If, like me, you often find yourself spending fruitless hours searching online for very specific items (multi-coloured pom pom trim, yellow-peep toe shoes, soft leather satchels in a particular shade of red…) then online service hatch.co is for you. It’s a service that brings together people who want something unique made with people who can make those things. They also have a range of products that you can tweak to add your own creative touch.
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Anastasia from hatch recently while she was visiting Ireland as part of the Web Summit and she told me a little more about her business…
1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Anastasia, and I co-founded a company called Hatch. The idea behind Hatch is that every product you see on our site can be personalized and customized by the user, so the result is always something very personal and unique. Prior to Hatch, I spent 5+ years at Google, working as a Product Marketing Manager and New Business Development Manager, where I led entrepreneurship efforts in EMEA and closed deals for early-stage technology partnerships for Google Voice, Google Chrome, and Google Wallet.
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a triple major in Psychology, Sociology, and French and have been a curious nomad all my life, having spent long stints in Bahrain, Vietnam, Hungary, Russia, France, England, and the US.
2. What gave you the idea to create your service?
There are many times that I would look at an object, whether jewelry or a vase or a piece of art, and find myself thinking that I would absolutely love it if one slight element of it were different (a different material or perhaps a different set of color combinations or an altogether different design that was personal to me). Then, it would be perfect for me, or for a friend whom I was trying to find a gift for.
As I saw the rise of DIY, I realized that there are many people out there who have great ideas for unique things to create but who simply don’t have time to invest in learning the proper skill required to bring that object to life, whether that’s painting, sewing, woodworking, or jewelry making. On the other side of it, there are millions of very talented makers out there who have these skills and with these skills, they can do anything. Yet they are constantly forced to produce a number of objects and sell them exactly as they are, thereby only creating a small portion of all the things their skills enable them to bring to life.
The idea behind Hatch was to bring these two sides together to create an experience of collaborative creation.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration by forcing myself away from my work from time to time. Doing yoga or immersing myself in a good book and forcing myself to be absorbed in something else are the times when a great idea or a new way to solve a problem will strike. I also go out of my way to talk to as many people as possible who are in a different space or industry than the one I’m in. They bring a whole new way of thinking to the table and can help spark an idea by forcing you look at something from a completely different angle.
4. What advice or words of wisdom would you give from your experience?
Don’t worry about failure. Admit to yourself that yes, it’s possible that you’ll fail, and then put it out of your head. As a very wise man said to me when I was debating whether to leave my job to start Hatch, “Don’t be the person who’s always talked about starting your company but never actually did.” Surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you and motivate and empower them to do great work. At the end of the day, try to remember that everything boils down to people so empathy will go a long way. Lastly, and this is the hardest for me, be patient. We tend to think success happens overnight and get frustrated when the things we’re doing don’t seem to be making an impact, but this is all part of the very fun journey that we go on to fill our days doing something we love.
5. Share a few of your favourite things…
Some of my favorite things:
- For curious reading: www.brainpickings.org
- My favorite book as of late: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
- Mulled wine
- all things Yellow
Thanks so much Anastasia!