#greatvibes

I LOVED illustrating Otto the Labrador striking his ‘Gimme some knucks’ pose with his Dad, it’s getting printed onto a canvas as a birthday gift. I’m feeling really happy after receiving this awesome customer review from a customer in Texas yesterday, for a piece of my custom pet pop art. After a month of feeling a bit ‘meh’ I’m really happy to have received such lovely feedback, yay… a real pick me up and exactly what I needed!!!

Custom_pet_op_art

Following on from those positive vibes… I’ve also uploaded a NEW print to my Etsy shop today, something I started working on last summer as part of my ‘Pooch Paradise’ collection… just a few finishing touches completed and it’s now available in my Etsy shop to buy in A4 or A3. It has me thinking of summer holidays and basking in the sunshine… oooh if only!

#great_vibes_3

You can contact me here or across any of my online shops and social media with enquiries to purchase my pop art prints and custom pet portraits.

Christmas is coming…

🎄🎄🎄 It’s your last chance to buy last minute gifts and prints for the dog lovers in your life. There is still time to get prints out in the post to UK customers (colours and words can be personalised) and postage is FREE to the UK. 🎄

xmas

🎄Tomorrow evening (5PM GMT) I’ll be closing my LEAPUP shop for a break over Christmas and will be back in the New Year. Order book for commissions reopens on the 2nd January🎄🎄🎄

Also don’t forget the model search deadline is 3PM tomorrow and I’ll be announcing the last winner tomorrow night – eeeek exciting!

I’ll still be around on social media over Christmas and still have some prizes from the model competition to send out and will be working on some new designs over the Christmas holidays – so watch this space!

I also just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone who has supported my small business this year, I’m really excited to see what next year brings!

 

Meet Doug


Meet Doug my gorgeous new desk lamp by Horton & Grimwood. The perfect desk accessory for any crazy dog ladies like me (or even the perfect office assistant / office dog if you’re unlucky enough not to have real fur babies in your life). Doug the dog light was a bespoke order and painted white for me with a custom turquoise cord… look out for him appearing in my stop motion animations very soon (can’t wait)!

Doug did a good job of keeping me company while I worked on a new custom pet portrait last night, my actual fur babies deserted me and took themselves off to bed! Horton & Grimwood make bespoke pieces out of wood and their shop is well worth a visit: www.hortongrimwood.etsy.com

Yay!

Yay!!! Very happy that my print arrived safely in Michigan and hurray… 5 star feedback for my customised print.

My little King Charles Oscar print was turned into a personalised ‘big brother’ print to be given as a gift. Very happy that it made it all the way unharmed and so pleased to get lovely feedback too 🙂

ARCHERDRAFTLRfeedback

Mission complete!

 

Very excited that my studio is finally complete! It’s taken all winter to do, fitting DIY around jobs and commitments has felt like a never ending chore but I’m soooo happy that we’ve put the effort in and it’s finally done – hurray!!!

So, this weekend has been all about finally getting in there, using the bright light and gorgeous white space to start trialling some new product photography… it’s been lots of fun. 😄 Everything I’ve read about starting a small business has said that product photography is key but to be honest I’ve found juggling so many things at once it’s never top of my to-do list.

I have to admit that product photography hasn’t been something that I’ve put a great deal of time or effort into but I’m now realising that yes I have a lot to learn and it’s a steep learning curve but it seems like it could be an incredibly rewarding outlet for my creativity too!

I’ve made it my goal this year to improve these skills and try to showcase my dog art and Etsy shop in a better light… so I’ll be keeping you posted on progress.

After my busy weekend of styling and snapping it’s now time for a cuppa. ❤

 

 

Featuring a certain little blue girl…

This week we feature the Little Blue Girl Co. Introducing the lovely and talented Louise Flintoft…

Flintoff Family-32 (1)

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
I’m Louise mother to a lively 2.5 year old. I’m based in the Newcastle-upon-tyne. I work in product management in the medical diagnostics field and this takes me all over the world, screen printing is an artistic release from the business cases and clinical reports and valued adult time! My Etsy shop alllouise4ows gives me a place to show-off my screenprints.

