There are many ways to look at every situation that life throws your way. No matter what the situation is, I almost always choose to grab life by the horns and go for it, or at least that’s what I would like to think. I’m getting better at not hearing the criticism (most of which I make up in my own head). I feel like the harder I work, the less time I have to believe the negativity I make up in my head. I have ideas. Some good and some horrible. So many that on any given night, I might not be able to fall asleep because a.) I either drank way too much caffeine at a late hour, b.) I’m writing down all of the ideas so I don’t forget the good ones in the morning, c.) all of the above, or d.) I love coffee. For those of you who chose c or d, you’re correct.
Having a business is undeniably hard. Especially at the age of 23, but I don’t like to pull that card often anymore. I actually came to the realization that I’m pumped I started this thing fresh out of college because I was/am broke, and naive. I had to learn how to make a profit without a lot of funds. It forces me to be extremely creative, and teach myself things (aka google things). It taught me how to network and tell other people what I wanted to be doing, but most of all, being young helped me stay incredibly hungry. It took me awhile to get used to the word “no” but after a while of hearing it, or hearing crickets, that one “YES” sounds heavenly and it looks like a 23-year-old dancing around her apartment. So now I’m going to attempt to tell you why I haven’t been around this blog much lately.
Let’s see here, this is what I’ve been up to…6 8×10″ custom illustrations, 2 pop up shops, packaging my first wholesale orders, figuring out how the heck to wholesale my products and price them at a wholesale price, more research on letterpress printing companies, lots and lots of product development and at the end of all that I went on a much enjoyed vacation. Let’s just say, blogging didn’t fit in anywhere in my agenda and it temporarily needed to go. I absolutely love writing and I missed it so I hope you’ll read my blog again if I promise to write it again…which I do.
While I was gone a lot of exciting things happened and I’m so excited to share them!! I started wholesaling my products with a boutique in NE Minneapolis called Primrose Park. If you’re local you must check it out, it’s the cutest and they support small business like mine, which is truly the best when small biz’s support other small businesses…that’s what I’m all about. I also started selling my products in a store in Newport, Rhode Island called Egg and Dart. I’ll soon have a few products in their sister store called Beautiful Wife located in LA. I don’t know them personally but they are the absolute coolest because I randomly “cold” emailed her and she replied within seconds of getting my email and looking at my shop. If there was one moment that I wanted to cry happy tears…that was it. It is an absolute dream to have my artwork and products in places I have never been sold by people I’ve never met.
I’ve had almost no time to draw for my personal collection because of customs and product development type stuff which I actually really enjoy doing. I’m brainstorming and researching ways to come up with better packaging because some problems have come to the surface at pop-up shops that I’ve had. It’s funny the problems that come up when you’re selling in person versus online. People really speak their mind in person and it’s scary but you also get valuable feedback (that you didn’t ask for) that you don’t get selling through an e-commerce site. I’m developing luggage tags (they’re so cute and almost done), gift tags, coasters, to-do lists, gold foil-stamped cards and more notecards. This all might take me 5 years (I’m serious). I did finally come out with a line of new cases that are slowly but surely making their way into my shop and there are select designs for the iphone 6 and 6 plus cases available.
I’m so beyond excited for 2015 because I’m refreshed and just back from vacation where I did absolutely nothing and I have some unbelievable opportunities on my plate. During the first couple months of the new year, I’ll be working on a branding project for Urban Undercover, a small business I’ve connected with through pop-up shops. I swear by their underwear so I’m very exciting to bring their vision to life through my illustrations. This will be an amazing challenge for me to put together many different products with a cohesive vision for their brand. This is what I went to school for (kind of) and it makes me giddy just thinking about it. I will also be working with an advertising agency based in NY as a brand ambassador and stylist for a brand they’re working with. I can’t share quite yet for what but let’s just say it is a dream job for me.
Okay, so after all of that I’m feeling quite accomplished so if you’re not feeling good about your life, I suggest you write out what you’ve done for the past month and a half. I hope you will continue to follow along with my business successes and failures. Usually I share failures here so this post hopefully can balance out the last 100 posts where I’ve written about all of the failures! Finally.
SEARCH THE SITE
I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.