Today we are introducing you to Rhiannon who is the small business owner of Aboriginal Art and Designs, in Nowra NSW.
Creating Aboriginal artwork was a hobby for Rhiannon before she decided to turn her passion into a business. With a Many Rivers micro-loan, Rhiannon purchased a laptop and printer to bring her business idea to life. She has an exhibition showing eight of her canvas pieces in Delegate NSW and she is preparing for a larger exhibition in Melbourne at the end of this year. One of Rhiannon’s biggest milestones is having the opportunity to design the print for a range of Indigenous scrubs for nurses and doctors in hospitals across Australia.
“Shelley, my Many Rivers business coach, has helped me to build my confidence, to know what to say and how to say it and to approach people. She showed me how to do contracts and things like that. I would be lost without her.”
Read more about Rhiannon’s business journey.
My business is Aboriginal Art and Designs. I do Aboriginal artwork, mainly canvases. I did chopping boards too when I started but as I am getting busier, I am just focusing on canvases. About a year ago I got serious about the business side of things. I was doing things on my own and then I got in touch with Shelley, my Many Rivers business coach, about eight months ago.
Before starting my own business, I was working at Nowra Bridge and doing community liaison work. It was a lot of admin work and I didn’t like it much.
I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to be a role model for other young Aboriginal people around me. Growing up with young cousins and siblings around me, I always wanted to be a good role model to them.
There is an Indigenous organisation in Nowra that I reached out to and then they put me in contact with Shelley from Many Rivers.
I want to acknowledge the inspiration that I have around me. My father is an Aboriginal artist. I learnt a lot of what I know from him and from my grandmother. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them around me.
Working with Many Rivers
I got approved for a Many Rivers micro-loan to get a laptop and printer for my business. I am now able to do my own invoices, contracts and receipts. It has made a really big difference with my business.
Shelley has helped me to build my confidence, to know what to say and how to say it and to approach people. She showed me how to do contracts and things like that. I would be lost without her.
The support is pretty amazing too. I feel like I am not alone and Shelley is always there for me to answer my questions.
Before I got the laptop and printer, all I had was my phone to work from. That was a challenge. Also COVID-19 was a challenge too.
Holding my own exhibition. The exhibition is on now in Delegate NSW and it is going to continue for three months. All my canvases are down there at the moment, about eight of them. I have prints, cards and post cards and smaller things that I can sell at the exhibition as well.
Also getting a contract to do the first ever Indigenous scrubs for nurses and doctors in hospitals across Australia was a massive success for me. I am creating the design that will be printed on the scrubs.
Since starting my own small business, it has been good to have more independence and responsibility. It is a good thing for me because I am independent and I like to do everything myself. You have to know how to work with money though!
Future Goals for Aboriginal Art and Designs
At the end of the year I am doing a larger exhibition in Melbourne with one of my Great Aunts who is also an Indigenous artist. I will have a lot more canvases created by then and she will be display all her canvases too.
Thanks Rhiannon for sharing your story with us. We can’t wait to support you on this journey to achieving your future business goals. If you would like to stay updated with her business journey, be sure to follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
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