Designs by Ryn is the manifestation of a dream that began a long time ago for me. I have always wanted to create a lifestyle that fits me and what I want out of my life. One that would allow me to create during working hours and give me the flexibility in my schedule to travel. For the longest time I wondered if something was wrong with me for not fitting into the multitude of ready made jobs that I tried. It wasn’t until around four years ago when I attended a seminar at the Small Business Centre in London, Ontario that I realized that many of those misfit traits of mine were what they called entrepreneurial.
I was hooked by that idea but had absolutely no working knowledge of business. The next few months I laboured over a business plan and submitted it to a program offered at the Centre – the Self Employment Benefit Program. To my absolute joy I was accepted!
I was given a foundation of business related workshops and an advisor – Gord Evans – who went over and above to help me with my project – a business that offered high quality rubber stamp designs based on my artwork. The beginnings of Designs by Ryn.
In order to have the flexibility of location that I wanted my store would need to be online. Never mind that I was almost completely technologically challenged and didn’t own a computer! The library computers just wouldn’t cut it so I walked into Staples and many questions later walked out with a laptop, printer and… A boyfriend?! Lol. That’s another story all together 😉
He became my “tech department” helping with the many issues that came with designing, printing and cutting my catalogues and product cards from home. I also bought a scroll saw – another foreign piece of machinery to me – determined to hand cut the stamps once mounted on cling cushion. The first day I was in tears having destroyed at least half of my attempts but in time I learned.
The website went through several transformations which took a lot of time and patience. The delays forced me to focus on marketing to stores and at festivals. It wasn’t until early 2012 that at long last the new version of my site was released as a fully functioning store.
I am now thrilled to see my stamps getting international exposure. I have built a Design Team of 8 wonderfully kind and talented ladies who consistently create inspiring art using the stamps – Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries (Netherlands), Anja Hardenfels (Germany), Eileen Godwin (UK), Karin van den Broek (Netherlands), Kellie Murton (US), Miranda Degenaars (Netherlands), Shirley Deatcher (Canada) and Wendy McCarthy (UK). I also encourage customers to share their work by hosting a monthly Customer Creation Challenge on my blog. I find myself constantly delighted by what people make. The most inspiring part is that this business is allowing me to connect in a meaningful way to other creative individuals around the world.
Recently I have branched into offering Unmounted Rubber Sheets of my designs to stores (listed on my site) and have also released a new line of Stencils.