Those of you who are on Twitter, see the #FF stream through your line every Friday. But have you ever asked yourself who are these people? What do they have to say about themselves in more than 120 characters if given the opportunity? And how does what they do help me?
Heading over to their twitter bio is a great start, and sometimes some people have websites and we then click on that link and read about their business. But I wanted to know more. I wanted to reach the real person and find out their Who, What, Why, How and When information. Something that could make me take a second look and find out how their business and my business could connect and collaborate on changing the world. Even if that change only meant a change in how I saw a small part of the world.
Today’s spotlight focus is on solopreneur, Joy Light of Joy Hand Painted Silk. Joy has amazing hand painted silk and jewelry that is sure to make you take a second and third look. To find out more, read below and head over to the website, follow her on twitter and other social media and make a connection.
Business Name: Joy Hand Painted Silk
Name: Joy Light
Facebook url: facebook.com/joysilk
Twitter url: twitter.com/#!/JoySilk
Number of years in business: 15
What industry do you work in and what sets your company apart from the competition?
I’m a creative person, I work as an independent fashion designer in Ashland, Oregon. I design and craft womens fashion accessories and one of a kind and custom personal and home accessories. My experience over the years has proven that my designs are on trend with the big design houses.
What tip would you give a new person starting out in your industry?
If you can, live in a fashion center and work for a top designer in some capacity. Trust your instincts and go with your gut.
How did you get started in the industry?
My start was inspired by my BFF Rosie Daley, she was a textile designer before she became Oprah’s chef. One summer she worked with silk and that was it, she was very protective of her studio and when I moved to Oregon in 1989, she shared her material suppliers with me, and that started my lifelong love affair with silk painting.
What product do you think every business should have and why?
I think it’s important to have a digital camera, or have a camera in your smartphone. Today everyone wants to be in touch with the latest happenings, sharing digital photos via social media is all the rage. It keeps us all current.
What is your favorite technology that supports your online business and why?
I am enthralled with The Square and squareup.com, this relatively new company has super low fees and is really easy to use. Up until recently, having a merchant account to process credit cards was not cost effective. Today with The Square and PayPal, it’s much easier than it was in the past.
What charity do you donate to and why is it special to you? (Include the link if you are interested in sharing)
I participate in several charities, locally I work with troubled teens through Jackson County Children’s Advocacy Center and the nationally acclaimed program Ashland Food Project http://www.ashlandfoodproject.com/ Proceeds from our collection of pink scarves http://dld.bz/Shop_for_the_Cure is donated via cancer.org for breast cancer research.
What is on your “NEED WANT LOVE” list to do in life?
I am dreaming of my next sojourn to the Yucatan for R&R, but will settle for a visit with family in North San Diego County this August. Balancing the busy lifestyle of making and selling artisan accessories with life’s simple pleasures.
What industry trends are you following that interest you?
I am currently a little obsessed with Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Japanese painter Yayoi Kusama, she is one of the most exciting and prolific artists working today, I’m inspired by her story and the longevity to her career. Also I felt a simpatico with Gucci’s pastel spring ruffle fashions, and now as we head into summer, I find we are bang on trend with LV’s summer palette as well – what can I say? Great minds think alike!
How do you promote your business?
I use social media to promote my business, I’ve been building relationships with people and the people who shape brands on Facebook and Twitter. I am a member of The Artisan Group and The American Craft Council. I attend trade shows and retail sales events on the west coast.
What challenges did you face promoting your business in the start up phase?
I started painting silk when my children were young, so I was at that time a work at home mother, which has a particular set of challenges in and of itself. Also, I am self-taught, so the learning curve has been a bit steep in terms of technique, and marketing as a creative person is another skill-set entirely.
- #FF Follow Friday: Spotlight Focus on OneRiver Media (suzettemariel.wordpress.com)