Business Owner Interview: Jenny Chang
This week we meet Jenny Chang, The Artist.
What is your background in general?
Jenny: I actually have a background in biology. Specifically, my degree is in molecular biology and bioethics. I had planned on going to grad school and becoming a college professor. But life took me in a different direction and I decided to try pursuing my other dream job of becoming an artist. Now I am a stay-at-home mom to two awesome kids and I create with whatever free time I can.
When did you start making things, and what type of things? (both personal life and business)
Jenny: I have been creating things for my entire life. I will basically try any technique in order to achieve the results I desire. My earliest attempts to sell my work happened in middle school when I sold my work at a local craft show. The things I made were not good. Since then, I have made more, sold more, realized that the things I made were bad, tried again, and repeated the process over and over again.
Do you still make the same types of things?
Jenny: Yes and no. I am selling very different things now then when I first started trying to sell my work. But I have always loved painting and drawing. It just took me awhile to realize that was where I was most gifted too.
What made you start craft business?
Jenny: Like I said earlier, I had different plans for my life. But after following a boy to Seattle so that we could get married, I was looking for a new job. It felt like the time to try something new. Now as a SAHM, it is the perfect kind of work for me. I can spend as much or as little time on my art as I have available.
What are some of your challenges in business?
Jenny: I think my biggest challenges in my art business is actually the business side of it. I have no training in finances, bookkeeping, marketing, web design, or any of the other random things that you need to know when you run your own business. I don’t mind learning it, but finding the time to spend to learn it well is a challenge. There are these little people in my house that seem to depend on me for food and things…
How have you solved some, or all of those challenges?
Jenny: I use the time I have to try to tackle each challenge as it comes up. I spend a lot of time using online resources to teach myself what I need to know. I have also attended several small craft business conferences and had some business consulting. Like with my art, I figure out what I want to do and then find a way to learn it.
What do you like about your craft business?
Jenny: I love that I am doing something that brings me joy. As much as I enjoyed biology, I didn’t get out of bed thrilled to spend another day of cell cultures and PCR (bio-lingo). Now, I long for times I can spend creating or days I get to sell my work at a show.
How does your background affect your style?
Jenny: Well, I am kind of a nerd. This pops up in my work from time to time. I have a series of illustrations with nerdy-science things. My favorite is a piece called “Cell Culture.” I drew several paramecia standing around and looking at a painting. Oh, did I mention I like puns?
What is your definition of success for your business?
Jenny: At this point, I feel like a success if I can find time to make things and can break even at any craft show I sell at. I’m very fortunate to be in a position where we are not depending on my income as an artist so I am free to focus on my children.
Jenny can also be found at: