What inspired you to start your business?
I was 40 and finishing off a BA with ideas of getting work in a creative agency when I was spiritually whispered to, that I was to work for myself. Not overly interested in the idea I pushed it aside, but it made its mark, as a few days later two of my tutors pulled me aside to advise me that they felt I had what it took to work for myself. I decided to align myself with that plan, and not long after Drawer Full of Giants was born. I’ve just turned 49!
Tell us about your business?
Through Drawer Full of Giants, I help business owners build relationships through old-fashioned tactile printed products that are gorgeously designed with bespoke illustration so that everything created is deeply and uniquely personalised to their business – letting their individuality shine through yet in a professional way.
I have a graphic design background of 20+ years and have specialised in illustration for the past 10. I love serving the marketplace and quickly realised self-employed entrepreneurs and business owners were naturally my niche market.
I particularly enjoy creating artwork and products that can be used as a springboard for a business-owners creative imagination for their business and I’m often asked to create high-end Illustrated Selfies, Cartoon-Selfies, Personalised Greeting Cards, InfoGraphics, Presentation Story-graphics, Speaker one-sheets, Colouring Pages, notepads and notebooks for practitioners and event coordinators.
What do you love about running your business?
I’m made for this, everything I do uses all my skills, talents and natural giftings as well as it suits my personality – I have so much purpose and direction. I’ve come to enjoy and greatly value doing business on my own terms and have never followed a formula of anyone else.
As an example – between 2012 and 2018 I spent 6-9 months a year overseas where I would utilise the social enterprising side of my business where I’d choose a business or ministry who have a great product or service and but not the budget for my particular service – and I’d live with them for 2 months, working along wise them, giving my time of 20 hours a week. Whatever they wanted, I’d create for them, or advise, mentor and consult without any charge for my time. The other 20 hours of the week, I’d work on my paying clients. I had a lot of satisfaction doing business this way. My host would pay for my trip to them and host me and I got to work within a team for a few months, which I enjoyed immensely. A win/win.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
It took me a long time to grow into and learn how to do business practically, as well as shake off the expectations of others or even myself about what success is. There’ve been times that I have been the only one to see my vision for my business, and when tough times came, by default I’d think or be advised: “I could just go get a job”. It’s a fight to hold that space, but I can and have. It’s all helped me trust in divine help, trust that I’ll get there, and I’m just the woman for this particular work. I love what I do, I’m good at what I do, and love the work I create.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called”
“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” – George Washington Carver
Who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by a couple of gentlemen from the 1800s, when I read their biographies I felt a kindred spirit to the way they chose to do business which I’ve also personally experienced.
1. George Müller in England, who built 5 orphanages that housed 2000 children without ever going to ‘man’ asking for money, he was a man without his own money and experimented with God by only ever asking Him for the things he needed, and was always provided for in astonishing ways.
2. George Washington Carver, a black American agricultural scientist and inventor who wanted to help the poor community he lived in, in the deep south and their depleted land from cotton production. Only asking God, he asked what he could create using the humble peanut, and went on to be inspired to create 300 different products using the peanut – 300!!! He also was told how to use the sweet potato in 150 products! This man was a legion – “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
Sometimes, I meet someone who inspires me, but these two men’s stories touch the core of my being.
What growth have you experienced being in Venus?
I’ve gained new clients and collaboration partners, as well as insight into other businesses through Raves and relationship building. I’ve become clients of those Venus ladies at the table also.
I adore learning to talk about what I do and supporting the woman around me. Overall everything allows me the knowledge to know that what I do is of service to those around me, giving me the confirmation I need that I’ve got a winning combination for my particular business.
Women are redefining success and growing businesses on their terms: What does success look like to you?
Success 1. My mandate is to inspire, equip and encourage through what I do and if I’ve managed to achieve those 3 things with someone I’ve hit a sweet spot in my business, the very purpose of why I’m doing what I do.
Success 2. My goal is to be NZ’s go-to for relationship building in business through bespoke illustration and personalised printed products.
Success 3. Is giving back to my community through the social enterprise side of DFoG (Drawer Full of Giants), I think I know what that might look like, but it’s still in the dreaming stage, but my past experience of all the years I’ve volunteered my business and all I am capable of doing is the basis of inspiration while I ponder the blueprint of what this social enterprise might look like. Whatever it is, it’ll be Inspiring, Equipping and Encouraging.
What’s your favourite pastime when you are not working?
When not working, I house and pet sit full-time, which allows me the flexibility and availability to of been able to volunteer for long stretches.
I adore travelling, the long-time kind… anywhere, any time, if it’s not overseas, I love a road trip as I feel at my happiest with 70s music playing over the speakers.
I’m an avid idea generator, and for FUN, I love working on ideas – I’ve been aptitude tested at 95% for High Idea Generation – so I’m like an ever-ready battery.
I value quality time so will drop everything to have it with good company, regardless of what we do
Cooking for others is now an enjoyment, a great book and catching a good movie, anything sci-fi gets my attention.