Wednesday 27 March 2013

2 Inspire Business Profile: Cezanne Poetess

Cezanne Poetess is a Self-taught Visual & Spoken Word Artist, and Author of the Self-help novel ‘Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual!’ which features her artwork and poetry. Her work is a creative expression of her spiritual journey. Cezanne exhibited her artwork and performed some of her poetry at the "Celebrating the creativity of women" Ladies day in March.


 Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

I typically wake up around 4am and after doing a short meditation, will start work, which will generally be writing.  I do a lot more writing than artwork!  By 11am I’m normally finished working, although if I’m doing online promotions, I’ll do it around lunchtime, evenings or weekends. My days vary greatly; sometimes I go to the park first thing in the morning before starting any work.  If I have meetings to attend, I’ll normally have them in the afternoon, and by 6pm my working day is normally complete, unless I’m out performing! (in which case, I’ll have a nap in the afternoon!)

What made you start the business and how did you get started?

I have a passion for ‘my people’, and wanted to create products that would have a positive effect on their psyche.  There are so many negative images out there, which cause us to think and act in ways contrary to our true nature.  My work is to re-mind us of who we are through my books, art and poetry.

I’ve been told that if I just target my products to Black people, I won’t make much money, but I have a strong conviction about who my target market is, and why I create my products.

It’s been a long uphill struggle; I wrote my first business plan in 2001 but I’m only just beginning to start trading!  I did the paintings between 2009/10, wrote and recorded the poetry between 2004/10, and wrote my Self-help novel ‘Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual!’ between 2010/12.  It was only during the process of writing the novel that I realised my artwork and poetry could be used to illustrate the story!  All my work is finally coming together!  (That’s the beauty of being led by the Spirit)

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

I would have to say publishing my first book.  That was such a great achievement for me as I have written numerous books before, but never published them!  I have yet to give it an ISBN number to make it official, but its available from Lulu as a paperback, and from Amazon as e-books.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

As with most small businesses, raising finance has been my biggest challenge.  But I have managed to publish my book with no capital, set up my websites for very little money, and most of the marketing and promotions I’ve done so far have been free.  Once I’m receiving regular income from the sales of my products, I’ll be able to take my business to the next level.

What are your future plans for the business?

My goal is to expand the range of inspirational Black greeting cards and prints using artwork and poetry from other ‘artisans’ of African descent (skilled craftspeople who make things by hand). I’m also starting a monthly Cultural Arts & Crafts Fair where we (the artisans) will be able to showcase our work, and which will be a one-stop-shop for the public to buy quality handmade African-inspired products.

I will also be performing my poetry and selling my products at various Events, for details visit:

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d probably go to University to study Business Management!  Being a creative person, that side of the business doesn’t interest me much.  Now ideally, I’d have a business partner who could deal that side of things so I can carry on doing what I do best – creating!

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

I decided to start my own business after the birth of my second son, as I wanted to work around them.  Once you have children, your priority is no longer with your boss, but your children.  Owning your own business gives you the flexibility to work hours that suits you, and you don’t have to ask anyone for time off to go see your child’s school play!

Many women are now putting off starting a family while building their ‘career’, only to realise that they may have left it too late. 

Being able to work from home should be every woman’s dream!

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Do as much research on the industry as possible before starting your business; ideally, work for a business that is already set up doing what you want to do!  This way, you’ll gain valuable experience and avoid making costly mistakes.  Start off small and build up, don’t give yourself unnecessary stress by taking out too many overheads before you know how much money you’ll actually be making.

  What or who inspires you in business and why?

I love the ‘rags to riches’ stories of people who had little education, little money, but who have defied the odds, started their own business and are now Self-made millionaires! (that’s my goal!)

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve – I can CREATE whatever I can IMAGINE!”

For more information about my Self-help novel which features my artwork and poetry visit:

Cezanne (artist/poet/author)

Read the first chapter of my Self-help novel 'Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual' FREE:
Listen to tracks from its complimentary poetry CD 'Seeds of Love'

Find out where I'll be performing next:

Learn about the colours and symbolism used in my artwork

Follow me on Twitter!/CezannePoetess

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