The weeks shortly before and after Labor Day often bring big shifts to our normal routines. These can be hectic times in our lives, even in the absence of a global pandemic. This is why I thought I would kick off this newsletter by featuring 5 creators who can serve different aspects of our lives. From creating fun craft projects with our kids and furnishing our homes to sending group gifts to our remote colleagues and tips for productivity, improving mental health, and navigating financial markets.
Craft with Amber Kemp-Gerstel, founder of YayDay Paper Co. & Damask Love
Amber Kemp-Gerstel is the founder of a popular DIY blog, Damask Love, that teaches readers how to make everything from beaded bracelets to cute pop up cards. She also recently launched an affordable monthly subscription that will send you the materials you need to create beautiful paper craft projects. You can preview the type of projects that are included in the subscription on YayDay Paper Co.'s YouTube channel and website. The membership is a great for gift for the creators in your life.
Origin Story: Amber began dedicating 100% of her time to perfecting and sharing her crafting expertise in 2015, when she courageously left her job as child psychologist. Since then, Dr. Kemp-Gerstel has been so successful that she's captured the attention of big brands like Martha Stewart, Home Depot, and Canon. She's also been featured in Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Apartment Therapy, and Better Homes and Gardens.
Learn more about Dr. Amber Kemp-Gerstel here. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook. You can follow YayDay Paper Co. on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Treat yourself and loved ones with Cathy Zhang's beautiful art collection at Easy Sunday Club
Easy Sunday Club features original designs by Cathy Zhang. Her collection includes greeting cards, art prints, and baby/children's clothing and blankets. Her products can be found in big box retail stores like Target, Home Goods, and Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as independent boutiques around the US.
Origin Story: Cathy describes her entrepreneurial journey as the outcome of pursuing a dissatisfying string of corporate and startup roles. Much of her early career was driven by a desire to make her parents proud and honor their hard work ethic and sacrifices to give her a better life. While attempting to stave off the stresses of searching for meaningful work, she rekindled her love for painting after participating in #The100DayProject challenge. Since then, she's turned her talents and passion into a thriving business and now shares helpful tips for creators and aspiring entrepreneurs on the Easy Sunday Club's YouTube Channel.
Learn more about Cathy here and support her on Patreon. Follow Easy Sunday Club on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Find products made by Easy Sunday Club at a store near you.
Celebrate friends, family, and colleagues with Valentin (Val) Hinov's app Thankbox
Thankbox is a virtual gifting app that provides a fun and convenient way to collectively give someone a gift card. There are many options to choose from, including Amazon, Walmart, Visa, and Hotels.com. Gift contributors can even add a custom message and photo. It's a great way to stay connected to and celebrate remote colleagues, friends, and family members.
Origin Story: In 2019, Valentin Hinov enjoyed sending collective gifts to his co-workers on special occasions such as birthdays and work anniversaries. But he also noticed how difficult it was for everyone to chip in. He began searching for solutions and found that all of the existing options fell short of what he envisioned. When the world shut down in March 2020 and many people began working remotely, he felt even more compelled to find a solution. Within two months, he decided to launch his own. Today, Thankbox generates around $20,000 in revenue each month.
Learn more about Val here. He also discussed his motivation for starting Thankbox in episode #222 of the Indie Hackers podcast (stay tuned for more on Indie Hackers in a future issue). You can follow his progress on his blog and Twitter. Follow Thankbox on Twitter and Instagram.
Confidently navigate financial markets with Ramin Nakisa, founder of PensionCraft
PensionCraft offers informative beginner and intermediate level courses on investing, along with a membership plan that provides access to live Q&A sessions and access to an active Slack community of fellow investors. If you need a little extra guidance or want to discuss certain topics in more detail, you can also book private one-on-one sessions with the founder of PensionCraft, Ramin Nakisa. Not sure where to begin? Start by subscribing to the free Market Roundup newsletter and YouTube channel. Ramin publishes new content every Friday.
Origin Story: Before starting PensionCraft, Dr. Ramin Nakisa earned a doctorate degree in Physics. After earning his PhD, he conducted research on neural network models and language acquisition as a postdoc. He then became a strategist in the world of investment banking. This is where he developed a love for teaching about finance and investing. He has authored two books on the subject. Today, he continues to share his knowledge about finance as an investment coach and is regularly featured on Bloomberg TV, in addition to starting ad managing PensionCraft.
Learn more about Ramin here. You can support PensionCraft on Patreon and by donation. Follow PensionCraft on YouTube and Twitter.
Improve productivity and wellness with Anne-Laure Le Cunff at Ness Labs
Anne-Laure Le Cunff is the founder of Ness Labs which shares in-depth reviews of productivity tools and evidence-based tips for improving productivity, creativity and mental health. She shares these insights, along with expert interviews, in the weekly Maker Mind newsletter. All tips and interviews in the newsletter are made available on the website. You can also join the community for curious minds which provides access to events and workshops.
Origin Story: Anne-Laure left her career at Google to launch a startup that didn't pan out the way that she hoped, a common experience among entrepreneurs. After feeling a bit lost, she decided to return to school to study a topic that she would happily dedicate the rest of her life to: neuroscience and psychology. This is how Ness Labs was born. While in school, Anne-Laure learned about the Generation Effect, a phenomenon that suggests that we can learn and retain information more easily if it's generated from our own minds. In other words, we are more likely to learn and remember something when we summarize it and teach it to others than if we simply read it or hear it from a teacher in a classroom. Inspired by this finding, she began regularly summarizing and sharing research from similar studies on her blog which soon attracted a large following. The enthusiastic engagement inspired her to create a community and start the newsletter.
Learn more about Anne-Laure here. Follow her on Twitter.
Thanks again for supporting the Small & Mighty!
Please note that while this newsletter often highlights products and services, support comes in all shapes and sizes, just like entrepreneurs. While financial support is always appreciated, you can also support indie creators and entrepreneurs by reviewing their products or services, recommending them to others, following and engaging with them on social platforms, and reading their blogs and watching their videos with ad blockers turned off.