Lake Gal Artworks
Business Name: Lake Gal Artworks Website: www.lakegalartworks.ca Established: 2015 Questions answered by: Patti Fernie
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
I create artwork featuring texture as the main element. I paint large, mixed media paintings as well as alcohol ink paintings and bright, whimsical work on heavily textured canvas.
The Adirondack chair in my logo is a drawing my daughter Emma did of my dad’s favourite chair at the family cottage. A friend of mine made a digital copy of the drawing, which is why the chair is a bit imperfect, and it became my logo.
My dad has since passed away, so it’s extra special now and I even got my first tattoo of the drawing as a way to commemorate both him & my daughter.
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?
My work is unique. Everything I do is hand painted by me with care & attention to detail. Customers at markets always comment on how interesting, beautiful, and unique my work is. I have never seen anyone else create paintings the way I do.
What inspired you to start your business?
I am a high school art teacher (25 years) and I used to take a group of students to New York every couple of years. To fundraise, I would encourage students to create some art or at least watercolour backgrounds, then I would go in with ink to create small works of art. I would frame them and enter community craft sales.
Eventually, I started making larger paintings & other art and found my work was selling well. I established my current logo & company name in 2015 and began selling for myself.
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
Finding time to create and run a business with a full-time job. Also, learning the business end of it; applying for markets & stores, packaging, labelling, pricing, inventory, etc. That was a big learning curve.
Although I would miss teaching students, my dream is to retire in a few years to become a full-time maker & art workshop instructor.
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
I would say the fact that people like and buy my work is a hugely gratifying feeling. I have a few customers who return over & over to purchase more work and I have developed friendships with them. I can’t imagine where some people put all the pieces!
Being part of the ‘maker’ community and meeting other makers via social media or at markets has been incredible. It is such a supportive community. If you need to know anything about running a business, promoting products, displaying your work, or whatever else you may need, people are so helpful and encouraging.
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
I think the biggest thing for me was learning to narrow my products to a few main things. Being an artist, there were always things I was creating but too many items can be confusing for customers.
Also, find your niche. Make sure your product is unique and stands out in some way from other products being offered in that market area.
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people to purchase your product!
My website features an ‘Events’ page with a list of upcoming events and paint night workshops I am currently offering. I will do requested dates if someone contacts me.
November 4 & 5 – Inspirations Market – Assiniboia Downs, November 24 – 27 – Signatures Shows – RBC Convention Centre
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