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Inspiring Conversations with Olivia Wickstrom of Creating 805

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Wickstrom.

Hi Olivia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up on Central Coast and left at 18 years old, eager to escape my small hometown of Morro Bay and experience urban life. I spent my late teens and early 20’s living in Portland, Oregon; St. Andrews, Scotland; Cape Town, South Africa; and Minneapolis, Minnesota- cities known for their creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Each place I called home taught me something new about myself and encouraged me to explore and express my creative ideas, though my trips home to the Central Coast brought a spark of energy and inspiration I couldn’t find elsewhere.

I moved back to Morro Bay as a self-employed marketer and entrepreneur at 26 years old. While I was overwhelmed by the creativity and innovation present in San Luis Obispo County since my 2012 departure, I couldn’t find the hub, the pulse, the lifeline of it. My love for community building and my desire to uplift the stories of local entrepreneurs planted a seed in my head, and with that, Creating 805 was born.

Through events and memberships Creating 805 has become an entrepreneurial hub for Central Coast community members doing just that: creating the 805. By connecting homegrown innovators and giving them an opportunity to share their stories, resources, and knowledge with one another, Creating 805 is continuing to expand and strengthen the entrepreneurial lifeline of California’s Central Coast.

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?
As any small business owner will tell you, the first year is hard work! Community building takes a lot of time and effort, but I’m determined to push through the low points because I truly believe in what I’m creating.

Some of our events have sold out, and some have hosted two attendees, but I keep going because I know the danger of giving up too soon. I’d rather put myself out there, build character, and experience what myself or others may perceive as a “failure” then sit on the sidelines and wonder “what if.”

As a business owner, my motto has become “one day at a time.” Every day I wake up, do the best I can with the time that I have, and leave the rest. With this mindset, I laugh often and smile more.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Creating 805 is a community for creative entrepreneurs on California’s Central Coast. We host a monthly speaker series and have a monthly membership, giving local entrepreneurs opportunities to connect and collaborate, online and off.

Our speaker series takes place on third Fridays at THE SANDBOX Paso Robles, the Central Coast’s premier event venue, shared office/coworking space, and entrepreneurial community. At each of these speaking events, I take the stage with a local entrepreneur for a discussion around their small business journey, followed by an audience Q&A. Speakers we’ve hosted include Mike Durighello, CEO/Founder of Whalebird Kombucha; Jaime Holm, Co-Founder of Tinker Tin; Martha Van Inwegen, Founder of Life Elements; Traci Hozie, Co-Founder of Brown Butter Cookie Company; and Hamish Marshall, Founder of Slo Brew.

Our membership is a space to find connections and support among local entrepreneurs, creatives, and small business owners. The Creating 805 Membership includes monthly happy hour events, an exclusive digital library, and a private online community.

Currently, we’re operating out of San Luis Obispo County but are launching in-person events in Santa Barbara County this fall. We’re stoked to expand our reach and connect/support creatives across the entire 805 area code!

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I’m a huge fan of the How I Built This Podcast with Guy Raz. Each episode features an in-depth interview with some of the most successful entrepreneurs around the world.

The stories are SO inspiring. Hearing about the trials and triumphs of massive companies like Airbnb, Spanx, and Goodreads gives me the motivation to keep going- to keep believing, stay hopeful, and trust the process.

One of my favorite episodes features Christina Tosi, CEO of Milk Bar – I highly recommend it!

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Image Credits
Emma Walker Photography

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