Beginning your own business from scratch without going into debt is a fun challenge. Add to that a student loan that is 10 years old that must continue to be paid down. So far so good.
The next immediate need is bookkeeping software to track my incoming and outgoing costs, supply, packaging and advertising costs as yes, I do budget a small amount for advertising. I attempted to install Open Office but Panther and Open Office hate each other due to X11. After more research I found Neo Office. Wonderful! How do I use spreadsheets… I haven’t a clue.
Last month I earned as much as I would have earned working part-time at that nameless place… haha. I remain earning well below the Canadian poverty line. I live with my family who feed and house me. Without their support I could be on the street.
I’ve not borrowed a cent to run my shop. That feels so good to say.
In August I’ll be introducing matting into the shop. Tomorrow I meet with a local custom picture framer and gallery to work out a price for mats to go on my 5×5 and 8×8 inch prints. He’s also interested in selling my originals! Woot! I currently order rectangular mats from an online supplier. They do not, however supply square mats which most of my artwork is. And their quality is very good; acid free with no over cuts. I know a good mat when I see one.
I’m stocked with pens of every shape, colour and size, paper, paint, printing ink, and packaging supplies.
As time goes on I purchase larger amounts of everything to take advantage of bulk discounts and cheaper shipping. All the art and prints are placed into acid free resealable clear bags and then sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and placed into a sturdy craft mailer for shipping when sold. My shipping days are standard; being Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s.
My studio/bedroom and now part of a spare room have become packaging, business, creation, storage and computer work stations.
I began paying myself bi-weekly in May from my Art Sales and have continued on since. There may be those who believe I’m not able, thinking this a hobby and that I should go get a real job. Well, this is my real job and I love it.
My goal is simple: to become a respectable middle class citizen earning a livable wage.