Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Regina Kareev, a surface designer based in Campbell, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an artist and surface designer creating illustrations and patterns for various products like bolt fabric, kitchen textiles, wallpaper, and home décor. My customers range from business owners licensing my artwork to use on their products to individuals who are buying fabric or wallpaper with my designs on Spoonflower.
Tell us about yourself
I started painting at an early age and became drawn to textiles and couture as a teenager. I was sewing and even designing some of my clothes in high school. Textiles have always been a significant part of my life; they made me feel grounded and gave me a sense of home, safety, and belonging. So, when I realized that designing patterns for fabric could be a career path, it wasn't even a question for me. Pursuing surface design allows me to combine these two passions and see my artwork come alive on products. I hope that products with my designs can create the same sense of home for other people too.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Staying true to myself and building authentic connections with my colleagues, clients, customers, and audience.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is having to wear all the hats at the same time. When running your business solo, you're responsible for everything from developing a product to marketing, sales, logistics, customer service, contracts, admin tasks, etc. It can be helpful to have dedicated days or hours to work on each of these departments.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient with yourself and your business. Growing a business takes time and a lot of work. It can get overwhelming at times. I would suggest doing one thing at a time instead of trying to do it all. Start with one service or product, one social media channel, etc. Then gradually add other things to the already established routine. It's still valuable to have a blog or a newsletter and serve your audience by sharing helpful information or inspiring projects.
- When possible, invest in industry-specific or business education to save time and prevent expensive mistakes.
- Have your own measure of success. This way, you won't fall into the comparison trap when looking at what everyone else is doing in your field.
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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