Small Business Spotlight: Anita Ivancenko



Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Anita. I gained a BA Illustration degree in 2011 and since then try to find my way as a self employed artist. In this journey I learn something new every day. Now I live with my husband and daughter in the West Midlands. My everyday mostly balances between my daughter and my small business. In my spare time I love knitting, it also helps to free my mind from running business, as it might be quite overwhelming sometimes.

Describe your business

As I am not very good at picking names for business, I just named it as my name - Anita Ivancenko. I draw images and then reproduce them as phone cases, pocket mirrors, art prints and so on. 

What inspires you?

Most of my work is inspired by nature, but sometimes I just doodle random patterns, which are filling my head.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I have been working in a warehouse during uni and after graduation. Soon after graduation I opened my Etsy shop, and it just hung there for a while. Just after my daughter was born I realised that I don't want to go to work outside and would prefer to stay at home with her. I started to pay more attention to my Etsy shop. From there my business started to grow.

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

My business is based on my illustrations. At the moment I have a big accent on phone cases, but it might change with time. There is an endless list of products I might sell and I would prefer to experiment along the way instead of settling on one thing. I get bored very fast and that helps me to move on. I started with colourful works, and then came black and white, but now I feel it is time to change again.

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

The biggest challenge is - will the general public like it? I can create a product and be over-excited about it, but then almost no one would like it. Or it might be the opposite, something I am not very passionate about just hits the spot. It is very hard to find a balance between what sells and what you would like to sell. Another challenge is to get on with feedback, and if it's not as expected, to learn from it and use it to grow, instead of getting affected by negative feelings.

What’s the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

The best reward is positive feedback. Some days I feel so down and think to stop everything, but then positive feedback keeps pulling me along the way. 

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

Just do it. I suggest to enter with a blast. When I opened my shop, I had just some items in there. They didn't sell well as my shop looked very unprofessional. It is better to have variety in small quantities, rather than large quantities and small choice. Don't be shy to share your work on social media, but don't spam :)

Learn more about Anita Ivancenko and connect with her via social media using these links:

If you're a small business owner and would like to be considered for a future Small Business Spotlight feature, here's how to nominate your business.

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Get Scribbling for National Doodle Day 2016

As an illustrator, I found that joining in with online events and occasions helped grow my sense of community, make new connections, and build my portfolio. An added bonus was that a lot of people were using the same (sometimes trending) hashtags for these occasions which furthered the reach of my posts. Some of these events benefited others too (e.g. when I drew Movember portraits in exchange for charitable donations), and that's why I'm sharing this post with you. It's a win-win!

Share your doodles via social media on National Doodle Day this Friday, February 5th. 

Use hashtags‪ #‎NationalDoodleDay‬ or ‪#‎DoodleDay‬. There's a good cause at the root of this fun opportunity: "drawing a line through epilepsy".

national doodle day by digibloom

Sharing your doodles will raise awareness about epilepsy, and people are encouraged to donate to Epilepsy Action. 💡 Artists could fundraise by offering e.g. portrait doodles or handmade cards & donate the proceeds to Epilepsy Action. Have you planned anything for National Doodle Day?

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