It was only 18 months ago, that Claire Tomlin created her first small business, Red Cup Resin. Selling her eye-catching and hand-painted serving platters and art boards, Claire has fallen in love with small business life. Her unique product and designs have gained in popularity on social media and at local markets around town. We sat down with Claire to find out more about her journey as an artist and entrepreneur.
Tell us a little bit about you
I’ve always had an interest in arts, mixed media and all forms of painting. One day, I saw a resin piece in a design magazine and I was inspired to do a course to learn the basics. Red Cup Resin is my first business venture and I’m loving every minute of it.
Tell us more about Red Cup Resin
I created my business to express my desire to have an art form that I truly loved to create. While I originally started selling pieces via Facebook to friends and associates, it soon started to take off. We then expanded the business to incorporate Instagram and started attending local markets to help get my name out there.
Our target market is varied. On one hand, we have 75-year-olds buying trays to serve lunch in their homes and 18-year-olds buying them as gifts. Due to the range of styles and colours we offer, there really is something for everyone.
What was one of the biggest hurdles you faced when starting your own business?
Initially, it was the start-up costs, which involved purchasing all of the stock, boards, resin, pigments, dyes and gels. Also my knowledge about the artform was limited, but the more practice I was able to do, the more techniques and styles I was able to quickly learn.
What do you enjoy about running your own business?
I love the feedback I receive from those who have bought my pieces and I really enjoy interacting with customers both online or at markets. I also enjoy the flexibility that comes with owning your own business and having a creative outlet.
What sets your business apart from the competition?
My use of colours and styles, and we also use different mediums, such as trays, boards and large art pieces. I also teach my techniques to interested customers where I can by hosting resin classes and workshops.
You decided to use QuickBooks to manage your finances. Why?
I wanted something that easy-to-use, quick to manage and could link to our accountant. I love how easy it is to invoice and add expenses, and also clearly see how I’m tracking for the week, month, year, quarter and financial year.
Any advice for entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
If you have a dream to get out there and try something, even if it’s initially a cost, keep at it and keep pushing on. Remind people you’re around and invest your time wisely. Soon, you’ll be on your feet, pushing ahead in no time.