Owner Name: Addie Reilly
Business Name: Olive & Branch
Business Based in: Vancouver, BC
Social Media Accounts: Instagram: @olive.and.branch
What products or services do you offer?
I create collectible products and gifts based on whimsical animal characters that I design. I started out with hand painted resin figurines, and now offer illustration prints of my animal designs. I’m also currently working on adding brooches and Christmas ornaments.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been in business about 5 months.
What inspired you to start your own company?
Being a creative individual, I never felt fulfilled in a ‘normal’ job. I’ve always had a need to create something of my own, that I can truly feel proud of. My background with illustration, sculpting, and painting, plus my love of animals naturally led me to start creating these animal characters.
My husband and I are also expecting our first child, and it’s been my dream to be able to work from home while raising my family. I had already started working from home as a freelance illustrator, so I’ve been able to slowly transition into my own business.
Do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
My mom was an artistic person and always encouraged me to nurture my creative side. I was also lucky enough to marry into a family of talented artists, and I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement that I get from them.
Favorite part of owning your own company?
I love that I get to connect with people through my creations. Every time I hear back from a happy customer, or get excited reactions from a new Instagram post, it truly makes my day. I try to keep a whimsical happy feel to everything that I create, and if I can make others happy with my creations then I feel that my goal is accomplished.
What is an obstacle that you found you were unprepared for?
It takes time to grow a successful business, especially as one person. Being an artist first and foremost, I don’t think I was prepared for the steep learning curve involved in learning to start and run a business. I’d say my least favourite part is the bookkeeping side of things!
How do you put your business out there?
Currently Instagram is my main focus, it’s perfect for displaying art and products. I plan to grow my Pinterest account and Facebook page in the future, and also to start participating in local craft markets.
What mobile apps/online resources help your business the most?
I recently switched over to the Instagram Business Profile, and it’s been really helpful being able to see data insights on my posts and followers. It’s nice to have the option to promote posts as well, but I haven’t tried it yet!
What are your favorite tools to help with workflow and organization?
I’ll admit, I’m not naturally the most organized person. Planning out my days/weeks in advance and keeping to-do lists is essential for me, and I try to keep everything together in my business planner.
How do you maintain balance in life?
Making the decision to work from home is my way of attempting long-term work-life balance. Besides my art and business, my little family is the most important thing to me. I look forward to being able to raise my kids while running my home business, as challenging as I know it will be at times.
Any words of wisdom for people looking to launch a business of their own?
Research as much as you can about starting and running a small business, and have some sort of a plan before jumping into production mode. But most of all, LOVE what you’re doing 🙂
Anything else you would like people to know about your business?
I donate 5% of the listing price of every online purchase to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. If you’re not familiar with their organization, check them out at www.ifaw.org
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