Every Saturday I am featuring a different small business, getting to know a little more about the business and the people behind the brands! This week it's another cracker of a business! Introducing Christina from the fabulous Christina Marie Art.
I had the opportunity this week to ask Christina some questions so you can get to know more about her and her fabulous business. I hope that by reading this interview you may find another small business to support or if you're interested in maybe starting your own business, you may find some inspiration here too...
I’m Christina, I am the maker and creator behind Christina Marie Art. I am also an Art teacher and I set up this business last year whilst on maternity leave with my daughter Isla, who is now one and a half!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Definitely chocolate, I am particularly partial to a Dairy Milk Whole Nut or box of Guylian
What makes your business a little different from the rest?
Everything is handmade by me at home, I am always experimenting and developing new ideas and I work really hard to offer pieces that are a bit different so that you won’t be seeing them for sale in everyone else’s shops too. I also think that the variety of products I create makes me a little different too, ranging from wedding venue illustrations to pom pom stems, I hope to think that there is something for everyone.
What TV show could you happily lose a day bingeing on?
I love a good Friends binge. Also you will often find me on the edge of my seat watching anything like 24 Hours in A&E, 999 Emergency, One Born Every Minute etc, but you can guarantee there will tears!
What is an absolute non-negotiable in your day?
Family... they always come first, cuddles with my daughter and my two house cats is a must many times a day, everyday.
Tell us one thing about your business that you are most proud of?
Not giving up on this little dream and sort of managing to juggle everything. I also feel proud that I now have a lovely group of customers who return to order again and again.
What’s your favourite ever product that you currently sell or have sold?
Ooh that is a tricky one, but I think it is probably quite a close call between... any of my pieces with pressed flowers, illustrations and my copper and blush wall hangings.
What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? Could be an investment of money, time, energy, or other re-source. How did you decide to make the investment?
It’s a little random but I think it is going to be the big Ikea shelving and desk unit that is being delivered in a couple of weeks for my studio, I feel like I am going to be able to get everything really organised and be able work a lot more efficiently. Also it would definitely be the I-pad Pro that my husband kindly got for me, it’s fab and has been so useful for my business.
What’s been the biggest change to you and your business during this crazy Covid-19 lockdown?
It’s probably as simple as not going into the post office, I’m normally in there A LOT, there and Hobbycraft, so that has felt strange to use parcel boxes instead. It’s also been hard to get hold of some materials, and some costs have gone up, but I have been very lucky that it’s not had a negative impact on my business and that people actually seem to have had more time to browse, appreciate and purchase from small businesses.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
I am still so thrilled every time I hear the notification come through for each order, I love that it means I am able to be creative, do something I love and work everything around family life.
What do you or would you outsource if you could?
I would happily have someone else take care of all the accounts and paper work stuff as I find it so hard to find time to keep on top of, and not to mention, boring!
Who or what inspires you?
Definitely nature, I love flowers and take lots of inspiration from the natural world as well as home decor and interiors.
What’s your favourite podcast or book that’s helped you with an area of your business?
I have to be honest I don’t really listen to podcasts and you’ll normally find me reading lovely children’s books these days, but I have found that so many of the other small businesses I have met have been really helpful and supportive, I have learnt an awful lot from them.
Do you have a favourite quote or just one you really like? Why do you like it?
‘As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen’ I love all Winnie the Pooh quotes.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out with their business or wanting to start, what would it be?
Absolutely and completely love and enjoy what you do! Also, try not to be too sensitive, not everyone will love what you do or support you, but remember for those few who don't, there will be so many supportive and encouraging people who do.
Do you have any new products that you’re excited to tell people about?
I have a couple of exciting new products that I am currently working on, they are a little different to anything I have done before and they involve using natural dyes and colourings. Keep an eye out for some sneak peeks very soon!
So there you have it guys, I really hope you have enjoyed learning more about Christina and her gorgeous business, if you'd like to find out more, you can visit her online shop at www.christinamarieart.co.uk and follow her on Instagram @christinamarie_art or head to her her Etsy shop - christinamarieart29.
If you run a small business and would like to be featured here on another Shop Small Saturday Guest Blog, please get in touch.
Happy Saturday and thank you for supporting small businesses,