Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristin Fair, Founder of Skyliner Studio, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I started Skyliner Studio to focus on creating handprinted artwork that empowers, uplifts, and sometimes just makes people smile. I mean, who doesn't need a little pick-me-up once in a while? And maybe now more than ever!
While I love a wide variety of art, I have always been impressed by the incredible power of a simple, playful sketch. My designs are intentionally that - simple, loose, whimsical, and fun. I try to move fast from design to print so I can really capture that spontaneous feel and just have fun producing my art. I think that shows through in the finished product!
My artwork is for everyone! Really, the most important thing throughout all of my artwork is that all of the images are continually focused on the mantra: Empower. Uplift. Smile.
Tell us about yourself
In September 2019, I took a leap of faith and quit my job in technology without having another job lined up. My plan was to take six months off and really decide "what I wanted to be when I grew up." This was really scary but pretty empowering as well. All was going to plan until March of 2020 when my six month end date collided perfectly with the pandemic. With my timetable and plan scrambled, I (like many) had to make a new plan.
The next year was a struggle to figure out what was next for me, and then in the Spring of 2021, an opportunity for a six-week virtual screen printing class from The Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) presented itself. My partner suggested it to me, and he thought it could be a really good and fun class for me to take. I agreed (as long as he took it too), and we signed up! That class ended up changing my life. It was a really cool experience, and after the class ended, I was left wanting more. So, Skyliner Studio was born. I truly love how this part of my life has come about, and that in itself is a motivation for me to keep going.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, one of my biggest accomplishments is the fact that I actually started my business! It can be really overwhelming and scary, but believing in myself and actually creating art that people want to buy is mind-blowing when I think about it!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being that I am the only employee at Skyliner Studio, I would have to say one of the hardest things is wearing all the different hats! One day I am designing, printing, packaging, and shipping my artwork, and then the very next day, I am marketing, working on social media/website, taking inventory, and reviewing financials. There is nothing about being a small business owner that doesn't keep you on your toes!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't compare yourself to others. Drawing inspiration from other artists and business owners is great, but as hard as it is, try not to let imposter syndrome take over!
- Get comfortable with putting yourself out there. Whether that means on social media or in-person events, it's important that people know you are there and what you do!
- Not everything you do is going to work! The most important thing is to keep going and not give up on something you truly believe in.
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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