Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Salmon.
Hi Danielle, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started octimber while running my restaurant discovery website, Follow My Gut (aka FMG). With FMG, I review restaurants locally to internationally and for events such as the Emmys. It’s something that I enjoy doing, however over time I needed to photograph food and brand materials at home. Not being in love with setting options in my home (i.e., countertops, tables, etc.), I decided to look into photography backgrounds. Spending some time online, I found some that I liked some but wasn’t in love with them because I knew they wouldn’t fit my space or preferences. Instead, both my space and preference would need to adjust to the background. No thanks.
With that, I had the crazy idea that maybe I could make one myself. I looked into the material that I would love and that wasn’t already saturated in the market and felt like using real wood would be best. It would be a beautiful piece of Mother Nature in each photo that could transform my setting to something that feels warm and inviting. I then decided to make it foldable so that it could always fit where I may be. Before I knew it, I created a true wood photography background that has panels that can adjust to wherever my photography setting is.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Overall it has been a smooth road because I approached this as a wonderful journey that I knew would come with its own set of challenges. As someone who has no real lumber experience, this would be one heck of an undertaking. But because I was solving a problem I had and I was working with something I find fun, I welcomed the lessons that would come.
Some of the struggles I had included understanding lumber lingo, making mistakes, building an e-commerce website, and even injuring myself: I dropped a desk on my foot — and I wasn’t wearing shoes. But as hard as those instances have been, I learned more than I could have imagined. Running octimber has taught me that I have to be honest with others about the things that I don’t know so I can get the answers I need. It has shown me that sometimes mistakes can lead to something beautiful. I damaged some wood and that showed me how to distress a background. And getting injured has taught me how to better protect myself — I now wear boots when building backgrounds and my toes are thankful!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m best known for reviewing restaurants and photographing food and it makes me so happy. I continue to do that, but I am also becoming known as a woman who simply goes after her goals and decides to create things that make her happy. That last part is exactly what I do with octimber. I went after a goal and decided to create something that makes me happy, that solves a problem, and helps others all at the same time. From my backgrounds that are named after food and photography items to my jars of daily affirmations, I’ve made something that can help people along their photography journey and also in their daily lives.
What sets octimber apart from others is the backgrounds are real wood and they fold. The folding capability allows them to adjust to any space and makes them easy to transport. As well, the Joy by octimber pieces are perfect everyday gift items that can spread kindness to others whenever they may need it.
Launching this business was extremely nerve-wracking in the beginning. Once I got over that fear and faced the challenges that come (and continue to come), this has the best leap I have ever made. Building each background and creating each jar is incredibly fun for me. Even on difficult days, I can go to the garage and create and it makes me feel relaxed and happy. That allows me to put positive energy into a product and ship out an item that works well and also feels good for others.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up, I was a bit of a nerd who loved to spend time at home on the internet. I’ve always been the kind of person who loved to talk with friends and family, and I liked to create things. But I adamantly told others that I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Never say never because now, as I run octimber I realize this is the happiest I have ever been and that it’s the best thing I could spend my time on.
- Joy on a Note $10
- Joy on a Wood $11
- Joy for Someone Else $15
- Joy in a Jar $25
- Octimber Standard Menu Backgrounds $185
- Octimber Prix Fixe Menu Backgrounds $200
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.octimber.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/octimber/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Octimber/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/octimberwood
Photo Credit: Huong Lien of Citrine Social Media (https://www.citrinesm.com/)