Today we are introducing you to Thelma, an Indigenous artist and a small business owner in Lockhart River QLD.
Thelma sells her acrylic art on mediums such as earrings and shirts, to differentiate herself as an Indigenous artist in her region.
Read more about her journey to date.
Thelma comes from Lockhart River on the eastern side of Cape York, which is 880km north of Cairns QLD. She uses acrylic paints to create her artwork and then prints her designs on earrings and shirts. She started her business last year and sells her products with Lockhart River Arts.
After creating a painting, Thelma and her business coach Jenny digitally scan them and get them printed onto earrings and shirts. There is a limit to the number of sales an artist can make of wall art as wall space is limited. This is why Jenny suggested this technique as a way for Thelma to sell her art in different mediums. Recently, Thelma has produced 75 pairs of her earrings to sell. Initially, she ordered 20 shirts and they sold quickly so she has now put in an order for another 20 shirts. Thelma and Jenny have also been discussing how to put some of her art onto dress fabric to make a dress range.
Thelma is an incredible artist who has worked at the art gallery. She is also a supervisor at Orange Sky, a service that provides mobile laundry services right around Australia.
Working with Many Rivers
Jenny supported Thelma with business planning and business set-up so that she could sell her art. Jenny also supports Thelma by helping her to digitally scan and print her artwork onto the different items she sells.
Thelma finds it a challenge to balance creating her art and selling her products and paying bills.
Thelma’s biggest success is having an opportunity to create art that she loves and turning it into a business. Her family is very supportive of her painting business journey and Thelma is very happy with how her business journey is going so far.
Thanks, Thelma, for sharing your business journey as an Indigenous artist. We know that there are many other people out there looking to take the next step towards setting up their own business. Your story will inspire them to take the first leap.
Do you have a passion or small business idea? Do you have a business you would like to expand or would like some business coaching support? We’re here to help.