For our gift guide this year, we rounded up a list of some of our favorite female-founded small businesses. As a fully women-owned and operated small businesses ourselves, we know the unique challenges women face in entrepreneurship. For this series, we will be highlighting some of the amazing women makers, artists, and business owners behind these shops and help inspire you to go after your dreams! Today we're introducing you to Chloe Bruderer, the artist behind Chloe Hearts Art! You'll recognize Chloe's art around Lime Ricki, from the Chloe Floral print, to the design on our totes, and even some of the hand lettering you see on our website. We've been a fan of hers for a LONG TIME (read on to see why) and we know you will be too!
Tell us about you and your business!
I live in Salt Lake City and I've been selling art for 10 years now! It's only been a serious thing for the past four years or so, and it's been wild to see how I grow and change as an artist. I sell everything from print so from designs to custom portraits to phone cases! My favorite thing to draw is product illustration, especially when it's food or snack related ;)
What inspired you to start Chloe Hearts Art?
It was kind of an accident! I really wanted to do calligraphy professionally and posted art on Instagram just for fun. Then I started posting my sketches of people on Instagram, and people started asking me for custom portraits and to sell more illustrations. It cracks me up that I never intended to go this route but I am so glad I did, especially since no one really hired me to do calligraphy anyway.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs just getting started?
Don't quit your day job! I know it's cliche, and I know that taking a massive risk works out for some people, but I'm so glad I didn't fully make the jump to pursue this until I knew it was a calculated risk. If you can have something that pays the bills, you can spend your free time building your business and working on learning and growing. When the time comes, you'll know it, and hopefully, you'll be prepared for a lot of hard work. But almost anything you do in life is hard work, isn't it?
I also love the idea of an "INtrepreneur". Aka, someone that works their way up in a successful business and becomes part of the brand. It can be so fun so work for a company you're passionate about, and not have to stress about the statistics of it all, as you're able to actually clock out at the end of the day!
What has been your biggest challenge since starting your business?
Three words: work, life, balance. I have a hard time turning my brain off, and have a hard time not obsessing over work and what needs to get done. But as a creative (and a human being!) it's crucial you take time to recharge.
Who inspires you and why?
My mom! Fun fact, she is one of the owners/founders of Lime Ricki, Nicole! I would not be where I was today without her example. Not only did she show me that I could make a career out of being creative, but she gave me plenty of things to do that one day turned into a job at Lime Ricki, and I was able to watch a business grow. It's been like a free school! She is whip-smart, curious, open-minded, kind, supportive, and she works so hard. She also knows how to make things pretty on a professional level. You should see her house!
Another cliche, travel! Anytime I go somewhere new I come back with new ideas and a stronger drive to create. Taking a step back from your day-to-day can be so inspiring.
What’s next for Chloe Hearts Art?
Ooh, I love this question. I plan on expanding my phone case selections, selling some tees (shh, that's a secret!), and exploring my style even more! I still have such a long way to go.