by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman
For most, the name “Strawberry Fields” is simply a title to a popular Beatles song, a mere memory of a era. However, for one young entrepreneur, strawberry fields serves a much deeper purpose- for Sydney O'Shea, Strawberry Fields is a business, a lifestyle, and a muse.
O'Shea, a resident of Folsom, started Strawberry Fields about two years ago, while working at Michael's. Her dream catcher business was the result of countless hours of arts and crafts demonstrations for children; she found making dream catchers to be particularly relaxing, mindless work.
Soon, O'Shea began designing and constructing dream catchers in her spare time to give as gifts to friends and family. It was not long until some of her friends, who also made dream catchers, headbands, etc., suggested going into business together. They originally planned on selling their wares at various music and arts festivals. However, Sydney soon found herself alone on this business venture, as her friends decided to pursue other paths.
But why “Strawberry Fields”? “We couldn't decide on a name and were having a lot of trouble with it. One day I was in my room and the song came on and it just sort of hit me” says O'Shea. After sharing her name idea with friends, it “made sense and just sort of stuck”.
Sydney then set up an Instagram account to advertise her dream catchers, and started selling them through her account. As demand grew, Sydney expanded her market, and took samples to the California Welcome Store in Town Center in El Dorado Hills; here she now has a continuous selection for sale. Following this partnership, O'Shea connected with Mark Ross, a local artisan who specializes in woodwork. He introduced Sydney to vending at Apple Hill; although she got set up there late in the tourist season (around late October), the results from this set up were overwhelming; in one weekend alone, O'Shea sold more than half of her stock (about 40 total). After this, Sydney was also able to set up a vending station at Eureka Rock and Mineral in Placerville.
The key to her success is passion. O'Shea enjoys making dream catchers, it's not a chore or something she “has to do”. When you do something you love, your passion is shown in your work, and people can recognize that.
As for the future, it is looking very bright. O'Shea recently create an Etsy account to make her supply more globally accessible (under the nameStrawberryfields1915). In addition to a stronger online presence, Strawberry Fields will be making a reappearance at Apple Hill next fall, during the height of tourist season (mid September to November); she also hopes to be vending at Venice Beach at some point during the summer. For more information or product inquiry email email@example.com.
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