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Life & Work with Tori Boyan and Mandee Givens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tori Boyan and Mandee Givens. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Atlas CrafTors was created in 2021 by Tori Boyan and Mandee Givens in San Luis Obispo County, California. We met right after we graduated high school while working together at a local pizza place. We very quickly became friends and have stayed in touch ever since. Fast forward to 2019/2020, we were both selling our handmade items in separate Etsy shops. Tori was selling handmade clay jewelry and beadwork; Mandee was selling her paintings and resin art. In 2021, we began sharing a booth at local pop-up events together. We had so much fun that we decided to join forces and create Atlas CrafTors. During this journey, we have learned so much and have shared countless collaborations together. We have had an amazing amount of support from our family, friends and the community.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Our small business journey has been very fun but has also had its obstacles. When we first started our business a majority of our orders were online. Packaging and shipping online orders came fairly natural to both of us. The most challenging part of our business was when we started participating in local pop-up markets. Many people don’t realize it but there are so many factors that go into setting up a booth at a pop-up market. We are constantly changing and improving our booth setup. At markets, we have had to overcome challenges such as people critiquing our work, the wind, the weather, and adapting the new venues. There have definitely been times where we have both felt defeated but we have come to realize that every small business owner has their bad days and their good days.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Atlas CrafTors is a woman-owned collaboration of many different mediums of art. Everything that we sell is handmade by either one or both of us. Tori specializes in polymer clay jewelry, figurines and beadwork. Mandee specializes in acrylic/watercolor paintings and drawings. We are both extremely proud that our creative styles mesh so well together. We are constantly collaborating on projects together and inspiring each other to expand our creativity. A majority of our products are made using repurposed items such as vinyls, vintage purses/bags, and reused canvases. The diversity in our creative range is something that we have always felt sets us apart from others.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
The COVID-19 crisis gave us both a wake-up call to slow down and make time for what we love to do. We both had more time to create during the pandemic which sparked the start of our small business.

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