Meet the Vendor: Irene Akio + Giveaway
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Irene and I make greeting cards and prints from my artwork. You can find me here.
What is your favorite new product for 2014?
My corn card! I absolutely love painting animals, but wanted to try branching out a bit more so worked on a couple different styles this last summer. It was fun to look at something I’ve eaten my whole life in a new light – seeing how each kernel has a slightly different shape and the various textures of the husk and silk of the corn. This year I’d love to give away a set of six corn cards. See giveaway below.
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
I’ll only be traveling 15 minutes. I’ve lived in Seattle for over 10 years and felt at home the first time I set foot in the city.
How did you get started in your business?
I had an incredible art teacher in high school, but stopped drawing for over a decade. When I picked up the brush again, a friend saw my artwork and asked me if I’d be interested in illustrating a kid’s book about Tokyo. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could pull the project off, but gave it a shot. The book was published back in 2010 and once it was done I didn’t want to stop painting. I have always been a big fan of greeting cards, so thought I’d give this a try. Now I can’t imagine not having drawing and painting as a part of my regular life.
Is this a full-time business for you?
This has always been a part-time gig for me, but just this last summer I have been making a push to grow the business a bit. I’ve recently added my cards to stores in Texas, Wyoming, Michigan and several in the northwest and hope to keep growing in the next year!
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
Sometimes you should push yourself to a higher standard, and sometimes you need to accept less than perfect if you want to keep moving forward.
A Set of Six Irene Akio Cord Cards
To enter this drawing, share your why you love sending or receiving handwritten cards by December 3rd. Be sure to include your first name and email address so we can let our winners know where to pick up prizes at the UCU Winter Show.