We are so excited to bring you a new feature . We are announcing our new weekly series- West Island MomPreneur. Every week we will feature a local west island mommy that has her own business and lives in the west island. It’s so important to support local and after the year we have had, we need to support our community more than ever. The month of April features, is sponsored by Time Events & Marketing.
We are so excited to introduce you to our sixth MomPreneur : Allison Robin Smith a Fine artist and art educator. Read all about her and her local business.
- What is the name of your business and what is it about?
Hi! I’m Allison Robin Smith- Fine Artist and art educator. I specialize in soulful and evocative acrylic and watercolour landscapes. My paintings are imbued with energy, light and textures that evoke peace and kinship with nature. I own Studio Hillside, a converted barn/artist’s haven in St. Lazare. A space that hosts art studios and workshops. I have created a lifestyle surrounding my work, thriving on the beauty of imperfection, and the harmony of working from my barn studio while raising my family. Through my work, I hope to evoke a connection for my viewers while representing the truest version of myself.
2. How long have you been an entrepreneur and why did you become one?
This journey has been an evolution that has taken place over the last 8 years. As is the case for so many of us, I faced a crossroads when my daughter was born. With a long commute to work, and a husband who is also self employed, I knew I couldn’t sustain the pace of my corporate job as a Graphic Designer, while balancing home life. The thought of trying to do it all was daunting to me. While still on Mat leave I began to create artwork for children and offer freelance design services. While I loved this work and felt growth and stability, my true dream was always creeping back into my heart, calling me to paint. I made this transition very slowly, doing all the creative things until I got to a point that I knew that I had to take that leap and commit myself wholeheartedly to my artwork. With-in the last 3 years I have been painting full time, teaching adults, and selling my art through gallery shows and my website.
3.What advice would you give to a Mom considering opening their own business?
I think the most important thing is to find work that you absolutely LOVE so that you can get through the first stages of developing your business while you may still have a full or part time job to balance things out. Once your brand, product, service has been established there are three key elements I would like to emphasize.
1- Build your network. Not only through social media but through collaborating with other like-minded businesses. Build your brand values and share them with the appropriate audience. These are people who understand and support your service and/or product. Your network can elevate you with referrals, business advice and collaborations.
2- Know your target market. Having a narrow focus attracts a smaller group of people to your work, but, when you are reaching the right people, the attraction is nearly irresistible.
3- Leave competitiveness at the door. I’m a big believer in community over competition. There is enough work for everyone. Don’t focus on what other people are doing if it’s going to make you feel lesser than, or insecure. Stand tall and know that you are doing what YOU want to do in the way that you know is best for you and your clientele. This is what will keep them coming back.
4.Seeing we are all about our West Island Community, where are your Go to places?
Living out in St. Lazare area, I spend a lot of time in the Hudson area and have a few favourite local spots.
For take out: Furley bakery, Butchery and WINE in Hudson, Akaiwa Sushi in DDO
Coffee: Cafe Juniper and Cafe Mikko, Hudson
Flowers and gifts: Oh Fleur – Hudson
Soap and body Care: Hudson Soap Company- Hudson
Art Supplies: Hachem (Online)
5. The past year has been a struggle for everyone, what has helped you the most get through it?
I think keeping my gratitude strong has helped most to get through these times. My art itself is very therapeutic for me, and so it is natural for me to lean into that. I am so thankful that I have a business model that I can take online, and still have the freedom to create and sell art despite these weird times.
6. To wrap up, what are your must have items that you use or need everyday….
Squarespace website platform
Canvas Lamp for studio filming, photography and lighting all in one https://www.shopcanvas.co/
Photo-editing software – A Colour Story, Lightroom
Moshi Sleep app for meditation and sleepy bedtime stories (for both my daughter and myself)
Spotify and a Sonos speaker: I need music in the background all the time
Birkenstocks in the summer and Blundstone’s in the winter. I stand all day and my feet need to be well supported.
Hudson Soap Company- Natural Lavendar Soap, Serenity Body Oil
City Sense Soy Candles – St. Lazare
Social Media and Website:
If you would like to be featured as a local MomPreneur, click here to fill out the form. Please feel free to contact us for more information on becoming a monthly sponsor of the weekly series. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org