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Life & Work with Miah Gabrielle Haworth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Miah Gabrielle Haworth.

Miah Gabrielle, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always been a creative, it comes from my mom. Growing up I would watch her paint, blow glass and turn anything she could into an art project. Art and creating is something I have always been drawn to, it provides me an outlet, a therapeutic release, and stretches my brain to continuously think of new ideas. There is nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment when you finish that perfect piece. I maintained that spark throughout my younger years, doing craft markets with my mom…I started painting little rocks as bugs, they were a hit…and fast-forwarding eventually landing at MCAD. This is where my creative side found its perfect match with my business side, and the kickstart I needed to develope Miah Gabrielle Collective. It started in 2019 with my illustration-doodles as a very small side hustle, and it still very much so is. Of all the artistic outlets, drawing is my natural go-to. I can do it anywhere, my collage and day job notebooks are filled with sketches, and I wanted to bring those illustrations to life outside of those lined pages. So, I began MG Collective illustrating fabrics. From there, after finding the perfect company to source organic fabrics from (Spoonflower), I began sewing. My collection now includes multiple brands and products, from organic baby onesies to low-waste skin care products and even homemade beeswax candles.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Ha! I don’t know if a smooth road exists when you are starting a small business or side hustle. There are no true rule books, and if you bother to google “how to start a business” it’s more overwhelming than if you just dive in blindly. Which is absolutely what I did. High-level, staying organized for me is key, if not, I can get overwhelmed and deterred so easily, and staying consistent on social media is…..a challenge. Once I started taking my illustrations digital and printing them on fabric, I had to decide what to create…a bit backwards, I know. And believe it or not, I do not enjoy sewing. THAT was the biggest hurdle for me. I love the illustration part, LOVE the branding part, packaging and tags bring me an irrational amount of joy, but the actual sewing can be draining. I did spend some time looking to outsource that process, anywhere from here in MN all the way to the connections I have in Mexico, but ultimately as a side hustle, it was still smartest to just keep sewing myself. I am in fact, a one-woman show. I do it ALL myself. With that said, it was and is often a struggle to stay motivated to keep making. I have been on a little hiatus since the end of 2021, taking the time to reconnect with myself, and remember why I began this little company in the first place. I will say, the bonus of owning your own business, especially if it is a side one, you can take the time away that you need to realign with yourself. It is well worth the investment in you.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Finding time for me, and prioritizing myself is something that grew out of this business that I absolutely did not expect. With my fabrics, I initially began creating baby onesies with my first brand. I have baby fever, in an Aunt way, and am obsessed with all things tiny; tiny baby outfits, matching headbands, and little accessories, all adorned with my one-of-a-kind tiny hand-illustrations. It was so fun to develop this work. As I went on, and as Covid became an oh so real thing, mental health and self-care naturally fell to the forefront of my personal life as well as my small business. My second brand focuses on skincare, self-care and reminding yourself that it is not selfish to take time for YOU. I try to implement that in my products, both with the low waste materials used, an eco-friendly printing processes, and also by encouraging those around me to make and take time for themselves, guilt-free with little reminders in my packaging and on Social Media. I truly believe people (women especially) often feel, or are made to feel guilty about taking time for themselves. And I want to remind everyone, that self-care and self-love, is NOT selfish.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I’d characterize myself as conservative when it comes to risk taking. I am a planner, I will weigh the pros and cons till my muscles give out. However, if I were to say, give advice to a friend contemplating taking a risk, I am the number one cheerleader to yell out, JUST DO IT, YOU GOT THIS! With my business, I am learning to take my own external advice more for myself. I have taken small risks in business, but like how this all started, diving in is often the only way to truly test yourself to see what you can do. I never would have thought 3 years ago I would have an actual business, however small. It has brought me so many opportunities to meet and work with other local artists in the Twin Cities, meet amazing people at the dozens of markets during the fall, and even collaborate with other incredible businesses. I am currently working on a collaboration with another Twin Cities business for the summer – follow along on my Instagram to check it out. And remember, self-care is not selfish! 🙂

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