March Small Business Feature: Katie Blue Art
How did your business get started?
Simply put, my daughter asked me to paint one of her jackets. The jacket immediately sparked interest and I started to get requests for custom designs. I did everything from flowers to pizza, designing jackets for weddings, sporting events, colleges or special occasions. It caught on fast and just continued to grow.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
When people see my jackets, they love the idea, so I started to participate in art markets, wedding events, in-store pop-ups --anything that gave people the chance to see and feel my "wearable art." With the pandemic, all of that went away. The wedding industry was proving to be a solid market for me, and everyone had to cancel their celebrations. Opportunities to participate in events to showcase my jackets were cancelled. Shops that expressed interest in carrying my jackets or creating a pop-up event to sell my jackets were forced to make their own cuts. The interest is still there and the response is still positive, but sales have dropped considerably.
What are your favorite products or services that you currently sell?
I love every jacket I make! I also paint small leather wristlets/bags, but the jackets are like a blank canvas.
What are a few fun facts about your business?
The best part about working on a custom jacket is seeing how different people are. My favorite thing, isn't necessarily yours....so my jackets can be as unique and individual as the person who wears them!
What advice do you have for someone in the beginning stages of owning a business?
Love what you do - do what you love! You're going to work really hard, so take the time to catch your breath every once in a while and enjoy it!
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