Hollie Childe: Small Business Saturday

In honour of Small Business Saturday this weekend, we have been speaking to our producers about their individual Small Businesses, and what the movement means for them. Here we have HOLLIE CHILDE ART, a young artist whose work is inspired by the stunning Shropshire landscape and wildlife. 


Hollie Childe Art


How long have you been running your business?

I have been running my business as a full time self employed artist for a year and a half. After graduating from University in July 2015 I spent the summer getting stuck back into painting animals. Once I had accumulated some paintings, I started selling my work online and completing my first pet portraits in November 2015 alongside working full time at John Lewis. After my business started to take off, I left John Lewis to commit to running my business full time in July 2016. 

 

How did Hollie Childe Art start?

From a very young age I have been passionate about drawing and painting and studied Art all the way through from GCSE level to graduating from Lancaster University with a First class degree in Fine Art. However alongside my studies I have always had many pets and adored being outside in the countryside so all the hours I have spent with animals I channel into my artwork.

Whilst I was working at John Lewis I had two week days off a week, so I worked away in my flat just creating new work and experimenting with different styles, as it has always been my favourite past time! Before long I had a room full of paintings and drawings so my family gave me the push and the confidence to convince me to try to sell some of my paintings online and it’s all just progressed from there (so I can never thank them enough for giving me the much needed push to go for it!).


Hollie Childe Art

 

Describe Hollie Childe Art for us?

I am an artist who creates lively and vibrant Watercolour paintings inspired by British farming and Wildlife, my complete admiration for animals of all kinds and from my upbringing in the glorious Shropshire countryside.

With each painting I create, I pay great attention to capturing the spirit and character of the animal to aim to create work that is full of life and expression.

From my paintings I also design and produce a wide range of gifts and home ware which all receive as much care and attention as my paintings to ensure they are high quality and bring joy to those who own them.


Hollie Childe Art

 

What are the challenges in running a small business?

Running a small business can be lonely. As I work from home I spend most days alone and dealing with customers online rather than meeting them in person and the lack of a work buddy to keep you motivated can add to this. That is why I love to get involved in makers communities like Buy from Shropshire and attend regular events to meet my customers face to face.

 

With all that you have achieved so far in your business, what are you most proud of?

It’s been a really amazing process since I have started my business but I have to say  has been absolutely incredible that when I have travelled around the country at each show I have been to somebody has come to my stand and instantly recognized my work and my style. From spending years studying other artists styles to now have people recognize my style feels like a dream come true! 


Hollie Childe

 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting up their own business?

Just go for it and give it your all! You never know how something will go unless you try. Start small and utilize social media to regularly put your ideas/work out there to see what responses you receive and what people engage with most and build on the feedback you receive. From there, set yourself clear and realistic short term and long term aims and goals to work towards. This will give you something to focus on and to keep returning to when you feel your motivation slipping. And most importantly- Tell your story! Tell it to anybody who will listen, keep repeating it on social media and let people know while your events. People like to by from people so if you make your products, ensure that customers are aware of this! The more of a personal connection you can establish with your customers and followers the more loyal and supportive they will be. Your story and your experiences are what make you unique and set you apart from the large commercial brands. 

 

What are your plans for your business in the future?

For 2018 I am really excited to work on some new original artworks including more of my animal scenes and working my way through more wonderful British cattle, sheep and pig breeds! I will also be looking into organizing some workshops to teach my watercolour techniques. Finally as a big goal, I would love to hold a solo exhibition of my original artworks!

 

Do you have a favourite/best-selling product?

I have been so lucky that the paintings that have proven to be the best sellers were also my favourite paintings to create. These are my Fox and badger and my two animal scenes ‘One summer evening’ and ‘Cumbrian Christmas’. I love creating paintings with multiple animals in them and trying to create some little ‘moments of magic’ through them.

‘One summer evening’ was a my first animal scene which I created as a experiment and purely for the joy of it as I loved the idea of placing all of the different animals that you would find in a certain area and time of year together in one painting and adding in some flowers and nature to compliment it. Since creating it I have been overwhelmed by the response to it and am I really excited to continue to create more of this style of painting! 


Hollie Childe Art

 

With Christmas just around the corner, tell us why we should be buying from Hollie Childe Art?

This Christmas I have a whole range of products that would make wonderful gifts! From my 2018 calendars and a whole range of unique Christmas cards! And if you are looking for an extra special gift I also have some really special original artworks available for sale.

As a small business owner I put my heart and soul into my business and my work, I honestly love it and feel so lucky to be able to make a living from following my passion! I can never thank every person who has bought anything from me enough because, without them, my business would not survive! So if this Christmas you buy from me you are helping me to continue to grow my business and continue to create new and exciting things!

  

Apart from online, where else can we buy your art, prints, cards and gifts?

I’m really lucky to have some wonderful stockists in Shropshire and around the country! In Shropshire you can find my work at The Willows Café in Ditton priors, The Fighting Cocks in Stottesdon, The Looking Glass in Bridgnorth, Connections in Pontesbury and The ladybird florist in Market Drayton.

If you are traveling further you can also find my work in The Eyebrook gallery in Rutland, Cherrydidi in Cumbria, Willow bell in Middlewich and the Broadway Muesum and Gallery in Uppingham.

I also regularly attend various markets and events so be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to find out where I will be! Over the December you will be able to find me in Shropshire at Whichurch makers market 2 December, Bridgnorth Christmas fair 3 December, The Fighting cocks Christmas market 7 December and Shrewsbury winter festival 9-10 December.

 

 

Hollie Childe Art