This week I’m very happy to introduce you to the lovely Laura Bittles, the maker of the most colourful, quirky and fun hand drawn designs. I met Laura via the virtual Facebook world of the Etsy Resolution course. Keep reading to find out about what has notoriously become known (in the Etsy-sphere) as ‘happy mail’ and a little robot might just rock your world!
It’s time to introduce you to Ip Dip Design…
Hi, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
Hello! I’m Laura – doodler, designer and creator of Ip Dip Design. I’m 26 years old and am a trained Graphic Designer with a BA Hons degree from Winchester School of Art. I have always wanted to run my own business but considered it a pipe dream until I spotted the advert for the ‘Etsy Resolution’ campaign in January.
The name for my business is inspired by the classic rhyme ‘Ip Dip Sky Blue’. I wanted something that sounded fun and reflected the happy-go-lucky nature of my work. The logo incorporates two of my favourite things – clouds (I’ve always been fascinated by them) and the colour blue. My main aim is to create fun and quirky pieces of work that make people happy.
Tell us a little bit about how and where you work?
One day I would love to have my own dedicated studio space, but right now I am working from the coffee table of the flat I share with my boyfriend. Most of the time it is covered in sketchbooks and coloured pens! A lot of my social media posts get set up there too. This is the complete opposite to the setting of my 9-5 design job – a desk in a shared office.
Followers of my social media accounts will know that I have a little desk top companion – originally named ‘Desk Robot’ – who features in the occasional post when I am at work. He has quickly become my mascot and is now immortalised in print as part of my collection! It makes me smile to think that customers will have stickers and prints of him in their workplaces, too.
What inspires your work?
For me, inspiration can come from anywhere! Sometimes it’s a great colour combination or a particular word or phrase that gets the ideas going. I like taking already known phrases and changing them slightly to make something new. A great example of this is my popular ‘Make it all’ print, inspired by Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on some fun and exciting designs based around the ‘Great British Summer’ and music festivals. They are influenced by a self-initiated project I undertook at University about 5 years ago!
Sounds interesting, really looking forward to seeing the new designs. How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
So far, my Etsy journey has been a fantastic experience! From creating, listing and selling my designs, to meeting new people and becoming part of the wonderful handmade community. I have loved every minute of it! I am also lucky to have a great customer base who are always sending me photographs of their Ip Dip Designs in their home or workspace which brings me great pleasure.
Wow, they are all fab photos from your customers and how nice to see your work brightening other people’s work-spaces, you must be bursting with pride! One of your little prints is now sitting pride of place at home in my living room, I must get a picture so you can add that picture to the collection.
Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
I think making your customers know how special they are to you is important. I tend to take quite an informal approach to my social media posts and interactions as I want each and every person to feel like they are getting updates from a friend. When packaging up and sending out my orders, I make sure that each one is carefully packed by me to a particular standard.
The bright blue colour of my packaging and the additional finishing touches of washi tape and stickers have led to my orders being dubbed ‘happy mail’ which I love! My ‘Ip Dip Delivery’ posts on social media have proved really popular and also get customers excited about their orders arriving. I have been lucky enough to have received some great feedback and customer photographs so far and I want to make sure that each person knows how grateful I am to have such a great customer base.
It made me happy getting it through the post and those sunny postage photos are fabulous!
Your favourite make so far?
I always enjoy drawing and coming up with my designs, but I think my favourite make so far has been the Ip Dip sticker pack.
It’s full of a range of my most popular designs and is fun for me to make! Although it may be the most time consuming product I have at the moment (I cut out each sticker by hand before making the cellophane sleeve and adding the handwritten header card) it is the most rewarding to finish, and I have loved seeing customer’s notebooks and planners adorned with them.
Your best seller?
So far my postcard packs have been really popular with other makers and creators for decorating their pin boards and studio spaces. I’ve loved seeing photos of where they have been put up and how they are presented – some in frames, some with pretty washi tape and some pegged onto string!
As you know I totally love the ‘Awesome Sauce‘ print and ‘awesome sauce’ is now a very well (if not slightly over used) phrase in our house. I also know a lot of readers of the blog are animal mad like me so they will totally love your ‘Crazy cat lady‘ and ‘Delightful dog lady‘ at work prints, they are great and on my to buy list!
Here are your Ip Dip quick fire questions:
City pad or country retreat? Country retreat
Dog or cat? Dog
Nightclub or sofa? Sofa
Heels or flats? Flats
Early bird or night owl? Night owl
Introvert or extrovert? Introvert
So, what’s next for your shop?
I am always thinking of ways I can develop and improve the designs in my shop. As an avid stationery lover I would love to create a range of notebooks or to-do lists one day. For now I am happy to keep building my product line and customer base gradually.
When you do launch any new lines I hope you pop back and share them with us. Your Etsy crush?
There are so many awesome Etsy shops I could mention here, but one of the first that I stumbled across and fell in love with was ‘Hello DODO’. Their designs are so fun and colourful, and I love the way they playfully use words. I am the proud owner of a Hello DODO t-shirt and tote bag. A couple of colourful prints grace the walls of Ip Dip HQ!
That’s a new shop for me. It’s all very fun and funky and a little bit silly, well worth a look…
Your favourite Etsy purchase?
I am lucky to have discovered lots of new and exciting Etsy shops whilst taking part in Etsy Resolution 2016. So far my favourite purchase has to be my pencil case from Sarah at Knight and Gray. It is extremely well made and perfect for keeping all of the pens and pencils I use for creating my designs. My favourite part is the custom plaque which reads ‘Ip Dip Design Tools’!
Ah yes, I love Knight and Gray too. We’ve featured one of Sarah’s bags over on our ‘Happy Treasury’ Rose Filtered blog. After seeing this I now have a serious case of bag envy. Your own personalised version, how swanky is that? Love, love, love it! I also love the creative minds sketch book, given what a messy person I can be I think it’s quite apt! There are some really gorgeous designs that would make great gift ideas.
Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?
I love the social aspect of running my Etsy shop, and am pretty active on all of my social media pages! You can find me on:
There are more lovely designs in Laura’s shop so please take a moment, pop over, take a look and treat yourself!
A huge thank you to Laura, firstly for getting involved in this weeks Feature Friday (it’s made me very cheery) and secondly for helping us with our Feature Friday doodles which I’ve turned into animations to help promote the Leapup and Rose Filtered blogs. It really helps working with someone else as you’re not starting with a blank page, so a very big thank you! I’ve made Laura this little present, turning her cute little robot into a sort of ‘business card gif’ as I’m hopping to start making this type of thing for other Etsy sellers… so I’ll leave you with that!
Next week we will be featuring some dog accessory bling – can’t wait!
PS please don’t forget to pop over and say ‘hi’ to Laura on her social media… sign up to follow her Instagram or Twitter feed and I promise your days will be that much brighter!
PPS if you have time over on Rose Filtered blog we feature Jes Hooper Pyrography… well worth a visit, please pop over and show some support if you can!