Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christina Thongnopnua, Owner of Green Acre Studio, located in Chattanooga, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an illustrator and surface pattern designer. I create artwork that goes in books, textiles, and products. My style is often whimsical and for children, but children don't get to buy the artwork, so I try to appeal to those who are making, creating, and decorating for children or the young at heart.
Tell us about yourself
I've been drawing, doodling, and asking people what they want me to draw for them since I was a child. My first commissioned artwork was before I was out of high school, and I'm driven to make art that people want to see. Most of my work before 2020 was client-inspired and commissioned projects. After 2020, I started to create for my own personal endeavors. It's a different way to create art when not asking a client what they want.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was just to start as a business, give my business a name, create a copyrighted logo, create a brand, and move forward beyond just being an artist that makes art and hopes for the best. Taking that first step was the most difficult.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner, especially a small business owner, is doing all of the things. Not having access to a team and having to be creative on the same day that I need to deal with mundane parts of the business such as taxes, licensing, or even marketing. That type of switching can be distracting to creativity.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know that you will be working all of the time, even when you are supposed to be relaxing. It's hard to shut off your brain with the entire business riding on your shoulders.
- If you want to start a business, the first step is the hardest. Look for mentors, resources, and successful entrepreneurs for guidance. Follow in their footsteps to get going; no need to reinvent the wheel in the beginning.
- Embrace what makes your business unique and put it out there for people to see.
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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