I interviewed Helen Windsor, aged 35 from Brentwood Bay in British Columbia in Canada and owner of Healing Helen. Helen also sent me a few greeting card samples, which I gave a review for which you can find below the interview.
Helen creates her own art work of spirit animals and pets, which she incorporates into custom items.
Below is a statement from Helen:
I believe strongly in the power of energy work as a Reiki practitioner, and it is my goal to offer healing art that incorporates the power of my hands and heart through my art and energy work respectively. My signature product line is my custom artwork so if you are interested in having a special piece created feel free to message me for more information. All of my art is based on the sanctity of the soul and the story of each animal. I strive to tell that story from the perspective of the animal so that each buyer receives a message that is unique. The animals portrayed in my work are all animals that are near me at my farm and it is my connection with them that allows this work to flourish. Find what you love to do and go for it! You never know where it will take you in life!
Here is my interview with Helen…
When did you start your business?
I opened my Etsy store in October 2015
What made you decide to setup your business?
I hid my artwork for my whole life! I decided to share my art on Facebook with my friends and they were most encouraging. That was where I started to get asked about custom artwork, which led to me starting my line of Spirit Animal artwork. Once I printed them onto greeting cards, people kept on buying them, locally. I wanted to expand further and have this available to the rest of world.
What do you do and what products do you sell?
I create custom artwork of pets or spirit animals, Fine Art Giclees, Archival Paper prints, Greeting Cards and, soon, shirts.
What products seem to be your best sellers?
The greeting cards seem to be the best sellers. Not only can they be used to send to people as a Thank You card or Birthday card, you can also frame it as a piece of art.
Who are your biggest competitors?
There are many people creating beautiful cards online! I wouldn’t necessarily think they are my competitors as we are all trying to do the same thing and sell what we love to do. Maybe the bigger companies like Hallmark and Carleton, but I noticed a huge shift of buyers wanting something more local, or shows artistic love and passion.
How do you advertise your business?
This is a big learning curve for me. I thought I would just place my items on Etsy and it would just sell from there. Boy was I wrong! I know advertise at local fairs, art shows, becoming a member of certain Art groups, hosting art classes, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy Promoted Listings, GoogleAdwords, Saatchi, Fine Art America. It can be endless. Of course, I only focus on a few of the social media groups.
How would you recommend your business to potential customers?
I create from the heart and soul of the animal I work with. They share their story with me which dictated how my artwork will look with shapes, patterns and symbols. A truly unique way of seeing how the animal sees themselves.
Did you have any problems when starting your business? If so, how did you overcome them?
MARKETING! I didn’t realize how involved you have to be with marketing/advertising/promoting. I have two kids and a farm to look after and most of my evenings are spent trying to find out ways to get my listings up to the top on Etsy. I had to do research on SEO’s, keywords, tags, photography, computer editing…the list goes on. I even hired someone to help me with my wording to see how I can improve my ratings. This has been a huge learning curve for online selling.
How do you decide on your designs?
When I am looking for a new animal to draw, I ask for an animal to show itself to me three times. It is like a sign from that spirit animal!
What has been your favourite piece to work on?
My first piece of my horse, Arrow, has been my favourite so far. He sends me on an amazing journey every single time I draw him. He helps me push myself with my artwork and take it to new levels.
Are there any offers on your products running at the moment?
I do 20% promotions once a month. I usually post it on my Facebook page and on Etsy updates.
What has the experience of owning a business been like for you?
It has been a whirlwind adventure and one that I had never thought of doing. Truly a wonderful experience and enjoying the ride!
Below are all Healing Helen’s store and social media links:
Etsy Store: www.healinghelen.etsy.com
Greeting Card Review:
Helen has kindly sent me three greetings cards for me to view and review in addition to her business feature. She also sent one written to me thanking me for featuring her cards on my blog. That was a very nice gesture and I am really appreciative! Thank you so much Helen.
The card that Helen sent me which she had written a lovely message inside was her Wolf greeting card. Its such a lovely card. The selection of cards that Helen sent for me to review included her Arrow Horse greeting card, Raven greeting card and Rose greeting card.
They are beautifully packaged in a cellophane wrap with the card and an envelope inside. The horse and raven cards are roughly 5 x 7 inches in size and the rose card is approximately 4.5 x 5.5 inches.
The cards feel of amazing quality, they are very smooth. You can feel the print on the card too, which is also very smooth and has an amazing effect! The rose card also incorporates metallic ink throughout the design.
Every card features a small statement on the back of the card.
You can buy the cards in packs, but the single cards cost roughly £3 which I think for the quality of the cards, packaging and work that Helen has put into them, is an amazing price!
I like these greetings cards so much that I am going to buy photo frames for them and place them in my home. They are really beautiful!
Thank you for answering my questions and providing me the greeting cards to review Helen! I also want to say a big thank you for the lovely card you wrote to me to thank me for this feature. Honestly, it was my pleasure. Your cards are amazing! It has been a pleasure interviewing you. I wish you well in your business venture.