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work?
My workspace is a tale of two halves. I do most of my sketching at home on my lap in the evenings after putting my toddler to bed, but have access to some amazing facilities at the Northern Print Studios.

What inspires your work?
I feel really fortunate to live in the North East of England which is an astonishingly beautiful part of the world, especially the coastline. Not all of my work, but a good portion of it is inspired by walks with my little girl. She loves mammy’s pictures and looks forward to spotting herself on the newest edition. There’s a good portion of artistic licence in the scenes which are recognisable if you know where my (smartphone) snaps are taken but are meant to be reminiscent of scenes everyone can relate to. I also draw inspiration from the inks themselves. I love exploring the way I can mix them on the screen and how it makes every single print unique. I’m on a search for the perfect sky!

bluecastle

What are you currently working on?
I have been been exploring a range of seaside scenes along a common theme and colour palette. I’ve started to explore some alternative colours and scenes. I’m going to look into doing some smaller prints of the little blue girl, which I’m intending to put together into a larger piece at some time in the future. I’d like to develop a custom option in my prints, by integrating sketches of other people/children into my landscapes. I definitely think the little blue girl needs a male counterpart.

 

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
Like many on Etsy I’m juggling this with lots of other priorities. With a full time job and a small child I find it slow developing my business. It’s a challenge to get new items in my shop, not just developing the ideas and creating the pieces, but the networking required to drive traffic to my page.
I must admit I find Etsy a little overwhelming if I think about it too much. There are so many really talented people out there it’s hard to imagine how you could get noticed. I worry that my work isn’t commercial enough, or perhaps it’s too niche. I’ve found that the community as a whole is so positive and there’s a lot of love being shared.

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
There is no such thing as too niche on Etsy!

Your favourite make so far?
Castle View Sunset, 2I’m really loving the latest edition of “Castle view”. I wanted to explore some other colours as I thought the graphic nature of this print would really pop with a vibrant sunset. The inks on this one just mixed so well.

The piece that has attracted the most interest is the original “little blue girl” print. I think that it really sums up the atmosphere of a cold sunny day at the beach.

What’s next for your shop?
It was a huge thing for me even getting my Etsy shop open. The next major milestone is making that first sale!

littlebluegirl

Your Etsy crush?
It has to be Liz Whiteside Artwork. I love Liz’s work. She’s such a talented artist and has a complimentary range of artwork, soft furnishings and smaller items that work so well together in a cohesive shop. I can imagine giving so much of her work as gifts to my family (and of course keeping a little for myself!)

Your favourite Etsy purchase?
My first Etsy purchase, which opened my eyes to the creative genius on Etsy.  It’s a  scarf that I was immediately taken by when one of my friends in Melbourne, Australia posted a picture of it on Facebook.OWLscarf

When I wear it across my shoulders the wings of the owl spread down my arms. It was a total indulgence having a hand-printed scarf shipped all the way from Australia but I think that’s the spirit of Etsy, seeking out those unique things that you really love.  Shovava Owl Scarf

I’m soooo jealous I’ve been hankering after her swallow scarf for what seems like for ever, her designs are so beautiful, you lucky thing!

Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’?
Etsy Shop: littlebluegirlco.etsy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Little-blue-girl-co-1680315448895431/
Instagram: @littlebluegirlco

I have really enjoyed seeing Louise’s beautiful artwork and ideas develop. Her prints capture her love for her daughter and the North East coast so beautifully and would make gorgeous gifts for any living space. Louise is also available to take on one-off commission pieces and I hope you can take a moment and pop over to her shop or over to social media to say hi… I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!

Beautiful birds

For this weeks #treasurytuesday I’ve curated a collection of gorgeous bird items including beautiful illustrations, hand printed cushions, jewellery, coasters, sculptures, ceramics and even some edible art to celebrate our feathered friends! You can buy any of these gorgeous goodies on Etsy: Beautiful Birds by Leapup

BEAUTIFULBIRDS

Introducing Ip Dip Design

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…

IPDIPlogo2

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’.

IpDipDesign_Prints2

 

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!

IpDipDesign_Postcards1.jpg

 

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:IpDipDesign_Mixed1

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’!

