Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Olivia Burgess, Owner of LivingLunaCreations, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is LivingLunaCreations, a brand inspired by mental health awareness and my love of the moon that showcases my art on various items such as hoodies, prints, stickers, etc. My customers are a community of people from all around the world who primarily have my art tattooed on them or are inspired and connected to my art.
Tell us about yourself
I started my business back in 2018, selling my paintings of watercolor moons as a way to make money on the side in order to give back. I wanted to donate to non-profits that were aiding in the 3 essential components that make up our beautiful planet, animals, humanity, and our environment. So far, I've donated upwards of 8K to over 15 different non-profits through the years. As of 2020, I've had to donate less and less in order to sustain myself as a full-time artist living in New York City. I saw my friend Bella portraying her art in the way of tattoo ideas for people and thought it was brilliant and adapted it into my own practice. I posted a Tiktok of tattoo ideas surrounding around mental health and woke up to 1.5 million views on that video and 100K new followers. A couple of weeks later, I quit my essential job of being a veterinary assistant in internal medicine and surgery at an emergency animal hospital and decided to put all of my time and effort into art. It's been 2 years since, and I've been able to sustain my art, brand, and lifestyle and now inspire other artists to do what they love full-time. In terms of what motivates me each day, it's my friends and family, my online community, my fellow artists that push me to keep going even in times of minimal growth, and mostly the best version of myself. I'm working every day to get closer to her and to make her proud.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is seeing my art tattooed on people all over the world. Every day I get new submissions, and it brings me such joy and peace to know that my art will live on long after I'm gone and that what I create has a bigger purpose of inclusion, connection, and understanding.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is the slow periods when there's little income and little recognition that you still have to push through no matter what if you want to keep doing what you love. You have to move through those feelings, create through them, and lean on your people through them in order to make it to the other side. You have to keep going despite not knowing how it could turn out while also knowing that it could turn out better than you imagined. I highly recommend taking a social media hiatus during these periods in order to recharge your creative energy. The is a difference between comparison and inspiration when it comes to watching other people in your creative field succeed while you're stagnant. One will kill your creativity, while the other will uplift it. Make sure you lean into the right direction and follow those who inspire you to create more.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start with what you have, do what you can, and dedicate a little time every single day towards what you love until it's sustainable enough to go all in.
- Surround yourself with people who listen and encourage your ideas, provide you with a safe space to speak, lift you up when you want to quit and support your craft unconditionally. You become the energy you surround yourself with, so make sure it's good energy.
- Use social media as a marketing tool. It's free, and you can use the sounds, trends, and hashtags to your advantage. Take whatever it is you love to do, film it or film yourself doing it, make it applicable to a trending sound in a way that conveys emotion or connection, and post it whenever you want. Put yourself out into the world. The world has been waiting for someone like you to come along.
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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