Sarah Jane is a wife, busy mother of 2 toddlers and an amazing illustrator capturing the attention of designers, publishers, bloggers, boutiques, and more around the world. You can find her at Sarah Jane Studios. Her art illustrates childhood and all it’s “simple wonders.” Sarah creates art pieces for nurseries and children’s rooms. Her art has a sweet vintage feel that appeals to moms as much as children, combined with a modern touch to make it timeless. She offers cards and stationary too. Visit Sarah’s blog and check out the adorable prints. Her blog also offers a look into Sarah’s personal life (be sure to check out her husband’s talents too…he’s a “weekend gourmet“, how lucky!) and a glimpse of the incredible woman behind Sarah Jane Studios.
Even though Sarah’s only recently launched her business last Fall she’s already been incredibly successful…with sales topping at 1000 this week. She’s been featured on top sites such as Design Mom, Cool Mom Picks and check out this amazing fashion-illustrated feature she did for Small Magazine. Sarah has a bright future ahead and is currently considering international licensing opportunities and book offers.
One of the things Sarah did that was very wise prior to launching her business was she researched the industry for a couple of years to understand the market, the opportunity and get a sense of how she could brand her own style and create a demand for her art. She also featured her store on Etsy, a popular hand-made boutique where entrepreneurs like Sarah can have a storefront on the web without the risk and expense of designing and creating her own website. Another thing she did was announce her launch to bloggers who loved her work and shared lots of link love to her new store. To produce her work she purchased a top of the line professional printer to print her designs which in 3 weeks after opening her shop she was able to pay it off. She’s been able to grow her business wisely and without debt, impressive!
When Sarah was considering how to start her illustration business her husband saw an ad in the paper about the September 2007 Startup Princess event where she was inspired by Fairy Godmother Nancy Cadjan’s presentation on How to Transform Your Idea into a Business, (listen to the podcast). Sarah felt inspired after the event to move ahead with her illustration business and launch before the holidays, opened just a few weeks later and she’s been thriving with sales and new designs ever since.
Sarah has been mentored by Kelly King Anderson, Startup Princess Founder for several months as she’s been refining her business strategy, marketing plan, and long term plans for her company and brand. Kelly says, “Sarah is a completely gifted artist with natural business sense and it’s pure joy to mentor her because she is so driven to move forward with her dreams in a strategic way without debt by making strong alliances online, in the media and with high-level children’s boutiques. She inspires me because she doesn’t forget that her dreams also include being the best wife and mom to her kids, she continually includes playtime as part of her day which in turn becomes part of her inspiration.”
Enjoy Meeting Startup Princess, Sarah Jane!
Hometown: North Potomac, MD
Current Residence: Orem, UT
Education: Private art instruction, BYU graduate with a BFA in Music Dance Theater Performance
Professional Background: Voice teacher, performer, art teacher, artist
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Artist and a mom
What you are: Artist and a mom
Brief Summary of your Start Up: I have wanted to design children’s artwork all my life. With the birth of my first two children, I started scribbling down ideas in the middle of the night between feedings. I began doing research via google on the industry I wanted to go into, and when my youngest was 1 years old, I began producing my artwork. I opened my online shop on October 5th of this month, and am already finding success!
Company Website: http:// www.sarahjanestudios.com
What inspired you? My children and my love for children’s literature
How long have you been in business? One week.
How did you fund it? Savings.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Kelly Anderson, founder of Startup Princess. I LOVE HER!!!!
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Startup Princess.
Current Business Challenge? Time and networking. But I am getting there!
What are you doing about it? Streamlining production and continuing to publicize my work via internet (blogs, websites, and on location stores).
Favorite motivational quote: “Tis well to borrow from the good and the great. Tis wise to learn; tis God-like to create.” ~J.G.Saxe
Family? Yes. Husband of 7 years, Addie (3 years) and Ian (2 years). Yes, they are 12 months apart.
If so, how do you balance family and business? My children (right now) go to bed at 7 pm. I start working as soon as they go down and when they nap. There have also been a few early mornings. I try not to work when they are awake, but in order to get my shop up and running, Disney has been babysitting more than I would like. But I am almost to a point where I only work when they are asleep.
Favorite book? Too hard. Frog and Toad might just be on the top of my list.
What do you do to relax? Yoga, draw, go outside.
What do you want to change most about your world? Right now, I want to preserve the wonderment and innocence of childhood with the images I create. In our world, children grow up too fast, and I would love to see more simple play and simple time with children.
What are you most proud of? Giving birth to my two babies.
What advice would you like to offer other Startup Princesses? Just start. You have a dream. No one else has your dream. You are unique. Don’t try and be someone else. If you do, you cannot move forward. Trust your instincts, and success will follow.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Pearls.
This article was written by Startup Princess writer, Jessica Cryer.