Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and craft but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana Luong and Erica Carreras, Founders of Craftedvan Stationery Inc., located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Craftedvan specializes in magnetic bookmarks and stationery and aims to ensure that the love for paper and books never dies. We truly believe in the magic behind getting lost between the pages of a book, and we want to not only encourage more reading but also to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. It brings so much joy to us to be able to put a smile on someone's face, and through our craft, we've been able to do this for thousands of people every day!
Tell us about yourself
Our names are Erica and Diana, and we're the creative duo behind Craftedvan. We started our business nine years ago during our university days and had no idea our business would grow into what it is today. We initially started with a mutual love for crafting, and our business allowed us to share it with people all over the world. Not only does the meditative and creative art of crafting allow us to take a break from our everyday lives, but it also encourages others to learn and grow. To us, that's a huge win-win and will always motivate us to keep creating and sharing what we love to do most!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment is running a business that revolves around something we love, allowing us to grow, often times without it feeling like work at all! Through it, we've been able to strengthen our friendship while making new connections with those around us. It has opened up many amazing experiences and memories, including traveling around the world to share our work. Working from home, in pajamas, with the tv on is pretty sweet too :)
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come from being a business owner is separating our business from our personal lives, especially when we run our businesses from our homes! It's both a pro and a con. We feel so lucky and appreciative that we can work from home; however, we have to remind ourselves to take a break. We're friends before business partners, so we always make sure to schedule strictly fun hangouts too, where we don't talk about work!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find what you love to do but adapt quickly! We believe that people can succeed if they do what they love, especially if they're constantly adjusting and growing too! Take the feedback around you and adapt quickly, remembering that things do not have to be perfect before you share them!
- Find a business partner that you work well with and focus on your individual strengths while also making it fun. We worked so well together because we were good friends prior to starting this business. We also have different strengths and trust each other completely. Not only did this help us grow our business, but it also made the journey so much fun. We wouldn't even have a business if we didn't have each other to create, ideate, and laugh with through it all!
- Your friends, family, and customers are your support system; lean on them for advice! We're so lucky to have been blessed with so much support that is always cheering us on through every stage of our business. Plus, with everyone in our lives being so unique and talented in their own ways, we were able to learn from them and apply that to our business wherever possible. The reason we have so many designs is that we were constantly being nudged on what to create next! We weren't afraid to talk to our customers, and through that, we have now been able to grow our designs to the variety that they are today.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are so excited for what's to come now that the world is "normalizing" more and more each day. During the height of COVID, it made it harder to stay connected to our customers. Also due to restrictions, our in-person meetings were limited. Lucky for us, we had some strong systems in place to get us through!
It had been so long since we'd seen an in-person customer's reaction to our work we completely forgot what that felt like and how motivating that can be creatively. Now that we are enjoying face-to-face events and craft fairs, we are beyond excited to continue to create and bring new ideas to life!
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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