As an art enthusiast with an interest in pursuing business, seventeen year old Rachel L. has combined the best of both worlds through RLi Creations, an independent venture offering handmade products from accessories to plushies to cards. In translating her artistic skills to a variety of items that she is able to market under one name, Rachel embraces the business spirit of diversity. In doing so, she inspires others to not limit themselves in their services and cater to the aspect of variety that her customers value. By transforming a simple idea to a growing initiative, Rachel shows that no matter the vision, it can become a reality.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Hello, I am really into the arts and plan on pursuing a double degree in both music and education next year. I am in the SWC school band and I play the trombone. I also like to sing and play the piano. Music is a very important aspect of my everyday life. Of course, I also enjoy both seeing and making visual art myself.
What sparked your interest in art? Is there a particular medium or style you enjoy most?
My interest in art sparked at a very young age as I have attended art classes since elementary school. I have been exposed to many different mediums. However, my preference is to work with pencil crayons as they are easily accessible and versatile.
I have heard of your recognition in the art community. Do you mind sharing?
Yes, of course! I have participated in the Lions Club International peace poster contest for two consecutive years. I received second place the first time I entered. For the second year I had to design a poster and won first place for creating a piece with the theme “Peace begins with me”. Both the mayor and our alderman had presented me with an individual certificate. My family and I went down to the United States for the Lions Club of Montana, Alberta, NWT, and NE BC annual meeting. It was a worthwhile experience and I even received a cheque for my artwork!
What advice would you have for those interested in applying for awards?
Definitely ask your teachers and keep your eyes open for any available awards. The guidance office at school often advertises them! There numerous poster and design contests out there if you take time to look.
How did you decide to start selling your creations?
I have always wanted to learn to make cards, and I decided I wanted to help the school YVC Cards for a Cure. They exposed me to many different materials to make cards! I also felt that I was contributing to a good cause and it was fun! It’s always great knowing that the money people pay for the cards goes to a great cause. I was then inspired by Cards for a Cure to start displaying my own art. I have always wanted to share with others my hobby. Then I was encouraged by my mentors to start a business so it seemed like the perfect thing to do! I get to enjoy making art and money!
Tell me about your business.
I make everything myself from cards, plushies to earrings. All my cards and plushies are handmade from scratch. I often to commission for my friends and whoever appreciates my work! I do my best to make sure that each item that I sell is individual and unique. I also like to stamp and write my personal logo on each of the cards! You can find me a various craft sales depending on how busy my school schedule is! I can also be found on Etsy. It sometimes gets hard to balance school and my extracurriculars! But, in the end, I find that I become a much more diverse person by taking on many projects.
Where do you see RLi Creations in the future?
To be quite honest, I am not sure! All I know is that I want to do something that makes both others and me happy. I know I want to be a teacher but I might also want start a small-scale home business. It would be a great experience. I would then also be able to work from home!
Interview conducted by Sophie H.