A picture is worth a thousand words. I either draw some scribbles and hope it makes sense or I just get in there and make it with my hands until whatever I’m working on comes to life.

 

Born to be wild with a passion for adventure, Taylor Kaszynski always knew that she would travel the world and be her own boss. Taylor used her Arts Management and Entrepreneurial Management degree from the University of Iowa to the fullest. Her love for interior design and decor led her to a career in vintage lighting as the proud owner of FIXT Electric, located in Minneapolis, MN.

FIXT travels all over the world in search of unique industrial designed light fixtures and is proud to be the only company in North America with an unparalleled volume of professionally restored and UL Listed Soviet and Bauhaus factory fixtures.

FIXT’s team of lighting specialists work directly with interior designers, architects, contractors, and homeowners on all commercial and residential projects. With an inventory of 5,000 industrial pendant light fixtures and sconces and over 50 varieties, FIXT can facilitate the needs of large commercial projects such as hotels, fast-casual restaurants, retail chains, breweries, distilleries, office spaces, barbershops & salons, and more.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Vintage industrial lighting is highly sought after for residential homes, but especially for commercial use. Old gas station light fixtures, explosion-proof lighting, porcelain enamel pendants, and vintage factory shades are seen in almost every brewery, retail chain, and illuminating all exterior signage. Vintage lighting in the United States is becoming more and more picked over and wholesale pricing is very expensive. I thought about another country in this world that’s had the same type of industrialism as the United States—Russia.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Usually my day starts with a lot of coffee before heading straight to the white board. I find that I’m most productive once I get all my thoughts and task list out in a place where I can see and prioritize things. I usually respond to emails, get my social media post ready to go for the day, and then jump right in to restoring and re-wiring light fixtures. If it’s a slow day and we don’t have any orders to work on, then I get on the phone and start making sales calls and setting up meet and greets.

How do you bring ideas to life?

A picture is worth a thousand words. I either draw some scribbles and hope it makes sense or I just get in there and make it with my hands until whatever I’m working on comes to life.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Sustainability really gets me excited. There is so much waste in this world. It pains me to see new products being made every day that are just going to wind up in a landfill in 5 or less years. Our light fixtures breath a second life and can be rewired to meet energy efficiency requirements. Waste not, want not. These light fixtures were formerly used in old factories, military bunkers, bomb shelters, and more. They will probably outlive us all.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

When I have something pressing on my mind, I tend to lose sleep over it. It’s like someone continuously ringing the doorbell that you can’t ignore.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Having less is always more.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Stretching and deep breathing can cure just about anything.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Always keep a little notepad at hand. Digital or paper, it doesn’t matter. The point is to always keep writing down ideas. Whether it wakes you up in the middle of the night or you’re stuck in traffic and need to make a voice memo, or have to tell someone to “hold that thought” because you just thought of a really good idea—live in the moment and don’t lose those ideas.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Instagram, for sure. Instagram is the perfect tool for FIXT for a variety of reasons.
It’s picture based and I love taking pictures
It allows me to tell the story of how my business came to be
It allows me to be personal, relatable, and engaging. People are drawn to REAL people, REAL stories, REAL emotions. They want to know that they’re not alone and the struggle is REAL.
Now you can sell products on instagram and the platform just keeps getting better and better

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Not investing money properly in the right places at the right time can be an epic fail. It’s better to grow ‘out’ of your work space than to grow ‘in’ it. Meaning, don’t pay for more than what you need. Make due with what you have until you’re ready to expand.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Waste reducing product dispensers in hotels rooms. Why do we need individual bottles replaced every single day?

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Paying someone to do the things I don’t like doing—cleaning light fixtures. If there’s something you don’t like to do, know you could spend that time doing something of greater importance, and overall improve your well-being, then absolutely budget your money accordingly. You’ll thank me.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Google Drive is my go-to. I share all my files and photos with clients and store all data for work on there. No matter what device I’m on, I’ve always got what I need right at my fingertips.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life”.

As a young entrepreneur starting my first business at 26, I was always unsure of myself, asking “Is this right? What the heck am I doing? They’ll know I don’t know what I’m talking about!”

When I had the realization that the only one writing this rulebook is me, I suddenly felt very proud. Confidence breeds success, and sometimes you just have to own it.

What is your favorite quote?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist” – Oscar Wilde

Key learnings:

  • Success doesn’t happen over night.
  • As an entrepreneur, your business is your life, but there needs to be balance with work and your personal life.
  • Businesses come and go, but family will always be there.
  • Surround yourself with people that push you to be a better person. If you fail the first time, chances are your support group will be the ones to cheer you on to keep going and try again.
  • Being an entrepreneur is a stream of consciousness. Write it out and keep white boards everywhere.

 

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