I started actively promoting and selling my art in May last year, during the first lockdown.
• What’s your age? (sorry journos sometimes ask to make sure it fits with the readers of the mag)
• What’s your main job if this is a side hustle?
I also work as a Graphic Designer in Brighton, part-time employed (4 days/week) and on a freelance basis.
• Why did you launch your business/ side hustle?
A few years ago, having been unhappy and dreading going to work every day, I finally decided to make the jump from a corporate role to a creative, more fulfilling career. Since then I’ve been working as a Graphic Designer (employed and freelance) Like many, working from home during the first lockdown had its ups and downs, whilst I had more time on my hands, being cooped at home had an impact on my mental health and wellbeing. I found that working on my art, using bold, vibrant colours provided me with an escape. In May, I took the plunge with launching my website and selling my art, making it my mission to bring colourful, mindful and vibrant art to people’s homes.
• How do you sell your products?
Online, from my website and from a few local shops, in Brighton, Worthing, Shoreham-by-Sea and Steyning.
• What are your best-selling products?
The “Brighton Girl” and Brighton Pier prints are all-time favourites, especially in Brighton, closely followed by the Catbells print – a minimalist, blue mountain fine art print. My Greeting Cards are also very popular and I’ve recently added mugs to my shop, which people seem to love!
• Have you faced any challenges that you have had to overcome?
My focus, from the beginning on, was to create high-quality prints that last, with minimal impact on the environment. One of the key challenges was therefore finding suppliers, printers and materials that cater for these priorities, whilst making sure my print retail prices are still affordable. Luckily, I found a great printer in Brighton I order my fine art (Giclée) prints from, and I am also lucky enough to be part of an amazing creative community in Brighton and on Instagram, so there’s always someone who knows the best suppliers and tricks!
• Would you be happy to share any details of profits/ turnover from your business?
I am currently reinvesting all my profits into my business – such as new stock, equipment and software.
• Did the pandemic impact sales at all?
Not really – I started my business during the first lockdown when people generally shopped online a lot more than usual. I also felt that, as everyone spent more time at home, people were generally quite keen to work on their houses, a lot of my first sales came from these eager DIY home-improvers! Taking part in Online Markets on Instagram also helped me fill that gap of not having that real-life contact and presence. Now that everything has opened up again I am very much enjoying taking part in markets and expanding my wholesale reach in local shops.
• How many items do you sell a month?
That usually fluctuates from month to month – currently, online sales are low, as people’s shopping behaviour has shifted back to high-street or local shops as everything has opened up again, however wholesale orders are up. So currently it can be anything from 10-30 orders, plus wholesale orders and commissions.
• How has trading at Pop-Up Club been?
Great so far! It’s my first time taking part in a Pop-Up and it’s been nerve-wracking but exciting. It’s great to see how the shop has come along and how everything fits together. I think the team has done a great job at selecting makers, as everything looks stunning. The team in the shop is super supportive, creative and lovely, it’s a joy walking in there! 😍
• What are your aims for the business?
Whilst I enjoy my job as a graphic designer, I am hoping that at some point I can support myself being a full-time artist, selling my art and also providing illustrations services to companies and individuals. I’d love to see my art being used in various shapes and forms – such as packaging, branding or murals.