We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Peralta-Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Quite honestly, the balance is still a work in progress. Our business truly bloomed during Spring of 2020, through the first wave of stay-at-home orders while myself and my husband, Eric, were working our full-time jobs. We would work our jobs and immediately turn our focus to packing orders and branding, editing photos and listings, queue up social media posts and so on. So really, our work life balance has been more of a “work-work-squeeze our life in between the gaps” type of balance up to this point. We have finally reached a point where we can work our jobs comfortably and manage the workload of our small business during “off” hours so that we can catch our breath after a whirlwind of a year.
Now, the balance works for our lifestyle. We were definitely running ourselves dry trying to manage it all along with our full-time careers while attempting to balance another full-time small business being run out of our home. After a lot of tweaks of our schedule and products, we only offer our DIY embroidery kits in smaller batches and limited wholesalers to allow ourselves the time to pack and ship all kits, and run the “behind the scenes” jobs more effectively.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
During the standard work hours of the day, I am a Landscape Designer at a boutique firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over the last three years that I have worked at Collaborative V. Design Studio, I have been blessed to work on several exciting projects ranging from small residential remodels to large master-plan communities. My interest in the landscapes I embroidery truly came from my interest in the landscapes I work within. I attended Arizona State University for my degree in Landscape Architecture and have always called the desert my home (hence, the love for cacti in my designs). My field has very few women professionals and handling stress is part of the job. Thankfully, the stress relief tool I picked up in college came in handy throughout my career thus far and allowed me to relax with embroidery after a hectic day at the office. My colleagues have been very supportive of my craft which has truly made me enjoy running a small business alongside a full-time career as a Landscape Designer.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s so much to see AND do in the greater Phoenix area! Ideally, this timeline would be during Spring:
-Desert Botanical Garden for light trail walks and seeing ALLLL the cacti
-Tempe Town Lake for some paddle boarding or a picnic
-Views and hiking at Superstition Mountain!
– AZ sunsets from the top of any mountain
-Day trip to Sedona for hiking and sightseeing
-Hike Camelback Mountain to get a stellar view of the city
-Little Woody, great little bar
-Float the river or visit Saguaro Lake – to see the wild horses of course
-Visit The Plant Stand or Pueblo for some plant shopping
To Eat and Drink:
-If venturing out to the West Valley, coffee and crepes from Colados Coffee!
-Buck and Rider for their daily happy hour (amazing cocktails and small bites, don’t forget a cookie on your way out!)
-Feednix Tacos for amazing birria (the birria ramen is stellar)
-Sushiholic for their amazing menu
-North Italia, everything on their menu gives me major heart eyes
-Montauk – their mac and cheese truly has my heart
-Canal Club, they play classic black and white movies on the patio and has the ultimate tropical getaway vibes
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Honestly, the credit should all be given to Eric Martinez. Had he not encouraged me to start my Etsy store in 2016 after my first attempt at embroidery, we would not be where we are today. Not to mention, his handiwork with SEO and cleaning our listings to better market towards a very niche craft truly helped set us apart in a sea of embroidery kits. Over the course of 5 years from the start of my Etsy shop to our now, very real, small business being run by this husband and wife duo from our home, none of it would have continued had it not been for his handiwork to allow me to be the “stitcher” while he handled the business side of things.