What’s your name? Ché Dyer
What is the name of your business? indieBerries
What is your business and when did you start it?
I design and create fun and quirky stationery – including greeting cards, gift tags, personalised cartoon recipe books, wedding stationery and bespoke cartoon posters. I have also recently self published a 154 page doodle book – which encourages doodling and creativity by providing a series of doodle and journal prompts.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I have been drawing cartoons for as long as I can remember! In 2010, I started a cartoon blog and in the same year won two awards at the South African Blog awards. Since then, my blog has been featured twice in Cosmopolitan SA, as well as in Seventeen Magazine. After seeing the positive and very enthusiastic response to the blog I run, I decided that the next step was to develop a product range that would allow that audience to have their own little piece of indieBerries.
Can you share 3 positive aspects about being running your own business?
Creativity – following this line of work is my absolute dream and one of my favourite things about it is that every day I get to be creative, to think out the box, to plan new ideas and create new things.
Ownership and control – I love being my own boss and dictating the terms of my work and success. But it does require a lot of discipline!
Making people smile – One of the services I offer are custom cartoon portraits and I absolutely LOVE the response I get from happy customers. One of the emails I received said, “It’s so perfect, I am watering up at work” – it literally made my week! I love that my cartoons, drawings and doodles bring happiness and laughter to people!
Structure – working from home requires a lot of discipline and you need to structure your day very carefully to avoid the trap of still being in your pyjamas at 3pm. Without set routines, I also find it becomes very difficult to “switch off” at the end of the day. As with any small business – financial stability can be a little rocky to start off with and I still struggle with not having a set income each month – thankfully I have a very loving husband who supports me in building my dreams and gives me little pep talks whenever they are needed!
How do you keep motivated?
Even although most of my creative work is done on my computer, I am most creative when I take a few steps away from the screen and explore the world around me. Even a little trip to the coffee shop or a walk around the common can be very inspiring and motivates me to create more. Visiting markets and seeing other successful stationery designers also encourages me to work harder!
Would you change anything you’ve done in building and developing your business?
I would have started MUCH sooner!
What tips would you give anyone wanting to start their own business?
Be BRAVE! It will always be scary and intimidating to start something new, which is why I think we make excuses for ourselves not to do it, “I don’t have the right name yet”, “I need to do X before I can start”, “I have too much else going on” etc. Just start. It doesn’t have be huge scale or massive, but just begin. Get in touch with people in your industry, chat to them, learn from them, create your own networks and nurture those friendships. You can shift and change things as you go along and as you learn more – but the important thing is to make the first step!
Thanks so much to Che for sharing her story and experiences with us. If you’d like to find out more about her work or commission her for a piece you can contact her in the following places:
The BEST Homes and Interiors Shops
A definitive guide to the online and high street interior shops I use for my home and the blog!