Friday, 21 September 2012
Tea and a Chat with Ana from Channelled Creations
Hello! Good to see you, the kettle’s just boiled – what would you like to drink?
May I have a cup of Organic Chicory please?
You certainly may! So, tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Ana Goncalves originally from Portugal (born in Lisbon) I have been living in the UK for 21 years now. I have always been very expressive since small be it through writing, dancing, acting, painting, or crafting and believe that it is the gateway to the soul. Expression became like a gateway to express my feelings and gain awareness and clarity through the creative medium. My Etsy Shop Chanelled Creations sells a variety of colourful and heartfelt original artwork, stationery items, prints and intuitive readings.
What inspired you to start your creative business? How did it all begin?
My Etsy Shop Chanelled Creations was born out of my need to share and empower others through the Art that I make, and to show that you too can discover the richness of connecting to your own experiences through creativity. The decision to open up a shop came almost naturally, as I was moved into it to share and make a difference.
How has your business changed and developed since it started?
I opened Chanelled Creations on Etsy in April 2011 and since then I have made many new friends, learnt a lot of new things (and still learning) while growing inside and being open to new opportunities to arrive. My business has become a vehicle in which I can express myself freely and in that make a difference and uplift others in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. I am very grateful for that.
What are the main ways you promote your business? Which methods have been the most successful for you?
When I started I submitted my Etsy Shop to all the craft directories manually, and to all the main search engines. I gradually started using Facebook joint with Twitter and Pinterest. I also promote via Etsy teams which has become my community, where I get support and make new friends. I enjoy stopping by new places and discovering new artists and making connections. I also approach blogs, and do guest blogging, giveaways and soon will write for online magazines. I have also participated in exhibitions, offline Etsy events, trades, exchanges, and hand out my business cards to people I meet.
I believe that everything that I have done has helped me to be where I am right now, and it is a continuous process to promote and always be open to new opportunities and ways for others to discover you and your work.
What’s your workspace like? Can we have a sneak peek? And do you have any workspace organisation tips for the rest of us?
My workspace varies, sometimes it is very unorganized and other times it is very neat. I leave it just the way I want because it reminds me what I need to do next, and where I am at. I think it is important to just go with the flow of your work space and do what feels right for you. It doesn’t have to be fully organized all the time. What matters is how it makes you feel, and whether you are content and at peace with it.
What are the best and worst bits of running your business?
I think the best part about running the business is when people buy my work, and tell me that they are inspired by it and that it makes them happy. I am grateful for the friends that I have made as that is an invaluable gift in itself.
The one thing I have learnt on this journey is to price my items according to my time and the love that I put in, and so if I had known that before I would have spent less time worrying about that aspect. On the positive side it has made me more aware of how others deserve to discover my work and it doesn’t matter what cost it is.
What other small (or not-so-small) creative businesses do you admire?
I admire anyone who has the courage to express their creativity with the world, because they are leaving a mark and making a difference. I am continuously inspired by people and what they create and knowing that they are contributing a part of them into the world. I respect and appreciate anyone who follows their own path, and what they do.
What tips can you give to others who run (or hope to run) a small creative business?
Be open and receptive to each experience that you encounter and know that it is all an opportunity to grow and learn. Trust yourself in every moment and have faith. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and learn from others who inspire you. Have fun, enjoy the journey and celebrate your successes as well as your lows. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and breathe when you need to away from your business as you will be thankful for it in the end.
What are your hopes, plans or ambitions for the future?
My plan is to offer more of my custom based services to clients, and to expand into new possibilities and ways to work with others in creative projects and even a centre.
Finally, where are the places we can find you online if we want to partake in a little friendly cyber stalking?
Etsy shop - 30% OFF Coupon Code: BIRTHDAY
Blog- Currently have a September Birthday Giveaway on my blog - feel free to stop by and enter
Thanks so much for stopping by – it was so nice to be able to take the time to chat with you!
Thanks for having me - it's been a true pleasure having tea with you.