Nicole Andan has always had a passion for art, but it was only when COVID-19 struck that she began taking her art more seriously by turning her hobby into a business. Here’s her inspirational story.
Turning a negative into a positive
The extra time afforded to her during lockdown enabled Nicole to create art, set up a digital presence and showcase her work to the world.
“Whilst I have always loved and dabbled in art, it was only this year when we went into lockdown and I had to shield due to my disability that I began to create more seriously”, explained Nicole.
“I needed something to occupy my time that was not working. I’m a trainer for the MoD, but I was also finishing up an apprenticeship in Human Resource Management and home-schooling my 4-year-old.
“At the start of lockdown, I dabbled in baking but after putting on over a stone it was clear I needed to pursue a different path, so I bought myself some paints and a canvas and I was off.”
Initially Nicole painted for practice and for herself, but her talent meant it wasn’t long before she was getting orders from others.
Nicole said: “Pretty soon I was painting for family and friends and soon I was needing to register as a business with HMRC and trademarking my name.
“I was setting up a luxury product-based business. I was managing a business as well as being responsible for creating the product whilst working full time, home-schooling a 4 year old, undertaking an apprenticeship whilst running a household… oh and not to mention that we were in the middle of a global pandemic!
“I quickly learned that in order to do all of that I needed help, I have to be very careful with my disability not to push myself too hard as it can cause me to be quite poorly if my condition flares.”
Despite her busy schedule Nicole made space to pursue her passion. Rather than be daunted by the task at hand, Nicole steered into the storm, enlisted the help of a business coach, whilst building her online presence.
Art all over the world wide web
“I began working with a Business Coach, I know how to paint but I had no idea how to manage a business. Hiring a Business Coach is probably one of the best things I did; she talked me through crises in confidence, how to keep track of incomings and outgoings and how to put business processes in place to manage sales and customer expectations and she encouraged me to aim my sights higher.
“Initially I was selling through Facebook and Etsy but most of my sales were coming through my social networking so I looked into buying a domain and setting up a website of my own.”
That’s where GoDaddy came in and helped Nicole take her online presence to the next level. She explained: “GoDaddy had a great offer on for opening a domain plus a website builder, I was fairly sure I would need a web developer, I’m a total luddite but I’m also pretty tenacious and a big believer in self-improvement so thought I’d give it a try, especially as there was a 1 month free trial. It was so easy; I quickly had a fantastic website (and 24-hour support from brilliant techs).”
Nicole has felt empowered by the process of building her online home: “Knowing I have created my own website has given me a huge sense of satisfaction and using GoDaddy’s tool kit did not hinder how I wanted the site to look from a visual standpoint. I have been able to link my products, blogs, social media accounts and links to my upcoming exhibitions.”
More time to paint
When asked what the best part of her day is, Nicole replied: “As an Artist, the best part of my professional day is always going to be creating beautiful art and thanks to GoDaddy, having an easy to manage website means I get to spend more time doing what I love!”
Nicole specialises in creating striking, unique, highly textured art and works to the adage that ‘if it doesn't make you want to reach out and touch it, I haven't done my job properly!’
Her work has now gone international, with her creations currently sitting pretty on walls in Singapore, the USA, Europe, the UAE, the UK and Ghana. You can check out Nicole’s website here and also find her on Facebook here.
At GoDaddy we’re all about empowering every idea, business, side hustle or nonprofit cause to claim their place online and look great at the same time.
If you’re inspired by Nicole’s story and want to start your journey online but don't know where to start, GoDaddy Website Builder makes it simple to create a modern, professional site with no technical knowledge required.
And guess what, we love hearing about your success stories. In fact, we want to shout about them! Get in touch with us on social media and share a link to your website and we may well be in touch to feature you on our blog.