Prevea Original Art & Imports is my home business. It began as a way to write off some expenses when we were traveling. Born from our love of travel , Prevea has grown into a full blown lifestyle transformation. This summer, July 1st, 2012 to be exact, I quit my job working for someone else to work for myself. Turns out working for myself is just one of many perks of working this little home business turned career change.
Baynes Lake Farmers Market
Prevea Original Art & Imports opened August 2001 as a store on Ebay. We sold travel purses, messenger bags, pareos (sarongs) and shell jewellery from Hawaii. Inspired by International Living Magazine and our love of Hawaii and shopping at the Aloha Stadium Swap meet we bought the bags, pareos and jewellery thinking we could sell them at home, make a little profit and write off expenses from our trip. We made a few business connections that first buying trip to the Aloha Stadium. Having visited the Aloha Stadium Swap meet at least 2 or 3 times every time we went to Oahu we had a good idea who had the best price and selection of the merchandise we wanted to sell of the 700 vendors there.Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
In 2005, after our move to Cranbrook, we decided to take Prevea further than the Ebay store. We learned of a popular little market near Lake Kookanusa and surrounding camp grounds called Baynes Lake Farmers Market. Given the location we thought we could sell a lot of our beach style merchandise. We were right! The little market on Saturday mornings from 9am to 12:30pm turned out to be a nice little money maker to fund more travel! It also gave us a bit of a supply chain problem, a good problem to have as a small business owner I might add. We added more art and photography of Robs to the store courtesy of Robs creative passion and a large format giclee printer we purchased for the business. We set up a replenishment shipping schedule with a great Hawaiian business for our apparel imports and our little business continued to grow.
Now back in Calgary and with a lot more travel and market experience under our belts Prevea is changing again. The import side of our business is really seasonal (summery) so we needed products to take us through fall, winter and spring. For these colder months Prevea will be more about Robs art and creativity spawning a new brand, Daemontown (our little ghost in the machine). This brand was born of our dream to make a living from a laptop. The ultimate in travel freedom. We opened a new store today on Zazzel to sell Robs art on apparel and just about anything else you can print on! We will continue to do markets, trade shows, fairs and art shows in and around Calgary until we begin our South American adventure September 2013.
This has truly been Preveas best summer yet. Not only in sales, which were awesome! More supply chain problems, but valuable lessons for next summers inventory schedule. I have never enjoyed my work more and been so happy with my life. I can only say my joy comes from the freedom I feel. The freedom to be with my family and better know my son and the freedom to take charge of my families financial destiny. We have so many people to thank including our amazing family for their support and the roof over our heads this summer. Thank you Alberta and especially Calgary with all your community farmers markets giving us a travelling storefront to showcase our products. Also all of the great Market Managers that made us feel so welcome. Last, but definitely not least, a special thank you to all of our beautiful loyal customers.
I am so glad we took this major step forward for our travel lifestyle plan. This will be another “What if” in the tale Rob and Tracey that worked out better than we had dreamed.