I started Manic Trout 15 years ago when I was in my mid-twenties with the excitement of having a way to sell my art and digital work. It was mostly website designing with my paintings and jewelry as a side part. After a few years, I stopped designing websites and eventually stopped painting. All of my focus zeroed in on jewelry.
What had been my hobby became my career and while it was amazing to grow the brand, I reached my 40’s and started wishing that I was not designing jewelry any longer. I was craving new experiences and dying for new challenges, yet felt stuck and tethered to something that I no longer enjoyed. I also had developed tendinitis in my elbow from making jewelry for so many years and it physically hurt to work. Honestly, the elbow pain was easier to deal with than the underlying current of not wanting to do this anymore.
So about a year ago, I started to look at where I was and where I wanted to be. I had scaled Manic Trout as far as I could while remaining handmade AND profitable. I had accomplished all of the goals I had for the brand and then some. So I started trying to mix in other things to bring the passion back in that could offer some of the missing excitement and challenges. I quickly discovered though that running the brand is incredibly time-consuming and the little time I gave to other projects was not enough to make a difference. It also left me frustrated that I had no way to escape and made me feel overwhelmingly trapped. I knew things had to change, but it was confusing to think about ending something that had been the focus for most of my adulthood and so much a part of me. Then I started thinking about what my life would like 1, 3 and 5 years down the road if I continued to run Manic Trout. This resulted in panic attacks and binge eating peanut butter pretzels and I knew I had to accept that it was time to call it. And so, I am calling it.
The jewelry shop on ManicTrout.com will end on July 31st. The inventory in the studio will be available up to that day and then whatever is left will move on to the Etsy version of the shop so I can shut it off as needed. My studio is already transforming into my new office and will even include an easel and my painting supplies (because right now they live in the garage and it’s horrible out there in the Texas heat!). This all feels really good.
What will I do work-wise? In all of my reflecting, I realized that I love marketing, content creation and branding and am pursuing jobs in those areas at big tech companies here in Austin and a few really cool remote jobs. As I just cannot shut off the entrepreneurial spirit, I have also been taking on a few consulting clients as I wind down Manic Trout. So we’ll see what that leads to. Otherwise…who knows! I’m thrilled about new challenges and cannot wait to see what happens next.
I want y’all to know that the only thing that did keep me going was you trouties, and the amazing community which has grown around the jewelry. I hope we can all stay connected after July as I consider so many of you great friends and you were the reason that I was so passionate about the jewelry for so long. Thank you for making the past 15 years so amazing!!