Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Hello, first of all, thank you for this great opportunity to be featured in your wonderful magazine!
I have always been passionate about drawing. I started drawing at such a very young age and was completely drawn by it. I stopped for so many years because of my job and went back to painting just 1 year ago. From there, I’ve painted almost every day! I started out as a figure painter then, after personal studies and experience, my art was influenced by great artists I admire such as Joseph Z and Chung Chien Wei, and finally diverted into an impressionist. I love painting landscapes and anything to do with nature.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
As a business owner, it is a lot of work. I only want to paint it honestly. So having to deal with the business side for a painter like me requires a lot of effort. From promotion to taking photos of my artwork to taking care of legal matters of any sort. I want my paintings to touch other people’s lives. So that when they look at it they would find joy, rekindled their dreams and memories! I take that as a great responsibility and I love it.
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
I would say that the best selling products I have are my landscape paintings and cityscapes. I usually look at my pictures or be inspired by a place and from there I sketch. I think my products stand out because of their creativity, contrast, and stories behind.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I enjoy painting and communicating with my audience. The hardest part would be marketing it. The business side of it is always hard, and probably that’s for every artist!
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
I started my shop a year ago, however, I’ve only focused on it like 6 months ago. I’m paying Etsy ads and posting on Facebook to boost sales. As for the result, I think for a new shop, it’s slowly getting there.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Patience, hard work, and being passionate about it. The rest will follow. There is no such thing as a winning formula. It’s all about dedication and mindfulness.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
The toughest moment is not having time. I’m a mom and an ESL teacher so you could only imagine how little time I have in order to finish a painting. I tried to be more organized and get enough sleep to keep up with these hectic days.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
Travelling, lovely photos, and fond memories are the things that inspire me the most. I am trying to paint more loosely and freely.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
Yes, I ship the product internationally. All my paintings have free shipping. I love to provide this option as it’s easier for the client. My paintings are carefully and beautifully wrapped with a special message and a small token from me.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
I would say being constant and sincere in whatever you do would make a successful online business.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Start from small but with quality products. Never ceased to learn and be resilient. Be more open-minded and reach out to others. All of these are essentials to have a strong starting point.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
I’d say “creative expression, freedom, and of course, there should be money to keep it running. However, the most important one is the “happiness” that you bring to others. That’s how I define success. Touching the lives of others through my paintings.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I usually start my day with a sketch, then try to finish it at the end of the day. I have a routine set for every day as I perform both obligations as an entrepreneur and a mom.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I’d like to improve more in my craft as a painter. Maybe join international competitions, do workshops, and travel with other painters! I’d like to expand my prints and downloadable products.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
In Etsy, I think adding more products every day, giving great customer services, and of course, providing great quality artworks!