Welcome to another Fab Friday feature! This week I would like to introduce you to Julie from Julieriis. As a fellow painter, I can appreciate the work and effort that goes into each of her pieces. Julie has an inspirational story that I hope encourages you today.
How did you get started with your craft/art?
I saw silk painting demonstrated at a lovely little studio in the Cotswolds. They used really vibrant colours - I was hooked!
Singapore Orchid Hand-painted Silk
What prompted you to set up a home-based business?
My daughter Rachel was ill with cancer so I was at home most of the time. We did quite a lot of crafting. I thought I'd try and sell one of my ties on eBay. When it sold, I built the business up gradually from there.
What part of your craft is your favorite? (Designing, creating the actual piece, working with custom orders, etc)
I love the painting - especially when a colour blend works well. It gives me pleasure when I see the successful finished article looking back at me!
How have you changed since starting your business? How has this impacted your craft?
Happily, and against all expectation, Rachel's cancer improved a great deal. This has meant I have more time to paint and run the business.
I have also become more interested in abstract artists which have influenced my work.
Golf Hand-painted Pure Silk Tie
What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?
The financial side is definitely the most challenging aspect for me as I am maths-phobic! My husband was amazed I made any profit in the first year! Happily he's set up some good yearly spreadsheets for me and so long as I stick to them I don't get in too much of a mess.
Another challenge is that I commit to bringing out new designs every month - this keeps me on my toes, but its very satisfying!
Sea-spray Hand-painted Pure Silk Scarf
How did you come up with your shop name?
When I started out I sold jewellery and pictures as well as the silk ties and scarves I sell now. I wanted a name which would embrace all of those. My daughter Rachel suggested it.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see your business?
In five year's time I would like my husband Pete to be able to retire and join me in the business. I'd like a steady flow of customers and to be able to have some time free to go out with Pete, see family (we have 2 boys, 2 girls and a foster son) and do church stuff. Well I can dream anyway......!
Bright Africa Hand-painted Pure Silk Tie
How do you keep a balance between home and business responsibilities?
Sometimes more successfully than others! I try to keep Saturdays free to spend time with Pete and/or family. I always keep Sunday free so I can spend it worshipping God and spending time with friends and family. Its the week that gets more tricky - I don't clean the house often enough!
What is the funniest/craziest/most touching thing that has happened while having a business?
The reasons for people buying my ties make me laugh sometimes! One lady bought a rainbow bow tie for her dog!!
Mondrian Hand-painted Pure Silk Scarf
If you could give one piece of advice to others who are just getting started with their businesses, what would it be?
Take the next step - Its amazing where lots of small steps will get you!
Can you give us some links to be able to follow you?