Nothing can make you feel more fulfilled and grounded than creating beautiful things with your hands. And when you manage to create a business out of such pleasure it's only more fulfilling!
Our today's #heroine_of_the_week is a beautiful and inspiring Olga @olgaprinku with just as beautiful and inspiring handicraft talent. She creates breathtaking designs from wool and flowers and her instagram page is filled with cosiness of home and beauty of nature.
Her story of entrepreneurship started with becoming a mother. Search for better work-life balance and love for creativity and design led her to become a happy mompreneur bringing joy and inspiring people all over the world.
Read Olga's inspiring interview below!
Olga, can you share with us how your journey into art entrepreneurship started?
It's a journey that started with motherhood. As my little boy was getting older, I wanted to see if I could find something to do that would be flexible enough to fit in alongside parenting and my husband's work.
You have a background in graphic design, but now you create beautiful things with your hands. If you compare your past and present occupation, do you feel more fulfilled now?
Actually there are a lot of similarities. I think that what I do now is a natural evolution from graphic design, in that both activities are very creative and that’s the aspect I enjoy the most - finding new ideas, experimenting and seeing what can be achieved. One difference is that I have more freedom now to define my own briefs - and set my own deadlines! :-)
You work a lot with wool - an ultimate winter and cold day material. Can you tell us a bit about your working flow, how do you distribute your work during the year and during a single day?
Indeed all my wool stuff is very seasonal, with most of the orders coming in for Christmas. So for most of the year I'm knitting to build up stock and that gives me the flexibility to spend time on it when I have time available, depending on what else I need to do that day. It's really flexible in that way. Then when Christmas gets closer, that's when I need to make sure I'm regularly checking online for orders and making trips to the Post Office.
Olga, you have such a successful Instagram account, does it work for you in terms of attracting customers? Do you use any other marketing channels?
Actually most of my orders for wool goods have come from Etsy and Notonthehighstreet. I'd started selling through those channels before I started to post on Instagram. What I've noticed since my Instagram account started to get more followers is a higher proportion of orders coming through my own website, prinku.com, which I set up using Big Cartel. I'm sure that if I ever start selling my flower wreaths, most customers would be from Instagram as that’s where most of the inquiries are coming from. But I definitely think it makes sense not to put all your eggs in one basket with marketing.
In one of your posts you mentioned you are not very comfortable with being in the center of attention, but with such success of your creations there is hardly a way around it. What are your tricks to overcome shyness, especially now, that you started your Youtube channel?
I'm happy that on Instagram you can be relatively anonymous! None of my photos have my face in, as either I don't feature at all in the shots or if I do then they're taken from behind or below the neck, and I feel happier that way. :-). As you say, I've just started with YouTube, and again I've wanted to put the focus on my hands and the making aspect rather than on me. But who knows, maybe I'll become less shy about facing the camera with time and practice. The hardest thing so far with YouTube has been getting used to speaking. It feels very awkward and I hate the sound of my voice! But I've been told that's normal at first and that I'll get used to it. I hope so!
Olga, sometimes you work with very fragile materials, like dried flowers in your wreaths. Are these creations for sale or do you create them for own use only? Are they durable enough to be shipped, or do you have other plans for them?
That's a question I've been thinking about a lot lately! I've had some inquiries from people who are interested in buying them, but I wouldn't want to offer them for sale until I'm confident I could ship them without them getting damaged. So I've been experimenting with different options for packaging, and sending them to friends asking them to take photos when they arrive so I can see what rate of damage there's been in transit. I'm starting to notice a pattern with some flowers being more fragile than others, so I'm hoping I’ll come to a solution soon. Another possibility is to get into doing workshops. That would also depend on overcoming shyness! I'm hoping the YouTube videos will help build my confidence for that. If I can inspire others to try their hand at making something beautiful I’d be very happy!
Olga, you are a mompreneur, what is in your opinion the most important thing to be aware of for women, who want to combine business and family?
I think to define your own aims for what you want to achieve, as every individual will be in a unique situation and that will change over time. In my case for now it's important for me to be able to keep flexible on a day-to-day basis, which means trying not to put too much pressure on myself to grow the business quickly. I would definitely say that I think it's important to do something you enjoy for its own sake. For me, nothing beats that feeling when you make something with your own hands! :-)
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