Angie of Five 15 - Quality Goods for Animal Lovers + Positive People

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I first "met" Angie, creator of Five 15, through Instagram a while ago, and was immediately attracted by her vivid images (now GIFs) + feminist vibe. Soon afterwards, I started to notice that her products are not only inspired by feminism, but also the idea of giving back to help animals.

As a girl who came from a family where women are always strong and where pets are always welcomed, I quickly resonated with what Angie is doing. I also admired that she has a business in branding and visual design. It was just crazy to me that she runs two businesses on her own yet still manages to make time for snuggles and walks (you'll know what I mean if you've seen her Insta stories)!

I'm very honored to have this chance to learn more about her experience as a creativepreneur through this interview, and share it with you! 

會認識Angie跟之前認識Olivia一樣,都是透過在IG上的互動。當時一看到她鮮明的風格就立刻愛上,也很快地就發現她不僅僅推廣女權主義、性別平等,更透過她的原創設計產品實際回饋給需要幫助的動物們。

寶拉來自一個世代都是女強人+總是有寵物在家跑來跑去的家庭,因此我很快地就被Angie的品牌理念及她跟Meatball的互動吸引。特別是她獨自一人不僅經營Five 15,更是本來就擁有自己的創意事業(品牌識別、視覺設計等),讓我更加佩服。在兩頭燒的情況下,她卻依然能排出時間帶狗狗去散步、跟老公約會、運動、休息等等。

每當看到像Angie一樣成功的獨立創意人時,總是不禁覺得自己是不是沒有想像中適合這條路,但又在每次大家熱情分享自己的經驗之後,覺得充滿力量。一起來看看Angie跟我們分享她身為創意人的故事吧!


Hi Angie! Thank you for doing this interview. For those of us meeting you for the first time, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into what you do.

Angie: I designed my first product a month after we adopted Meatball last July. I wanted to do something to commemorate that AND support rescue dogs. After realizing designing products was something I wanted to continue doing, I made a rule that I would only sell things that fit these two criteria: a) they have to be meaningful to me (and hopefully to others too) and b) I wanted to continue giving back.

Feminism is also very important to me, so it was only natural that I started designing products promoting equality and kindness next. 10 months and 12 pins later (and a few new in the works) I'm beyond grateful that some of the things that resonate with me, resonate with others too, and that I can continue giving back to causes that matter most to me. 

嗨Angie!謝謝您接受這次的訪談。對於第一次認識Angie跟Five 15的朋友們,可以告訴我們一些關於您的個人背景及您如何開始Five 15的嗎?

Angie:去年七月我們領養了Meatball,之後的一個月內我設計了Five 15的第一件產品。開始設計原創產品的初衷,是因為我以幫助更多的流浪狗方式,紀念我跟Meatball的緣分。而我很快地發現,設計原創產品是我想做的事情,於是我提醒自己,我販售的任何東西都必須符合這兩個條件:

  1. 這些產品對我而言必須有意義
  2. 符合我持續奉獻與回饋的初衷

女權主義也是對我而言非常重要的信念,於是我自然而然開始設計與推廣性別平權有關的產品。接下來的十個月之內,我陸續設計並發佈了12款原創別針,而對於別人也能與我的信念共鳴這一點,我特別的感恩,因為這樣的共鳴,讓我能夠持續地對我支持的理念奉獻與回饋。

 

How did you decide to put your belief into action?

Angie: The secret is not a secret. I have an amazing business coach and support system, and that definitely helped me get clarity and put things into action. I also have to admit reading Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book, Big Magic (about living a creative life) was very encouraging too. I started reading it by accident after listening to her podcast Magic Lessons (which I definitely recommend) at the perfect time, when I was debating starting my own business or doing the 'safe' thing for me and go to an office job. I heard something in the podcasts that stuck with me. I am paraphrasing but it went something like this: "We take the leap not because we're hoping the net will appear (it may not, and we may fail). We leap because the pain of standing near the edge is greater than the pain of the fall." I knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life wondering 'what if'. I am grateful I took the risk and I am grateful every day I get to do this for a living. 

您是如何決定將您的信念付諸行動的呢?

Angie:付諸行動的背後沒有什麼天大的秘訣,我找了一位很棒的創業導師合作,有足夠的資源去支持並幫助我釐清想法,付諸行動。

另外就是Elizabeth Bilbert寫的一本關於如何以創意過生活的書:Big Magic,對我產生了很大的鼓舞。會有機會讀這本書可以說是意外中的天時地利人和,是因為在我糾結著是否創業或找一份「穩定」工作的時候,收聽了她主持的Podcast:Magic Lessons(真心推薦)。

在她的Podcast裡面,我聽到一句類似這樣的話:「我們勇敢邁出那一步,不是因為我們知道下面有一張安全網在等我們(可能啥都沒有),而是因為站在懸崖邊徬徨的感覺,遠比墜落的瞬間還要難受。」我聽了瞬間明白自己一點也不想花接下來的大半輩子留給自己「要是當初我...」的懸念,而如今我很感謝當初的自己決定大膽嘗試,因為我現在每天都做自己喜歡的事情過生活。

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You have a branding and design business before you started Five 15. How has working on Five 15 changed your life and how do you balance between the two of them?

Angie: Being able to do something creative for a living is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. That’s definitely changed my life for the better. I feel like I am finally being true to who I really am. Being self-employed has also changed my life, and what I didn’t know at first is how challenging it would be to take time off, especially when I am doing something I love. Balance for me has been learning how to run a business and still prioritize making space to rest and do all the things that fill me up outside of being creative (such as time with my husband, friends, exercise, rest, etc). When I do that, paradoxically, I am much more productive and effective at what I do.

在您創立Five 15之前,原本就有一份專門從事品牌識別(branding)與平面設計的獨立事業。現在有了Five 15您是如何平衡生活的,Five 15又對您有了什麼樣的影響呢?

Angie:能夠以創意過生活,是我做過最有成就感的事情了,也絕對為我的生活帶來了正面的影響,如今我終於覺得我真正在「做自己」了。

獨立作業的工作型態對我的生活也確實帶來影響,特別是一開始我並不知道這樣的工作方式會讓我忘記休息,尤其是當我做的是我熱愛的事情時。

如何在工作與生活之間平衡一直是我最大的課題,我到現在還在學習如何權衡事情的優先順序,包括如何分配時間給家人、朋友、運動、休息等等。當我刻意安排時間給這些工作以外的活動時,我反而在工作方面變得更有效率了。

 

I see you interact with Meatball and your favorite human on your Instagram story a lot. How has Meatball changed your routine and what does it mean to you to have a husband that’s also a creative?

Angie: Meatball has totally changed our lives too. First off, she gives us so much joy! She is such an amazing dog! We are really lucky. That said, having a dog has definitely changed our routine too. Geoff and I used to spend lots of time in coffee shops, drawing or doing creative things, and now that we have Meatball, we try to spend a lot more time outside. It has been challenging to adapt at first, but she’s definitely been a good influence on us. We really wanted a dog and knew this would happen, so she’s changed our lives in a way that we wanted. 

Being married to an artist is so fun! We encourage each other to work on projects and give each other feedback, even though our styles are really different. Watching Geoff make time to create just for the fun of it is really inspiring and a   great reminder for me. I definitely feel like my relationship with Geoff has made me a more creative person, 100%

在您的Instagram Story上面經常可以看到您跟Meatball頻繁的互動,請問Meatball如何改變了您的生活?又當您的另一半同時也是一位創意人時,對您來說有什麼特別的意義嗎?

Angie:Meatball為我們的生活帶來了很大的改變。首先就是她每天都讓我們超開心!她真的是一隻很棒的狗。當然,養狗之後我們的一些作息也改變了,比如說我跟老公以前常常去咖啡廳工作或討論idea之類的,現在因為有了Meatball,我們盡量安排更多的戶外時間。

剛開始真的很難適應,但是Meatball帶給我們的影響是正面的。我們一直很想要養狗,也知道總有一天我們會養狗,所以說起來,她對我們帶來的影響是我們預期中的。

當你的另一半也是創意人的時候真的每天都很有趣!雖然我們的風格差很多,但我們經常互相鼓勵對方,給對方建議。尤其是看我老公偶爾為了自己好玩而創作的時候,對我而言經常是很大的啟發與提醒。我跟老公之間的關係,百分之百幫助我成為一個更有創意的人。

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Working exclusively as a creative is still a challenged idea in Taiwan (mostly for family reasons). How has your family played part alongside your path to where you are right now?

