Charlotte Cannon is the artist behind The Vintage Vogue, a shop that offers modern, handmade home goods in Baltimore.
In college Charlotte studied Interior Architecture and Design, but stepping into the “real world” of architecture left her longing to touch, hold, make. In an effort to be based at home for the sake of her family as well as a desire to start to create again, she started The Vintage Vogue.
Read on for more about her endeavor to create things of beauty, simplicity, and craft.
In the beginning, how did you attract your first good clients/customers?
My focus in the early days was always photography. Instagram had not yet exploded into existence, but I knew I could gain a considerable amount of traction by appealing to blogs always looking for content / attractive photography. It was slow going at first, getting my name out there. But eventually I was picked up by several well-known design blogs, meanwhile, my accounts with wholesale buyers also increased.
Do you have any tips for being your most productive?
I've never been a morning person. I feel like there's this assumption out there that in order to be successful at business you must be a morning person. I found that it's best to listen to when your body comes alive creatively. For me, it's prrrrrrretty late. Like 5 or 6 at night. I don't shy away from admitting that now. While I start working around 10am, I do everything that doesn't require too much thinking in the mornings, then save myself for the afternoon and evening. I try to recognize what makes me me, and what truly works for me, so finding my own rhythm while accepting that I'm not without considerable force a morning person, is one of those things.
"I try to recognize what makes me me, and what truly works for me"
What has been your greatest struggle as a freelance creative so far?
Not getting burned out. Some of the items I make are fairly repetitive. It helps to take breaks, introduce new items, and play something to help get my mind in the zone.
What is your favorite thing about working for yourself?
Freedom. Scheduling freedom is the single most important reason I do what I do. I have the freedom to be as involved with my kids and their activities as I need. Also, when the burn out comes, I am free to step back, take a break, and recoup.
You recently collaborated with Madewell and Food52, congrats! Is there anyone else that you've been dreaming of collaborating with?
Thank you! I really enjoy working for little guys. I'm a sucker for cute boutique shops where you know the owner and stop in and visit regularly. I'd love to continue with these types of partnerships. I have accounts overseas as well, but would love to see that grow.
Do you have any tips for dealing with the nitty-gritty business details?
Ask for help as often as possible. Do a bit every month so it's not overwhelming come tax time. As Queen Victoria once said, "Just close your eyes and think of England."
How do you stay creatively inspired?
I'm surrounded by a great community of creatives. We talk often and share our successes and experiences. Knowing that others have your back, are rooting for you, and care about you really helps keep that creative fire stoked.
Since you are your own boss, do you have any advice for maintaining a work-life balance?
Currently failing at that. Please submit any and all suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 3 greatest attributes you need to be a freelance creative are:
Creativity, drive, kindness.