Tanya and I lived together in Frankfurt, Germany many moons ago when we were budding IT Consultants. How times have changed since then!
Tanya is now a surface pattern designer. She designs digital paper for scrapbookers and paper crafters.
Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before you went out on your own…
I had a few jobs before starting Pininkie. I was in IT for many years and before that I worked as a groom on a stud, breeding thoroughbred race horses, I also did a stint in Telecoms for a while and spent some time travelling in Central America.
What made you think of starting your own business?
When I had my first child I was looking at buying a local web development company, but after I did the sums it wasn’t going to be worth it. That made me realise that I wanted to do something for myself but I didn’t know what.
Having a child triggered an interest in becoming creative in me. I started experimenting with a lot of artistic projects. Also I knew I wanted to stay home and be part of my baby’s upbringing and not go back to work.
How did you come to the idea of designing digital paper?
Originally I was creating lino prints, but this soon proved impossible with a small baby and a cat. The prints take about 3 days to dry. So I had a lot of designs with footprints all over them for a while!
Then I experimented with fabric printing. I also tried more artwork. I found that when I started to make digital paper designs things started to take off. I did research and saw there was a market for it. So really there was quite a bit of trial and error involved in finding what works.
What have been your biggest challenges?
For me the biggest challenge has been deciding where to focus.
Even selling digital designs there are so many things I could do. You really need to focus on one thing for people to notice you and make the sales and I find that difficult.
What have been your highlights as a business owner?
A major highlight has been being able to work from home and around my childrens’ schedule.
When my Santa letter kit took off that was a big highlight, and it was a complete surprise!
In November one of my wallpaper designs is going to be published in an American Interior Design magazine. It was one of my first designs. So that is really exciting!
What would you say to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Stick with it. It takes time. Don’t expect sales right away. If it’s not working, once you given it time don’t be scared to change. Think about it laterally. You might not need to make a big change; small changes can make all the difference.
You can find out more about Tanya and Pininkie here
Key take aways from Tanya’s experience
Tanya tried a few different creative endeavours before finding one that she enjoyed and was making the sales. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works.
As Tanya says focus is important. It’s good business practice to get one thing nailed down, and be known for it, before branching out.
It’s becoming a reoccurring theme here at The Idea Spotlight – persistence! Don’t give up! Adjust if you need to but keep following that dream!