Gotamago ... An Urban Sketcher With A New Business

Toronto in the summer is a whirlwind of activities.
So much to see, so much to do.
Just grab your camera, hop on a streetcar
and head off to one of dozens of 
summer gatherings.

Last Sunday, I headed off to Queen Street West,
which is like the old Soho of NYC for
the first flea market in Parkdale.
It was a small affair but it will definitely
be growing into a place to be on a
summery Sunday afternoon.
 And the first artisan I meet is Lichia Liu.
She runs a design and illustration company
called Gotamago.

What inspired Lichia to start her business?
Lichia was trained in Landscape Architecture and Urban
Design and has worked in that field for the past 5 years.
But it was drawing that was her passion but it was
only recently that she finally found her the style
that spoke to her.  This coincided with an increasing
desire for creative autonomy.  She took a leap
and Gotamago was born.
I was immediately drawn to her booth of
beautiful watercolor cards.  Lichia is inspired by
urbanity, nature, patterns, shadows and the
simplicity of everyday things.  She especially
loves to sketch when she is traveling and feels her
best work has been produced in foreign environments.
See some of her sketches on her blog here.
Marketing and sales for a new company can be 
one of the most daunting tasks.  
Artisans love to create but they also have
to get their product out there.  Lichia approaches marketing as
she does with her art ... with much care and intent.  She
chooses social media platforms and craft markets carefully.

Jason Fried's book Rework inspired Lichia.  He says that
everything you do in a small business is marketing.
When you make a sale, send an email, answer a
phone .... it all comes back to marketing your brand.
That concept has stuck with her.
This is my favorite card and I
bought two ... one for a friend and one for me.
Visit Gotamago's Etsy Shop to purchase these gems.
Lichia's best advice for a new artisan opening their business?
Focus on building a good network.  You never know who you
might end up talking to and what new opportunities might
come from that encounter.  She met her project partner when
volunteering at a workshop for kids.
Be open to opportunities everywhere.
Get out of the studio and meet people.
There is something beautiful about a watercolorist's
box of paints.  Little cakes of color are like
magic when you see what appears
on paper.  I love that Lichia included
 this photo on her blog.
Lichia sees her cards being carried in boutiques both
locally and internationally.  She would like to have a
robust selection of card designs, as well as have her business 
expanded to include other stationery products ...
perhaps even textile.

Lichia has a vision and a plan.

 Priscilla Mae et al 
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