We had the good fortune of connecting with Gina Su and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gina, what do you attribute your success to?
This is a very good question because often times I’m still trying to figure it out… Am I considered successful? I think these are the types of thoughts that creep into every small business owner’s mind. It’s only when I take a step back and look at 2011 Ginably compared to 2020 Ginably, do I see a huge difference. One thing I think that has been imperative for success is having a clearly defined brand identity. I actually went through a re-branding process early this year it I feel like it’s made a world of a difference. When you have a clear direction, it helps customers find you and understand what you’re all about. And another plus side is looking more professional and put together when your packaging and products all fall within this brand identity. Early on when I first started, I experimented with all different types of illustrations and medias. I think the issue with that was nothing felt cohesive and you really didn’t know what Ginably was about. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say you can’t experiment or change up what you’re doing but when you think about the most recognizable brands in your life, you know what you go to them for and what kind of “look” they encompass. Having an identity also prevents you from overstretching yourself. You don’t have to be 10 different things. You just need to be great in your own space.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally, I always consider myself a newbie. Looking back on it though… it’s been 9 years! How crazy is that? It was very challenging in the beginning working out of my college dorm room. There was a lot of upfront capital I needed to spend to get going. I didn’t have the space for my own printer so I relied on 3rd party printers to help produce my artwork. And as with all new businesses, I was figuring out how to navigate the space. Which online market places should I join? Should I start doing markets? How often? I’ve met some wonderful creatives when I jumped into my first market. Some even owned their own store fronts and that’s how I got set up to sell in my first store. Networking really helps because I think the community is very supportive overall. So if someone is hosting an event, they will try and pull you in if you’re interested. Some of the biggest lessons I learned was that I did not have to branch into everything. It ended up costing a lot of resources and my brand identity was getting lost. I only needed to focus on what I was really passionate about. And that’s not to say you can’t branch out, but don’t try to spread yourself too thin! I ended up with a lot of one-off designs that I retired soon after because it didn’t fit in the image I wanted my brand to be. Ginably is a female run brand with floral stationary and whimsical prints. I think my art is unique to what is out there and it’s bright and colorful while maintaining a delicate vibe.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well this is an interesting question because you are asking a homebody! Since it is so hot in Houston most of the year, I would definitely take my friend to some fun places indoors. Without a doubt it would be the Museum district. You can spend the days visiting the Natural Science Museum and Fine Art Museum. And when you want to take a break, the Houston Zoo is right there. Herman Park is in the area and sometimes there are evening concerts or movie showings. For eating, everything is close by to Rice Village or the Heights. Now asking me to pick a restaurant is too difficult! It would depend on who I’m picking for! But know that there is no shortage of good eats there. I will say, I would most likely want to swing by Chinatown afterwards for some dessert or good bubble tea.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Firstly, my mom is to thank. She helped me figure out a lot of logistics in the early days and she really wanted to make sure everything was perfect my customers. She has always been very supportive and encouraging of my work. My sister would be my second biggest cheerleader; she loves having Ginably stuff all over! I also have to thank my husband for being a second me when I need it, whether it be setting up for shows, ringing up customers, packaging orders, or dropping off mail. He is my rock! Lastly, a shoutout to various friends who have come visited me at shows, showed support via my shop online, referred me to other friends, and even some who helped for markets! I feel so blessed and loved by those around me.