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Y O B : Sherrill Defoe of DEFOE STUDIO

jenpen.studio - April 26, 2016 - 2 comments

Hi folks, I’m back with another awesome interview with a very talented young woman. She’s only 25, but already knows what she wants and where she’s heading. Let me introduce to you Sherrill Defoe of DEFOE STUDIO. I found her through, what do you think…what else….INSTAGRAM!! And I really love her drawings. After finding out she was from the island, but living in the Netherlands was even more amazing. I contacted her through her account on Instagram and found out she was on the island and of course I took advantage of the opportunity and asked her if she would be interested in an interview for my little ol’ blog. She said yes and eventually I also bought a print from her. I mean, I’m all about supporting the small business owners. But let’s take a good look at this 25 young gal.


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DEFOE STUDIO, what’s the idea behind the name and what is DEFOE STUDIO all about?
Okay, so my last name is Defoe and I choose to put Studio at the end, because due to the endless possibilities. I’m a creative person, so if I ever decide someday in the future to, for example start baking, I can do this also under the studio name. Right now I’m focused on my art. That’s what it’s all about. So, on my site you can find original paintings, but also other merchandise like shirts and mugs with my art printed on them. This is what you can find in my studio. Hence the name “Defoe Studio”

And what’s it all about? Well, it’s all about women. I’m planning on drawing men, or houses or plants or whatever any time soon. I really enjoy drawing women and secretly showing women empowerment. That is shown in my drawings. The women I draw all have an attitude and I think that is what makes them so popular.

Why did you decide to start a business of your own?
I  didn’t really decide to start a business. It just kind of happened. When I was finishing my college degree Facility Management, I had a hard time finding an internship. So I was basically at home for 6 months due to not applying for internship on time. So I started to draw. I always loved drawing, so I just started to draw. I had paper and paint at home and I just started making good use of my time. I later posted the images on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of great reactions. People kept telling me that I should try to sell my paintings. So, I kept posting more and decided to start selling them also. I started to pain on canvas too.

I knew which hashtags were popular under women with natural hair. So I made sure to use them when posting my art on Instagram. This led to a majority of my customers being from the states. Eventually PayPal asked me where I’m getting all this money from. It seems they only allow you a certain amount of cash without having to report it for tax. And I was surpassing that amount. So I asked myself the question; make this a legit business and keep selling or just quit? The answer was making it a legit business. So as of May 2015 Defoe Studio is a registered business at the chamber of commerce in Holland (the Netherlands).

What are some of the high and low points of starting your own business?
My high point is the fact that I can wake up on a Wednesday morning at 8 or 10, take a shower and just hang around at home. Work on my business without having to report to anyone. Of course if you have a deadline for a client, that’s another story. But I really love the freedom that I have to plan my day. And that is something I find extremely awesome.
Low pint sometimes can be the thought of “what if”. What if nobody buys my products? When you have a steady job you get your salary at the end of the month, but when you’re own boss, that’s a different story. So, it can be somewhat scary at times.
What is your greatest achievement until now? 
Nothing “big” really happened yet. It sounds cliche, but every time I get an email from Etsy stating that somebody bought one of my products. I’m still very in awe when somebody is interested in my stuff. I’m like really?! This person is interested in hanging my stuff on their wall? Or wearing something I designed? Like last month someone in Tokyo bought 4 of my prints. That’s pretty awesome.


Where do you get your inspiration?
Mostly from fashion magazines, Instagram, Pinterest, photo-shoots, fashion editorials from Elle, Vogue etc. I’ve never been to a shoot before though. It’s not like I can just barge in and enjoy the show, but I’m working on that part. I have so many ideas and sometimes I don’t know where to start, but I’m going to get there.



What advice can you give to those who would like to be part of the YOB club? 
This may sound strange, but don’t let everyone in on your dreams. People have the tendency to discourage you when you have a different way of thinking than what they are a custom to. In our society it’s very normal that you get encouraged to go after that 9 to 5 job. The creative minds and jobs are usually looked down upon. So just work very hard and don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. If you have a dream in your heart, pursue it.

So, that was the interview with Sherrill Defoe of DEFOE Studio. I hope she inspires you to follow your dream and make it a goal, when a situation in life changes everything. She eventually didn’t finish the school, but right now she’s doing very well and if anything would go wrong she can always go back to finish it up or something else. 
For more information about DEFOE Studio, see below:

Instagram: /defoestudio

Styling and Photography done by JenPEN Creative Studio

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