Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angie Carel, Founder of Simple Daily Drawing, located in Fort Wayne, IN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Simple Daily Drawing, we are passionate about getting everyday people to use ART for Mental Health and Happiness. I manage an online community of nearly 12,000 people worldwide, where we provide our members with a drawing prompt for every day, and they participate by interpreting the prompt and sharing it with the community. Artists of all skill levels are welcome to participate. Our #1 rule is zero tolerance for negativity.
The art that is posted starts conversations, makes friendships, and builds relationships. The benefits of creating daily art are enormous, and we want to spread this message to everyone - especially people that don't consider themselves artistic or creative. Our community is vibrant, active, and meaningful.
We have seen many micro-communities crop up within Simple Daily Drawing, as well, that are using our drawing prompts, such as - Arthritis Therapy, Art for Coping with an illness (specifically Cancer), Art for Long-Term Children's Hospital Stays, Art for Bonding with a Child, Art for Homeschool Curriculum, and Art for Improving Mood and in particular, mental health conditions.
We sell a monthly sketchpad subscription featuring the same drawing prompts as are posted in our community. These prompts are the starting point for anyone/everyone to get past the question of 'what to draw' and get going with their daily art activity. We do not require the purchase of our sketchpad to participate.
Our mission is to nurture a community that connects daily through art to make their lives better. We believe that Simple Daily Drawing is a place where life happens, emotions are expressed, wins are celebrated, and people are loved through their art, not because of it.
Tell us about yourself
Simple Daily Drawing started by accident, really. Early one morning, right after the world shut down during the pandemic, I decided to give my family a drawing prompt. We were all suffering in one way or another. I wanted to use art to cope with the anxieties and stresses we were feeling. That first evening at 7 pm, we posted a video of our first 'reveal' (smiling turtle prompt) on social media. We were smiling, laughing, and having a good time. It was so welcomed at the time. That gained attention. Within a week or so, we had hundreds of people drawing with us. I started a FB page and then a private group, and the rest is history. Currently, we have about 40k followers on FB and 12k members in our group, but we know this is the tip of the iceberg.
Back up a bit… I was a single mom for ten years. I used art to connect with my three daughters. When they were young, I didn't have the means to buy them the latest and greatest technology, but I always had loads of art supplies. That's what we did for fun… almost every day in some capacity. As they got older, I noticed them comparing their lives, looks, bodies, and possessions to their friends on social media. I saw the effects it had on their sense of self-worth and well-being. I continued to connect with them through making art, and that act became the conversation starter, the disconnect, the mood-improver, and the method of building a really solid relationship with them. Just so it's said, I am NOT an artist. I love art, and I am very creative, but no one would look at my work and say, 'wow, she's so talented!' So, for a 15-year period, art was what we knew as our happy place. It was only natural that when everyone was upset, stressed, depressed, and scared about the pandemic, I also turned to art.
Simple Daily Drawing became so much bigger than me. The testimonials started coming in, and the stories of transformation were moving (to tears at times!). Turns out there are not a lot of places online or in person where an everyday person can practice art simply for their mental health or to express their emotions in a safe place. So, as I went back to work on my 'day job' (small business owner), I felt compelled to continue nurturing the community I had started. It wasn't even a question, really. I had fallen in love with the people, the stories, and the community of Simple Daily Drawing. I practice what I preach. As of today, I am drawing my 981st drawing in a row. And yes, I come up with the prompts. That's the #1 question I get when asked about the group.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My story has been featured on CBS, Good Morning America, ABC News, and other media outlets. I have been featured in Glo Magazine in the She Glows section and in Uplift for Women's History Month. I am beyond honored for this media time. I am also proud of being a (former) single mom that has inspired her daughters to be strong, fierce young women.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I'm going to skip the obvious stuff like accounting, project management, and hiring/firing…Being an 'introvert' and acting as an 'extrovert' makes it exhausting for me to be 'on' all of the time. I pride myself on being upbeat, positive, and inspiring, and there are days when it completely depletes me.
I also find that I need a respite from decision-making. It's particularly hard for me when I have a day where hard decisions are made over and over again, and then I come home to the question, 'what's for dinner'? On those days, the answer is probably going to be 'cereal.'
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, find your purpose. Build a business that makes you giddy to go to every day. Rally up people around you that inspire you, motivate you, and lift you up. Also, find the people that YOU inspire. Someone once told me that you only need two types of people in your life - the ones that need you and the ones that you need. That has always held true for me. NEVER STOP LEARNING. Crave learning like you crave chocolate.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The absolute best advice that I can give to anyone on an entrepreneurial journey is to stay curious. At every step (or even every day), ask yourself, 'I wonder if…' and let your heart lead you. Be willing to pivot. Embrace change, knowing that whatever is on the other side is ALWAYS better than where you are right now. In fact, thrive in change and embrace it as your only norm. Also, remember that you are a living, breathing, evolving human being with an important, meaningful mission. And you are loved for that.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.