Meet the Vendor: Irene Akio
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Irene and I make greeting cards and prints from my artwork. I get a lot of satisfaction from painting animals because they have so much character, but I also enjoy exploring other subjects and designs. I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember and started the greeting card business after illustrating and writing a children’s book about Tokyo. I enjoyed creating the illustrations for the book so much I decided I had to find a way to keep painting.
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
I will be traveling 3.1 miles (I just mapped it)! I have lived in Seattle for over a decade and think this city is amazing. I am thrilled to be participating in Urban Craft Uprising again.
Is this a full-time business for you?
This is a part-time business for me. I have an active little toddler and work on my business whenever I have spare time, in the evenings and on weekends. I continue to add my cards to new stores around the country and have started selling original pieces, as well. And I hope to keep growing!
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
If you love it, keep going.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had with one of your customers?
I have had so many wonderful experiences. I love when one of my silly cards makes someone giggle, or when a customer is pleased with how I have captured their pet in a portrait. But I think my favorite thing isn’t about one customer, but rather about all of them collectively. When I first started making cards I wasn’t sure who my customers would be and I’ve been surprised by the answer: young and old, rural and metropolitan…people from seemingly all different backgrounds and interests. This is a big no-no from the marketing standpoint, but it makes me happy that my cards can appeal to so many different people.
Find out more at www.ireneakio.com
And check out the Urban Craft Uprising Instagram for a chance to win a set of Irene Akio cards!