7 Things That Led Me To Opening My Own Watercolor Business
Helloooo folks! Welcome to my new blog. I thought I’d start off the party by sharing a little bit about how Kate Talcott Artistry came to be! I thought about writing my whole long story, but honestly TLDR, I’ve worn a lot of hats before arriving here: teacher, tutor, waitress, librarian etc. What has stayed constant is that I love learning and trying out new things. Watercolor is an artform that teaches me something new every time I pick up the paint brush.
If you’re wanting to learn a new skill or take your hobby to the next level, I’ll be peppering this blog with great tips and tricks for hobbyists and creatives alike. To kick it all off, here is a list of 7 things that led me to starting my watercolor business.
1. My creative drive
I’ve always loved being creative and learning new skills. Whether it was making up plays as a kid, snazzying up a vintage dress for prom, or my affinity for picking up crafty hobbies (friendship bracelets, making iMovies back in the early 2000s, stop motion videos, knitting, felting, scrap booking, hand lettering, quilting etc)--I’ve always like to explore different materials and push the limits to give it my own spin.
2. Workshops and classesI had to learn somehow, right?!?! I took a class at this charming local paper store called Paper Delights with Sarah Simon, also known as The Mint Gardener, and I fell in love with watercolor. I took another class that Sarah was teaching through The Watercolor Summit, where I learned from a ton of different artists and started to learn more about the ephemeral art of watercolor. I was hooked.
3. Lots and lots of practiceOnce I had the basics down, it was all about practice. I would spend hours working on the same leaf stroke shape. I would mix colors to see what hue it made. Finally, I bit the bullet and tried not to wince every time I ‘played around’ on my expensive watercolor paper. I learned more about which supplies I liked and didn’t like.
4.Support from family and friends
Andy, my husband, is the most supportive partner I could ask for, he even decided to join the family biz making it a heck of a lot easier to focus on the painting side of things. I also had great examples--both my parents made big career shifts to follow their passions. My dad went from opera singer, to boat captain, to doctor. My mom went back to school in her 40s to become a teacher. They showed me what it looked like to take brave risks and work hard. My friends and family have also benefited from the honing of my craft. Birthday presents have consisted of pet portraits, silly signs, hand-drawn cards, and more.
5. Tough LoveMy friend Morgan can be credited as the main catalyst for taking my love of watercolor from hobby to business. She is not a woman to mince words. One day she took me aside for one of her famous “kitchen talks” where you speak of VERY SERIOUS THINGS and told me that it was time. “No more playing around,” she said. I had to take it to the next level. She offered me an opportunity to make a design for her Denver based garden store, Birdsall & Co. After seeing photos of my work in her store,an actual tangible product, I was hooked.
6. A can-do attitudeI’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. Not one to half-ass things, once I made the decision to make my business official we were getting the business license, LLC, and domain name that week. When things started to pick up, I realized that if I wanted this business to grow at the rate I’d hoped, we’d need more manpower. Andy’s marketing background, artistic eye, and keen energy for thorough research and precision makes for an excellent compliment to my planning obsessed, big-ideas brained, creative self.
7. Becoming a momI had always planned on being a stay at home mom. You can imagine my surprise when instead of going to bed in those early sleepless nights, I decided instead that I needed to paint. I found that painting gave me a sense of autonomy and fueled a part of me I didn’t know I needed. That and coffee, coffee also was a main source of fuel. (Let us give a big shout out to my Mr. Coffee--the true hero of this story.) My goal in being a stay at home mom was to be home and care for my daughter. Well, this way, we’re doing both. Andy and I have always valued creating a home that is filled with love, care, and creativity. We love that this business allows us to do just that.
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