Meet Diana and Sasha Layne, two sisters, business colleagues and entrepreneurs based in Canada who own, run, and manage their jewelry and accessory store; The Colour Polka Dot.
Originally established in 2015, Diana, the older sister, was intrigued by the style of decoden phone cases and begun to learn how to make some herself. Sasha Layne, her sister, at the same time, had begun sewing as a fun crafting hobby. The two decided that while they both enjoyed seeing each other’s new crafts, they would open an Etsy store as a way to showcase their very unique and trendy creations to the world.
“I do the phone cases, the mirrors and the resin items. My other jobs are packing and shipping items,” Diana, whom contributes the inspiration behind her designs to her education and interest in the Japanese language and culture, said with excitement. As for Sasha, who holds a degree in administration and considers herself the “organized” sister, she takes care of creating the sewing items and “anything we have to do on a computer.”
While the two sisters do not live together nor do they see each other a lot, they strive to make their collaborations for their company stress-free and full of mutual communication. They achieve this by dividing up tasks that each sister would like to complete, with Diana sharing most of the load when it comes to set up for conventions. “I am in charge of set ups and networking with other artists. Throughout the year I work on the perfect set ups for work and we’re both tired and annoyed with each other. But we usually counter this with a quick talk and say, ‘hey, let’s go get some Chinese food or something.’ As soon as we’re done, we’re back to being friends again.”
Their crafts take a while to make, and the ladies are dedicated to perfecting their artworks for potential customers. With the ladies creating custom items as well as decorating glasses frames, necklaces, lanyards, earrings, hair pins and accessories and the everyday management of a business, they have looked for ways to expedite their creation time with extra supplies. “It can take all day to make a resin item. Lucky for us, we have multiple molds that can produce more than one item,” Diana shared. The ladies plan ahead and accordingly and take notes on popular items that will need to be replenished; “We usually sell a lot of chokers at conventions, so in early July I make as many as I can daily,” Sasha shared.
The sisters have presented their creations at big conventions in Canada such as Otakuthon, a convention famous for celebrating Japanese anime, art and culture. “One of the best feelings is having people you know drop by your booth and see how busy it is,” they both explained. “Conventions are our favorite time of the year. I am naturally good at talking and networking so I always enjoy getting customers to buy our products,” Diana shared.
One piece of design the ladies admire is from their 2020 most popular item called “F*** Racism” keychain, which was created amidst the murder of George Floyd. “(The keychain) was inspired by someone asking us to make a custom keychain and we decided to (keep) going with that because it fit. When we finished, we had two extras, and everyone wanted them, so we made more, and they sold out quickly. It was so exciting. We’ve never had this much attention in our store,” Diana explained.