Kristen and Lindsey Archer of ARCHd on empowering women through handmade home decor
Describe your business in a few words:
Sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer create handmade home decor with their original female empowerment illustrations, skyline designs, and landscape photography. From “build your own” wood bookend sets to large wall art, each piece features bold colors and is uniquely made. ARCHd gives back a percentage of each online sale to a different organization each month that focuses on empowering women, positively impacting and uplifting the Black community, and/or supporting the arts.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Kristen’s career focused on photography and video while Lindsey’s focused on graphic design and marketing. Collectively, we’ve worked in the non-profit, food, and hospitality industries, as well as photography studios and ad agencies. Our creative strengths complement each other really well and have been a huge part of our success.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Neither of us ever had the goal of becoming an entrepreneur. It wasn’t until around 2017 (3 years after starting ARCHd) that we started thinking of ARCHd as a possible full-time job. We built our company slowly, setting goals and benchmarks for where we needed to be in order to financially support ourselves.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
At the beginning of ARCHd, our main marketing strategy was based on word-of-mouth through in-person markets and art festivals. We also worked on getting our products available in local shops around our home city of Memphis. Those strategies worked well as a means to slowly grow our business a little at a time. Working full-time jobs, we could only take on so much. We were never looking for huge, overnight growth.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Making the transition to being full-time entrepreneurs is the accomplishment we are most proud of, to date. Being able to build ARCHd into something that financially supports both of us (and now one additional full-time employee) is an accomplishment that’s still hard to believe has happened! Also, being recognized with a handwritten note from Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the art we sent her with illustrations of her dissent collars was a top 3 life moment.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
We definitely believe in attempting to create work/life balance but are nowhere near mastering it. We both live and work together out of our home, which makes it challenging to separate the two. And it’s hard to not overwork ourselves when the work is happening in our house, just literal steps from where we relax. We recently started attending Pilates classes twice a week, which has made a positive difference in us setting time aside for self-care.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
We recently received creative recognition through Memphis’s chapter of the American Advertising Awards (ADDYs™), for a passion video project we created in late 2021. Project Stories: Women Duos is a video series created to celebrate the empowering relationships between five women duos who founded and co-own a product-based small business together in Memphis, Tennessee. While each of these stories is unique, there are a lot of commonalities in the way each pair of women empowers each other. In so many ways, their successful businesses are a direct result of their strong bonds. We loved capturing these women’s stories and sharing them with our community!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
The next step for our business is to move production outside of our home and off our front porch! We hope to open a studio/workshop/small retail shop in the coming year (or two). Our dream is to have a workshop and studio where customers can watch some of our handmade processes happen, as they shop.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
We are thrilled to join a community of fellow female entrepreneurs! Some of our favorite projects and collaborations have been with other women and we look forward to connecting. We also love sharing our experiences with other business owners in hopes our lessons learned will help them (and vice-versa)!