Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Irene Lee, Owner of Rintzylee Designs, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a calligrapher and engraving artist helping other businesses create meaningful and personalized gifts for their valued clients. I'm also a business mentor for other calligraphers who want to grow their businesses through partnership-building with other businesses.
Tell us about yourself
Since I started my entrepreneurship journey, I've felt many times in my journey that others are not taking me seriously. Many were those who had the belief that being an artist = hobby, and of course, being a woman didn't help very much. Back then, I felt like I had to work harder and say yes to everything, which eventually led to me burning out. As a result, I vowed that I would inspire and support other calligraphers who were trying to start their own businesses too.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building partnerships with some of my dream brand clients like Saint Laurent has definitely been a proud moment, but I think the most impactful for me was building a community of calligraphers who also had the same dream of having their own business and supporting them by passing on my knowledge through my mentorship program, Curated to Create
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely journey. There's just so much we don't fully understand about how to run a business and especially so for creatives. I was pretty much winging it and making poor decisions for the first three years in my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a community of support. People who have similar interests or are in the same industry because only they will understand the struggles you are going through. You will realize that you aren't alone in your feelings.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help rather than trying to figure it out on your own. I was so stubborn in the beginning, thinking that I could figure it out on my own. But it took way too long. I finally invested in a business coach in the 4th year of my business, and my business started thriving after that.
- A lot of what holds us back are just beliefs made up in our minds because of fear. Building a strong mindset is so important and is what will keep you going even on days you feel like giving up.
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.