Today is the launch of a brand new series I am starting on my blog called ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurship’. The series will feature guest writers who are all business owners to talk about their journey into the business world and to inspire others to do the same! Our first guest is Charlotte over at Charlotte Wade Photography and Artwork! I will leave Charlotte’s links throughout with pictures of her beautiful products!
Tell us about yourself and your business..
Hello, I am Charlotte a photographer and artist living in Shropshire. I am currently running my small Etsy shop, Charlotte Wade Photography and Artwork, from home and love getting involved in as many local creative projects I can. I started my little Etsy shop in 2018 and took it on full time September 2019. I create illustrated & photographic cards, prints and handmade gifts inspired mainly by positivity and nature, with the main aim of making customers smile.
Why did you choose your business sector?
I have been creative ever since I was able to hold a paint brush. When I was younger, I would make handmade Christmas cards for family and I was completely addicted to Art Attack! Art was my favourite subject at school. I remember running out of paper because I was always drawing and doodling whenever I could.
Tell us about your journey to becoming an Entrepreneur..
I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up and my Mum always said to me, do what you enjoy, so I did! I picked an art college course, called Design Crafts that explored lots of amazing creative subjects in the first year such as sculpture, illustration and photography! I can honestly say I learnt more creative and business skills in that first year of college than in my two and a half years at university. I majored in creative photography in my final year and studied photography at university.
All the early morning commutes on the old bus into the city centre, awful essay writing and old-fashioned reading lists, really zapped me of my creativity and after leaving university it took a couple of years for me to fall back in love with creating and making art.
I left university with no idea what I wanted to do and like most started looking for a job, it was harder than I thought it would be! After 3 months I finally got lucky and got a little catering job in the heart of the beautiful Ironbridge Gorge. I thought at the time it would be temporary while I got my career and future planned but ended up working there for 5 years! It was great at the start and I met so many amazing local customers and creative people. I started creating again and was doing little craft fairs here and there selling cards, prints and handmade trinkets. I also had some of my artwork for sale where I worked, and it sold well!
About 2 years into the job I experienced a lot of bullying and it became a very negative place to work, in the last year of working there I finally set up my little Etsy shop. Although I was struggling with negativity and manipulation, it was the perfect inspiration for my business as I knew I wanted to create happy, fun and positive items. This really helped my mental health at the time and continues to do so! Without the owners knowing they taught me very valuable lessons on how NOT to run a business and this inspired the core values of how I want to run my business.
I took the leap and have not looked back; I am the happiest I have ever been! My little Etsy shop is growing steadily, and I am learning so much and adapting as I go. I love being my own boss! I always wish I had done it sooner! Doubt can be a very dangerous thing!
What advice would you give to someone looking to become a business owner?
My top tips for starting your own business would be, enjoy what you plan to do, or it will not last and it needs to be good for you and your mental health! Mental health is more important than money any day! Find free support online for your chosen field, I have found so much support and advice from Facebook groups and Twitter hours. People are friendly and want to help each other. Nothing will happen overnight you need to work hard, research and be willing to adapt.
Thank you for reading my little journey.
Best wishes Charlotte!
Charlotte’s journey is so inspiring and her products are absolutely beautiful. I love the way many of Charlotte’s products are based around mental health and positivity. Head over to her shop and take a look! Charlotte can also be found on Facebook and Instagram. Massive thank you to Charlotte for sharing her entrepreneurship story and I hope you enjoyed the new style of post!