Amelie makes Money for Madagascar the arty way

Year 13 student Amelie Rajaona-Horne is an entrepreneurial creative who made the most of lockdown by starting up a small card-making business. 10% of the money raised from the sale of her original hand painted cards goes to the Charity 'Money for Madagascar' too. Read more here... #aspire24/7

How did this idea come about Amelie?

I just started off during lockdown when I had a lot of time, my GCSE exams had been cancelled I thought I would start to make a few cards. I had already done my Art GCSE practical and liked watercolour painting so I just made a few for friends and family to sort of cheer them up when you can’t see people and send round a bit of encouragement. They were quite simple things, floral themed, water-based artwork. A few people got back to me and said they thought they looked like shop-bought artwork and I could really do these and make some money. I started off using some odd pieces of cartridge paper I had around the house then pushed the boat out with better quality card, ready scored. Then Amelieink was born!

These are really lovely and they look very commercial. Did you approach any galleries or shops and how do you sell them?

Once there was more appetite for them and generating bigger orders like 100 or so I just thought I needed to get them printed as it just wasn’t viable to hand-paint them all although I do prefer the look of them hand-painted but I just don’t have time to do them all.

I went about looking to see how I could get them printed. 10% of the money goes towards the charity Money for Madagascar of which my mum is a Director and I was born in Madagascar and I lived there until I was 4. I can remember, after pre-school I would go to the Children’s Home that my Grandparents ran and I would hang out with all the children there. That was something that was obviously quite personal to me so I thought it would be a nice way to give a little bit back. Its not a lot but everything counts.

I got them printed and it took me a while to get used to how they came out, I found the ones that sold best at first were paintings of pictures rather than abstract designs . These actually took longer to paint but once duplicated/printed made it viable. I started a small Instagram and linked it to my main account @amelieink_shop. From this I got some larger orders and I made contacts with someone who sells cards for the charity too so he bought some and sold them too. My best friends Mum also helped me by taking cards around shops in Garstang. If I was to do this full on properly I would start an etsy account.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I have enjoyed my Art A level and am looking forward to undertaking an Art Foundation Diploma at Cardinal Newman for a year. It’s hard to know what direction to go in when choosing art disciplines so I want to try a few things to be able to make the right choice which may give me the option to have a year in industry or year abroad to keep options open. I am hoping my English Literature A level will also compliment any future Arts studies.

I went to look around a few University courses last year to get a feel for it but hoping the foundation year will help me decide.

We are really excited about Amelie’s ambitions and she has the motivation, creativity and entrepreneurial skill to push forward. We look forward to seeing more of her artwork in the future. If you are interested in her work please follow @amelieink_shop on instagram!