Joyce Wan is a walking example of taking a little inspiration and turning it into a successful business. And it all started after she designed her first greeting card in grade school for a city-wide greeting card design contest.
In 2003, Joyce started her company, Wanart, in New York City when she noticed a need for Asian-inspired greeting cards. After taking a class and launching her cards at a tradeshow, her business was born.
Today, from her New Jersey studio, she creates designs for her line of greeting cards, gifts, clothing and children’s books, which be found at thousands of boutiques, museum shops and gift stores worldwide.
Joyce also teaches courses on the business of greeting card design and art licensing at the School of Visual Arts.
Growing an idea
Joyce has always been ahead of the game when it comes to growing her business.
Her first children’s book, Greetings from Kiwi and Pear (based on a popular line of greeting cards) hit the shelves in 2009. With another two books planned before the end of summer it is clear that she is leveraging her existing brand and the success of some of her lines to branch out.
Her advice to other potential small business owners: create a niche to help you stand out from the competition.
Joyce is always promoting Wanart at street fairs and festivals and looks for opportunitues to meet people, sign her book and get the word out about her brand.
The mobility that has helped her business grow, however, had been an issue when it came to making the sale and getting paid. She wanted a quicker solution to accept payments from the customers that are prone to impulse buys, but might not have cash on them. She signed up for GoPayment and uses it with her iPhone. She finds the fact that she can get paid on her phone convenient since as she always has her phone on her and doesn’t want to carry extra equipment.
“I can charge customers at festivals or on the streets and that helps lead to bigger sales since they can now pay by card and not have to worry about cash only.” She also uses QuickBooks and likes having “a one stop shop” for sales.
Keeping the cute coming
Recently, Joyce partnered with companies to license her designs on various product lines under the brand Kiwi and Pear. You can download Kiwi and Pear’s World Adventure, an interactive storybook app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and pre-order her upcoming books, You Are My Cupcake and We Belong Together now on her website.