Below is an interview we did with Jane K. Whittingham from Raincitylibrarian.ca
I’m thrilled today to introduce two very talented small business owners who have created a fun, successful creative business based in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada! I discovered craftedvan at a local craft show and immediately fell in love with their cute and quirky bookmarks – perfect gifts for geeky bookworms like yours truly!
Diana and Erica kindly agreed to appear here on Raincity Librarian to talk a bit about being creative entrepreneurs, following their dreams, and finding that elusive work-life balance. Please give them a warm welcome!
Q. Welcome! Can you introduce the masterminds behind craftedvan?
Hello! We are Diana and Erica, co-creators of craftedvan Diana is a designer by trade and Erica is a nurse by trade.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about the history of your company?
We met in grade 9 and connected through our love of creating and crafting Years down the road, we trialed selling our products at a craft fair. Our magnetic bookmarks stood out among our other products so we focused on them. 3-ish years later, here we are!
Q. Do you each bring different talents/strengths to your partnership?
Diana is a mastermind designer! She somehow finds a way to keep on creating the cutest characters and pushes craftedvan forward! Erica prides herself on production
Q. How do you manage to balance being small business owners with your careers and lives outside of craftedvan? Do you have any thoughts on life/work balance?
We have both pursued part time careers to make time for craftedvan this year! We are so happy to have done so, as two full time careers puts a definite strain on our work-life balance!
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
We have brainstorm sessions, but our ideas mainly come from asking our followers on instagram! They definitely know what they want and we try our best to give that to them!
Q. Which products have been your best-sellers? Which have been your favourites to make?
Our best seller is our coffee set/coffee jumbo magnetic bookmark! It’s been there since the beginning and will definitely be a favorite down the road. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of coffee?
Our favorites to make are the GINORMOUS bookmarks we sell! It’s so fun to cut them and brings back nostalgic feelings of elementary school craft projects
Q. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing creative entrepreneurs?
Staying relevant is a big one; luckily we have the best customers ever who are always giving us suggestions!
Q. Can you tell us about some missteps you might have made in the past, and what you learned from those experiences?
Hmmm, there’s a lot of them! The most important is to try to laugh it off and move forward, knowing NOT to repeat them!
Q. Your products can be found in shops all around the world! Do you find that different products sell better in different locations?
You’d think! However, shops tend to pick similar products from our very LARGE catalogue of bookmarks! Quite the opposite!
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own small business?
Go for it. If you’re passionate about what you’re making or doing, that’s the best skill to have under your belt. It will be tough, but also super exciting to have the ability to test things out in your own small business!
A big thank you to Diana and Erica for stopping by the blog and sharing their story, and allowing me to share an amazing local creative small business with my readers!