Monday, June 1, 2020

Behind every small business is a family

Hi there #Creativegirls and #Paperlovers,

It's been a while since I blogged. Actually a year. I just have been swamped with a ton of things. I broke an ankle with a serious injury in November 2019 and have been trying to get back on my "feet"...literally.  Then just as I was feeling things returning to "normal", this virus happened. My goodness, and I thought 2020 would be a great year and now the world is on its head. 

Creatively, things are business as usual, but we are all in one boat and nobody can say they are not affected by the current change in the world. As a believer, on the other hand, I am still saved, God is still God, and eternity awaits. So, not affected at all. 

As a business owner, yes very much affected as are all small business owners. As we are constantly reminded to shop local and support local business, I wanted you to see the family behind our little design studio so you know whom you have been supporting.

We are two artists who design and develop our products from scratch. We always have. We never buy image packs to make our life easier. We rely on the art God gives us and the creativity that He allows us, to develop our products. We distribute our own products. Our physical products, when we offer them, are always made to order and we offer "Print&Play" digital products to ensure that our creative community is always supplied with quality art within their reach. Our printable products are affordable and excellent quality. The main focus of our art and products is encouragement as is our heart for our community of #Creativegirls and so we also offer a club you can join with regular online playdates, a special journal to be creative in together and of course all the Print&Play collections to play with. Our products are also friendly and can thus be used in activities with kids too. Secondary to this is the development of personal creativity with a focus on creative journaling. 

My name is Ansu and I am the owner and Managing Director of Ivytree Studio, a boutique design studio in the heart of Pretoria, South Africa. I have nearly 2 decades of experience in the Educational Industry and now also nearly 2 decades of experience in the Graphic Design Industry. I will always
be an Educator at heart, but I regard myself to be an Artist and Content Developer. For the past 5 years
I have focussed my efforts on building an online presence for Ivytree Studio, a boutique design studio, and developing quality products for the creative community at large. I am also HSP (High Sensitive Personality Tempremant), INFP (Mediator Diplomat) and an Ambivert (50/50 Intro/Extrovert). I love kids, cats, art, design, interior design, architecture, someday I will build my own home and write a ton of books. I love to cook, I love watching movies with my besties and I love my online community and the fact that it is growing daily. 

This is my Dad, Pieter. He is our Prayer Partner, my Managing&Business Consultant, and all-round super Dad! I love him so. He is 80 years old with a vast amount of general knowledge
and business savvy. He is also a journaler, family history expert, and memory keeper like me. He is the only full Extrovert in our little circle. 

"No respect for management"
Just joking. This is me and Surita, my partner in "crime". Wink, wink. 

We have been working together for many years on all kinds of creative projects.
We started Ivytree Studio nearly two decades ago, but in its current form, creating our own
products instead of working for design clients, we have been at it since 2016 (5 years).

Surita is our in house Illustrator and Chief Designer and she manages our parent's care, our family home, and sometimes me. Wink wink. She is just like my dad a bit of a genius. She is good at nearly everything. She is a great cook and even greater baker like my gran use to be. She also has a little cat baby called Daisy who is the granny in the home. She can build you a kitchen with basically nothing and our favorite thing to do together is snack on chocolates, Doritos and cream cheese, and watch our favorite movies. 

This is our Mom and she is the inspiration behind our design and art thumbprint.
She worked for the NBI - National Botanical Institute as a typesetter for 30 years. We literally grew
up around the publishing sector. She is also 80 years old and my parents have been married since 1965. Jip, it's possible. 55 years in total. 

This is hubby Henry, who helps out and supports us in all our endeavors. 
He is my hero and best friend. He is currently the owner of his own online teaching business.
He teaches English to Russian students. 

This is my sweet baby Klouye and she is my companion while I work. She does nothing but love on her mommy and has her dad wrapped around her little paws. He is her butler and even opens the door for her when she comes and goes. Totally spoiled rotten. 

So now that you have been introduced to our family, you know who you are supporting when you buy anything form Ivytree Studio.

At the heart of our business is also the desire to create jobs. Henry and I talk about this daily. Both of us have a heart for the poor. In particular for abandoned kids (my heart) and feeding people (both our hearts). It is our desire to uplift and help save lives, so I wanted you to know that about us. We have not been able to employ anyone to date, but it is part of our future growth plan. As we grow over time, we will definitely need to employ more people and your continued support can help us do just that...put food on the table of someone who just lost a job, or who's income dropped or who's kids are going hungry. 

If you feel as strongly about this as we do, and you want to help us achieve this dream, the way you can do so, is by supporting our online store on a regular basis, sharing our posts, and spreading the word. 

So this is our Carona plan: Keep doing what we have been doing. Encouraging the world with our art and a message of HOPE. Be consistent. Put out quality products for our target community and keep doing that. Be brave and pitch up. Keep doing that until God brings the breakthrough not just for us but for those He has called us to love and look after.  

Your challenge: If you pop over to the grocery store and you see someone leave some items they couldn't afford, pay for it and hand it to them. Change a life, give to someone the things you would have wanted someone to give to you if you were in need. Don't wait for someone to ask. Offer to help and then act. #LetsChangelivestogether #BeKindToday #SupportLocalSmallBusinessRegularly 

We would love to have you in our community.