Meet Adrienne Vita, a local Portland artist who loves mysticism, nature, and to be inspired. She started her journey studying at the School of Visual Arts, and is experienced in animation, graphic design and product design.
Learn how she went from animation to running her own successful art business…
What is your company?
Adrienne Vita – It’s is a place where art merges with mysticism. I make art and do intuitive readings.
How did you come up with the idea?
I wanted to break out of just making something beautiful. Art is about memories and creating a connection. I wanted each of my pieces to have a special meaning. I like adding hidden messages and things we can’t see, which is why I added intuitive readings to the mix.
Where did you find your first customer?
I found my first online customer on Etsy about 6 years ago. I opened up a shop under my old name Arcane Arts. In the same month, I met my first customer in person at Crafty Wonderland when Cathy and Torie used to have it monthly at the Doug Fir here in Portland. I can’t remember if I sold online or in person first, but it was pretty exciting.
How did you determine your target market?
When I first started, I wasn’t really thinking about a target market. I just knew that Etsy was still growing and I had ideas bursting in my brain that I wanted to try to sell.
When I changed my business a couple of years ago to my name, I got more focused on infusing the mysticism in my work. I was learning from 6 years of vending at craft shows around the country, that people want more connection and meaning in their lives and what they buy.
What are you currently doing to reach them?
Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, and some paid advertising. I also blog every Wednesday on my site and gain subscribers there. It’s nice to show what you’re up to, and have contact with your fans and customers.
How much did you start up with?
What I had left in my savings, which wasn’t much. I had just quit a full time position as a handbag designer. I had some part-time freelance, but my main goal was starting my own business. I had to figure out a way to keep costs down, as well as splitting my time with my job and business.
Did you bring on investors, get loans, or grow naturally?
I grew naturally, but the bridge-job helped in the beginning.
What’s the best advice someone has given you?
I learned that “why” you do what you do is the most important part.
Everything else just falls into place if you are doing it for the right reasons.
What are your keys to staying productive?
Realizing that my health comes first. Work and deadlines will always be there. Staying on task is important so I can manage getting enough sleep, eat good food and take breaks.
When you started, what was one thing you wish you knew?
I thought I should have taken a business class, but it really became all about perseverance and believing in yourself.
What resources or books do you refer to regularly?
Has your company experienced any close calls or lucky moments?
Sure, I bungled some packages along the way and had a couple emails that were not fun to receive. But those were so miniscule compared to the lucky moments, like awesome customer comments, fun projects, big sales and meeting new people.
What does success mean to you?
I feel that success is so personal and it’s relative too. Success to me is supporting yourself, doing the work you love, and having a great quality of life alongside it.
Where would you like to see your business 5 years from now?
I am working on licensing my work, and through this, reaching a larger audience.
How can people find you online?