During COVID-19 quarantine, some of us binged our favorite TV shows, while others adopted a new pet. Ally Schell started her own business.
What might seem like an ambitious endeavor to others was obvious to Schell, who saw it as an opportunity to put his artistic abilities to good use. In May 2020, Schell launched his resin art business, Shop Cosmic Dreams.
Pandemic possibilities:The pandemic leads to entrepreneurship, as some turn creative passions into businesses
“Growing up, I loved drawing, loved art, and always loved art classes specifically at school,” Schell said. “I was never very good in school, but my creative side was what I’ve always been good at.”
Resin art is created when epoxy resin is combined with various pigments and color additives to produce a blend of unique patterns and textures. Resin is a type of liquid plastic poured into a mold that sets and then hardens.
Put your heart in it
After graduating from Full Sail University in Florida with an online bachelor’s degree in audio production in October, Schell found herself looking for a creative outlet.
She stumbled upon the art of resin by accident, but quickly learned the craft on her own through hours of video tutorials and trial and error.
“I was on Google and I was like ‘I could do that. This is really cool,’” said the artist Erie, 23. “So, I just started buying the stuff for this and I trained in my 40s.”
Schell’s love for astrology inspired his celestial resin art, but it was the support of other members of the resin community that helped guide his vision for Shop Cosmic Dreams.
“I have a lot of resin artist friends … I take inspiration from them,” Schell said. “We all support each other. It’s a great community, very positive and supportive.”
Schell started out making ashtrays and coasters, but in just over a year since starting her business, she’s expanded her inventory to include sun catchers, key chains, magnets and more. In his pieces, Schell includes everything from dried fruits and flowers to holographic butterflies. With a lot of glitter.
“I feel like if you’re an artist you have to add your own twist to things,” Schell said. “And the things that I put in my rooms, you don’t see them a lot, so I try to create very unique things so that you don’t see the same things everywhere.”
A typical piece can take three to six days to make, Schell said. She often finds herself spending up to six hours in one sitting perfecting her designs in a small room in her apartment.
Despite the time management hurdles that Schell faces, his dedication to his profession has allowed him to have a successful first year in business.
“The sales have been crazy, I have my Etsy store but I mostly do custom orders,” she said of Etsy, a global online marketplace where people sell and buy unique items. . “On my Etsy store, I have almost 300 sales, which I opened this last June, but custom orders, I can’t even tell you how many. Hundreds since last year.”
Buy local anywhere:14 awesome women-owned shops you can find on Etsy
With the amount of traction Shop Cosmic Dreams is getting – shipping to Australia and the Virgin Islands – Schell doesn’t see her small business slowing down anytime soon, especially as the holiday season approaches, she said. declared.
But she didn’t want it any other way.
“Art is my complete muse,” said Schell. “I struggle with anxiety a lot so doing art … it really helps me relax and not think about anything else and I can just think about the work and the art in front of me. “
Although Schell’s end goal is to work in music as a music producer, her art will remain a constant part of her life, and she will continue to be – like her Facebook page declares – “a resin queen living her cosmic dream.”
“I want to be a music producer but I don’t want to stop my art,” she said. “I like that it’s small and local so I want to keep that aspect, but wherever it takes me I won’t be angry. I don’t plan on quitting, I keep growing and it’s really great. . “