Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts and crafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Huynh, founder of Niche Create, located in Mississauga, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Niche Create is a shop that sells stickers, pins, keychains, cards, and much more. Every single one of the pieces is drawn and designed by the artist and owner... me! My goal is to bring a little bit of joy and wonder into people's everyday lives with my artwork. It is important to me that there is a personal touch along every step of the way - one way I do this is personally packaging every piece myself and including a handwritten note as a token of my appreciation.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Nickey, and I am from Ontario, Canada. I doodled a lot growing up, but I never pursued art seriously due to parental expectations that I would become a dentist or doctor. I decided to do neither and instead became a teacher. After not having created artwork for around seven years, I dove back into it when lockdowns started in 2020 by buying a tablet and teaching myself how to make digital art. Coincidentally this was also when I got interested in specialty coffee, so you may notice that a lot of my pieces play around with that niche. What motivates me each day is getting feedback and comments from customers telling me about how much they love the artwork and making them smile when they look at it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was making my first sale. I did not expect the business to take off - mostly thought that I'd sell a couple of stickers to friends and family. Young-Nickey always dreamed of being able to sell her artwork, and here we are! Selling it not as large, fragile canvas paintings as initially expected, but as little pieces that people are able to take along with them around the world.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is definitely uncertainty. Being a business owner involves riding rollercoasters - whether it is a rollercoaster in the amount of sales, fear of bad reviews, feeling imposter syndrome, or just having days wondering if it would be easier just to close up shop. What keeps me going is being grateful for all the people I've met along the way and the amazing customers who take the time out of their day to leave me a nice review.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start. It is impossible for everything to be perfect before you open up your business. There are a lot of things I learned along the way that I would not have been able to if I had never taken the risk to just begin.
- Everybody experiences imposter syndrome. Some days you will wonder if you are "tricking" people into buying your things. Remind yourself that they are choosing to support you because your work or product speaks to them.
- Take breaks. I was juggling my full-time teaching job and my art business and ended up getting shingles... and I am in my 20's! It's okay to take a step back; the world will not end. Prioritize your health so that you can keep going in the long run.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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