My dad started his own business when I was nine years old. It was called Northwest Testing Company and since its humble beginnings in a small shop in North Idaho it has since expanded (along with a name change) to five locations (I think it's five?) and a welding school.
Being the daughter of a business owner I was exposed to the frustrations of handling rogue employees, dealing with clients who were not-so-nice and sorting out scheduling conflicts among a myriad of other situations that come with owning a business. And I remember telling my dad that I never wanted to own my own business because I didn't want to have to deal with all of that responsibility.
I am a person who likes to have as little responsibility as possible, if we're being honest. I am so not a typical first born child in that respect. I would much rather have someone else be in charge, but let me be second in command or something. I mean, I do like to be bossy sometimes.
And yet here I am, eating the words of nine year old Natalie and contemplating starting my own business. But unlike my father's LLC, this is just for me. Me and my artwork.
I was contacted by an old family friend to do some commercial art for a local business. I happily accepted the position as a way to get paid for art and also to get my name out there as a local artist. I mean, breaking into the art world is not as easy as you might think, so I practically jumped at the chance to get to work with The Wellness Bar. Since then, I have taught a class there, worked on the coffee menu (which will be finished sometime this week) and contacted the owner of a nail salon to do some chalkboard art for her.
Walking into her shop today, she gave me her business card and since I am lame and without my own little info cards, I had to have her write down my name and number on some yellow pad paper. Suuuuuuuper professional. And then I went home and called my mom about getting some business cards and maybe it would be a good idea for me to keep track of what all these people are paying me for my talents.
This is starting to sound like a business. I'm starting to do something I said I didn't want to do. This is a crazy world we live in, folks. And I think the even crazier part is that I'm actually excited about it. If this could turn into something bigger, it would make working at the restaurant supplemental income instead of the other way around.
In college, even though I majored in art education, being a teacher was the part I tacked on so that I could pay the bills. I went through the college of art and architecture instead of the college of education so that I could be an artist who teaches, not a teacher of art. And while I do love teaching, I am definitely more artist than teacher.
So it kind of hurts me in the world of education that I'm only certified in art because it makes me less marketable than some places would like. But in the world of art, it's a fantastic thing because I don't just do one type of art, I have worked with many different mediums and in many different styles so where in one world I'm singular, in the other I am versatile.
At 23 I was a full time teacher, which is crazy. I mean, I was in charge of and responsible for the artistic education of high school students. This year, at 24, I am a restaurant hostess and manager who freelances artwork on the side. It's crazy how fast life can change and it's also crazy that life never goes exactly how you think it will. You just have to hang on and learn to enjoy the ride.
And just so you can fully appreciate my experience as a nine year old entrepreneur's daughter, here I am slaving away for free.
Okay, so it was actually for a science project in fourth grade, whatever whatever.
Also, a close up of the first image. Please to appreciate our 90s fashions and the fact that I am still the tallest of all of my siblings, which is no longer the case since they've all passed me up.