A Year In Review – Summarizing this past year for my small but mighty business!

A Year In Review – My Small Business. As we near the end of 2023 and get ready to welcome a new year, I thought it would be a good idea to provide a little year-end review, because it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at the important things as small business owners that help us track, refine and set goals for the next year. This post is not meant to be a summary or annual report or report of everything that happened this year but an honest account of how collections, new products, ideas, launches, blog posts, social shares and so many other components sometimes worked, and sometimes failed, and the most effective ways we can learn from the ebbs and flows of our business. 

Q1 – Refocus and Expand

Towards the end of 2022, it became clear to me that I had a growing interest in helping other artists. I enjoyed sharing information, tips and the things I’ve learnt along the way. I had spent the majority or 2020 and 2021 trying to find the right resources and wanted to dedicate a big part of my focus to create learning tools that would help other artists get there faster. The creative community is one of the most supportive and encouraging groups that I’ve been a part of and I felt I was getting to a point where I had enough information, experience and skills to start teaching others. 

But I didn’t want the entire focus to be driven by social media. I grew frustrated in 2022 with how dependent I had become on Instagram and while it’s a great platform to encourage, support and discover incredible artists and work, I didn’t want it to be the primary or only source of growth for my business, so I began to focus on two other venues quite heavily: My Email Newsletter and Pinterest. I spent the majority of the first quarter of the year planning and getting ready to expand in new ways. 

Q2 – Growth

To do this, I invested a lot of time and money into learning how to nourish and grow these two platforms. 


The first thing I did was switch from ConvertKit to Flodesk. Nothing against ConvertKit but I wanted a platform that gave me exactly what I needed and made it easy to add that to my website. I also like that Flodesk doesn’t increase your rate as your mailing list grows. And it also creates stunning email templates and forms that make it incredible easy to brand and customize to your business. If you’re curious about how Flodesk can integrate into your business, follow the link here to read more.  

best email marketing strategy for artists
What is an email newsletter?

Email marketing, or an email newsletter refers to corresponding with and building your community via email, on a regular basis. This digital marketing strategy involves sending emails, email campaigns or an email newsletter to a targeted group of individuals with the goal of promoting products or services, driving traffic back to your online store, building relationships, or generating brand awareness. It’s power comes from the fact that it’s a direct form of communication between a business and its audience and your email is recieved in real time, and goes directly to an inbox. Social media doesn’t dictate whether your email is shown or hidden… which is what makes it such a great tool to prioritize in your business, now! 

And why is it so important for growth?

One of the best email marketing strategies is to communicate often and consistently. Regular emails yield better results. I invested a lot of time, content and energy to create a newsletter that people want to read, that is useful and offers information that is well-tuned to their needs, aesthetics and interests. I did this by doing the following things:

1. Routine.

I created a email marketing calendar for myself to included scheduling in time, multiple times a week, to write my weekly newsletter, update forms for each page of my website, create and update my popup to suit who visits my site and create a strong funnel to welcome, build trust and brand identity and create ways for customer to make purchases if they wanted to. 

2. I prioritized my subscribers.

I made it a rule that subsribers always had first access to new art, new collections, special promo codes, and private tips and tutorials. I made sure to make that information clear and visible so that each subscriber who wanted to leave their email knew exactly what they would receive and be a part of a special community. I admire my subscribers because they’ve chosen to receive emails for me, and that is an incredible thing in a world where we receive hundreds of emails per day. When I think about this, I want to give these loyal readers something special, something that shows my gratitude. 

3. I prioritized the content in my email newsletter.

I focus on an email campaign that is made for my target audience, not the other way around. I study my analytics, see what my mailing list is reading, where they’re stopping and what they’re clicking on, or where they jump off or never show interest in. This way, I have a good idea of what my readers like to see, what patterns exist and how to respond so that I can create more. Not all my emails have off the charts click through rates but they’re engaging, clear and offer subscribers different ways to find tools, artwork and connect with me. 


