How do you really know who you’re buying from online? There are thousands of faceless e-shops out there and it makes me soooo nervous when I’m shopping online.
I figured you might feel the same, so I thought I’d introduce myself so you’d at least know who I am and how I started my biz.
Would you shop from someone who is insecure and unpopular?
When people ask how I started painting wall murals (and eventually selling wallpaper murals), I used to give a canned answer about being featured in the newspaper – wayyyy back in 2005 – after painting a mural for my aunts.
Which is absolutely true.
But I have to come clean…
…I used to hide away in my high school’s Art Club because I was introverted, insecure and didn’t feel like I fit in.
That’s where I learned to paint murals.
It was the ONE thing I always felt confident at.
But how could I start a business when I jumped from job to job through my twenties?
I painted wall murals throughout my twenties as a part-time hobby business, but I NEVER thought I could turn it into anything more serious.
In fact, I jumped from one job to another until my early thirties.
Marketing, admin, bookkeeping…I was even a travel agent!
But then I got pregnant – and got laid off work
My hubby, Paul, and I got preggers on our honeymoon and at six-months pregnant, the travel agency I worked for closed down and I was out of work.
Being scared was an understatement.
But it was the best thing to ever happen to me.
After having Audrey and settling into the groove of being a new mom, Paul began encouraging me to start painting murals again.
We put Audrey into daycare one day a week and I started my journey into building a business.
Who do you think you are? It doesn’t matter…your baby will change that.
At first, I still thought of myself as a part-timer. Small beans. No biggy.
But something changed in me as Audrey continued to grow. And for the better.
Can you relate?
I met a mama once, while I was exhibiting my hand-painted murals at Babies”R”Us, and she commented, “You’re fierce.”
I took it to heart and realized I wanted to:
- Work with like-minded clients (other mamas who love rolling up their DIY sleeves to make a stunning room, live a “green” lifestyle and demand value for their dollar).
- Be a strong role model for my daughter.
- Make people’s houses feel like a home to them…and do it every day.
So I started looking at my business as a full time gig.
It was hard AND embarassing
Oh the stories I have of being a mompreneur.
The first mural I painted after having Audrey, I forgot my pump. Um…can you say embarrassing AND painful?
And the number of phone calls I took from potential clients with Audrey screeching in the background are incalculable. (Is that even a word?)
But the straw that broke the camel’s back…
…was a 3-hour drive home at midnight in the middle of winter after painting for 10 hours.
I missed Audrey horribly, I was exhausted and I had an ah-ha moment:
I couldn’t continue
I realized that night that if I continued hand-painting murals, I wasn’t doing anybody any favours. Why?
- I could only help clients who lived within a certain distance of me. I’ve had requests from as far away as Quebec, but I had to say no.
- Audrey and Paul were missing me at night because I had to stay and finish painting or have another commute to my long-distance clients the next day.
- The long hours were sucking the creativity right out of me, making me miserable.
And that’s why I started selling wallpaper murals
I had the idea to sell wallpaper murals that could ship (for free!) all over North America.
It was perfect! I could:
- Help more clients, even further away (at a way better price than my custom hand-painted work)
- Support other artists, photographers and graphic designers by sharing their work on wallpaper
- Design my own wallpaper from home (with the endless amounts of creativity I got back from shorter work hours)
- Be the mama Audrey deserves
And I’ve never looked back.
But actually, I still love both
In fact, I was lucky enough to paint a mural for the Mike Holmes group that airs on the DIY network in April 2018.
Oh, and Audrey’s playroom mural was featured in an advertising campaign for Bullfrog Insurance.
What does this mean for you?
I hope I’ve given you some insight into who I am and what my business stands for.
If you’re planning on decorating your walls – and you feel comfortable shopping from me – I guess the next step would be to browse my wall murals to see if I have a design you like.
A special thank you
If you made it all the way down here – wow! – thanks so much for reading my story!
As a thank you, here’s a special offer just for you!
If you have questions (or just wanna chat), get in touch.