Name: String Theories CA (Mikaela Shopa)
City: Halifax, NS
Occupation/Job Title: Macrame Maker
Tell us about your business.
String Theories CA is a one-woman owned and operated online shop for handmade macrame home and wedding decor.
What inspired you to get started?
My husband travels a lot for work, so I am home alone quite often. I needed a hobby to fill my time (especially during the winter months) and found macrame! Fell in love with it and decided to turn it into a part-time business. The timing worked out really well, as I was able to incorporate a ton of macrame into my wedding a year after I started my business!
Do you have a favourite type of piece?
I really love doing ceremony backdrops, and big, detail-filled pieces. the more detailed, the better!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I've never thought of myself as an entrepreneur.... super weird to think about that! I guess I love the creative outlet it gives me. I'm an aerospace engineer at my day job, so it's really refreshing to be able to come home and create something that's entirely mine, and that uses the opposite side of my brain than the one I use at work.
What have you found most challenging?
I find the social media/marketing aspect of my business the most challenging. Before I started String Theories CA, I didn't even have a personal Instagram account. Entering the world of social media has been difficult for me. I struggle with finding a balance between posting beautiful photos that are relevant and interesting, and wanting to just post whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it. Owning a business account on Instagram comes with an inherent pressure to conform in order to be successful, and I find it difficult to overcome that mentality. I occasionally take breaks from my social media accounts when I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by the "Instagram algorithm".
Tell us more about the tree planting initiative you mention in your Instagram bio.
I'm so happy you asked me about this! One of my best-selling items is my tree of life design that comes in three different sizes. In May of 2019, I announced that 20% of proceeds from each Tree of Life sale from my Etsy store will be donated to www.onetreeplanted.org. I am always trying to find ways to reduce my carbon footprint, and I love the mission statement of this organization. One dollar donated is one tree planted! If you're interested in learning more, I strongly urge you to go check out their website and see how you can become involved!
Where can we find your art?
I sell my pieces on Etsy at www.etsy.com/ca/shop/stringtheoriesca, but I also attend markets in and around Halifax 3-4 times a year. I usually announce which markets I'm attending on my Instagram account. I also LOVE fulfilling custom requests, and you can always contact me through my Instagram and Etsy accounts for that!
And finally, where can we find you on social media?