meet Sierra Bailey
I began consulting after I ended my thriving, handmade jewelry company. After 15 years of building and running the business, I realized that I was enjoying advising overwhelmed business owners on the side more than creating jewelry. I now use my experience not only as a business owner, but a restaurant general manager, tv host and board member for non-profits to help people just like you, succeed.
I have been featured in over 60 national magazines, had my work on prime time shows, been a guest on podcasts and both national and local news programs, given countless talks to thousands of people, run the social media accounts of a handful of non-profits, hosted a live tv show, two podcasts, had articles published in both magazines and on blogs, taught workshops and classes, and now will work one on one with you.
Want to know the long story? I had founded a handmade jewelry business (Manic Trout) in 2003, and over the next 15 years, grew it to become a successful brand. I accomplished everything I hoped and dreamed with it and that’s when the trouble started. I knew I wanted to move on, but had no idea how. I felt trapped and bored and was as you can imagine, have a great deal of anxiety about work. Towards the end of this time, I experienced a major burn out and felt more isolated than ever running my own show.
I finally made the decision to close and during the many months during the exit strategy, I became obsessed with helping others who were in a similar situation not feel so isolated and avoid burnout. Quickly it became obvious that my own experiences made me an ideal person for my peers to open up to. Because I got it.
I also had the ability to show them how to implement systems, become more productive and not to be overwhelmed by what it would take to get to where they wanted to be. As I slowly began to think about pivoting, I started this as a side gig while closing my jewelry company. I took on a few clients through recommendations from friends and received such amazing feedback from them of our work together that I knew this was the next chapter in my life.
I wanted to be that person who through their marketing knowledge, business expertise and years of experience could be the sounding board, the adviser, the mentor, and the cheering squad that so many people wished they had but didn’t know who to call. I wanted them to be able to call me. And just like that, I was off on a new adventure and a new business was born.
What is my involvement with boards and non-profits? Well, I consider service to be incredibly important. Currently, I serve as the Chair of the Austin Committee for the Texas MS 150 where along with over 30 committee members, we organize and offer support year round for the over 1000 Austin riders (an additional 9000 riders are from Houston), organize our leg of the ride and make sure all goes smoothly the weekend of the event. I also serve on the Executive Committee for the same ride.
I am on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Breakfast Club as the incoming President and Marketing Director, and on the Board of Directors for Texas Women in Business as the Marketing Director. I also am the Marketing Lead for the Ellevate Austin Chapter leadership team, and on the comms committees for Women Communicators of Austin.
What else have I done? I have been a live TV Host for a DIY Show on ShopLC that I helped develop. I was the General Manager for a private restaurant in NY, (a way to fund the business in the early days!) Tamarack Preserve and managed a few bars before that. I have served on the Community Advisory Board for Baranoff Elementary School, have been the Chapter Leader for the Academy of Handmade, Promotions Chair for Austin Craft Riot, Chapter Leader for the Little Black Dress Society and Social Media Chair for the Millbrook Arts Group.
What about before that? I received my BFA in Computer Art and Animation from Syracuse University, School of Visual and Performing Arts, where I also took many coding classes in the engineering school.
I designed my first web page in 1995 and my first e-commerce site (before Etsy!) in 2003. I was a painting minor and although I painted professionally until 2010, I no longer do it. Before starting Manic Trout, I had a web design business and designed web pages for local businesses. I have been a fine art gallery assistant, ran an artist’s studio and have done contract photoshop work for wedding photographers on the side. Even further back, when I was in the 6th grade, I raided my grandmothers quilting stash (with permission, quilters are crazy about their fabric!), made over 100 scrunchies and had a little pop up at a local fair. You could say that I have been obsessed with businesses that are based on my talents my entire life.
Both me and my work has been featured in over 60 national magazines, including Real Simple, Southern Living, InStyle, Redbook, People Style Watch, and many others. I have been on the local pages of the Austin Statesman, Tribeza, Austin Woman (which I also wrote for), Austin Lifestyle and have appeared on local news shows. Nationally, I was interviewed on World News Tonight with David Muir and my jewelry was worn on the wildly popular TV shows Gossip Girls and Criminal Minds. Penelope Garcia did indeed wear a lot of my jewelry, it was perfect for her!
What else could I possible share with you? When I am not working or volunteering, I can be found with my nose in a book or listening to podcasts while making my way through a jigsaw puzzle, as there is always one in progress in my house. I live in Austin, TX with my sassy Rat Terrier, Faye, and my jujitsu obsessed husband, Adam Fujawa. I am the oldest of 4 sisters, was born in NH in one of the worst storms of the century. I lived in NY from about 3 until I was 34. I’m a proud Gen Xer, an Aries, an Enneagram 8 and a finisher not an opener. If you made it this far and are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, email me and I’ll explain that last one!
Even if you are not curious about being an opener vs a finisher, I’d love to hear from you! Drop a note to [email protected].