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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Art of Trust

We can't believe it,  this week we are participating in the last week of the Declaration of You Blog tour. The Declaration of You! is written and designed by fellow artist friends Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward. We want to give a great big shout out to these two wonderful Working Girls and their awesome team for coming up with the book and blog tour idea. It's been a lot of fun and we we're thrilled and honored to be a part of this wonderful creative process.

So this week it's all about trust and that can mean many things to many people. For us, Trust is about knowing that the art we are bringing into the world is worth designing and sharing. If it cheers someone up, makes them laugh or even turns a bad day completely around, then we are accomplishing our goal. Choosing a career in Art Licensing is not always easy, there are times when our artwork and written ideas are rejected and that never feels good. But the truth is, we believe in what we are doing and whether you are a yoga instructor, hair stylist, first grade teacher to licensed artist, it's important to always have your own back and be your own cheerleader. Believe in what you are doing, believe you are making a difference. What you do does create positive changes in peoples life and adds value to the world. 

It's hard to believe that just a few short years ago, Jodi and I were sitting around her kitchen table with just a dream of this business and now it's a reality. It's taken us to London, Atlanta, and New York and more than likely we'll be visiting China within next 12 months! We didn't put any limitations on what we could do, we just focused on what we wanted and trusted the creative process.

Artist Jodi and Writer Tonja in London

Basically it all boils down to this, don't ever let anyone tell you can't do something. If the dream is in your heart then with enough effort, work and dedication your ideas can and will become reality. We've brought 3,000 products into the world, some were easy and some took years but at the end of the day, our belief and trust in our abilities is what made it happen. If we can do this, you can too, your only task is to do it your own way in your own style! We wish you much success on your journey, here's to your continued success! 

Jodi and Tonja

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Only Money Honey

So this week we are back participating in the Declaration of You Blog tour. The Declaration of You! is written and designed by the talented Jessica Swift and Michelle WardThis week it's all about MONEY!

I guess you could say we've learned a thing or 20 about money since starting on this art licensing journey about five years ago. We want to share three pieces of advice that we've discovered and I think it's at least partly why we've been so successful, landing over 3,000 products on the market. 

# 1. You can Start Your "Creative" Business without blowing up your life!

What we mean by that is when Jodi and I first started to make a go of art licensing, we were both still working for other people. Jodi was doing design work for a company with QVC ties and I was working a 9 to 5 job. This allowed us to keep bringing in a somewhat steady paycheck and at the same time start to build a porfolio. It takes time and money to build your client list, develop your brand, and attend and follow up on trade shows. Too many times artist contact us and say "Okay, I've quit my day job, now what?"  To which we usually reply, "See if you can get your job back!"  

Look we are all for following your hearts desire but the reality is NO ONE want to do business with someone that is desperate for money, so do yourself a favor and put a little money aside so you are not in panic mode when you launch your business.

# 2. Define what your services are worth, and then uphold your own value.

We really think this is important, whether you are designing jewelry for etsy or producing artwork for license, it's up to you to set the prices. Early on it's tough because you "really, really, really" want the deal and may be tempted to slash your prices but don't do it! When you believe that what you are creating and bringing into the world is unique and special (and it is) then it's easy to stand your ground and hold firm to your value. You may lose a deal here and there when you don't cave on the price, but the people and companies that value what you do will come back again and again. The key to any type of abundance is authenticity, no one can ever be better at being you than you and it only makes sense that you should declare and claim your own value.

# 3. It's not really about the money.

This is a hard concept for some people to grasp but the truth is it's all about how you expect the money to transform your life. A lot of times it's hard to get excited about an affirmation like "I am making $25,000 this month." It sounds great on paper but really what does that mean? It becomes much more tangible and real when you work toward something with the attitude, I am excited about this project and then with the money I plan to take my family on a beach vacation, buy a new car, pay for my kid's college etc. Money is like air, it's flowing, it's everywhere, you can decide to make a little money or a lot of money. Either way, it does not take away from another artist or another project. There is plenty to go around so dream big and soar.

Would love to hear your thoughts about business and money, it's a fascinating topic and one we continue to explore and expand upon. 

Have a super week! 

Jodi and Tonja

P.S. We'll be on vacation next week so it will be a bit quiet at Working Girls central.  We're both vacationing with our families on beaches in California. The Working Girls are looking forward to spending a week as the Vacation Girls!