Connecting to a business adviser at the SBDC can make the world of difference to any new business according to artistic business founder, Kym Gow.

“It is daunting starting out in a new business,” Kym said.

“I wish I'd known about what was on offer from the SBDC in the beginning.”

Colour Passion is an online business that provides high quality pigments and resin supplies to allow customers to create their own colourful creations. While based in WA, they target a worldwide clientele of retailers and crafters.

Growing a partnership organically from a shared passion

Kym has been an established artist for 10 years, commencing with acrylic painting and then progressing to oil which saw her learn and develop new skills. The self-taught artist’s production was such that in 2014 she leased a studio with fellow creators, broadened her skills and learned the art of picture framing.

The burgeoning business required a relocation in 2016 due to its expansion and used this as an opportunity to offer resin art workshops. It was the vibrant colour of the resins that Kym became so taken with.

“When I met Jacki Yates, it was a perfect match for a business partnership as we were both so passionate about anything with colour,” she said.

Fill your own product and service supply chain gaps

Kym started out teaching resin art directly to students, but quickly followed this by becoming a stockist of three of the products from the resin range that she used.

“The products were wonderful, however, I was very disappointed at the low level of service from the supply companies.”

“From this experience, we saw a gap in the market to produce and provide quality resin supplies to retailers and stockists, supported by sincere customer service,” explained Kym.

“So, we set out to offer a better mark up to enable stockists to be rewarded financially for their efforts and backed it up with the great service and support we would like to receive ourselves.”

Kym said that she and Jacki had the same philosophy and went forward to create their own range of amazing pigments designed for resin.

“Jacki had a focus on functional art and I on resin art, so we complemented each other,” she said.

“The successful pigment paste we stumbled on produced amazing results in our resin pours.”

Everyday networks can build brand awareness

Colour Passion products are distributed online, via the business’ website. In the competitive online world, it was important to drive the right customers to the website to purchase.

“I utilised everyone who came to our resin art workshops to get the word out there via social media about our products and brand to feed back to sales via the website,” Kym explained.

Photo of Kym Gow, owner of Colour Passion, measuring ingredients to make her high quality pigments and resin supplies.
Kym Gow's business, Colour Passion, creates high quality pigments and resin supplies.

Be adaptable to change

After the business had been running for some time, Kym realised that her business partner couldn’t continue her input due to the demands of her FIFO job, which led to Kym buying out Jacki’s share of the business.

“This decision has made it very difficult for me as I can no longer take any time away from the business,” she said.

“However, we remain wonderful friends and, in the future, she may return which would be amazing, otherwise I will consider other options that I have open to me.”

Listen to your head and not your heart

Kym said Colour Passion has a very extensive colour range which she now realises should have been smaller from the outset as it is difficult to keep up now that she is a sole operator.

“I drove this business out of pure passion rather than looking at it from a business sustainability perspective.”

“However, the most rewarding aspect has been the joy of seeing what our customers create with my products and knowing I played a part in it.”

“I love that I can personalise pigment colours for special clients and feel proud that we now ship worldwide to an international market.”

Change of tack for the future

Realising that a competitive marketing strategy is essential to compete for discretionary spending, Kym attended the SBDC’s Boost your Business: Building your Brand conference in 2022 to learn more about this important part of her business. Her future plan is to continue to build the business with the assistance of a new marketing plan that she has now outsourced to a local company.

“The cost-of-living crises has slowed sales in recent months so I am hoping a fresh new approach may help stimulate things a bit and perhaps see some new stockists come on board.” Kym said.

More information

If you would like to access information to start your business off on the right foot, the SBDC has a wide range of resources for you including:

You can also access a range of practical business workshops including our free Starting a Business workshop, and read more small business stories from other WA businesses.

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Small business stories
23 November 2023