Katherine Caldwell talks about ONEart
Katherine Caldwell, a graphic design and illustration graduate, talks to us about ONEart - Katherine's award-winning pop-up shop.
"ONEart is a pop-up shop based in LiverpoolONE. We sell the work of 14 local artists, including my own eco-friendly designs. This is our third pop-up shop in LiverpoolONE and, even though we’re competing against some of the biggest names in retail, all of our shops have been a massive success. On our first day of trading we met our sales target for the entire week and after just six months we won a Reward and Recognition Award.
“I first got the idea to sell my illustrations when a stop-motion animation I made as a student made it to the final of a Berlin film festival. Being chosen gave me the confidence that illustrating was something I could do full time.
“I started this project when I was 24. Starting a business when you’re young is great. You can make mistakes when you’re young and you’re not as burdened by other people’s expectations.
“If you’re thinking of starting a business, you should remain flexible. Although you need a solid business plan, once you’ve launched, important opportunities might come up you’d not considered before. If you have an open mind you won’t miss out on those opportunities and they could make your business stronger.”
“To get my name out there, I attended lots of fairs, like the Winter Arts Market at St George’s Hall. Don’t underestimate social media either. I met lots of local businesses on Twitter and we all support one another.
“I also made great contacts through the Centre for Entrepreneurship. My mentor at the Centre was also really helpful. They taught me about pricing and gave me retail insight I would never have known without their help.
“Look for cross-collaboration opportunities in your area. Liverpool has an excellent arts community and also a fantastic digital community. Connecting with thriving local businesses will give you plenty of scope to work on some really interesting projects and collaborating might take your work into new directions.”
My best is good enough. That's always been my mantra and it's worked well for me. You can't do more than your best. So if you're going to go for it, give it everything.
Katherine's tips for start-ups
Katherine shares her top six tips:
1. Research, research, research. You need to know your business and your competitors inside out.
2. Be unique. Make sure you and your business stand out.
3. Create a support network. Meet people from your own industry and other industries. Support from friends and family is also important.
4. Always tell the story behind your business or product.
5. Dont release a product until you are 100% happy with it. Once its out there, it's gone and you wont be able to get it back.
6. Don't try to control where your business goes. Allow you business to grow organically and take opportunities as they come.
My alarm goes off at 8.00am. I check in on social media and respond to commission emails and journalist requests. By 9.30am I’ll be in the shop, speaking to customers about the work we’re selling. I’ll also take lots of product photos.
I head to a coffee shop and often meet my mum and dad for a catch-up.
I leave the shop around 3.00pm. Once home, I’ll update our mailing list and do some social media posts. Then it’s finally time to draw. I work on my latest designs and spend time developing new characters. My golden retriever, Sawyer, keeps me company while I draw.
In the evening I either head out to a gig or I’m at home with my husband. We love cooking together and often have some epic Wii marathons.