What inspired the name of your business?
My name is Lana and Betty was my childhood cat. She was a majestic creature, full of intrigue and caring. She and I were the best of friends. When it came time to create an email for myself in high school, and back then we were discouraged from using our last names, because, "what if someone could find you / the internet was a dark and mysterious place" I picked LanaBetty as my email.
Fast forward a couple years to when I wanted to create a business, there were no facebook pages, no instagram, nothing. I didn't need a website at the time, just a way for people to get in touch. Why change what I had? I just went forward with my email address at the time.
And now, it's become so much more than that. Betty is a representation of all things design. Combined, LanaBetty focuses on contemporary design, elegant materials, and jaw dropping gemstones. What will LanaBetty stand for in the future? I'm excited to find out!
What is the story behind why you started your business?
I started LanaBetty because I needed more. I was a fresh college graduate and had recently entered the workforce - as a quality technician with an Okanagan Winery (I learned so much about wine and manufacturing). After the initial blast of learning to perform my day-to-day job tasks, I felt like I had fallen short. I was used to the overwhelming and fast pace of university. Deadlines. Events. Working tirelessly into the evening... every day. I started LanaBetty to challenge myself, to learn new skills, and ultimately to make beautiful jewelry for others to feel good about themselves too.
What is the dream that you wish to fund through your business?
In 2015 I finally took the leap (or maybe I was pushed) into full-time. It was a terrifying jump, but looking back, it was the best thing at the best time that could have happened to me. Instead of closing the door on my creative outlet, I threw everything I had at it (emotionally and physically). Four years later I'm here, I'm proud, and I'm still growing. My business has become my livelihood. I pay my bills with it and am excited to be contributing to my community by hiring help as well!
The best part about all of this growth is being able to give back. This spring I created a "feminist" necklace with the intention of giving back. A portion profit from each necklace sold is donated to the Women's Health Collective (WHC) here in Vancouver.
The WHC is a non-profit women's organization servicing the Vancouver Community since 1971. Their goal, is to help self-identified women foster health, wellness and equity through feminist approaches to advocacy, shared knowledge and low-barrier programs and services.
What are you most proud of about your business?
I love how I have been able to use my business to connect with other amazing creatives in our community and work to empower my clients and share my love of jewelry with the world. I am proud of how far I've come and excited to see how I will continue to grow LanaBetty.
How have you grown as a person as a result of your business?
I have certainly grown so much! I have a much deeper appreciation for small businesses, female entrepreneurship, and all things design. When you run a small business, it's often cost-prohibitive to hire tasks out or to work with design firms for branding. As a result, I have LOVED learning graphic design, website development, SEO, and social media management. When LanaBetty slows down (in the summer and briefly in January), I often work with other creatives to update their websites, branding, one-on-one coaching, and I manage several accounts. I just love it.
What difference does your art make in your life, and your family’s life?
Being a part of the small business community and even more smaller handmade community has certainly opened our eyes to the massive amount of overhead small businesses carry and how big the margins are for big-box-stores. Wherever possible, we avoid large stores and prefer to shop small/local. The costs might be higher, but it gives us peace of mind knowing our dollars are going direct to pay mortgages and school tuition and being fed directly back into our community.
If you could say one thing to the person that buys and/or enjoys your art, what would it be?
Really and truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am so very proud of my work and the quality of my products and it just means so much that because of my clients I am able to continue my craft in this amazing city.
Why do you love being a part of Giving Gifts?
Speaking of community, I love being a part of Giving Gifts because of the vital role they play in connecting LanaBetty with their community. It gives me the opportunity to reach customers I might not otherwise be able to connect with and I just love how supportive they are of small business!
Why we love having LanaBetty at Giving Gifts
Lana's jewelry is fun, fresh and modern and we love the fun designs of her enamel pins and geometric jewelry. She has great diversity in her line, from subtle and elegant to funky and bold. We also love how she's able to recently give to the Women's Health Collective!