Small businesses have been growing over the years, especially during the pandemic. Small businesses owners take so much pride and responsibility for their work and what they’re selling, which makes them more inspiring. Simone Fromen, a fellow UHM student pursuing her BA in Studio Arts, started her own small business in 2019 called Simone Fromen Art

As an artist, Simone Fromen Art, is her collection of original artwork that she sells through prints, garments, and more! She also does commissioned pieces of all kinds, but she specializes in portraits of people and pets. 

“I love to create and share my art with people, and I love that my art can bring any kind of joy or emotion to people. Art can oftentimes be seen as a luxury or unnecessary purchase, so I wanted to bring my art to people in a way that is usable and practical with things like shirts and totes. When it comes down to it, I’m super fortunate that I can use my passion to earn any kind of money and it has become work that I truly enjoy.”

Thinking of starting your own small business? Keep reading about Simone’s experience to learn more! 

What has been your biggest learning experience with your small business so far? 

Marketing – “You can have show stopping art and products, but if you don’t have good marketing you won’t get sales.” Marketing trends are always changing, especially with platforms like TikTok where a new trend can form in less than 24 hours. Simone’s biggest marketing campaign was for her Zodiac Garment line. “It brought a lot of different people together and with everyone posting, it helped a lot with engagement.” However, knowing that things can change very quickly, Simone knows that she still has lots to learn when it comes to marketing, and she hopes to continue growing and staying consistent with her marketing tactics. 

Any advice for anyone starting a small business of their own? 

Take your time

Enjoy the planning process. Putting thought into your business goes a long way. Customers tend to notice the things that usually get overlooked, like packaging, and appreciate the effort that goes into your business. “I like to really think about every single element in my business, especially things that customers interact with. It’s really important not to rush when trying to put yourself out there, and I think it means a lot more to customers and it makes it so you’re not just selling a product, but you’re selling an experience and that’s much more valuable.”

Reach out to and support other small businesses! 

Starting a small business can be difficult! Reaching out to other small business owners for guidance is never a bad thing. “We’re a community and we should see each other as supporters, not competition, and in the end it helps to engage with each other way more than it would hurt.”

Mahalo to Simone for letting us share her story and work! Check out her website and follow her on Instagram @simonefromen!