Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Robyn Wall, Founder of a Travers de Jolis Yeux, located in Milan, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Through Pretty Eyes is a hub for the owner's creative ventures. A place where people with love for maximalist, eclectic decor can discover enchanting artwork. Specializing in fantasy watercolor portraiture that often features a surreal twist.
Tell us about yourself
Experiencing the void of the pandemic in 2020 pushed me to pursue the dream of being a full-time, working creative while allowing time in isolation to get my footing with a brand, website, and marketing plan. My motivation is a genuine passion for creating. Much of my work is about escapism, creating to give myself and others a place to stop and take a breath outside the present. This need arises from my experienced trauma and neurodivergence, which I use to create compelling work I hope my community will use to view their own darkness through the lens of my creativity and welcome introspection and improvement.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is having people reach out to commission artwork. When someone says they love my work enough to pay extra for a custom piece, often a portrait of a loved one, it really validates what I'm building as an artist.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being the owner of a creative business isn't the administrative side; it isn't doing taxes or marketing myself on social media. It's imposture syndrome. The intrusive thoughts plaguing my mind telling me I'm not good enough, that I should give up. Like many other business owners, I have to fight against these thoughts every day to do all the other arduous tasks that make up the business of being an artist.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start. Start even before you feel 'ready.' Start before everything is perfect. Start when everyone is implying you can't do it. Because you'll never feel one-hundred percent ready, nothing will ever be perfect as you'll constantly be updating and improving, and there will always be people who think you can't do it. So just start building your dream.
- Don't be afraid to pivot. You may launch your business to sell alternative burgers from a food truck to people who frequent breweries and want to try something new, but you discover your vegan option is the most popular, and you're losing money on every other item. Don't be afraid to specialize in a completely vegan menu, even if it wasn't your initial idea.
- Ask your community for feedback, but don't let it dictate everything. It's important to know what your customers think of a new product or idea, but your passion is equally important.
- Passion is contagious. If you love it, that enthusiasm will reach people that are receptive to your passion and will fall in love with your product for that reason.
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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