Q + A: One Year of KASH

Q + A: One Year of KASH

Written: July 2022

Today is KASH Collections' FIRST BIRTHDAY! To celebrate, I thought a little Q+A sesh would be fun. Huge thanks to the people that asked questions so I could do this post.



Q: How did KASH Collections start? And what was the first produce sold?

A: In April of 2021, someone reached out to me to paint a few Wesley College scenes including the College Center and Library, College Center, and amphitheater. I was really nervous because I had only painted watercolor once before. I accepted the challenge, and this one order lead to multiple people asking for Wesley College paintings.


I decided that night that I needed to become a business. With the help of friends, I chose KASH Collections, which is a combination of my first name, Kassandra-Ashley. "Collections" because of art collections. I added "original" to the beginning of my social media handles so all platforms would have the same username: originalkashcollections. I created my Instagram and Facebook, made a page on my blog website, made and ordered business cards, and ordered supplies all in one night.


When I first started, I wanted everything to be hand-made. I wanted every order to be an original KASH Collection. After painting the same location over 10 times, I realized I needed to make prints. I've only offered them for a couple of months now and I couldn't be happier with the quality of White House Custom Colour's prints.


Shortly after prints, I started to sell stickers, keychains, and pins. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I got my wholesale license. This allows me to feature items from other shops in my shop and eventually, I'd like to sell KASH Collections in local boutiques. So proud of all my growth in my first year!


Q: How do you manage a full-time job, running a small business, and maintaining a social life?

A: Espresso. Time management. Self discipline. Stressing myself out.


Sometimes before I head off to work, I make an espresso and sit at our home desk to check my business and personal emails. I will also send brain dump voice messages to my friends to get all my KASH thoughts out. When I'm at work, I really try to focus on my full-time job tasks. The office is supportive of my small business, so I work longer hours Monday through Thursday to get off early on Friday to do small business things.


I have some nights where I stay up as long as possible to do things like sketch, update the website, or order supplies. Once a week Austin and I will run errands, usually at least one stop is for KASH. I have a hard time relaxing because my mind is always thinking about what I should be doing or what I want to do next. I think and talk about KASH Collections 99% of the time. I feel like I'm always working. If I'm not painting, I'm looking for inspo, creating TikToks, talking to customers, updating my website, cleaning the studio, and so on. The work never stops.


For my social life... I get really bad FOMO so I tend to let myself get really stressed about orders. Sometimes I have to cancel plans to paint. Even when I tell myself, "Okay, this specific day, I am not making any plans... only painting," something comes up. This is something I'm working on. I walk a thin line of "KASH is my side gig" and "I want KASH to be my full-time job."


Q: How do you reach people outside your friend group?

A: Social media is so powerful.


1. Facebook groups have helped so much— because my first works were of Wesley College and the college was recently acquired by Delaware State University, paintings of the college by an alum were really special. Also, I am creating a KASH Collections Club FB group really soon!!


2. I realized by putting "please share" on posts, people are more likely to share.


3. I have paid for some social media boosts that promote posts to a desired audience.


4. I have a unique style that I haven't seen in Delaware and I think that also plays to my advantage.


5. I have multiple social media platforms for KASH. I have my websiteInstagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest. By having multiple platforms, I'm more likely to reach people outside of my friend group. I say this a lot but I really have gotten so lucky within my first year; I had a viral video on TikTok last year and got so much exposure from that.


Q: How do I stay positive during a selling slump?

A: I'm pretty lucky, I've always had at least one custom order. Usually when I finish a painting and post it, someone sees it and wants to order from me.


For items like stickers and keychains, that's another story. Those haven't sold as well as I thought they would. So when I'm stuck, I turn to my bestie, Meghan with Chicka & Co. I asked her what she does. She said she will take new photos of the same item to showcase them in a different way. Other ideas would be to talk about them in a video (TikTok or Reel), do a giveaway, or create mystery bags.


Q: What's one of the hardest parts?

A: Pricing.


When I first sold my Wesley College paintings, I sold them at $45 each with a frame AND I delivered them... that's insane. I told a friend about how proud I was of this and she knocked some sense into me. I didn't know my worth until my conversation with her. After this, I did some research based on materials, price, time, and so on. Luckily, I only had a few sales that were wayyyy lower than they should have been. Now those same watercolor paintings would be $125 each plus shipping.


Know your worth!! People will pay. And if they don't, that's okay because someone else will.


Q: Did you always want to work for yourself?

A: The thought had never crossed my mind. I always assumed I'd work for someone else, and to an extent, I do work for my customers. Without the customers, I wouldn't have a business. The customers help me keep myself on track because I don't want to disappoint.


Q: Do you think you'll ever do this full-time?

A: That's the goal.


I like my full-time job and I will be here until we move, I get fired, or decide to do KASH full-time. Right now, I don't have enough money saved up or make enough revenue to quit my job.


Q: What are five goals for the next year?

A: These are no particular order:

  • Get KASH Collections in local boutiques and/or sell wholesale items. I think this is closer than I realize as I've had some discussions with small businesses in Dover.

  • Create merch. The only KASH merch right now is a pin... and none of those have sold. I have a new product coming this weekend (hint hint), which I guess is merch. I want a bucket hat, t-shirt, and sweatshirt for sure. If it's not my logo on the merch, it will be my design.

  • Paint many Delaware scenes. A lot of my orders are sentimental to specific people, like their homes or pets. I want to paint scenes every Delawarean can recognize and want to buy.

  • Guest on podcasts. I have been on Janine Between the Lines and Memory Lane Morning Show to talk about my personal life and a little about KASH. I'd like to guest on podcasts outside of my friend group. I think this will also help me articulate my thoughts.

  • Get TikTok verified. This might not be as far-fetched as you may think. TikTok reached out to me to be a TikTok partner in their TikTok Impact initiative, and of course I agreed.


The Evolution of the KASH Collections logo


My first logo was created on Canva. I thought it needed to be watercolor related because that is what KASH does. I found a watercolor splotch, added some text, added little dots and called that my logo.


My second logo was also created on Canva. I picked my colors based on the previous logo's colors. I added the blue because I needed a contrasting color to the pink and orange. I love the little butterfly and wave, but this design would be awkward on a t-shirt or sold as merch. I don't know anything about legality, but I didn't think I would be able to sell this design and call it mine.


My official logo was created by The Equine Creative. Amber has been a loyal customer and I could not have picked a better person to bring my vision to life. I drew the bluebonnets myself; my little reminder of my home, Texas. I have a few sub-logos that are also really cute. We kept a similar color palette with pinks and oranges with blue and brown, two colors from my previous logos. Thanks again Amber!


And I'm done. Voila!

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