IpDipDesign_EtsyCrush

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.

creative minds

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:
Facebook                www.facebook.com/ipdipdesign
Instagram               www.instagram.com/ipdipdesign
Twitter                     www.twitter.com/ipdipdesign
Pinterest                 www.pinterest.com/ipdipdesign

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!

Leanne x

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!

IPDIPROBOT

 

Featuring Natsula Designs

I’m really excited about introducing this weeks #FeatureFriday as I’ve been a huge fan from the moment I set eyes on Natasha’s delicate, intricate and stunning paper cuts. I think you’ll agLOGOree after reading this that her work is beautiful and would make a fabulous addition to you home, or a lovely gift for a loved one… young or old!

Hi! Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop? I’m Natasha and  I live in London, Maida Vale to be exact. Natsula Designs was born out of a desire to live a fulfilled and happy life. I have lived a colourful and exciting life thus far – I have worked in Advertising in New York, as a Sports Therapist in London and I’ve been a Dive Instructor and Boat Tour Leader in Thailand (my favourite place to be is under the water).

With each job I’ve been searching for a sense of fulfillment and contentment and although each job has given me a different sense of myself, something has been missing. It’s taken me many years to realise that being creative is what nurtures my soul, so I’ve set about doing just that and I’ve never been happier. I take great pleasure in creating my artworks and, in turn, I hope they bring joy and light into people’s homes.

In my Etsy shop I sell original artwork, as well as fine art limited edition giclée prints of some of my original works, and greetings cards which have extra embellishments making them even more special. My collages are for both little ones and grown ups!


Are you working full time on your art? I’d love to work on my art full time, but realistically that’s not possible at the moment. My main job is as a sports therapist, but I’m self employed so I make my own hours and am lucky enough to have free days where I can concentrate my efforts on my art.

How did the name Natsula Designs come about?  I live with my wonderful fur baby who makes me laugh and feel loved every day.  She also shares my company name…  I’m Nat and she’s Sula and so Natsula Designs was born!

Sula is gorgeous! She is my beloved, black, soft and furry four-legged cockapoo friend, who makes me laugh and feel loved every day!

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Cockapoos have such a beautiful nature, she is gorgeous! Sula is five now and a true companion. She makes me laugh every day and is incredibly empathetic – reading my moods better than any human. When I’m happy she’s happy, when I’m sad she comforts. Where I go, she goes!

Tell us a littleAt work in the studio bit about how and where you work? I work in my kitchen, which I’ve set up as my studio as it’s lovely and bright. I use predominantly authentic Japanese chiyogami papers for their vibrant colours, luminescence and texture. They bring the collage alive. I also use Italian marbled papers, which are beautiful and also reflect my heritage. I use a scalpel or scissors to attentively cut out my shapes.

Tell us a bit more about your Italian Heriatge? My father is Italian and now lives there as do all my relatives. My brothers and I spent all our school holidays in Italy as we had a family home just outside of Florence. I love everything about Italy – the delicious food, the warmth of the people, the stunning countryside! It flows through my veins – I am super passionate about things, have a fiery temper! and talk with my hands! I don’t get to visit now as much as I’d like – probably about 2 times a year, because of work commitments and my fur baby!

What inspires your work? I’m greatly inspired by nature, colour and form. All my artworks are driven by nature and colour and each piece has a great deal of movement either in the subject matter or by virtue of the shapes I form with the paper.

When are you at your most creative?  I’m a morning person – up at the crack of dawn, which is when I’m at my most productive. But this means that by early evening I’m useless! And usually in my pjs and slippers after my last little walk with Sula around 7pm! My ideas come to me in all sorts of ways – sometimes they hit me while I’m in bed unable to sleep – I always keep a notebook on my bedside table to jot things down. Other times, I will be inspired by something I see in nature, as I’m walking Sula. Sometimes, I will be working on a piece and suddenly go in a completely different direction.

Do you ever get creatively blocked and if so what do you find is the best way to get ‘unblocked’? I think every creative person becomes blocked at some point. I often get stuck and start to panic thinking I’ll never have any more ideas! But they come…. as soon as I let go of that panic. I do something completely different – go to the gym, walk Sula, meet up with friends – just allow myself to relax and then the ideas get a chance to form.

