Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Kay Cope.
Anna Kay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
According to legend, I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, and that may as well be true because I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel best holding some kind of art tool. But it’s almost always been relegated to the “hobby” category (outside of a comically brief and doomed attempt to sell knitted goods on Etsy for a living). Even as an adult, I’ve given gifts of drawings and paintings to my family for holidays and special occasions. Anna Kay Artworks finally came to be about 6 months after marrying my sweet husband, who had endured 6 months of me coming home from my full-time job to sob into a glass of wine on the sofa and then burrow into artwork to try to balance out the negativity of the day. One night, he suggested that I quit my job and take some time to build all that art into a business before starting another one. In the two months between jobs, I attended Create & Cultivate, started my (at the time) WordPress site, joined The Rising Tide Society, and absorbed every bit of information about small businesses that I could. It’s been just over a year and, while I still have a part-time “day-job,” it’s been nothing short of a dream come true to grow my hobby into a business.
Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest obstacle is just starting, right? But then the second biggest is to keep going. Even when you launch a new product to crickets (happened to me). Even when no one reads that blog post you thought was surely going to go viral (same). Every time someone doesn’t take you seriously as a business owner (yep), ghosts you after asking what your prices are (yep), or responds with a pitying “Oh” when you introduce yourself as an artist (my personal favorite). You’ve just got to keep going. Learn, shift as you need to, and then kick off the dust and the naysayers.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Anna Kay Artworks story. Tell us more about the business.
Anna Kay Artworks is all about creating watercolor art and decor for the modern Southern woman. It’s updating what we love about our grandmother’s collections – botanical prints, stationery, seasonal home decor – with a specifically Southern bent. I’m proud to create custom heirloom pieces that will stand the test of time and delight families for generations to come. On a grander scale, I hope to provide a space where women can be unapologetically Southern, from their drawl to their deviled egg trays, and also be recognized as successful, intelligent, modern business owners, hostesses, home-builders, and anything else they set their sights to.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Entrepreneurial endeavors are nearly overtaking standard 9 to 5s, so I’d expect the at-home/online art industry to become even more saturated. But I don’t think that’s a negative thing – you can never have too much art! This branch of art is far removed from the pre-made gallery setting and instead provides personalized pieces that anyone can bring into their home. I hope to see that client/artist relationship continue to deepen. As a result of the saturation, we may have to learn how to market ourselves differently or in a more localized way, but there will always be someone who loves your art, your story, your style.
- Custom commissions start at $100
- Framed 8×10 prints are $70
- Stationery sets start at $24 (for a pack of 8)
- Website: www.annakayartworks.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @annakayartworks
Lindsey LaRue Photography