Woman who hit rock bottom after break-up now makes Sh5.6m a month from her bedroom
By Mirror | August 4th 2020
A woman has explained how she went from heartbreak to storming success in a year - despite coronavirus.
It's fair to say that for Michaela Morgan, 30, 2019 was a bad year.
She separated from her husband of seven years and within two weeks her dog, Dougie, had died.
"He was only three years old and had been battling cancer. I was on the floor at that point, just devastated,” Michaela told WalesOnline.
“I spent three weeks in bed," she said. "I just felt completely lost and without hope and hopelessness is the worst feeling in the world. It was a truly awful time but now I’m able to do something that makes me feel proud every day."
At her lowest ebb in 2019, Michaela didn’t want to leave the house and relatives would come over to sit with her to make sure she was all right.
But she had always been interested in art - making paintings and drawing for friends and relatives.
“I had always wanted to sell my art, oil paintings, portraits, that kind of thing," she said.
"I would do them for people I knew and for family members. But I never got anywhere with it in terms of starting up a business because I kept having to restart over and over again.”
But turning it into a business wasn't easy.
“I had started painting as much as possible but then realised that it was going to be really difficult to get my work printed," Michaela explained.
So to turn her passion into her day job she started to read: Self-help books, business books, any literature she could find on digital art.
"Because I kept reading so much about digital art I decided to give it a shot and got myself the equipment I needed to start.
“To be honest it was one of the most scary things I’ve ever done but you’ve got to trust yourself sometimes and go for it.
"Once I got the equipment I found that luckily I took to it like a duck to water.”
Michaela put her hands into her pocket to buy the software and the equipment she needed, then started creating – first by using a tablet used by artists called a Wacom and then by using an iPad Pro.
She began to create trendy and contemporary fashion art – the kind of pieces you would expect to find in a modern living room.
A lot of them focus on iconic brands such as Vogue, Prada, Chanel, and Christian Dior. It might be a print of a shop front, a stack of books, a handbag, a pair of shoes – anything really.
She launched her business just as Britain entered lockdown.
“I started thinking about the business in January so I put together a plan and started selling a few pieces to people I knew,” said Michaela.
“Then I started properly in March and created a website. To be honest with you it didn’t go that well to start with. The website wasn’t really doing anything, it was just there. But then it started to take off in April and it’s just grown since.”
Between the end of April and the end of July this year Michaela sold Sh16.3 million (£117,000)-worth of orders through her business, Mimo Arts.
She’s also amassed an Instagram following of more than 27,000 in that time.
Michaela's work can be ordered in anything from a simple print, a canvas, in a frame – it's then printed, framed and delivered to the customer by another firm.
“It’s really taken off – a company from Dubai have got in touch and asked me to create a design based around their perfume brand and I have a partnership with an American company which enables me to sell over there and elsewhere in the world," she said.
“This time last year I wasn’t really aware of digital art. I look back and think of all that time I spent wondering what to do with myself – I could have done this 10 years ago. It was just something I saw one day when someone said you can make a business for yourself from home and get another company to ship the items for you.
"It can be quite expensive depending on the product but if it’s something like a poster then it’s quite cheap to ship it out.”
The success is a testament to Michaela's talent, hard work, and refusal to let life beat her down.
“It’s not something that everyone can do I don’t think,” she said.
“I do work very hard. I would say over the last few months I’ve been working about 12 hours a day most days a week.
“It obviously requires more work in the beginning as well because at that stage you’re not quite there. At the moment I have so many ideas that I seem to be working all the time.”
But while not everyone has the talent to be an artist, that doesn't mean they can't use her example for something they have a passion for instead.
“I would love it if anyone took inspiration from what happened to me. I don’t mean specifically with art, I mean in anything that they just haven’t done yet," Michaela said.
"Anyone can do what they put their minds to – it’s all out there, you’ve just got to do it.”
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