do it all from welding to creating your own AMAZING skincare- did you go to school to learn all of these skills or are you self-taught?
I went to the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia (shout out Tyler Glass for putting up with my bs!) where I studied a wide variety of craft processes. Ultimately though, I was more interested in ideas, and less into craft. I’ve since relearned how to weld, and I take craft serious. Justin + I fabricate pieces that will live in someone’s home. I can’t put it out there if it’s not well made. I’m still a big idea person, but “de-skilling” isn’t an option for me.
I’ve been making balms and scrubs for some time, but when I really got into meditation practice, I started to uncover parts of myself that I had previously ignored. By embracing the full me, I felt like I blossomed. Around that same time, I had sent Brit a body butter one day, just to say thanks for supporting me with the Junkyard. She told me I had to start selling it. Other people had told me, but I had brushed them off as niceties. I heard Brit though. I put some online and it sold. People loved it. I kept going. 5th Dimension was the most natural start to a project that I’ve ever had. It felt serendipitous.
I will be attending Samara Herbalism school in 2019 too! I want to deepen my knowledge and expand my business into other forms of herbal wellness beyond skincare.
You just moved from the California desert to Lafayette, Louisiana- how's the adjustment going? Are you happy you made the move?
In the past 2 years or so I’ve lived in Philadelphia, Flagstaff, LA, Twentynine Palms and now Louisiana. I do not plan on leaving this area for a while. Needless to say, I love it here. It feels like home. All of the green trees, bug sounds, and weird mushrooms make me happy. Moves are a part of the death cycle, and I’m trying to embrace that without pushing too hard for a rebirth- especially for the Junkyard. I know it will come, but if you force it, it won’t be good. So yeah, that’s been pretty hard but otherwise, I’m loving it here.
How do you find the energy to do so many things all the time?! We're pretty sure you have super powers.
I am a freak. I always have been. I don’t try to have energy, I’m just ready to go. I’m a maker, but I’m also an idea person. I get juiced up about an idea, and I will make it happen. I’ve gotten a lot better in learning how to release that energy and relax. I even sleep in until 9 some days now, with no guilt. Who cares. I know by the time I have my first sip of coffee, I’ll have a project underway, still in my robe. I keep going and try not to let thoughts hold me back. It’s just who I’ve always been, and it’s one of the things I’ve grown to love most about myself.
Ultimately, I like living- it’s terrifying and funny and full of surprises. I’ve had a rough time of it in the past, so to be alive and well is something I never take for granted.
What do you do when you're feeling unmotivated or in a creative slump? Do you have any tricks to getting yourself motivated or inspired?
If I need to find creativity, I cook. I just love to cook. It holds my focus unlike anything else. I’ve been cooking since the age of 12, and it is engrained into my person. Cooking feeds life, and it always helps me feel better about any slump I might be sitting in. I cook at least once a day. I find that cooking keeps me fresh, releases stress. It comes so naturally to me that I’m usually feeling pretty good about myself by the time the food hits the table. When I’m grooving in the kitchen, life feels better. I’m a wonderful cook, and engaging in something once a day that has such tasty results, well… it’s a great confidence booster.
If I’m really slumping though, I’ll probably cry in bed, take a bath and pick up a book. Books are great distractions that don’t compare you to other people (eh hem social media). I can spend a weekend in bed with a book. By Monday, I’m back in the saddle.
What are some day to day challenges you experience from owning your own businesses?
Working from home is hard. I am 100% living this life, morning noon and night. I want my own studio. But there’s the challenge of money. I love working, but I have debt from college and from life. I want to do so much and I struggle with asking my worth. There will always be challenges, but there’s a time to recognize when these are self inflicted or whether you need to change something about your business model. Or maybe you need to write a business model. It’s hard to step outside of something you live and breathe; it’s hard to see what needs to change.
What's the best way you manage the stress that comes from running multiple businesses?
Sex. Hahah. Kidding. Ok no I am not kidding. It’s the best stress reliever some days. Especially when you and your business partner are both stressed out. Win Win. But I also try to get outside and move my body through space. I live and work in the same place. I get tired of this space. I take baths, I mask, I do my nails, it’s all nice but I have to just get out.
I also have 8 pets. So I’m basically always cuddling something during work breaks. Watching chickens run through a yard is hilarious. Always makes me feel better.
What's your favorite thing you've ever made? If it's too hard to pick just one, what are your top three favorites?
Wow ok. Sub Rosa for sure because that formulation was intuitive and perfect the first time I made it. It was exactly what I wanted it to be.
What's the best part about working for yourself, and what's the hardest part?
To answer both at the same time- no one tells me what to do. It’d be really great if someone came in and told me if you did this first, then this, things would be a lot easier for you! But my business partner boyfriend knows firsthand, I don’t want to hear that. I want to find my own way.
I’ve also met some incredible people. I can’t even begin to start on how many people I’ve connected with through from work! That’s what really feeds me.
Any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
Think about growth. Envision yourself running a business that’s fully grown. How do you manage? Who is helping? Lay the brick work now. Write it down. Do every step yourself first, learn what it takes. Know your worth, and know the worth of the people you surround yourself with. Don’t undersell either.
No one wants to start at the bottom. If that’s the only place for you to start, you better get moving, ‘cause life keeps moving whether you’re on the bus or not.