1. Tell us a bit about yourself….
I am a yellow-haired human living in a hobbit-like house in Derbyshire with a cat, a hedgehog, a child and a husband. I illustrate children's books and sometimes adult’s books and things like playing cards and jigsaw puzzles too. My husband, Jeff, and I work full time on our business together and we sell our own giftware range on Etsy and in our two high street shops. Some more facts about me are that I struggle to say the word ‘substitute’ and that I have a phobia of every bellybutton ever.
2. How did you get into the creative/greeting card industry?
Cards were one of the first things I listed when I opened my Etsy shop in 2014. At the time they were printed off at home with my inkjet printer named ‘Pete’.
3. What have been your biggest challenges to get to where you are today?
I have struggled with finding a healthier work/life balance. I think this is a common thing for small business owners as you want to, and at the start need to, put everything into your business. But it is an empowered moment when you realise that your non-work time is just as important. When your mind is quieter is often when the creativity flows the best.
4. What has been the proudest moment of your career?
It was definitely an emotional moment to receive a copy of one of my books with the dedication to my small human. I vividly remember reading books as a kid and wondering who the person was that the book was dedicated to. I can’t wait for Violet to understand her name is in it. She probably won’t care though, as she is being brought up to be outrageously sarcastic.
5. Do you have anyone or anything in mind when designing your cards?
Sometimes cards will be inspired by people I know. One of the best selling designs I’ve done is the ‘You are annoying, but I love you’ dinosaur card that has been going strong for years. That was *obviously* based on Jeff.
6. What is the best card you’ve ever been given?
The best card I have been given was a Valentine’s card from Jeff. We don’t normally make a fuss of Valentine’s day and he wrote a romantic message on the apple juice carton to make me laugh.
7. Which is your favourite card you ever designed and why?
Definitely my ‘Happy ‘Giving Birth’ Day card. After feeling the most intense rollercoaster of emotions in the run up to my daughter’s first birthday I noticed there was a gap in the market for a card to send to the mum on their child’s birthday. As, let’s face it, mothers put in a lot of the work to bring them earthside! And that deserves celebrating!
8. We love that so many of your cards are so relatable! If you had to pick ONE card that you most relate to which would it be and why?
Probably the ‘Allow yourself to have the motherf*cking nap’ design. I find naps help me to handle stress but I sometimes feel guilty when I manage to get a nap in. Which is so ridiculous. Naps are productive as you are refilling your tank of energy!
9. What do you love most about your job/brand?
I am so proud to have made a brand that encourages people to be their authentically weird self at 100% saturation.
10. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I never used to be able to put this into words before but I actually feel like emotions are the biggest source of inspiration for me. A lot of my designs tend to be about celebrating and radiating the uplifting feelings and also about accepting the tough emotions and allowing them to be felt rather than suppressed. I was one of those children who was labelled ‘too sensitive’ at school. And even until recent years I used to get frustrated by the fact that I seem to feel everything so intensely.
Now I have embraced my sensitivity and essentially turned it into a career which encourages other people to do just the same, and that feeling empowering!
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