Tell us about yourself. Who you are, where you live and a
little bit about you and what you do in your spare time.|
I am Laura and a graphic designer. I am currently on the look out for a full time career as a designer but in the
meantime I manage and create for my online shop, edit a local parish magazine and work as an art technician for a textile and design course at a vocation centre, which I love. I live with my parents, sister and Angus the cat who adopted us. All my items in my shop are created from my bedroom or the dining room table (when my dad is out, hehe), until I can find a perfectly little studio.
What do you make?
I use my illustrations to create jewellery and homewares. I started creating costume jewellery but I am currently expanding to use my illustrations over a number of products and I am always on the look out to make different things to suit different people and the way they live.
How & when did you get started designing & making?
As a designer in general I have always played around with crafts ever since I was small, but the seed that has helped me grow into what I am currently doing was some months after I graduated in 2008 when I started creating costume jewellery. It has obviously been a difficult time looking for any kind of work and so I started to occupy my free time creating jewellery from all sorts of buttons and old jewellery I already owned.
I then got myself involved in craft forums where I absorbed lots of advice about creating and selling and so my confidents grew. After some researching I experimented with using my drawings to create jewellery, after all I am a designer and illustrator and it is probably a good idea to use my skills.
What venues / websites do you sell from?
My favourite place to sell is Folksy. I have tried Etsy and a Mr Site website package too but never really got on with the later as much as Folksy. Folksy is new and is still growing but I am pleased that I am part of that movement.
Everybody is very friendly on there and we are always helping each other out with advice. It’s like a big family.
I have never had any experience of marketing before, but I have now tried lots of different things especially online,
but my favourites are blogging and twitter. I don't like to be pushy I just like to find new people who I can chat to and get involved with the crafting community.
Also having a branding which is painted all over my shops, items and packaging is also a massive help and I
believe sets everyone apart from other designers to keep yourself recognizable and the personal touches keep the customers happy.
What / who inspires your work?
Being online has introduced me to so many fabulous designers it is hard to choose a few but I am always checking out Skinny La Minx’s blog and shop, Lu Summers and Kate Gabrielle who “flapper doodle� range I absolutely love. I am also inspired by brands like Lazy Oaf and Lady Luck Rules ok, because they successfully use their illustration talent over a wide variety of products for their shops, which is what I aim for.
From a more traditional point I am a massive fan of Henry Matisse’s paper cut out’s, his later work he made when he was about 70 and the great designer Alan Fletcher.
What are your plans for She Draws for the next 12 months?
Well I have literally just had a name change and a bit of a makeover including many new products, which I have been screen printing and so this is mainly my plan for next 12 months both as a small business and creatively.
Despite many folks liking my original name, Glue & Glitter, it was time for a change because my shop has evolved so much and having a new name has given me a better focus to what I am actually making and where it is going. I haven’t changed my branding too much, but improved it slightly and it has also given me chance to kick out some of the less successful designs and make room more new ones.
I have also expanded my items to greeting cards, notebooks, new bags and kitchen linens. This is just the start as I have many more things to make! I had to teach myself to screen print again as I hadn’t done it since I first started university. I always fancied myself as a printer and so now I can print on almost anything!
What marketing tips do you have for other artists, designers, crafters & makers?
The best tip I have would be, however big or small your craft or business having a brand is key. Your brand doesn’t need to be too fancy, but keeping fonts and colours the same can make a big difference. Make sure your brand is something you like because the more you like it the more you feel comfortable with it and you feel confident in telling everyone about your shop. You’ll never feel embarrassed about having an old banner or plain business cards, you’ll be organized, on form and ready to let everyone know you exist. This is also one of the majoring factors to why I have had a name change and make over. I am also still learning how to market myself and to put myself in the right direction but now I am a confident designer.