Artistic entrepreneurs: Juniors create business

Artistic+entrepreneurs%3A+Juniors+create+business

By Hiba Samdani, Photography Editor

Juniors Maria Connolly and Sophia Brubaker have always had a passion for art from a young age. They frequently crafted gifts for their family members and have taken several art classes to strengthen their interest. While working on their midterm projects for Studio Art 3, Connolly and Brubaker developed the idea of creating their own art-selling business: BC We Love it.

“We were in art one day and we were working on our midterm and planning,” Connolly said. “We were so interested in making art that we were like, ‘Maybe we can keep doing this (for profit).’”

Connolly and Brubaker started their business last November, and sell custom art pieces through Instagram. They formed the name of the business by combining the first letters of their last names into the title. Typically, a customer will DM the account and request something to be made by the girls. After confirming with the customer, they hand-paint the desired item using acrylic paint or paint pens. Many of their recent orders have been paintings made on canvases and wood.

“People can send us inspiration. We had our friend Alyssa tell us that she wanted a butterfly,” Connolly said. “She sent us a couple inspiration photos, and she gave us a color scheme that she wanted, and then she (said,) ‘Okay then, you can do the rest.’” 

One obstacle the girls are facing is figuring out how to price their creations. They want to refrain from overcharging people in their age group while keeping in mind the cost of the materials needed to paint the product. In addition, they wanted to make sure they maintained comparable or lower prices in comparison to prices on Etsy, an online shopping platform on which hand-made items are sold.

“We’ve compared it to prices for customers on Etsy, and some things that are smaller and more simple than our designs, and that makes us second-guess our pricing for it,” Connolly said.

To combat this obstacle, they are exploring the idea of making digital art to save time and to make their creations reproducible. This idea was proposed by their Studio Art teacher, Leanne Argonish who both girls consider their biggest inspiration to pursuing their art careers.

“It’s really inspiring that they shared with me they were making gifts for family and friends,” Argonish said. “They thought that they were the perfect team to come together and start this business. I think that just shows the connection that Studio Art can create and if you are inspired by each other, you can create something bigger than just one.” 

Argonish sees this business being able to adapt to different circumstances and taking a unique path in the future. She encourages the girls to sell their designs to large companies in the future and explore different ways to become well-known in the art world.

“This can turn into a lot of different areas it can turn into designing for major companies (or) going off on their own and freelancing for design. They do have to do regular schooling and economics and keep up with their life. So in the meantime they can put their designs out there in a different way,” Argonish said. 

Connolly and Brubaker are looking to donate most of their proceeds to a charity organization. For now, they continue to follow their passion and make art for the community.

“For us, art isn’t a chore,” Brubaker said. “It’s something that’s very fun and a passion of ours, so the fact that we can give it to other people is very fun to make a business out of.”