1. Can you describe VictoriaDraws in 3 words?
Bright, simple, whimsical.
2. How did you get the idea for VictoriaDraws?
Well, my name is Victoria and I draw! I played around with a few different names but they all seemed so serious, this was the one I felt most comfortable with.
3. What are your favourite parts of running VictoriaDraws?
I love selling at craft markets in London; you always meet such lovely and interesting people! I’ve found it the best way to promote myself and my work. I think it’s really important for people to know the person and the story behind a small business, and I feel that that individuality gives us small business owners a real edge over the big guys.
4. What does a typical day look like for you?
I work as a primary school teacher during the week, so running my business alongside that means that my days are pretty manic! I spend the most time on my business at weekends and school holidays. A typical day will probably start with some painting or sketching if I’ve got some new product ideas to play around with. Then after lunch I usually spend some time on my website or social media. I take part in a couple of Twitter craft hours during the week which are a real highlight too; I get to promote my business as well as meet lots of other makers, it’s fab!
5. What's been your biggest challenge with VictoriaDraws?
My biggest challenges have been time and self-confidence. Running a business part time can be tricky, and it’s required a fair amount of mental fortitude to make myself work at weekends and holidays, even when I’ve not really fancied it. When I first started selling my artwork I felt really self-conscious about it and used to compare myself to lots of other artists. I’ve learnt to let that go somewhat, as a self-taught artist I’m not sure the feeling will ever go away, but positive feedback from my customers and social media following has helped me feel a bit more legitimate.
6. Do you champion responsible business in any way?
Absolutely! I’m hugely inspired by the sea and sea-life, and I make sure I use recyclable materials in all of my packaging to do my bit to combat single-use plastics. I also donate 10% of the profits of my whale prints to the Marine Conservation Society, the UKs leading charity dedicated to protecting our shores and seas.
7. Why did The London Smiths appeal to you?
I love that The London Smiths are all about London crafts people and makers. I also love the aesthetic and ethos behind the company, and felt that it really lined up with my business too. Not to mention that from one small business to another, we need to support each other!
8. Do you have any top tips for other budding makers?
My top tips would be: keep making, make things you like and believe in (I really think people can sense the love that’s gone into an artwork, piece of pottery, textile etc) talk to other makers, and put yourself out there! No one else is going to promote you, so get online, get yourself to some markets and shout what you do from the rooftops.
9. What are your dreams for VictoriaDraws?
At the moment I’m just happy to keep growing my business, slowly and steadily. I’d love to reach more people, and perhaps one day be able to commit to my business full time.
10. Is there anything else The London Smiths customers should know about you?!
For all my love of the sea I can’t actually swim!! It’s completely embarrassing and something I hope to remedy very very soon!