(Full Disclosure: Amy is my fiancee, so it’s fitting that she be the first woman in the series. Besides, I thought some of you might like to get to know her.)
Say baby, ready for that interview? Why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone…
Hello! My Name is Amy Kahn. I am 35 and I grew up in Colorado. I am the owner/designer of Amy Kahn Jewelry. I started my business 2 years ago as a metalsmith and from the very start it seems like there has always been some little fire to put out here or there, but this is the happiest and most driven I can ever remember being.
(ED- After some debate about whether or not she was misquoted, Amy sent me this message: “What I meant WAS- that as a business owner you always have to be ready for anything and be willing to go with the flow, that the work day is never over and there is always yet another step or part of the biz to think about.”)
How did you figure out that you wanted to run your own business?
It wasn’t so much that I knew I wanted my own business. It was more that I wanted to be able to produce my own designs. After going to art school it was hard to envision how to use that experience out in the world. What should happen with your art work and how to make it happen. I always did some kind of metalsmithing or jewelry on the side no matter what job I had. My father is a huge influence for me (which I just recently realized). Watching him run his own business and knowing how hard and smart he has worked made me realize I could run my own business.
So…you’re a daddy’s girl…
No! – I just respect what he has done. He came to this country when he was nine years old only speaking German. He and his family sought refuge here from Hitler. I think he is remarkable for what he has accomplished in his lifetime. Putting himself through college, fighting in the Korean War, marrying my mom, and having a successful business for over 35 years. Think about the motivation and dedication it takes to do those things.
Also I think in this country most people are taught to just go along. People rarely live their dream. Then they look back and it is too late to do what makes them happy or they tell themselves they can’t. That is why I respect my dad, he sought out what made him happy and with lots of motivation.
What did you do for fun when you were a kid?
I painted pictures, made sculptures, drew, played dress up in my mom’s clothes and jewelry, rode my green machine and bike down hills, had an ant farm, played on our neighbors swing set, you know the usual kid stuff!
Other than your parents, who was the most influential adult from your childhood?
I have to say I don’t really remember. I suppose my art teacher was a big influence, after all I pursued art school. I also remember going to a lecture given by Helen Thomas, the female reporter in the White House. I also did a sculpture of Golda Meyer.
How do you live with a self obsessed lunatic like me?
THAT’s a very good question!!!!!!! I guess love will do crazy things to a gal! Plus I am sure I am a little obsessed with my own art and business.
What you think about the story about you in the Post?
It is very exciting to have an article about me in a paper. It is not something that was on my agenda but it will help my biz. It feels good to be recognized and presented to so many people but I have to make sure it is something that works for me. That I don’t let it go to my head but really use it as a tool for marketing, selling, etc….
What do you think your life will be like in 5 years?
I don’t know. It is good to have goals but I never want to create boundaries around the possibilities that stand in front of me. I like to think of it as opening myself up. I guess the first thing is knowing that this is just the beginning for me and my business, that there are many ways my dreams will change and grow and that I am just planting the seeds now. In 5 years you never know! I could have 5 employees, I could have 200 stores I am selling jewelry to, I could have a store, I could be designing for a larger designer, I could own a gallery with you. I do know I will be married to YOU!!