The culture will fade away but The Standard forever remains! – Orianne Lunguma ‘I Am A Creative’ Series
Orianne Lunguma studied Journalism and Media at the University of Coventry. There she discovered her love for graphics, stationery and home interior design and began to use her gift to design graphics and products that expressed her faith in Christ.
After graduating Orianne launched the Creative Christian Store. She is currently planted and serving faithfully at Qadosh Kingdom Embassy London.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Orianne is also a Journalist, Content Creator & Social Media Strategist.
What are some of the important lessons you have learnt as an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted! There are so many lessons I have learnt and still learning until today. To name two; Firstly, as an entrepreneur you have to be consistent, that’s what establishes your brand and gives it a voice/platform. Secondly, investment is the secret to growth, a business in its early stages needs a lot of investment. Think of it like a planting a seed and watering (investing) it daily, making sure it receives sunlight (exposure) slowly but surely you’ll see it start to bud (profit). I’ve written an article that explores other lessons learnt in my journey so far, you can read it here: www.medium.com/ysys/6-things-ive-learnt-in-6-months-of-running-a-small-business-eaefc38a51f8
What has been the highlight of your business so far?
Good question! One of my highlights so far has been launching all the physical products, it’s been exciting watching digital concepts come to life.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted!
What influenced your decision to start this business?
Creative Christian Store was birthed with £0 to my name, literally! I had just graduated from university and moved back home to London and was looking for jobs. Just to give a brief back story, I love design and spend some time designing infographics and flyers for my church and some friends. One day after having some quiet time with the Lord, The Holy Spirit laid it on my heart to create a website with biblical typographics for people to purchase, eventually the concept grew and here we are with a range of products. I love how to me the idea seemed small but God had bigger plans.
Why makes your business stand out from similar businesses?
Our choice of style and design. CC takes a more minimalist approach to its products. We love the whole idea of less is more.
What does being a creative mean to you and what other ways (if any) apart from your business do you express creativity?
It means being able to invent or reinvent an existing concept or product in a new format; for example, musically, artistically, graphically etc. Creativity is vast and can be expressed in various way, some of the ways in which I express my creativity is in praise & worship, cooking, singing and many others.
What are the challenges you face in working full time and managing your own business and how have you overcome these challenges?
It has been a challenging experience so far! There are pro’s and con’s to this and I have witnessed some people manage this excellently. However, for some it is still one of the hardest dilemmas of adult life. Personally, I hope to someday pursue business full time but until then having a good work/life balance is necessary. There are times where I feel overwhelmed and I have to take a break from work or business. It’s so needed! It’s important to have that balance so that you’re able to rest and recharge.
You have new product designs coming out almost every other week. What influences your product and design process?
The Holy Spirit is what influences my products and design processes. There are times where I have had an idea for a product but I’ve not had any peace about it so I won’t go forward with it. There are times the Holy Spirit will drop ideas during a church service, during times of worship and praise and will have to quickly write it down or draw what I am seeing in my Spirit. Sometimes it can be at my desk at work or at home in my room. I always allow the Holy Spirit to form it on the inside of me before I birth it with my hands, like Mary, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit within her and she birthed the child in due time. The same applies to my designs, for example I’ve been designing the new intercessors notebook for a while now as I have been waiting on The Holy Spirit for inspiration, and we’re getting there.
Taking a break from work or business is needed! It is important to have the right balance.
Your products maintain a distinctly Christian identity, do you feel like this limits your clientele?
Good question! Personally, I don’t see it as limiting my clientele but as setting a standard! Yes, the brand and some products do appeal to more of a Christian niche but it isn’t exclusive. Also, I feel that over time some ‘Christian’ businesses or brands do drop The Standard (Christ Jesus) in order to appeal to a wider market. We see this a lot with some of our singers and rappers that announce that they are widening their genre to appeal to the masses. CC Store is different in that it aims to uphold The Standard in all our products and branding. We don’t want to fit in but we want to bear The Standard at all times. The culture will fade away but The Standard forever remains!
You have started or attempted to start other projects like ‘Unspoken FM’. What influences your decision on which projects to stick with and which projects/ideas to ignore or leave till later?
Timing is key! The Bible talks about there being a time under the sun for all things. The Bible also talks about God making everything perfect/beautiful in its time. The Bible also tells me that all things will work together for good to those who love The Lord and are called according to His purpose. That same Bible also tells me that before I build a house I must first count the cost. I say this to say that there are many factors to take into consideration when starting something and timing is one. Unspoken FM will forever have a special place in my heart, it was an idea the Holy Spirit placed in my heart whilst I was still at university, this was in 2015! It faced a lot of challenges at the time; completing university, working part time, funds, equipment etc. There was also a point where it was close to launching but another hurdle came up. I was gutted at the time but I trusted God and I still do. I’d rather continue to carry something until it is due than to birth something prematurely, because anything birthed prematurely will need life support or in worst case scenario will die. Over the years I have sought counsel, gathered the funds, purchased equipment and as we speak, Unspoken FM is still being worked on and in due time will be ready to meet the world!
The culture will fade away but the Standard forever remains.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Well in 5 years CC will be 6 years old! By then, I hope it will be international! I hope to see some of our products in some stores too! I also want CC to show support or sponsor charities and give back to the community. There’s more but these are my top three for now.
What current task or projects are you working on?
We’re currently looking to bring out some of our Home decor range as well as continuing to expand our stationery range with fresh designs. We are also looking to network with Christian businesses and show our support by helping with mail advertising, sponsoring and having pop up stalls at some events.
What are some of the things creatives like yourself struggle with and how can the Christian community better support creatives?
As a Creative Christian there are two main things I struggle with finding a community of young christian creatives and resources. There are communities for young christians in ministry, young christians in finance, young christians in marriage but a community of young christians in creativity I have yet discovered. Secondly, resources for creatives, in these communities it would be great if other young christian creatives could share resources whether it be manufactures, printers, suppliers, producers publishers or practical things like financial support or tips and counsel. This would be great.
Lastly, do you ever find yourself comparing your growth and progress to people in similar field? How have you dealt with this?
I must say half way through I did! I did find myself comparing myself to others but all it did was take away the joy. They say comparison is the thief of joy, and it stole alright! It stole the joy of the process, the joy of building and the joy of persevering. How I dealt with it? I used that feeling of comparison to propel me forward, not in way to prove myself to others, but in a way to inspire me to build in excellence, with excellence and to leave behind a legacy. Now when I look at others who are ahead of me in my field, I look at them inspired.
‘I am a creative’ series aims to challenge the pre-conceived idea of being a ‘creative’ through various content and interviews with young talented individuals. We showcase the different ways that creativity can be expressed whilst promoting and celebrating what creatives are doing. We discuss topics affecting young creatives and challenge people to identify and express the creative nature within them even in unconventional and counter cultural ways.
If you would like to provide content for this series, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on social media.