Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Mack, Founder, Artist & Illustrator of BrownPaperBunny, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an artist, illustrator, and teacher. I teach watercolor, drawing, and illustration techniques online, in person, and through my new book Watercolor with Markers: Learn to Paint Beautiful Creations with Brush Pens.
Tell us about yourself
I started drawing, for the first time as an adult, in my 30s. I set myself a New Year's resolution to take an art class, and it really lit a fire in me. I started trying a lot of different mediums and techniques before really settling on watercolor and ink as my favorites. I started teaching art a few years ago, and nothing gives me more joy than helping someone else discover art or learn something new.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've had a few milestones that stand out in my mind. The first online class I created (which is still available on Skillshare), my first in-person class and getting to see people's creative joy in person, and the recent launch of my first book, Watercolor with Markers.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is doing ALL of the things. At least at the beginning, it's likely you'll be an artist, manufacturer, customer service, social media manager, web designer, accountant, etc. It's nice to be able to hand off some of those jobs as you grow in your business, but you definitely have to learn a wide variety of skills when getting started.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan where you want to be in a year, three years, or five years and work backward to determine what you need to do to get there.
- Don't undersell your products or services by setting your prices too low. You'll burn out and feel resentful if you're working for little or no profit at the end of the day.
- Do ask for help when you need it, whether it's for your partner to look after the kids more so you can have dedicated time on your business, or maybe it's reaching out to other people in your industry to ask for advice.
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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