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Sandra Clarke was born in Griffintown, a vibrant Montreal West-end neighborhood, to a robust Celtic family. Natural story-tellers, poets and artists woven together with hard working ethics influenced Sandra’s early artistic studies of traditional arts and hand crafts. Further education in Montreal, New York, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto in visual arts, theatre, writing and business developed Sandra into a successful artist and art teacher. Sandra has been teaching art since 1998 and earned an Award of Distinction from the Peel District Board of Education. Sandra divides her time between her home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and her cottage-in-the-woods in Highlands East, Ontario.
1) How did you get started working from home?
Both my children have special needs, I wanted to create an artistic career where I could bring my children. My kids are now 17 and 23 and I’m still teaching art and creating fibre arts.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I’ve always been creative and knew that any career I chose would have to be about art.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I started volunteering at my children’s school teaching art and worked part-time teaching art at in community centres.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
A friend, who was a supervisor at my local community centre, mentioned she had to find artists to teach kids at the centre. I said that I could do it. That was in 1998.
5) How do you market your business?
Word of mouth for my in-person classes and workshop and Facebook for my online graphic design classes.
6) What does your usual day look like?
2 coffees, over-dose on CNN, then about 9am I start whatever work or marketing needed for that day, week, month, season.
Upcoming workshops: Get materials ready and make samples.
Reseach: Google trends, look for art galleries needing new work.
It’s usually a long day.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Value doesn’t always mean money. There is amazing value in; time with my family; setting my own hours; taking breaks to re-image new income streams.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Don’t give up your day job. Start part-time to build a solid foundation. Save all your money from your day job so that when you are ready to quit you have at least 6 months of your bills covered. Know that everything takes 3 times more time than you first thought. Sometimes working for yourself means your boss can be an asshole.
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