Frowning Sparrow UK is Open for Business

The ebbs and flows of an art business

An art business definitely goes through ebbs and flows, deaths and rebirths. Creating a business from a blank canvas can be quite challenging and paths taken can suddenly come to a dead end or a T-junction making it frustrating and confusing.

The last 3 years have been just like that for me. I tried ideas I love but the practicalities make them impossible to pursue, and I've tried things I thought I'd love only to find them not as enjoyable as the next idea on the list. What became very clear though was I wanted part of my business to be accessible to all.

And so Frowning Sparrow UK was born. a printable art, crafts, and crepe paper flower template store currently on Etsy.

Why printable and not physical products?

There are so many reasons why I've chosen this path, but the three main reasons are, cost, quality, and export issues. The time for me to make physical products and to pack and organise delivery takes time, and all that needs to be factored into the final product cost which took my work out of the accessibility for all price points. Quality, now I know there are print-on-demand companies that could do this for me but none sell the sustainable paper that I use and I'm not going to compromise my beliefs about waste and sustainability in order to support the planet for future generations just to make money. Plus the lack of quality control for print-on-demand products just isn't there for me. I trialled one order for three prints and one arrived with a big crease down the centre. That isn't the quality I want my customers to receive with my name on the packaging. I just need to keep an eye on quality, waste management, and sustainability if I am selling physical goods and that isn't possible through print-on-demand selling, or without a higher price point. The third major factor was the changes in the UK VAT system which is complicated when selling to customers aboard and I would spend more time on paperwork than making my art which quite frankly would be a miserable existence. I'd much rather make printable products for my shop and limited editions to sell on my website and be happy.

accessibility to all is so important to me - I like inclusion - I never want anyone to feel excluded from my art

So there you have it, the reasons why I have decided to pursue a printable path as part of my business. I wanted to write about it as I personally believe that transparency is important so customers can make informed choices when deciding who to spend their money with. And not just that, I also hope that talking about my business openly helps other business owners. After all communities are much stronger than individuals.