Jen Fox

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Jen Fox is an American entrepreneur. Jen started Foxly Handmade in 2016 and is based in Albuquerque.[1]

Jen Fox, founder of Foxly HandmadeJen Fox, founder of Foxly Handmade


Foxly Handmade


@foxlyhandmade (2.19K followers)


Early Career

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Foxly Handmade

Jen started Foxly Handmade in 2016. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Foxly Handmade?

I have been sewing and creating as a hobby and as a business since 2009, but my line of handmade bags under the name FOXLY Handmade began in earnest in 2016.

At the time, I worked full time as an interior designer at a commercial architecture firm, but I had an itch to have full creative control over a project from start to finish. I began making leather and canvas totes, block printed pouches, and all styles of bags. I developed the patterns myself, sourced materials, cut, stitched, marketed, and I developed a loyal following by carting those bags all over town to local shows (sometimes on a bike with a trailer attached to the back!).

Until I burned out. I was exhausted by the range of inventory that I was trying to keep up and weighed down financially by all of the supplies and materials I had to keep on hand to produce it. It was a pace I wasn't able to sustain, and all of my time was spent creating, and I had no brain power left to actually SELL. So I had to make a change.

how-i-started-a-3-5k-month-handmade-bag-company 2017 with my bike trailer set up at the local farmers' market

I had a notebook of handwritten records from all of the sales I had made over the previous several years. I sat down with those records at the beginning of 2019 and tallied up all of my bag styles and their sales numbers. Looking at the data, it was obvious that I had a one stand out product -- and it just so happened that it was the product that was the least complex to make, and the one I was confident I could scale when the time was right. I dropped about 15-20 bag styles from my line and focused only on making zipper pouches, which feature the illustrations of several artists.

> It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and get distracted by shiny things. I did that for years before I realized I needed to simplify! Simplifying and focusing my business has also made it easier for me to say no to opportunities that don't align.

At first, I resisted the idea of getting rid of all of the styles of bags that I had become known for. I loved putting my creative energy into getting the details of a bag design just right, and it felt like I was throwing that hard work out the window. Looking back, paring back, and focusing on just one thing was the single best decision I have made for this business. It has freed up mental space and has reduced my overhead significantly. I couldn't argue with the data, and I am so grateful that I simplified my production and my product line for the sake of my own sanity (and profitability!).

Plus, I realized that by partnering with artists to create artwork for these pouches, I had the potential to exponentially expand my brand's reach over time and to continue to develop new collections without reinventing the wheel, since my core product is the same.

As a side note, I think it's important to mention here that this business is not able to provide a full-time income yet, though I am aiming for that for the future. I am very grateful to have a part-time university job that provides me with benefits and a small but consistent paycheck. I would recommend hanging on to some consistent income for as long as you can when you are just starting out unless you have a hefty personal savings cushion!


Source [1]