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Artist Story: Holly Benna of By Holly Bee

Artist Story: Holly Benna of By Holly Bee

Where did the name of your business come from?

One of the first sketchbooks I ever made as a gift for someone had a bumblebee on the cover. That design has stuck with me, because bees are so closely connected with the beauty of nature, are resilient, and play such a critical role in holding the environment in balance, so I wanted to include them somehow in the name of my business. It was convenient that my last initial is B.

By Holly Bee

What is the story behind why you started your business?

I've been passionate about art for as long as I can remember, always doodling in the margins of notebooks, striving to be creative in every aspect of my life. I have been giving sketchbooks and artwork as gifts to friends for years, but it is only recently that I began selling them as a way to raise money for a trip to Cambodia in July. I'll be volunteering at Shalom Valley Summer Camp for 2 weeks and I couldn't be more excited. This all started simply as a way to fundraise for a trip, but has grown into something I never thought possible.

What is the dream that you wish to fund through your business?

My absolute favourite thing about the art that I make in the form of these sketchbooks is that I get to be creative in how I design the covers, but also whoever buys them gets to be creative too! I love seeing how people choose to fill the pages, with drawings, paintings, stories, poetry, or even their biology notes. So I guess the dream that I wish to fund is simply to inspire others to be creative in their own lives, and to work toward accomplishing their own dreams and goals.

Sketchbooks By Holly Bee

How have you grown as a person as a result of your business?

I have learned so much about myself in the past few months, and grown in ways I never could have imagined. As I've embarked on this rollercoaster of starting a business, I'd say the main thing I've learned is that any fears of failure that I had couldn't stand a chance against the love and support of the art community in Vancouver. With that support and a little bit of courage, I've realized that anything is possible.

What are you most proud of about your business?

I'm proud of the fact that no matter how much this business grows, I'll always put just as much love and care into each sketchbook, drawing the designs by hand and making sure each is unique, holding it's own story. I'm also so proud of, and incredibly grateful for, all the connections and friendships I've made since entering this world of entrepreneurship.

Sketchbook By Holly Bee

What difference does your art make in your life, and your family’s life?

My artwork has always been a way for me to be intentional about noticing the beauty of nature that I'm surrounded by, living in BC. It has always been a practice of observation and conscious gratitude for the fact that I get to live in such an incredible place. The trees, mountains and wildlife I see on a daily basis are my main source of inspiration for my artwork, and I hope that this can inspire others to create as well!

If you could say one thing to the person that buys and/or enjoys your art, what would it be?

I'd love to say people who enjoy my art, thank you so much!!! Without your support this wouldn't be possible, and I hope you are continually finding inspiration to be creative in your own life.

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