Woman turns hobby into business by embracing the unexpected

DENVER, Colo. - Sometimes life can take you in ways you never expect. And embracing that, can be the secret to success. 

Erika Righter's journey is a story of the unexpected.

"It's kind of wild to look at it now," Righter says. "This is how it could happen. You like to make something and then five years later you have a store."

For every item sold at Righter's store, money is donated to local non-profits. She got the idea while working as a social worker. She wanted to find a way to close the gap between the community and the young people she worked with. Then life, gave her an unexpected push.

"I worked for an organization that unfortunately closed and found myself pregnant and without a job," Righter remembers. "And I kind of felt like it can't get scarier. I've been thinking about this thing that I want to do and so I signed a lease on a space."

She and other artists started selling their items and giving part of the proceeds to non-profits. Erika found another job in social work, but soon it became hard to balance both.

"I felt like I wasn't bringing everything I could to the youth I was working with and I wasn't bringing everything I could to the business," Righter says. "And so it was either I go back full-time doing social work or make this thing go."

And it went. Righter stopping focusing on making things and instead shifted her focus to running the store, and getting out into the community, all while raising her young children.

"Honestly I knew this was going to be successful," Righter says. "Everything felt right. I knew there was going to be a lot to learn. I knew I needed to be really open to it being different than I envisioned which it was very quickly."

Righter says she is proof that the unexpected might take you where you never imagined, if you're open to the process.

"It wasn't set in stone but I knew it was going to involve art. I knew it was going to involve the community and I knew it was going to be about giving back," Righter says.

Even when you don't have all the answers.

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