Angie: I think in some parts of Mexico* that’s still the same. I have been living in Canada since I was 21, so I’ve been making my own decisions for some decades now. What I know is my family supports whatever makes me happy. I think they’ve always known I am going to do what I want anyway, so they encourage me with whatever I want to do. I don’t know if that would have changed if I had stayed in Mexico. I’d like to think they’d be supportive no matter what. I am so grateful for that.

*Angie was originally from Mexico.

在台灣以獨立創意人的身份工作依然不是一個容易的決定,很多時候家人的擔心會成為我們妥協的原因。從您決定獨立創業到現在,您的家人一路上扮演了什麼樣的角色呢?

Angie:我想,在墨西哥 [註1] 有些地方跟台灣目前的情況差不多。不過自從我21歲搬到加拿大之後,我就一直都為自己做決定。我知道不論我的決定是什麼,我的家人都會支持我,我想他們應該也知道他們阻止不了我吧,所以與其反對不如鼓勵我。

我不知道如果換作我留在墨西哥的話他們是不是會一樣支持我,但我默默希望就算我繼續待在墨西哥,他們也會像現在一樣支持我,而我也會像現在一樣感激。

[註1] Angie是在墨西哥長大的

 

If you could give one piece of advice to the ones who are looking to start a creative business, what would it be?

Angie: Do it for yourself. Don’t try to please anyone else. With practice, you’ll find your style (I am still finding mine!). Sometimes, what you’ll make will suck. That’s part of the creative process. Don’t let that discourage you/make you think you aren’t talented. Continue to practice and do it for the fun of it. Do it because the pain of not doing it is greater than the pain of doing it.

如果只能給希望從事獨立創意工作的朋友們一個建議的話,那會是什麼呢?

Angie:為了你自己而做,不要想討好任何人。

透過不斷的練習,你一定會慢慢摸索出自己的風格(我自己也還在摸索中!)而一路上難免會覺得遇到瓶頸,但別忘了,一切都只是過程。

千萬不要因為遇到瓶頸就覺得你自己不夠好,繼續練習,繼續為了喜歡而做;也許做下去會很辛苦,但那遠比什麼都沒嘗試過要來得好多了。

 

More about Angie/更多關於Angie:


Notes

Angie is fearless, talented, loving, and everything badass. Not everyone has the courage to take the leap, and not everyone has the ability to truly figure things out after the leap.

Seeing Angie being true to herself, showing up everyday, putting herself out there, AND still manages to stay super motivated, is one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen. Sometimes I wish I was her, and I'm not even trying to exaggerate!

I'm really grateful I had this chance to learn more about Angie and her creative business. I hope you enjoyed learning about Angie and Five 15 as well as I enjoyed putting this post together!

*I hand-lettered a quote which Angie inspired me, as a token of gratitude: "Have courage and be badass."

後記

Angie給我的感覺總是那麼無所畏懼,充滿愛,好像沒有什麼事情難得倒她。不是每個人都有勇氣跳出框架,脫離常規,也不是每個人都在勇敢踏出那一步之後,都有辦法站穩腳步。

每一次看著Angie如此忠於自己,為了自己的信念努力不懈,勇敢地將自己放出去,如此忙碌卻依舊充滿動力,就覺得倍受啟發。有時候我甚至希望我就是她,忍不住羨慕她的生活。一點不誇張!

真的很開心可以有機會透過這次專訪更加認識Angie跟她的獨立事業,也把她介紹給大家。希望你們也跟我一樣,從她的故事與經驗裡面得到正面的啟發。

如慣例,寶拉以題字的方式感謝Angie接受這次的訪談:

「要堅強,要勇敢,還要超跩*」

have courage and be badass-quote for angie coates