CIC News

Cary Oliva Entrepreneur Profile

Posted by CIC Admin in on November 30, 2016

In an interview by Cville Niche, Cary Oliva described herself “super creative.” Indeed, Cary consistently looks for channels to express her creativity. While enjoying photography and fine arts, she also creates through functional art, or what she calls “the cool looking things with functions”. After moving back to Charlottesville’s art-loving community, Cary proactively sought opportunities to show her passion for art outside of her daily job. She started with creating greeting cards, and soon observed a great demand. She then took the leap of faith to build her own business, Bycary, and looked to continue creating functional art and expand her business.  

Cary taught herself business knowledge before entering CIC’s Entrepreneurship Workshop. Her passion for pursuing a career in art-related business motivated her to seek for a systematic course in entrepreneurship to further develop her business skills. Entering the workshop, Cary was slightly worried about repetitive knowledge. It didn’t take long for her to discover that “CIC’s workshop was formatted in a way that one could still learn” even if one has had previous experience in business.

The most useful lessons that Cary learned were break-even and financial management. Those lessons provided wonderful tools that helped her with pricing and her finances. In addition to the lectures, Cary absolutely valued the opportunity to share information, ideas, and experiences with her classmates at the workshop. She believes that those discussions allowed her to attain a higher level of learning as she was able to see concepts she learned from class play out in real business situations. Her biggest challenge was to implement all that she learned from the workshop because her time was mostly occupied by her job and business. However, she advises workshop participants to be strong-willed and to believe in themselves and their businesses.

Cary recently formed a partnership with an equally talented artist, Kathyrn Dale Barton, to build another creative business, Grow Your Own Roots. The business strives to bring deliberately designed goods to encourage the practice of thoughtful living to the customers.  For more information, check out the Grow Your Own Roots website.