Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katie Berggren, Owner of Katie M. Berggren Art & Design, LLC, located in Vancouver, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fine art painter focused on exploring the mother-child relationship. Capturing the essence of mindful mothering with my unique painting style allows me to explore my own experiences and, more importantly, provides imagery that validates mothers all over the world. My paintings reach across the globe to say, in a quiet way, that you are not alone ~ there is a community of like-minded women supporting you and your choice to nurture tenderly; however, that is defined for you.
My collectors span the globe and include mothers, fathers, doulas and birth professionals, foster parents, doctors, and lactation consultants. A percentage of my collectors are women yearning to have families, and the paintings serve as positive visualization tools.
Tell us about yourself
My art career began in high school when I launched a pencil-portrait business. Graphic design and illustration took me to Central Washington University, where I earned a BFA. After a brief career in graphic design, I was drawn to focus exclusively on painting, vowing to paint every day. As a mother and a painter, I am compelled to create honest, emotional pieces that stylize the intimate moments of life. I delight in capturing the visible affection between mother and child in a dance of paint on canvas. My compositions play with how two or more figures can fold together within an atmosphere of movement, energy, and sparkle.
There is a daily conflict for a mother with children in the home. For me, it is a challenge that reawakens every morning as I balance my desire to be a patient, graceful mother and, at the same time, fulfill an instinctive urge to bring forth the creations of my soul and realize my dreams. Capturing and releasing are two reasons I paint - to capture a fleeting moment and to release an emotion. The process of painting allows me to connect with the world around me. But, perhaps most important, it is the way I model to my children the value of following their dreams and exploring their gifts.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Despite the ups and downs of business, the biggest accomplishment of my business is that it allowed me to work at home from the moment my first baby was on his way. Being available to my kids through all their early and middle years, their school days, the before and the afters. The mornings and the nights I was here, they knew it and still know it. No matter what the future brings, my business has already given me the greatest gift: the ability to earn money to feed and nurture my family while being a flexible career that allows me the space and time to be with my children. I will always cherish that.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Balance. Creating a clean separation between personal and business time and setting boundaries.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Try to find something you really enjoy doing.
- Document your process, the highs, and the lows, keep a journal and take photos (you'll love them later).
- Remember that the engagement, the numbers, and the responses do not equal your value. Just keep working, keep doing your part and honoring your craft, and improve your skills.
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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