Part two of our five-part series on creative women in business features Sydney-based Bea Bellingham, who’s online Etsy business Thingsbybea is much more than what’s on the surface of “delightfully wonky, playful ceramic creations”.
For Bea her creative business is and always has been, a career. Her output now extends beyond her own business to empower other makers to make a success of their creative pursuits - as both captain of the Sydney Etsy team and director of a creative space filled with other makers in Sydney’s creative hub of Marrickville.
We talk to her about what running a creative business means to her and how she makes it work.
How easy is it to start a small business of your own?
"From my perspective, my small business is my career," says Bea. "And almost everyone can relate to the struggles of starting a new career; the learning curves, the hard work and commitment it takes."
"Australia has a fantastic community of makers out there who are really supportive of each other."Bea Bellingham
Do you work alone or in a shared space?
"I’m also the director of a 200sqm creative space in Marrickville, Sydney. This means although I have my own studio space and a space to run my ceramic workshops, I’m also surrounded by 17 other ceramicists, illustrators and sculptors. Having people to bounce ideas off of is invaluable."
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
"You have a flexibility and control over your own life that I don’t think any employer could offer."
"My life isn't really life or work or family, it's all three at the simultaneously"
Bea's 3 top tips for running a successful creative business
1. Surround yourself with the types of people you aspire to be and be generous to those coming behind you
2. Do your admin religiously! No one likes receipts and numbers and business plans, but it will help you get to where you need to be
3. Just keep going: you got this
Read Part 1 of our series on creative women in business here: