I am so pleased that Laryssa Herbert agreed to be the first in this series of featured inspiration. Laryssa is a fabulous artist. You may have seen her work on other blogs or at her Etsy shop.
*Laryssa would you tell us a little about yourself and your art.
I'm a Christian, stay at home mom. I've been married for 11 years to the sweetest man on earth and we have two beautiful children that I homeschool.
*How and when did you discover that art was your passion?
I have enjoyed art all my life, even as a child I loved to draw and paint. I took some art classes while I was in school. (I was homeschooled from third grade through high school.) I have continued painting throughout my adult life, but just for myself or for gifts. I always wanted to have my own business, but didn't know where to start.
*What gave you the confidence to sell your work and start your own business?
I opened an Etsy shop last fall to see how my artwork would sell. It did okay. This was before we bought the special equipment to produce our own prints, so I was painting every one by hand. It was a lot of hard work and I couldn't price them high enough to make much profit.
Last November I emailed Nester from Nesting Place and I ended up being one of her ad partners. When we introduced the first special edition egg and feather prints, all fifty sets sold out in 24 hours!
My husband and other family members have always encouraged me in my art business. My husband also helps me with the technical side of getting the prints to market.
*What would be your suggestions to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
If you have something you are passionate about, then I believe you can make money doing it. Start small and don't give up. I've been trying to have my own art business for almost 10 years! I feel like I'm just now getting where I've always wanted to be, business wise.
When you think of some ideas for your own business, try a few of them out and see which one works the best. I had tried to sell paintings in local shops and it was never profitable, but selling paintings online is working.
Make every effort to keep your business debt free. We had to use some of our personal money to get the business off the ground, but now it's running with it's own funds and I've reimbursed our family account.
*How do you find balance in you life?
How do I find balance? Wow, what a question. To be honest, sometimes I don't. I have a lot going on, so I paint while my kids are with me and they are watching a quality video. I also work while my youngest is napping or at night after they are in bed.
My first passion is taking good care of my family, so my business sometimes has to wait.
*What are some important lessons you've learned and what advice would you give others?
I guess the most important advice I'd like to give, is to not be afraid. Just start, if it doesn't work at first, just keep trying! If you are doing something you are passionate about, something you enjoy, then it's okay if things take a while...because, you are having fun!