Three years ago today, I started my own business doing what I love… art, but this wouldn’t have lasted three years if it wasn’t for you, so thank you for the support.
The past three years have flown by, especially when I compare it to just three days before the first lockdown. I look back and laugh at how lost I was, and to be honest, I still am sometimes. When I started the business, I had no idea the amount of time, and work I would need to dedicate to the operational side of the business. I thought I could just do what I loved and create art, but it wasn’t and still isn’t that simple.
There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows along the way, but it’s all been worth it. I’ve grown a lot as a person and as a business. I’ve made mistakes, but most importantly I’ve learned more than I could’ve ever imagined.
The business was created from a place of passion and love, just like every piece of art is created from a place of passion and love (with a little bit of frustration occasionally thrown in the mix). With the three-year anniversary coming up, it allowed me to reflect on my goals and my vision for the future, so I have set the wheels in motion for a lot of big changes. The reason I say this is because I used to be a fearless risk-taking artist, but over the past three years, I’ve taken some safe routes but that’s cost me my own happiness to some extent.
The toughest challenges I’ve faced are creating art to make money and taking criticism. Art has never been about making money for me, it’s been a way of expressing my feelings and emotions, what I see around me and in my imagination. It’s hard to describe, but I’m positive I’m not alone when I say this. When starting the business, I was well aware that not everyone will like my style of art, but it’s hard not to take it personally when I feel my work is an extension of me. It’s like someone criticising your body, it’s part of who you are, and yes, you can change your looks, but what does that solve?
I’ve been trying to spend a lot of time improving my mindset, and I’m starting to realise that what matters the most is your own happiness. I’ll always welcome constructive criticism, but what I do with it is up to me.
Something else that I’ve struggled with is my online presence. If you know me personally, you’ll know I’ve never been a big fan of social media, but I understand that it’s crucial to growing a business. I’m starting to learn to love it in certain ways, although I still find myself in self-doubt and hesitant to post something for fear of it not being good enough, or if people will even care.
I want to start a new tradition of sharing three things that I’m proud of, something that I can look back on each year as a sort of time capsule.
1. Building, and growing my business during a pandemic, with my first few collections selling out.
2. Being able to do what I love, every single day.
3. Starting to create handmade candles, which have been a constant sell-out.
To end this blog, I want to say how grateful I am for every single person who has supported me, whether that be by following me on social media, reading a blog, or purchasing a piece of art – you are the reason I can keep doing what I do. I’ll be forever grateful, so thank you.
There are two people I’d like to share an extra special appreciation for, firstly to Lewis, my partner, who has stood by me through everything – from going through my degree to helping me start the business and for being by my side through many bitch fits along the way. And to my Mum, who is always my #1 supporter of everything I do, for helping to inspire me and for pushing me in directions that I might not have thought of.