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Episode 54: In Conversation with Sarah Schulweis

Our Guest : Sarah Schulweis is one of the most hard hitting no bullshit women I’ve ever met. Her approach to consulting with her business Anchor & Orbit is gentle yet firm, organized yet flexible. I met Sarah when she attended my How to Not Always be working class at Gravel & Gold last year and almost immediately made a joke that she should just teach class. Between her clients and her new online workshop, she has a way of reaching into people’s lives and businesses to set up new systems that ACTUALLY help them grow. You can find sarah on Instagram at @anchorandorbit and online at


photo by  Rachelle Derouin

Sarah Schulweis is a consultant for creatively-inclined businesses under the name Anchor & Orbit. She helps these business owners maintain creativity through the process of business growth. For the most part, she is both a project manager and a therapist to her clients. Her own path to self-employment began when she took Business 101 while training to be a professional dancer. Business concepts really clicked for her and she attended the San Francisco State University entrepreneurship program, then worked as a publisher, then followed her gut and few right turns to end up where she is today. Marlee and Sarah talk through the fears of being a sellout, choosing between making money off of artwork or having another job and making artwork outside of work. This episode goes on longer than others, because they have a BIG important conversation about strategies for working for yourself- from bucketing time, to structuring your week, the guilt that comes with success, forgiving yourself when you get off track, and drawing boundaries.


Words of wisdom:

“I don’t want to stay in one place at one time, I want to affect a lot of people. And I want be able to grow my own business, and not just jump off of someone else’s ideas. So I am growing my business while growing other people’s businesses.”

“Who are the people who are going to want to buy your stance- as a business owner and as a maker?”

“There is beauty in owning your own business, because you can make enough money to get by, you can then make enough money to put aside money, or you can make enough money to really create a future for yourself… And then the other beauty of business is that you have control over the situation- you are not stuck in your office, answering to a boss.”

“If you can understand everything you need, truly… Be real with yourself about what you need. I think there is a lot of creative freedom that happens when you get really clear about your vision and your finances.”


Things Sarah thinks you should check out:

  • Business self-help books like Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading Part 3: A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Managing Ourselves and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • Organizing without being distracted by using digital applications like workflowy & to doist, also google calendar and spreadsheets!
  • The Netflix series Abstract

A slew of awesome podcasts:

  • The Creative Agency (that granted Sarah an interview last year)
  • My Favorite Murder (for fun!)
  • After the Jump with Grace Bonney
  • Startup with Alex Blumberg- particularly the episode about realizing that he needed to grow up and run an “adult” business.
  • Cheryl Strayed and her podcast Dear Sugar Radio

And for more great small business advice:

  • Meighan O’Toole and her creative online strategies.


Podcast Sponsors : 

Sub Rosa Coffee is one of the sunniest & sweetest spots to get coffee in Oakland, California. Located at 419 40th street, Sub Rosa is opening a second location next to the MacArthur Annex on the corner of 40th and MLK this spring. Women-owned since 2009, their minimal approach to serving coffee really makes the drinks and pastries shine. They serve Four Barrel coffee, roasted right in San Francisco, and a great time to swing in is during whole bean happy hour every Tuesday & Wednesday, for 20% off beans. Follow along with them on Instagram @subrosacoffee to hear about community events, tarot readers, and more.


Fancy Tiger Crafts might just be the dreamiest shop in all the land. Located in Denver, Colorado, this shop has truly revolutionized the craft community both online and in person. Owners Jaime & Amber host an open craft night every Tuesday, and live by the idea that making things by hand makes people feel better; and if more people made things the world would be a better place. If you can't stop by in person, visit their website and extensive online shop filled with fabrics, yarn, notions, patterns and more at You can follow them on Instagram at  @fancytigercrafts. You can also listen to Jaime on EPISODE THIRTY of this very podcast.

marlee cook-parrott