Sophia Lawrence is a second-year Fine Arts students from Keppoch Mountain, NS and one of the recipients of the Heather Reisman Entrepreneurship Internships at Mount Allison for 2020.
1. What is your summer internship?
My summer internship is the Reisman Entrepreneurial internship. My entrepreneurial venture is to continue to grow and develop my pre-existing art business, Marigold Studio. Marigold Studio sells greeting cards, pins, t-shirts, hoodies, and much more all printed with my designs and illustrations. My goal is to spread joy and allow people to express themselves through art and artistically-designed products.
2. What do you hope to take away from this experience?
This internship has allowed me to finally invest my full time and attention into growing and developing Marigold Studio. I hope to gain the experience and skill required to potentially make a full living as an artist after school. I also hope to use Marigold Studio to become more involved in my local community, whether that be through outsourcing to local suppliers, wholesaling with local businesses, or making new friends via photoshoots, social media, markets, and art fairs.
3. What has been your favourite part of the internship experience so far?
Probably creating the art that goes into the products! The reason I started Marigold Studio was because I love creating and sharing art. This internship has allowed me to play and experiment within my art practice. I have created many new products through this experimentation. For example, early in the spring, I was playing with some polymer clay and made a couple pairs of earrings just for fun. I posted them on my Instagram, and they ended up being really popular. The best part is that I love making them even more than I love selling them! Another awesome part of the internship is that I was able to develop a website and online store (marigoldstudio.ca) which has allowed me to sell to a much wider audience. This has allowed me to make new friends and meet new people to share my art with.
4. What extracurriculars are you involved in on and off campus?
In the fall I will be working with the Argosy as one of their illustrators, which I am super excited for! In my first year I participated in both of the Fine Arts Society’s “Show and Sales” and throughout my second year I hope to become more involved with the Fine Arts Society. Off campus, I have worked with the Sackville Craft Gallery and the Sackville Farmer’s Market through Marigold Studio and hope to continue to do so over my years at Mt.A.
5. What is one piece of advice you would give to your first-year self?
In my first year I was not as involved as I would like to have been on campus, so I would say to try harder to get involved. It can sometimes be intimidating, especially when you don’t have other people you know joining you, but it’s definitely worth it! Be brave! I would also say do your research. I am so glad that I found out about this internship and I probably wouldn’t have found out about it if my mom didn’t find it and send it to me… which is embarrassing! There are so many resources and programs that the university offers that you should absolutely become aware of them and take advantage of them.
Bonus question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your internship?
My major plan for my internship was to grow my business through developing a website and online store, but also to expand my in-person sales by going to more (and bigger) markets and art fairs across Canada. Due to COVID-19, most, if not all of those in-person events were cancelled. I am really glad that I have the online store, so I don’t only depend on in-person sales anymore. Markets and craft fairs were a large part of my income so Marigold Studio has taken a bit of a hit in that regards, but I am working super hard to expand my online audience and grow my online marketing skills and social media presence in order to make up for those losses.
The Heather Reisman Entrepreneurship Internships at Mount Allison provide funding and coaching support for students to start a new business, expand an existing business, create a social initiative, or pursue a cultural project. They are funded by a gift from Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation. Learn more about the 2020 interns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmJ4oXsXyec