Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Eiden, located in Green Isle, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The name of my business is Amanda Eiden, which is just my full name! I create art for people who love animals of all kinds, but especially birds. Most of my recent art has revolved around crows, specifically because they’re my favorite animal! Bird nerds gravitate toward me and my art, and that’s my favorite part of my business.
Tell us about yourself
The start of my art career began when I used to be an engineering major as an undergrad. I really disliked my program and bought a set of acrylic paints and some canvases as a creative outlet. Then, after the start of the COVID pandemic, I decided to start selling prints of my work and also some handmade jewelry I had been making.
I eventually started to make digital art, which turned into me making stickers and more art prints, and now I’m making suncatchers and decals. What really motivates me to keep going is to look back at where I started almost two years ago now and to see how far I’ve really come since then because I can’t wait to see where I continue going!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been launching my own website. I initially started my shop on Depop and then expanded to Etsy, but building my own independent website where I am the sole driver for buyers was a huge step for me! I also recently had my best sales week ever, thanks to all of my lovely supporters on social media.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things has to be time management. I know very few people who run their small businesses full-time, and I’m not one of them. I’m also a graduate writing student! So, between school and my personal life, it can be difficult to find a balance between not giving my business enough time and giving it too much time. I try to set small goals for myself each week and remind myself not to get overworked if I can help it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Invest as little as possible until you know it’s something you want to, and can, do. I started my shop with a $60 budget (and small things I already had), and as I grew, I invested more and more into new equipment and supplies.
- Don’t give up when things get hard, and they will get hard! There were and are so many days when I wanted to give up, but if I had given in, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
- Fake it until you make it. There are so many things I never knew how to do, but I had to learn how just by throwing myself out there and trying my best!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yes! On my website, I have a category titled “$1 Donations to Planned Parenthood,” and for every one of those items sold, I donate $1 to Planned Parenthood! It’s not much, but it’s one thing that I try to do as a small business owner to make a difference in the world.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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