Introducing Madelyn Witruk
Introducing Madelyn Witruk
We chatted with creative and owner of OHOK Things to hear about how she came to embark on her own venture.
Hi Madelyn, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start OHOK Things?
I have been making things for as long as I can remember and, regardless of how hard my parents tried, I ended up pursuing a lot of creative careers. OHOK things was a backburner project for years during some of my full time jobs in the design industry. During the pandemic though I was working as a designer at a local corporate design studio and it just wasn’t working for me, so after lining up a few freelance gigs I quit without savings and without a backup plan (aside from becoming a barista again). I wasn’t really expecting OHOK things specifically to take off the way that it did but I am thankful for it. It’s been such a fun ride so far.
What was the most challenging part of your journey?
There is really no rule book to taking something that is your creative outlet and that outlet becoming a business that pays your bills. Ultimately the hardest thing for me was learning how to prioritize my mental health and not just let my job take over my entire life. When I first started out I would work for months at a time nonstop, like 12 hour days, everyday, which would just lead to me burning out and unable to work for weeks at a time to decompress. Reaching the point where I am not overworking myself but still getting my work done has been incredibly important to the longevity of me being a small business owner and is honestly something I am still working on to this day.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I pull a lot of inspiration from nature, American traditional tattooing, my surroundings, and my mood. I really enjoy taking something that is relatively mundane and making it into an illustration that displays it in a new light. Also flowers are something that always pop up in my drawings. I can’t help it, they make me happy.
Do you mind sharing with us a current project you're working on?
On top of my own personal projects, something I am super excited for right now is that I am designing and painting a vending machine very soon! I can’t say for who yet, but I’ll be announcing it as soon as I can!
Congrats on the move to your new studio! What’s next for you and OHOK things?
Thank you! The new studio has been such a transition and is truly a space that feels like me and my work. I’m terribly excited to have a more forward facing space within my community. The goal is to start offering workshops and pop-ups in my community and I am also working on starting a YouTube channel to help teach other people about water based screen printing.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their own business?
You don’t have to do it all alone! There are people in your community who want to help you, you just may have to do some searching to find them. Set up your LLC and get a business bank account. It makes everything that much easier when you are doing the not so fun stuff. Also, just go for it. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out but you will be really surprised by what can happen as soon as you are able to put all of your focus into your passion. The internet is a wild place.
We're obsessed with how Madelyn took her own twist on The Rigid Dad Jean