Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Medina.
Caroline, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Honestly, I never thought I’d be a small business owner. I’ve always loved attending alternative and horror conventions and really enjoyed supporting independent artists who would vend. Last summer, I was hanging out with my boyfriend and mutual friends, talking about Coven Weekend and some of the creators that would be attending. One of his friends told me, “Why don’t you just start a brand? You can slap a pumpkin or spooky on anything, and just sell it.”
I know he probably meant it as a joke, but it really lingered in my mind. I purchased my website domain and made an Instagram with the current company name, solely because I didn’t want anyone else to take it if I actually decided to pursue it. With the help of a few friends getting my logo done, Caffeinated Coven Co. was born in December of 2019.
I bought my iPad January of 2020 and started doing digital art then. I would just draw anything that came to mind and posted it on the Instagram page to gage interest. I had made so many friends through attending conventions, I was able to ask them for advice in regards to getting merchandise made. Stickers are definitely the easiest, so I knew that’s where I wanted to start. Surprisingly, having my regular day job put on hold due to COVID-19 really pushed me to create since I had so much time to do so.
I started quarantine at about 200 followers, and now I’m nearing 2,700. In June, I hosted a charity raffle (Creeps Unite for Human Rights) to raise money for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles in June and partnered with 20+ alternative and horror-themed creators to raise $13,000. I did not do it for publicity by any means – I really just wanted to raise money for the cause. Doing so did bring attention to my platform and my art. I pride myself on staying true to who I am and expressing myself through art. I’ve contributed pieces in support of sexual assault survivors, the Black Lives Matters movement, and in support of Augie’s Union. I know a lot of creators try not to get political, but I’ve always believed it was important to stand up for what I believe in. And I’ll continue to do so.
As my brand expands, I want to delve into different merchandise – I actually released my first enamel pin in July of this year, which was far sooner than I could have anticipated. I hope to bring other things to the table, such as phone grips, keychains, patches, totes, and shirts.
Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been easy. I constantly find myself comparing myself to others, especially when there is lulls in sales. I’m really hard on myself and feel guilty when I don’t have the motivation to create new designs. I am constantly tagging myself in art chains on Twitter, hoping to get noticed by new customers.
I constantly have to remind myself that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s okay to not always be productive. Alongside that, people may not be prioritizing purchasing art right now, or anything that isn’t a necessity.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Caffeinated Coven Co. story. Tell us more about the business.
Caffeinated Coven Co. is a Hispanic, woman-owned business. I’m the only person behind it – meaning I create the designs, write the thank you cards, pack and ship the orders all on my own. Although it can be incredibly time consuming, it’s worth it when a customer tags me on Instagram when they got their order.
I would say I am most known for my “Need More Coffee” design – it is definitely my bestseller and was the first design I made into an enamel pin. In regards to merchandise, I am most known for my stickers. Alongside that, I also sell prints and buttons!
My art is a labor of love and are inspired by my life. My “Anti-Dairy Club” design is dedicated to my sibling and my best friend, both who are lactose intolerant. The colors of the helmet in my “Punk on Wheels” design is inspired by my roller skating set up. Almost all the designs I create are a representation of something I love. I like to think my art style is just a collaboration of my personality – alternative, but the pastel color schemes represent my bubbly, shy personality.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In all honesty, my business has grown far more than I ever could have imagined within the past eight months. I think it’s fair to say I doubted my capabilities – I didn’t ever think it would grow to be as big as it is, or even become such a big part of my identity and my life. It’s brought me so much joy and I’ve been able to help so many people with the work I do.
When it’s safe again, I would love to start branching out and doing conventions. I’d love to bring apparel into my shop, as well as mugs.
Long term, I would love to sell my own line of coffee blends, and open a coffee shop.
- Stickers – $4
- Pins – $10
- Prints – $6
- Bundles – $10 – $12
- Buttons – $2
- Website: https://www.caffeinatedcovenco.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caffeinatedcovenco/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/caffeinatedcaro
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