EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR ANN
What product do you make and sell?
I love the challenge of designing new projects, whether it be layouts, mini albums, altered items, home décor, etc.!! I love to add my own twist to the projects and I will then incorporate these projects into kits and/or workshops for customers. Thanks to Karen, I have expanded my horizons and have added mixed media elements and have learned to see product packaging in a different light instead of in the recycling bin!
How long have you been creating/selling your product?
I have been playing with beautiful papers and embellishments since 2002, when I decided to make a memory album for my Mum. I became addicted after my daughter was born in 2004. Then I met Karen…and in May of 2007, we started selling our pre-made products at the Nanaimo Farmer’s Market; we then added the Parksville Street Market, Randerson Ridge/McGirr Craft Fair & Kris Kringle Christmas Market in Qualicum Beach to our market circuit.
We opened up our studio in May of 2008, after receiving positive feedback at the markets. We now offer workshops, project kits, fun crop nights as well as an EllyKids Program (just this month we have added EllyKids at Home to our line of services, which is a subscription-based EllyKids offering monthly kits mailed to your child). We do offer a small amount of scrapbook supplies as well to supplement our workshops and kits.
This year we are hosting our very own market! Our 1st Annual Christmas Gift Market, Sunday, November 22nd 1-5pm! We will be showcasing other local “Mom-preneurs” as well!
You all have families... when do you set aside time for your creative work?
I have just recently set aside Saturdays as my creative time, this is when I will actually sit down to create the projects I have had in my head all week! LOL! I have a very supportive and loving husband, who has helped me out so much! (Thank you!) I am a night-owl by nature (and much to my husband's chagrin), so during the week you can find me in the studio once the kids are in bed; I use that time to catch up on blog posts, computer work, organize kits, as well as do some creative & business brainstorming! LOTS of work! LOL!
What or who are your influences?
Hands down, the most influential person in my life was my Dad . He had the most impact on me and the most amazing positive outlook on life! This is also where I get my entrepreneurial spirit from!
How important is it to have a creative outlet in your life?
It is absolutely a huge part of my life! Whether it be fondling paper late at night or creating a stunning layout, mini album or other project, it is very satisfying and it adds just the right balance to my life. After my son was born in January, I took some time off and after a few months I found I was really missing that creative part of my life and ready to get back into the swing of things here at EllaBella Designs. I found I missed interacting with our customers as well.
Does your background relate to your current endeavours?
I have a Diploma in Office Administration then pursued a career in travel and was a Certified Travel Consultant for nine years.
My Diploma in Office Administration helps greatly with running the business and computer aspect of what I do. The creative side seemed to have taken years to grow inside of me. I was one of those people that thought I never had a creative bone in my body, but when I took on the memory album project for my Mum, then when my daughter was born, I knew I had it inside of me waiting to be unleashed! LOL! And now I can’t imagine not having this creative side to me!
What other activities do you enjoy?
Time is not something I have a lot of at this point. My “new” baby is already 9 months old (and I am enjoying him so much), so having a baby and a busy 5 year old doesn’t allow much time to enjoy other activities!
Photography is a huge passion of mine as well as travel! Our favorite destination is Kauai, though would head back to Punta Cana (DR) in a heartbeat given the chance! :-)
To enjoy life, travel, and watch my children grow. Scrapbooking allows me to capture and hold life’s little moments which I would have otherwise forgotten, and I just love to share this with other people!
Business-wise, there are a lot of avenues I would like to explore. I would love to offer our services at other locations on Vancouver Island, such as instructing my workshops and offering my project kits at crops, retreats, & fundraisers.
I have been published in print as well as on-line, and would love to go that avenue again in the near future. I think designing would be something I’d like to pursue at some point as well.