FOUNDER SALTED STUDIO

JULIE

WITTEN-LAND

As a designer the choices I make have the responsibility to protect and recover the environment while enhancing people’s social well-being.

FOUNDER, SALTED STUDIO

JULIE WITTEN

LAND

As a designer the choices I make have the responsibility
to protect and recover the environment while enhancing
people’s social well-being.

ABOUT MEI am the face behind Salted Studio.
My name is Julie Witten Land and I am the Founder of  Salted Studio, a design Startup from Canada. Though I believe, good design should possess a reflective and relational qualities to ensure it’s permanence in our society -something a mass manufacturer can not provide; and so it is my passion to hand-craft designs of quality, detail and in limited editions; as to make each piece as unique and individual as it’s buyer.

STARTUP EXPERIENCE

WWW.SALTEDSTUDIO.COM
I started my company right after I graduated from University of Alberta with a Bachelors of Design Degree. I had made a product while in school that I then donated to my graduation silent art auction (to raise money for our grad show), the product I designed sold really well and I even had people asking me after the show was over to make them similar product. That is why I started making my ‘Jalopy Collection’- rusted hand-made steel boxes with a modern view of old into new. I then made these pieces in the University shop until I was forced to make them in my own little garage and now I finally have a larger, renovated, heated studio space to make my art (product).

THE JALOPY COLLECTION

BY JULIE WITTEN-LAND
It is a unique photographic series that captures the raw beauty of ageing cars and their colors; fused on exclusively designed ‘seasoned’ steel boxes – giving a modern-day view of old into new.
Why_Startup_Dynasty
Why_Startup_Dynasty
I started this art and design business out of demand. People liked my art product and wanted me to make them some. I realized after making many pieces in the University shop, that I could possibly make a business more full -time out selling my product, plus I would have the freedom of a flexible schedule so I could stay home with my “future” children. I had run a interior décor business prior to attending University, so it was quite natural for me to start working for myself. Lastly, the money and experience that I wanted out of this business. I had (have) a goal of getting back into the commercial interior décor business and this is a door that could lead me there.
Tell us the category you would place your startup in.
My startup business would be placed in the art and culture category. Or art and design category. Besides that some keywords that describe us are Art and Design, Innovative art products, Hand-made original art, Product design, Contemporary art and design by Julie Witten-Land, Distinctively different art and design.
What are the most successful ways you have found to drive traffic to your business?
To drive traffic to my business is definitely about getting out there. Getting my art product in front of people so they can actually know that I exist and fill a small market need for hand-made, unique, and somewhat “masculine” art.
I use my own website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram – though it is tough to maintain all these social media venues at a consistent bases and of quality input.
What is your past experience?
I owned and operated a commercial interior décor business, called ‘Interior Motifs Inc.’, where I manufactured Boston Pizza restaurant décor products for many of their locations across Canada. I would make all the pictures and artifacts that would hang on the walls or be placed on the shelves and then I would install all my product at different locations.
hardships_Startup_Dynasty
hardships_Startup_Dynasty
Many technical difficulties happened and continue to happen simply because of the industry I am in – printing. Printers are always changing, not very consistent and the technology needs changes as well. I had to find new printers a lot of the time, ones that could provide the product I need and the quality I need; this is tough for them, (to be consistent with quality) – this makes running my business very frustrating at times.
Production of my product could essentially be outsourced to someone else (while still keeping it hand-made), however; being in Alberta the labour market is paid quite high- to high for an art and design business to employ these other companies to make my product, so I still make each one by hand.

STORY & ADVICE

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pitch_Startup_Dynasty
If your looking for a unique innovative hand-made art piece, at an affordable price for yourself or as a gift, than I suggest looking at my website www.saltedstudio.com. You will find distinctively different contemporary art; from colorful old Jalopies – photographed into something funky and new; to graffiti walls sprayed with color and texture. All mounted on an exclusively designed hand-made steel box frame.
Which country and city is your startup based in?  
Edmonton, Canada but my working studio is located 25 minutes outside Edmonton in a small rural community called Ardrossan.
Have you received any funding from anywhere or are you self funded?  
NO funding but my own. I pay for equipment as I go, as I have the money saved (and I try to buy used equipment ). I took my studio in the original state of a simple shed like building (frame work with siding ,but no insulation and only a dirt floor) and brought it to a working warm studio filled with natural light from 4 extra windows, insulated garage doors, acid stained concert floor and an inferred heater. I paid for this as I made a profit from my sales.
Are you planning to expand? If yes then how?  
Yes, I plan on designing more art products to manufacture in limited batch production runs, from my studio in Ardrossan. I would like to move into larger pieces and also functional art (what I was trained in at University – furniture design). I might also try my hand back at commercial interior décor again (decorating restaurants, but this time with my own art work and not some mass produced companies art prints).
Do you have any competitor and how would you differentiate yourself from them?  
I have other photographers that I would call somewhat competitors, though my hand-made rusted steel box frame that I designed (and have Industrial Design Registered) makes the difference for me. Plus I photograph more industrial views and products; such as jalopies, where most other people photograph landscapes.
What are you most excited about at the moment?  
I am most existed about designing and making new product. When my children are in school full time and I have complete days to myself to create and invent art products – I will be in heaven : )
Where do you see your company in next 5 years?
I see my Jalopy Collection (the small car photographs on rusted steel boxes) in larger stores that buy big volumes. I see Urban Barn or Umbra selling my art products. I also see myself making larger mixed media art pieces (originals), selling for thousands not hundreds.
What advice would you give to the upcoming Entrepreneurs?
Fight! Fight to keep your dream alive! Be tenacious and don’t give into doubt. It takes a lot of work and many hours of yourself put into the business, but at the end of each day you get to realize that you are working the career “you” want to and only you can make it happen, just as only “you” are responsible for making it successful. It is a lot of weight and pressure at times, but the reward of being true to yourself and your passions is worth the work. To love what you do and make money at it – makes you a very blessed and fortunate person. Keep at it – doors will open up. And remember … success is not just about money, but doing what you love everyday.

Thank You Julie for inspiring us and for your efforts to Change The World for the betterment of all.

Startup Dynasty Member

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WE ALL ARE DIFFERENT IN A PERFECT WAY. TOGETHER WE MAKE STARTUP DYNASTY.

WE ALL ARE DIFFERENT IN A PERFECT WAY. TOGETHER WE MAKE STARTUP DYNASTY.

WE ALL ARE DIFFERENT IN A PERFECT WAY. TOGETHER WE MAKE STARTUP DYNASTY.

The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can Change the World, are the ones who DO.

STEVE JOBS

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