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Katrin Emery: turning art into entrepreneurship

If you're ready to be inspired by one of Canada's rising creative stars, look no further than Katrin Emery, the multi-talented illustrator and designer who is making waves in both the online and local art scene. With her very own illustration business at kemery.ca and her jewelry and home décor venture at studiopeachy.ca, Katrin is taking the creative world by storm with her infectious positivity and unique artistic vision. 

Drawing her own path 

After graduating in Graphic Design from Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON, Katrin worked full-time in corporate graphic design, but continued to work on her own style of illustration at home. It was during this time that she discovered her true passion for creating without the pressure of fitting her art into the corporate mold. 

“I would just create because I felt like creating, instead of having to create with an end-game or to sell something. While I was showcasing my work to others online, I realized that there was opportunity to pursue something that was for me and for me only.”  

 As her artwork began to attract attention online, Katrin took a leap of faith and quit her day job to pursue her artistic freedom.  

“The more I started doing my own pieces, the more people would message me saying ‘I want that one’. And they were just pieces for me!” 

With the help of social media and contests, she found her community and built a name for herself in the industry. Now, her colourful and playful designs are sought after by clients and even featured on the cans of Collective Arts Brewery, which showcases art from creators around the world. It just goes to show, sometimes the path to success is paved with creativity, determination and a little bit of beer. 

Starting her peachy-keen businesses 

During the pandemic, Katrin decided to take things to the next level and start her own accessory business, studiopeachy.ca

With a desire to have fun and keep busy while stuck at home, she began creating stickers and prints. But soon, she expanded her offerings to include unique high-quality acrylic earrings made with laser cutting.  

“It was just a way to be able to showcase my creativity, and I enjoyed working with my hands. It just so happens that jewelry was the gateway of me being able to showcase that creativity to the world.” 

With a perfect balance of colour and style, Katrin’s creations are sure to make a statement and add that extra pop of flair. 

A splash of cheer 

Katrin's art style is a reflection of her joyful spirit, filled with bright shapes, positive affirmations and fun designs that instantly put a smile on your face. “I wanted to bring colour and fun topics and shapes to the forefront.” 

Her art is a visual representation of the happiness and positivity she wants to share with the world, inspired by her mission to make things that bring her and others joy. 

From studio to site 

After starting Studio Peachy, Katrin defaulted to using third-party merchants like Etsy but found it didn’t communicate the handmade, local nature of her business. 

“When you order something from a .CA domain, you can have some confidence that it’s locally-made. I love it because customers do comment positively on my choice to use .CA."  

As a graphic design extraordinaire, Katrin knew that having her own website was a must to showcase her work and add some pizzazz to her professional image. 

“Having your own website adds some legitimacy and professionalism. Anyone can be on a merchant website, but to have your own website shows that you put effort into your business and its image.” 

According to Katrin, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a unique business website when it comes to making a good first impression on your customers. 

“Whether it's showing you’re local with a .CA domain or using specific colours or language, your website has to be very you. More customers are going to trust your website and you're going to be a lot more successful overall online.”

Building a creative community with Canada’s domain 

When Katrin found herself starting out online, she knew that she wanted a .CA domain to communicate that her business was local and that she prioritized handmade items that came from home. 

"I wanted to attract clients that are also Canadian and appreciate local makers," said Katrin. "It takes a village to raise a business." 

In Ottawa, she has established her own community of small business owners that collaborate and support each other by offering various services. Katrin offers her artistic talents to other small local businesses, turning their self-made logos into a professional brand. 

"When I was starting out and I was unsure about things, I met a lot of small businesses in the market community that were super friendly and helped me succeed. I want to be able to give back and help other locals succeed as well." 

Mastering the art of success 

Katrin’s success is a testament to the power of following your passions and how empowered people empower people. 

“When I make something that makes me happy, it's going to bring other people happiness. Whenever I made something that I thought would please others, it never became popular. Going with your gut and working on stuff that you just enjoy is going to be why people want to support you—it's because they see that joy and creativity in your work.” 

She sees the future of her businesses as being enjoyable and focused on having fun. 

“Where I’d love to be one day is in a position to only say yes to projects that bring the most joy to me. I would love to explicitly do illustration and small branding projects for local businesses.” 

With two thriving businesses, Katrin’s story is a true inspiration for anyone looking to turn their creative passion into a successful business venture, all while keeping it local on Canada's domain. 


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