I sat down to chat with owner and design Jen on how she got started!
How did you first become interested in creating art?
I believe I've always had a somewhat crafty side, making my own decorative canvases when I moved into college and making greeting cards for friends. I took on a campus marketing position the past year that allowed me to become adept at using graphic design software, which soon became a creative outlet and inspired the decor business.
How did you establish your business?
I didn't actually start Onefourthree Decor with the full intent of establishing a business. I tried to find a unique gift for a friend's birthday and was really unsatisfied with the options, thus I decided to design her a print and simply frame it. Other people saw the finished product and encouraged me to design more of them and make them available to the public, and the business was born! After all the legal aspects (copyrights, business registration) a website was created, promotion was initiated through social media and it's been taking off!
What’s your background?
I was born and raised in a seaside town just south of Boston, triggering an immense amount of love for my city, sports teams, and of course the beach! Currently, I'm a rising senior pursuing a business degree at Babson College, which inspires an entrepreneurial mindset among all its students. Additionally, I've worked at Talbots for several years, providing a strong foundation for business management and customer satisfaction.
How does New England inspire the creation process?
As a lifelong New England resident, I'm incredibly passionate about where I come from and everything about it. I create a lot of the New England pieces with the idea that someday I may be living somewhere far away, but still wanting to show off where I come from and having a little piece of "home".
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The best thing is being able to pursue my own vision, creatively and commercially.
What challenges have you faced?
One of the biggest challenges has been connecting with retailers to sell the prints in their respective shops. I'd love to see them sold in retail establishments so trying to acquire B2B clients is a huge goal that has also been a bit of a challenge. Additionally, navigating through the challenges of frame suppliers and kicking off e-commerce have been difficult as well.
What are your most popular items?
The "Sail Away With Me" sailboat print has been very popular, as well as the location prints.
What inspires you in the creative process?
I believe my inspiration derives from my own passions. I would never create something that I wouldn't be proud to hang in my own home, thus I find myself inspired by nautical pieces, New England memorabilia, etc. Additionally, in creating other location pieces I'm continually inspired by the idea of making a piece someone would want to show where they come from and remind them of home, no matter where they are.
Which other artists inspire you?
Local artisans offer a lot of inspiration. Whether it's a hand-painted oar, wood-carved "Beach" sign or another designed print, I'm inspired by seeing others create art based on what they love and looking to share those passions with others.
Where do you hope your business will be in five years time?
In five years it would be great to have a much larger selection of designs and products that are accessible in a variety of retail locations. Having a few employees would be helpful as well!
What advice can you offer those seeking to establish their own business?
Find a way to distinguish yourself - how can you establish a dramatic difference from your competition and be preferential to your target market? Give your customers a concrete reason to purchase your product or service in place of another.
Also, make sure you have a grasp on accounting to accurately calculate costs and your net profit. Know how to complete an income statement, balance sheet, etc.
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