Worldwide Branding Member Alicia Sinukoff, owner of Beads and Bites, offers sound advice on transforming your creative side into a business venture.
My name is Alicia Sinukoff and I am a graduate of several college-level art and design programs. As an artist, I am an ideas person. I believe in selling, creativity, selling creativity, and my ability to connect with people. These things need to be part of the marketing process, because if you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect someone else to? Arlene Dickinson, a renowned marketing professional featured on “Dragon’s Den,” inspires me daily with these words: “All this boils down to confidence.” As she explains, “persuasion entails believing in the person that you are, remembering your voice is important, and never fearing mistakes or failure.”
Previously, I worked for 12 years in graphic design. I assumed I would always be able to find a job, but I was wrong. I was devastated I was unable to find any viable work after I took a break to raise my children.
In order to fix that situation, I made a mental list of what I loved to do, and so should you. I began work on a children’s book. I also liked to bake and cook, so I found some great recipes and priced out the ingredients to see what I needed to make a profit. I made samples and took them to local stores and restaurants. I found that people liked my products and my personal attention.
My business grew. In order to keep up with increasing sales and remain cost-competitive, my husband — who is an engineer — helped me design a manufacturing process to make better use of my time. It is worth the investment to have someone who can do this with you. Before long I moved the business out of the house and hired employees, as I focused on sales and found new clients. Building this business gave me the independence and foundation to pursue my passion, which is making and selling jewelry, and offering beading services to other creative people.
The bottom line is to think outside the box and brainstorm every day. Get out and network, socially and otherwise. Be willing to experiment; have faith in yourself. Above all, work hard and have fun!
About Worldwide Branding Member Alicia Sinukoff
Alicia Sinukoff is owner of Beads and Bites, a baking, art and design company specializing in handmade jewelry and chocolate lava cakes for the restaurant industry.
Her professional background is diverse, beginning with her work for 12 years in the graphic design field as an art director. She took time off to raise her children, and eventually returned to school to update her education. She graduated with honors in electronic publishing from Humber College. After graduation, Alicia began creating illustrations for a children’s book. At the same time, she began experimenting with biscotti and chocolate soufflé recipes. Eventually she created a mini-lava cake that she was able to produce on a large scale. Alicia started Beads and Bites in 2003 and has remained in business since.
Beads and Bites offers an assortment of handmade jewelry, beads and jewelry supplies. Alicia also does freelance graphic design under her own company, “Griffs Grafix.” Additionally, she does pro bono volunteer work for “The International Breastfeeding Centre.” In the near future, she hopes to volunteer with the United Nations and promote the rights of women and children. She also aspires to empower women worldwide.
Alicia holds a diploma in animation from Sheridan College and a diploma in general studies, communication and design from OCAD University. She holds AOCA and postgraduate certification from Humber College, and has taken coursework in electronic publishing. Additionally, she has earned an achievement award for her volunteer services in the promotion of art and design excellence in education from OCAD University.
For more information about her company, and to read some recipes created by Alicia, please visit her website: http://www.beadsandbites.com/beads_and_bites/HOME.html