She’s been an artist for as long as she can remember, but this summer she’s learning that she can get paid to do what she loves. Lauren Wright launched ArtByLaurwrig in July with the help of Summer Company, a program that offers business training, mentorship and a startup grant, funded by the Province of Ontario and the County of Huron Economic Development Department.
Lauren enjoys a range of painting and drawing projects, but she specializes in commissioned paintings of pets. In addition, she sells watercolour paintings and prints at the Goderich Flea Market on Sunday mornings. She says she gets quite a few referrals from past customers—always a great sign for business owners– and her Instagram page generates interest as a portfolio of her work. Her next step is to set up an Etsy account and sell online. She’s had a few people order her prints from out of the area, so she’s becoming experienced with shipping her art work. Her work has made it across the ocean already; “A couple from the U.K. bought a painting when they were here on a holiday. It’s pretty cool to know my art is somewhere in the U.K.” Lauren says she’s received great support from the community: “people are more into art than I expected.”
When asked about her experiences in the Summer Company Program, Lauren says that she’s learned a lot about finances—both bookkeeping and balancing a budget, but also how expensive materials and prints can be. She quickly learned that she’d have to raise her prices to earn a minimum wage. Pricing your time and services is always a challenge for entrepreneurs. It’s a critical part of the learning curve. Overall, Lauren said she has loved running her own business and is keeping her options open. She has one more semester left in high school and then plans to take an Art Program in Toronto. We’re excited to see what the future brings!