Business Name: Calico Cards and Art Website: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CalicoCardsandArt Established: 2018 Questions answered by: Kim Szurnicki
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
I make a variety of products using various mediums, such as alcohol inks, watercolour paints, acrylic paints, paper, vinyl, wood, etc.
My jewelry and keychains are made from my alcohol ink paintings, my bookmarks and paintings are made using either watercolours, acrylics, or inks or a combination of all 3.
Blank greeting cards for varying occasions are made using a multitude of paper/stamping supplies, including prints of my artwork.
Current wall art/decor available are key and leash holders, paper flower shadow boxes and soon paper flower wreaths.
I’m always working on something new to add to my shop as I like to dabble in a little bit of everything!
With the local maker community continuing to grow, what makes you stand out from the rest?
Supporting my fellow makers is important for building community. I believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of fellow makers giving me advice or tips and tricks or promoting me. Everyone creates something that makes them unique and appealing to all kinds of people.
What I make and sell is no better than any other, just different because it all has a part of me in it, a piece of my heart and soul. And if what I make isn’t what someone is looking for I’m happy to point them to a maker I know who’d be a better fit.
I’m a self-taught artist and I put my best into everything I create. And I’m sure that’s true of all makers out there.
What made you realize that you had a product that could be shared with others?
Being creative has always been a huge part of me, even as a child. What started out as a hobby to help me relax and de-stress slowly became a realization that I wanted to share it with the world. There’s a lot of negativity, sadness, and bleakness out there, esp. nowadays. And art, in its many, many forms, gives us a glimpse into the beauty, colour, and joy that so many talented people offer.
What has been your biggest success as a maker? Biggest struggle you’ve overcome?
My biggest success is definitely getting my Etsy shop opened and seeing that there are people who are interested in what I make. It has spurred my creative mojo on and I’ve been furiously planning new products ever since.
Struggle-wise, I’d have to say my own self-doubt and mild depression. I began thinking about starting my own business in 2018 after I had a couple losses in my life, and over the course of the last 2 years I constantly struggled with “what ifs” and “why bothers”. Thoughts like “no one’s going to buy what I make” and “I’m not as good as so many others I see” were (and sometimes still are) constantly making me put it off.
I had finally planned to do it in March of this year and then the pandemic hit and the world was so uncertain I, again, thought what’s the point? So I set my goal of starting my own business aside, until about September when after months of thinking I decided to just go for it. And October 1st, I finally opened my Etsy shop and have been happy with the response so far.
Any advice that you would tell someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
It’s cliche, but it takes time and energy and a lot of effort I never even thought about beforehand. It’s not something you can just pick up and put down as you please. It’s a commitment. But it’s definitely worth it. To see an idea go from tangible to physical and that someone else actually is interested in it is so rewarding.
Please share any upcoming events (physical events, virtual sales, etc.) that you think Winnipeggers would be interested in!
Etsy and my social media links are the best way to keep updated.