Two things in the second quarter of last year converted me to a Pinterest lover. I had used the platform for years and years before this, but it wasn’t until last year that I really invested in the platform. I did this for two reasons:

1. I was invited to a Pinterest Presents Live Presentation.

Hosted by Pinterest, it highlighted all the ways Pinterest was growing in the last year fews and the incredible growth stats, new features, type of content and the positive mental health policy they had implemented. The CEO presented a small talk on what he felt was good social media and creating a positive mind, positive body and a non-addictive platform were the biggest goals he had set for himself and the company. I instantly connected with this speech because I find the platform already does these things well and felt I wanted to get behind and use a platform that had that mentality. It’s important not only as creators and entrepreneurs also as parents and socially responsible business owners to create content that makes someone feel better about themselves, not worse.

laptop and books on floor carpet
A Year In Review – My Small Business

2. I wanted more control over my content reach.

I was growing tired of failing to understand and break through the Instagram Algorithm. This is not to say that I don’t like or use Instagram. I think it’s a great platform for sharing certain content, but it can’t be the only source of your online presence and business. I wanted to find a platform that would reward you for your content, visuals and SEO. Things we can control. 

Then, I Asked For Help. 

The only problem was that until this point, I had basically only used Pinterest for personal use. I decided to invest and hire a consultant who could really teach me the platform and help me create a pin strategy that would work for my business. Within 3 months my account went from 0K views to over 600K views per month because I was using Pinterest correctly and posting content that was informative. She helped me understand Pinterest SEO, pleasing the algorithm and creative pinnable, clickable pins. 

I spend a lot of time on Canva creating Pinterest Pin Templates that resonated with my brand and would attract the right views. I had a few pins go viral, with over 1.2 million views and those views converted to website traffic and email subscribers, which helped me grow my reach. I was thrilled. I continue to post to Pinterest almost daily, and work in an organized manner to share the content that I create on Instagram to Pinterest, as well as anything I post or add to my website. I highly recommend Pinterest if you’re about to start or started a small business. If you need some help with this, feel free to reach out! 

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Q3 –  Learning and Taking On Clients

As the artist resources grew in interest, I began to take on clients privately to help grow their businesses. I had to make time in my schedule to do this, along with creating new paintings, prints and all the other things in my business, but I was thrilled with the direction. I created two resources – The Beginner’s Studio Guidebook and Website Building Masterclass, which led to private clients. While the two digital resources did not success as much as I had hoped, those that purchased the guidebook loved it and I began to help these clients redesign or create a new website and a social media strategy to gain traction. 

This has turned out to be some of my favourite work. I love helping other people and sharing information and watching them grow. It’s something that will always be a part of my business, and it gives me such a nice balance to painting and creating visual artwork. 

Q4 –  A New Website and Growing Partnerships 

As these various elements of my business became constant and I started to see that they were here to stay, I needed to update my website to serve these new customers etter. I had always thought of my site as an e-commerce platform and focused most of my website attention to products, collections and sales. But I had been reading and listening to podcasts, fellow entrepreneurs and friends that had been teaching me for years about the importance of SEO, keywords and building a site that google search loves. A lot of this I covered in the Website Building Masterclass, but I had little time to optimize my own website. I had been implementing some SEO and custom workflows into my website for years but it wasn’t until I was ready to redesign my site that I realized how much more opportunity for SEO there was than I was using before. 

I also launched a partnership with a wonderful Interior Design Team, Maison Blonde, which was one of the my favourite collaborations to date! We teamed up to offer beautiful prints, beautifully curated by their design team! You can browse the curated set of prints here. 

If I had to summarize the last year in a few short sentences I would say that it was a year filled with trial and error, really leaning into new ideas and becoming extremely organized with my time and business resources. I made a lot of changes, including a completely new website and partnerships that I hope to keep for years to come. The things that didn’t work, while they seem somewhat discouraging at the time, I’ve learnt to know that they simply weren’t meant to be part of my business model, at least not now. Being open to new ideas and concepts has allowed my creativity to grow even more and I value the time that I have to just sit with some paints and a brush and leave my heart on a canvas. 

A look ahead to 2024

I want to end this post by highlighting some of what’s in the works for the coming year. My focus lies with expanding my original and print collections to a more constant offering, especially with prints. I also look forward to working with new clients to help create stunning brands and web pages, and then, watching them succeed! I also hope to bring more content and use of this site, in the form of new features, blog posts, tutorials and courses and possible some new team members as well! Where we’ll be a year from now no one knows but if there is one thing I feel sure about it’s my passion for learning and trying new, big projects! 

Thank you for the best year! 



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