I have decided to follow along with the etsy resolution workshops, to help me work on my own business. With a little toddler and busy life, it has been hard to have time to work on getting my website up to date and think about my brand, and where I want to direct it, at this point in my life. So by following along, I think it will give my some prompts and tips to help work on my own business a bit, and re-assess how things are going, after almost 8 years in the game! Being an all-round creative with many interests and likes, I often struggle with my brand and identity. I know its something most designers find hardest to do, its always easier to design for someone else than yourself.
So this week, they talked about branding and the ‘about page’. You can view the lesson here- Etsy Resolution Week 1
So time to look at my about page, and brand. I have been trying to work on my about page recently. I did a lot of googling and reading on how to write about pages. My goal to get my about page the best it could be. But again, work takes priority over my own site, I still need to make money! But with this lesson and prompts I think I can finally get it to be the page I want it to be.
- When did you start making what you make? My business started in 2007. I started out selling textiles and art on etsy. Then in 2009, I started to take on illustration and graphic design freelance jobs. 2010 I had finished my studies and started building up my freelance business.
- Why did you start making what you make? I originally started making Children’s accessories, which stemmed from a highschool project. I always loved Children’s things, and they were fun to create. But then when I moved to freelancing, I started doing logos, websites and branding. I love helping small businesses and individuals bring their brand or online presence to life. I love giving businesses a visual voice.
- Were you always creative? Yes! My mother is an artist, and was a strong influence on my creative skills. I have always wanted to do something creative.
- What do you love about your materials? These days I work mostly with digital ‘materials’. SO I love the fact I create something from pretty much nothing. I am also in love with natural fibres, including paper and natural fabrics. I love natural texture, urban decay and vintage.
- What do you love about the process of making? Creating something beautiful from raw materials. Creativity brings basic materials to life into something beautiful and useful. I also love the process of make-overs. To make-over a brand or website, from drab to amazing, is a very rewarding experience.
- Where did the idea to start a business come from? As a teenager, I had a long term dream of starting a business, as i liked the idea of doing my own thing, creative freedom and also being able to work from home and bring up my own children. I didn’t think it would happen until I had plenty of experience in the workforce, but after studying and finding myself unemployed and struggling to get a job in the industry I was in, I also stumbled upon etsy and decided to start up a business anyway at least as a sideline till I found a real job. After a while and some sucess, I gave up on the idea of working for someone else and fell in love with running my own business.
- What is unique about your business that makes you stand out? I usually just work with small businesses rather than big brands, which means I can be more creative and give it a really personal touch and plenty of character and love. My work is full of details and love, not slick big brands.
- What do you love most about your business? The variety of work I get to do.
- What do you love most about what your business allows you to do with the rest of your life? It allows me to have the freedom to work from home, and still do work while bring up my child. (And any future children)
- What “aha” moments have you had? I started out in the world of fashion, thinking fashion and textiles were my thing, but after trying to work in that industry, I realised it really wasn’t my world, and wasn’t satisfying my creatively as I had hoped it would. I re-assessed my interests, and my “aha” moment was realising grahic design was my true passion, so I took a risk and re-trained as a graphic designer and found my true creative passion.
- How has your business evolved from where it started to now? It started out as an etsy shop, selling bags and accessories and some art, to then doing a few freelance jobs and wholesale to then graphic design and illustration freelance work. Over time i have grown my client base, done a great variety of work, and been published. Most recently i got to illustrate a Children’s book.
- What lessons have you learnt? Business can be hard work, there are times clients waste your time or don’t pay up, and times when you spend hours fixing something for no pay, and hours spent building your business and promoting it. I have learnt soo much in the time I have been doing this, but still have more to learn. My skill level has also developed, learning more about coding, photoshop tricks and more.
- What about your business would you consider normal, but that other people might think is cool? Creating art that looks hand-done using a computer and wacom tablet. I love my wacom, and drawing with it, but I find some people find that so fascinating and amazing, but it has become the everyday to me.o/l
- What problem are you trying to solve? Helping businesses and individuals grown their business and online presence by making their branding look awesome, and attractive to their customers/readers. Some people have great ideas, great products, great blog posts, but don’t have the creative or technical skill to make them shine, and that is where I come in. I am helping clients communicate who they are/who their business is in a visual way, so they can get their message across to the world.
- How do you want your customer to feel when they use/receive something you’ve made? Excited and happy. I love when clients send an email back after a first draft full of excitement about what I have sent. I want it to be better than they could have imagined. I want it to perfectly suit their style and communicate who they are so well, that they feel I really ‘get them’. It’s the best compliment when I client says ‘I’m really happy I am working with you, because you seem to really get what I want and who I am’
- Why does what you do matter? Because for small business’ to thrive they need to attract customers. And they need customers to get a feel for how they are in order to attract them. So I help them communicate that visually. I love working with small business too, as I think they play an integral role in the economy, and local communities. They also provide the customer with better choice and fill niche markets. I want to make small business stand out and have a voice, so customers fell more attracted to them then the big companies.
- Who helps you? I work on my own, but occasionally outsource things like printing, developing or writting.
- How do you help people? I sort of already addressed this, but basically i help people visually communicate who they, their ideas, blog, business or what ever it is they do.
Now I need to turn all these thoughts and answers into a nice about page! And collect the following photos:
- Studio photos
- Me working
- Close-ups of hands and tools
- Action shots
- Pictures of work in progress, including – materials, design process and production process
- Lifestyle shots, including – family and home
I will let you know when my new about page is written and live, would love to get feedback once I have finished it.