Mum running her business on her laptop

Mumpreneur Story: Anne-Marie Rickus Arts

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Anne-Marie.
I am married to Paul & have two boys – Heath aged 4 & Rowan aged 2.
We live in Chester.
My eldest has just started school and I look after my youngest.
Life is chaotic, crammed, but very colourful!

What’s your business called?

Anne-Marie Rickus Arts

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I create inky paintings capturing precious family moments.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

Initially, after having my first son in 2012 I became a little frustrated at the lack of time I had to concentrate on my art. But then one day I drew him – nothing radical! – bit it was a breakthrough, instead of trying to keep my art and motherhood separate i realised that I could do both!
I continued to sketch his funny, heartwarming, quirky ways & when his brother came along in 2014 I kept up the practice.
These scrappy little sketches were always destined to stay tucked away in a sketchbook – just for me to flick through in my twilight years & to show the boys when they are older. But I showed some family & friends, who really liked them & said that they could relate to them & so I decided to make them into more finished pieces in order to produce limited edition giclee prints to sell.
So, my family is a huge inspiration!

How do you manage working around your children?

I find this one quite tricky!
My eldest is now at school, but I look after my youngest one full time, so all my artwork is created in the evenings and nap times!!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

We’re always up bright and early, breakfast, then school run.
Then myself and my youngest will have an activity – swimming, meet friends, playgroups…..etc. Hopefully this tires him out enough that after lunch he will have a little nap! It’s at this point that I start my work. I never quite know how long he will nap for, so try to do more admin jobs at this stage….e-mails, uploading products to my Not On The High Street Store, answering customer queries……etc.
Then once my son wakes up we will do something together – library visit/crafting at home…etc.
Then we go and pick up my other son from school. If the weather is good we’ll have a little play in the park before home for tea.
Some nights my eldest might have swimming lesson after school, but by 6.30/6.45pm it’s bath time and the task of getting the little people to sleep.
Once that is done…then my husband & I will have some food together & tidy up the toy carnage!
At this point I then head down to my studio at the bottom of the garden to try and get a few hours in working on new artwork, commissions…..etc.
There are definitely not enough hours in the day!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Since starting to sell my artwork I have come to realise how important marketing is…..from getting good photos of your products, to find a good quality printer to produce my giclee prints, to using twitter, instagram & other social media platforms to spread the word! Creating the artwork is only one tiny part! The whole marketing, networking….etc. has been quite a steep learning curve!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Being able to spend time with my children and work!

What are your plans for the future?

I’m creating more inky paintings to turn into giclee prints to add to the selection I already have available.
I also am taking on more editorial and fashion illustration work, which is very exciting!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
It’s a slow burner! Things don’t happen overnight, but if you are persistent & patient then your business will develop and grow!
Instagram – @annemarierickus
Twitter – @annemarierickus