Without wanting to sound like a broken record... I want start my own business. I'm not a natural-born entrepreneurs so I need a little help. In truth I'm after a more favourable work-life balance that can provide me with a more rewarding life. I know there are no guarantees so I'm holding up my hand and asking for some advice. Has anyone created their own bespoke children's illustration brand? I'm a designer by trade and want to develop my hobby of drawing, printing and painting. I've read investing in something you are passionate about is a great place to start. So without knowing the market and my potential I've started drawing exploring baby toddler market i.e. Nursery Decor, height charts, alphabet baby flash cards. Am I just a dreamer? Is there certain areas of growth that I could apply my stills to? I've helped other people with logo design and web design. I've got a great creative mind and effortlessly love a hard slog. What do people think? Where should I start? If you have any suggestions (or not) I would love to hear your thoughts.
Why don't you try out a few designs on etsy before you take the leap
It's an amazing site where you can buy crafted and designed products by individuals (they call them artisanal nowadays?) and also approach the buying department of some nursery design things - eg, mamas and papas to see what their criteria are?
I've heard from people in the creative trades that marketing is the biggest thing that makes the difference and you either need the energy for that yourself or know people who can help/be able to pay them.
are their other ways of achieving the same thing ie work/life balance by going freelance? eg, having a bread and butter design line, partnering up with a website designer etc etc, then doing yer own designs on the side, if that's what you love doing?
My understanding is that it is a very tough market, because so very many highly qualified and talented women tend to lean towards the children's market after they start their own families, and I have seen some really lovely businesses disappear under the waves.
One place to start that requires no financial investment or internet know-how but will give you some "practice" is Etsy (as suggested by redtiger). Get yourself up and running with a "shop" there (and maybe another on Folksy?) and promote it like a madwoman on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is also becoming more and more important.
With Etsy, you have the difficulty of the endless competition, but also the support of their platform and SEO etc.
PM me if you want more info - I advise people considering creative start-ups for a living.