Voss Boss Entrepreneur Spotlight — Erica Souza, Owner Of Ephemera & Co.
For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Inc, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Erica Souza, owner of Ephemera & Co!
Ephemera & Co is an experimental atelier owned by Erica Souza, an artist, designer and maker. I transform my studies and explorations into products.
The atelier has only one year of existence and it’s in the very beginning. I’m still trying to realize what my path is into arts and crafts and I’m still searching, learning and experimenting things.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Erica about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being an Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I have been officially in business for one year, but I started my creative path in 2012 when my father gave me a semi-professional camera and I started to do photoshoots with my friends in my spare time. In 2014 I started to practice hand lettering and I have not stopped since then.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9–5 and start Ephemera & Co?
In 2015 I moved to Canada with my husband and I decided to start over from scratch. I worked in retail, coffee shops and I realized that I am very creative and talented and I should invest in it. So I thought: Why don’t I start something where I can put all my skills together and where I can create things and explore new media and new stuff? Then I tried to start something before Ephemera, but it didn’t work.
Then, last year I started to make a Christmas wreath to put on my door, and a lot of product ideas started to come over my head. Then I tried to put it all together and created an Etsy shop to see what happens. When I realized, I was receiving a lot of commissions, since then I realized I could have my own business.
3: What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I love the challenge of wearing many hats. Finances, administration, photography, marketing, design, sales. It is all made by one person: me. It is exhausting sometimes, but is also something that excites me.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as an entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start Ephemera & Co?
Being organized and planning every step I take. Last year I started very fast and I struggled with my plans and organization. I am still learning and making mistakes, but right now I am working on the processes that each product needs to be made, how much it will cost, how much my time is worth, how I can sell it and promote it, etc. But once you learn all of this, things flow easily.
5: What is one thing about working in the arts and crafts industry that people would be surprised to learn?
One surprising thing that you need to learn is to allow yourself to fail and forgive yourself when you make a mistake. There is no magical formula to become an entrepreneur. People try and fail most of the time, they just don’t show it.
6: Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I have Brazilian roots and most of my inspiration comes from my country, where everything is so colourful and full of textures. I also love to have references of colours and style from movies, animations, retail displays, etc.
My favourite artist, entrepreneur, videomaker and chef is Raiza Costa. I love her productions because they’re always ludic, full of colours and extremely creative. She inspires me a lot, because, like me, she has several different skills she puts together and creates something fresh and new.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
7: Do you have a favourite social media platform? Why?
I like Instagram a lot because it was the first platform I used to showcase my work. I love to see what other artists are producing and creating and how they share their processes and works.
8: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
It wasn’t a decision, I simply started and that’s how I realized my work could be appreciated by other people.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
First, social media is only a tool, not your entire business. When I started I thought social media was my entire business and it was enough to have a lot of followers and things would be sold magically. Unless you wanna become an influencer, this is not true. Focus on the quality of your work, but don’t forget to post. If people don’t see it, you won’t get noticed.
A Little More About Erica
Hello, I am Erica. I am from Brazil and moved to Canada in 2016. When I moved, I took a long time to adapt through my new life, then I found comfort and joy in arts and crafts. I first started with hand lettering then I started to explore new media and new techniques and right now I have a small atelier called Ephemera where I transform my art into products. I have so much fun producing colourful garlands and pom-poms.
I am a very curious person and love to learn new skills and techniques. Right now I started to explore paper techniques and I am in love with that!
I also love to explore colours in all combinations and textures. My inspiration comes from my Brazilian roots, where everything is very colourful and full of life.
Here are some fun facts about myself:
- I am from a city called Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.
- I love to watch horror movies
- I am a dog person
- My favourite colour combination is blue and pink
- I hate eating mushrooms but I think they are cute
- I graduated as a computer engineer. But I gave up on that career to follow my dreams =)
Connect with Erica
Know A Voss Boss?
Do you know a Voss Boss who loves social media as much as we do? Share her name with us, and we’ll do the rest. Or, if you’re a Voss Boss let us know and we’ll reach out and get you on the list for an interview.