I Started A Business In Lockdown & I Love It
By Olivia Evans, Founder, Love Livvy 2020
Setting up Love Livvy 2020 by Founder, Olivia Vandyk
"I was painting rainbows with my children during the UK's Coronavirus Lockdown 2020 and from there I couldn't put my paints or paint brushes down"
The story of Love Livvy 2020 is a very special one for me. A year ago Livvy & I had a coffee & I told her my vision for AMotherBrand. She was yet to work out what her ‘thing’ was. She knew she wanted to do something around her children but was yet to find out what it was. Then, during lockdown, she was inspired to start painting. She threw herself into engaging with the AMotherBrand community & trainings – first in the free facebook group & then has a Founding Member of the AMB Membership – and she’s never looked back.
Livvy’s progress & drive have been utterly inspiring for everyone who has witnessed the ascent and growth of Love Livvy 2020. It’s such a joy watching the business grow & I can’t wait to see it continue to soar.
1. Olivia, what were you doing just before lockdown?
Just before lockdown started we were elebrating my youngest child turning 3. We just managed to have her birthday party.
2. What did you start up during lockdown?
I started my business Love Livvy 2020. At first I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. I was painting scenes of places and people that I wanted to see, not necessarily “reality” but a collection of memories and ideas of what we would do when we were allowed to venture out into the world again.
3. What was the motivation for starting up your new business? How did it come about?
Honestly it just happened. One day I was playing around with paints and brushes on A4 copy paper painting rainbows and the next people were asking me to create a painting for them!
There was so much going on around us from daily briefings, attempts at zoom calls, friends and family, home-schooling/home-playing two under 5’s. Often I painted things I was inspired by, something someone had done or they were doing. Then I would sit down and create something to give them an extra boost at such a potentially challenging time.
4. What have the biggest challenges been with your new business?
Saying no or remembering to put in some structure, even though structure and creativity don’t usually hang out as friends.
5. What are the things that have helped you the most on your new business journey so far?
Support from other business start-ups / founders / creators on AMotherBrand.
Encouragement from family and friends both personally and professionally.
The Webinars held in the free AMotherBrand Facebook group throughout Lockdown. They gave me a new goal to achieve each week that was not “creative” as such, but more related to business development and structure. For me, they were a gentle guide as to what you could be working on alongside the creation of the thing that is your passion.
6. What are the things you’re enjoying most about your new business?
I am biased but I love watching my paintings come to life! It starts when I receive a collection of images, words, memories, books, songs etc that I then start thinking about how and when and where I could turn all those things into one painting. I love each image in its own way as it takes me on a journey of getting to know someone, which during a global pandemic was very hard to do face-to-face!
7. What are your next steps for your business?
I am working with a few writers regarding illustrations for children’s books but right now I am content to grow organically and see where it takes me.
8. Has this experience changed you and your vision of what you want to do in your life in the future?
Yes, I had been wondering what my “thing” was.
My friends have been listening forever to me talk about different ideas of jobs that might fit around my grown-up life.
Who knew that by stripping back all the outside noise and commitments I would stumble across painting again after 20 years.
9. What have your highlights been from your business so far?
Around the same time as I was creating Love Livvy 2020 I received a phone call from my children’s school. First thought – ‘Oh gosh they only call when it’s a really serious injury!’ But actually it was a member of staff asking if they could put me in touch with the Governors who were arranging a leaving gift for the current Head Teacher. They asked if I would I paint her a picture. I was over the moon! I think the first person I actually called to share the news with was Nonie from AMotherBrand.
My top highlight has to be when the person who commissed the painting gives the finished work to the recipient. The looks of joy, the messages of thanks and the repeat custom in some cases, is just overwhelming.
It is mindblowing for me that somehow in this storm of lockdowns and global pandemic I have found something that I can do,
A) around my kids,
B) that I love and
C) that brings so much joy to others.
10. From your experience, what would your top tips for someone thinking about pivoting or starting up a new business?
Go with your gut. It’s a bit like with relationships. Don’t force yourself into something that doesn’t feel right. It is when you’re not looking that the best person/idea comes into your life.