Business Name: Inspired Artworks Website: www.inspiredartworks.ca Established: 2019 Questions answered by: Janice Harder
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
My product line is a growing list of greeting cards, art prints, and custom watercolour artwork.
I do all the pieces from concept to painting the art from my home office, scanning it into my computer, and editing in Photoshop. If I need the artwork printed, I get them done by a local print shop.
My greeting cards are all currently 5″x7” in size, printed on quality textured paper to mimic the look and feel of watercolour paper.
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
When you support the local makers, we support the local businesses that we purchase from, which, in turn, supports the economy. The money I earn goes back into growing this business and supporting my role as a stay-at-home mom for my four children.
My products are always going to be top quality in the materials I choose. The cards are so appealing to give and the perfect size that makes them frame-worthy; it’s a piece of functional art!
What inspired you to start your business?
I have been a mom for eight years and I found myself needing a creative outlet. I dabbled in making a few different things before I landed on watercolour painting.
I got my first set of paints for Mother’s Day in 2019 and that’s where it began. It started as a fun hobby and, after a short while, friends began to ask me to do work for them. Friends of friends began to hear about my art, so I started with social media, and eventually, I taught myself how to make my artwork into prints for a viable product!
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
Every stage of growth has a problem that comes with it; timing can be tricky. I started my website for a few months then decided to pause it for a while for various reasons. The public health restrictions have been a challenge, too, with markets cancelled.
Financial hardships and oftentimes, we are impatient and want to expand quickly! However, in order to grow, you must be patient. Sometimes I have had to learn this the hard way!
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
Finding local stockists and summer markets! I currently have four storefronts that stock my products and that has been amazing for growth and exposure.
Last summer, I was blessed to be a part of the Kleefeld Farmers Market, which was a highlight of the year for Inspired Artworks. The ladies who planned it are simply fantastic (and) I’m incredibly excited to be a part of it again!
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
Keep taking small steps forward, allow yourself time to rest if you are feeling overwhelmed. Also, know that not everything has to be done in one day or week! Just add one thing from the list at a time and it will lead to big results. Finding resources to help you accomplish more is key! Just a few searches online will help you find what you need (there is tons of free info out there) and know that there is room for you, too!