Featured Designer: Claire Christin
Fall is here, and so is our new Featured Designer! This month we are featuring the fabulous Claire Christin, of “Claire Was Here”! What once started as doodles, Claire has now turned into real works of art. Learn how Claire got started on this journey and where her inspiration comes from!
1. Can you give a brief description of what your business is all about, in general?
Creating artwork that I put onto refrigerator magnets and towels, the towels being my newest product. I started out doing doodles, then making a coloring book and magnets out of them, then I started doing reverse paintings on old windows, which I still do.
2. What is the history behind your business?
I always wanted to be an artist but didn’t have confidence. At 29 I was going to school for commercial photography (which I really wasn’t good at) and at the school I was intrigued by graphics design and switched majors. Then I got a job in an Ad Agency and after that worked some freelance until I finally got the courage at age 35 to try making and selling my own art. My first art show I sold enough to make me believe that this could work!
3. Where does your inspiration come from for your work?
At first it was my childhood and insecurities, so my art was positive, and in a way I was trying to uplift myself and also young women who might be going through what I went through. But basically I just have a desire to always draw and paint, it’s just something I have to do!
4. What is your favorite part about your business?
The flexible hours and the feeling of coming up with an idea and seeing how it looks when I’ve done it, and having other people comment positively on it.
5. What is your favorite craft that you make for your business?
I like all aspects at different times. Sometimes I like to only draw or paint new ideas, sometimes I love making towels with the Capri Collection Towels and sewing my art on them. Sometimes I like working on my website, it’s such a varied job and I like to be able to switch from one thing to another.
6. Do you have any future plans for your business?
I got too stressed with marketing, advertising, business, etc, so I decided to just go with the flow. I am in enough stores now that enough people see me and sometimes contact me to be in their store. I want to have my art in as many stores as possible. I also will continue to do art shows, but those are a lot of work for one person doing everything themselves, but it’s great to interact with people who love my art. I just hope to keep making money with my art!
7. What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to get into the craft business?
The only way to do it is take it step by step. Don’t expect huge things to happen right away, part of the fun is the process of trying your first art show, and that way you get advice from other artists and you find out what the customers like and don’t like. I’m not a business person so I cannot answer any business questions very well.