Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a bi-monthly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Paige Poppe
Tell us a little bit about your business and your art. How long have you been doing what you do and what is your favorite thing about doing it?
I’m Paige Poppe, and I work under my own name as an artist! I design + create handpainted skateboards, signs, prints, and other goods. I work in acrylic and watercolor, and I paint every day! I have been serious with my art for almost exactly a year now! I got my start on Etsy when I was a sophomore in college, and I have grown it since. I began by focusing mainly on custom handpainted skateboards, but I am really happy to have expanded and offer a variety of artwork in my shop and to commission clients.
My favorite thing about being an artist is simply creating the pieces. I am constantly making things and working with my hands, and the process of creating something from scratch is so exciting for me. And I also LOVE seeing + hearing my clients reactions. It is so cool seeing my art hanging on their walls.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe my art as warm and organic. Especially when working with wood pieces like skateboard decks or signs, I like to reveal as much of the natural wood grain as possible. I think the contrast of the paint and wood is really beautiful.
Do you have a favorite project or piece you have worked on so far?
I have this one skateboard deck that is my absolute favorite of an ombre triangle that looks like a sunset, and also has geometric elements and a snake as the focal point. I literally dreamed the design, woke up that morning, pulled all of my paints, and painted the deck in the sunshine of my front porch. I love that design, but also the whole experience of painting it was really special.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?
I have been creating and painting things since I was little. I’ve asked my mom about it before, and she’s like, oh you’ve always been like that. But to be honest, I never knew if I could be in a position to make money from my artwork. I am about to graduate with my architecture degree (next weekend!) so I had planned for an architecture career. But now I plan to grow my art business, and would love to marry these two passions in the future.
Where do you find inspiration?
Traveling creates a ton of inspiration for me, and it was actually after I lived in Copenhagen for a year that I really started getting serious about sharing more of my artwork. When I was surrounded by such beautiful architecture and textures, I just couldn’t help but feel compelled to paint them. I also have just recently found so much inspiration in nature, and paint cacti and leaves somewhat obsessively!
What is your favorite social media platform that you use to connect to new clients and why?
Definitely Instagram, and you can follow me over there @PaigePoppe! As an artist, the most important thing to do is share photos of my work so my clients can see what I’m up to! But I will say, Youtube is a close second. I’ve started filming more painting process videos, and those are pretty fun to watch because you can see the work in action.
What has surprised you the most about being a small business owner?
I honestly never expected to make as many friends in the creative community. These friendships are both online people I haven’t met in person, like you Charisma, but also people that I now spend time with multiple times per week. That is something that has been incredibly fun and I am so grateful for it! It is amazing to call so many likeminded people my friends.
What goals do you have for your business over the next five years?
I am a super goal-oriented person, and I think they really help me achieve my dreams, so I will have to just list a bunch!
– Do more painting commissions for individuals + publications
– Work to create artwork for more brands
– Teach workshops
– Do more public speaking, and help encourage others to pursue their passions
– Paint murals! I would love to do more work at a large scale
– Grow one of my new offerings, Poppestock, which are stock photos for creatives
How do you define success as a business owner?
Success to me is the ability to inspire others and collaborate with other creatives. I think when we all team up as a community is where the magic really happens!
For the future, I would definitely define success as being self-employed, but for now I will continue pursuing side architecture + creative jobs as well as my artwork.
Don’t forget to download her awesome free print!