When did you set up your business and why?
I had been working from home for years, selling my paintings and running workshops and art classes.
But when Skerries Mills was renovating units in the beautiful courtyard of its watermill building, I jumped at the opportunity to rent one.
So, in January 2014, I opened my gallery.
I have two rooms: one is my studio and the other my gallery where I display my paintings, prints and products.
It is a beautiful setting and it’s great to have my own space to create and sell my work.
Can you explain your process?
I paint large canvases in oils with a palette knife and love how the process of painting with a knife keeps my work loose and expressive.
My favourite subject to paint is florals and with the beautiful wildflower meadows everywhere, I have lots of inspiration.
I also print and frame all my limited edition prints in my studio and just launched some of my most popular wildflower images on silk scarfs and tote bags.
What is your best seller?
My best sellers are my wildflower print series, which comes in three sizes, and I have just launched two new extra-large prints for people looking for a larger piece.
Everyone loves a pop of colour in their home and my wildflower prints are a definite statement on any wall.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
I love meeting people in the gallery and seeing their reaction to my work.
The daily painting movement has been a major influence on my process and if I don’t paint every day, I get jumpy.
I am so lucky to be able to work at something I enjoy so much and getting feedback from customers is important, plus the thrill of a sale is always appreciated with a happy dance.
What are your hopes for 2023?
For 2023, I hope to expand into more shops and galleries and I have a very exciting project in the pipeline for 2024 in the US - fingers crossed!
What advice would you give to another start up business?
The Local Enterprise Board has been very helpful to me over the years and its business courses are excellent.
Us creatives are sometimes lacking in the paperwork end of things and their courses can be just what is needed to get us on the right track.
My advice is to keep going and if things are tough, ask for help. There is lots out there and other small business owners are great for advice.