I imagine the scalpel is the most important tool in your toolbox? I love my scalpels! Some people collect shoes – I collect blades! The length of time it takes to replace a blade really depends on what I’m cutting, i.e. the type of paper, and how long I’m cutting in one go. But generally I’ll change them once a day.

Wow that’s a lot of blades you get through! How have you found your Etsy journey so far? I opened at the end of last year, but I would say that I really focused on it from the beginning of this year and it’s been a bit slow if I’m honest. Now I’m not the most patient person so perhaps I need to relax and wait to see if things pick up! Fingers crossed they will! In the meantime I’m exploring other avenues. As my Gran used to say – “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket!” Very wise words!

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You say your Etsy shop has been a bit slow… did you do the Etsy Resolution course or have you been involved in any business courses that are aimed at helping Etsy shops…? Yes, I did the Etsy Resolution course and other business courses, but I think the problem is that Etsy is becoming very saturated. And I think a lot of shops have suffered with the new algorithm they introduced a few months ago.
How do you find working on SEO in your Etsy shop? Have you used Etsy Rank yet? I find SEO quite difficult – probably because it’s boring and I have a short attention span! I’ve used Etsy Rank too to search for keywords. I probably need to spend some time on Etsy and tidy the SEO up but it’s finding the time!

How do you find the social media and social networking side of owning your own business – do you find it time consuming? I often wish I could clone myself multiple times so that one of me could be working on the social media, another me could be creating, another me could be marketing, another me could be working on the website… and the list goes on. As a one man band, I sometimes get overwhelmed by how much there is to do, and I find it hard to prioritise things, as in my mind they are all important.

IMG_4939I totally feel your pain! The Leapup shop and my other Etsy shop Rose Filtered are facing exactly the same challenge. It feels a little bit like spinning plates at the moment, if you lose focus on one area, it drops and you never have enough time to focus on one area as much as you would like – aaaarrrggghhh!

Anyway tell us a little bit about the local shop where you sell? I’m actually selling in a clinic! My friend is an osteopath and owns a clinic close to me. My cards do really well there and I’ve just put my framed children’s pieces on display and they are also doing well! I’m so grateful to Byron and Sophia for being so supportive of my work and giving me this wonderful opportunity.

That sounds fantastic and it just goes to show other Etsy sellers that sometimes it’s good to think outside of the box. It may not need to be the traditional ‘gift shop’ that you target, maybe products could sell in more quirky/unusual places that are less saturated, where maybe other people haven’t thought of selling?

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers? Don’t give up!!! You just have to plug away and power through and believe in yourself and your products.

Good advice which I’ll try and take on board myself! Your favourite make so far? Oh, that’s a tough one! In my children’s range I love “A Touch of Magic” – and for the adults I’ve just finished a 3D paper artwork which I’ve now hung in my bedroom and don’t want to sell!! It’s called “Dragon Eye.”

Dragon-Eye

I think your work is beautiful ‘Dragon Eye’ is stunning! My fave make is your piano with birds flying out, I absolutely love it… are you musical?  My brother is the musical one! I played as a child but was too impatient! I wanted to be able to play like a professional pianist but without having to practice. My grandmother was musical and I remember sitting next to her as a child practicing and playing duets.

-® Into the Light

Your best seller? The Fairy Range in my Children’s collection – in particular “Winged Dreams” and “A Touch of Magic.”

What’s next for your shop? I’m currently working on preparing some of my original work to sell as limited edition giclee prints.

Your Etsy crush? Small Doses of Wonder – I love her illustrations – they’re magical and Cat is a lovely! I met her through instagram and we’ve become “instabuddies!”

They are beautiful and well worth a look! Where can we come and say ‘hi’?

Etsy Shop: www.natsuladesigns.com

Instagram: instagram.com/natsuladesigns

Facebook: facebook.com/natsuladesigns

Twitter: twitter.com/natsuladesigns

Pinterest: pinterest.com/natsuladesigns

Thank you so much Natasha for taking the time to contribute to our #FeatureFriday, I hope you’ll come back and let us know of your future collections and successes.

Dear readers, if you have a moment, Natasha’s shop is well worth a look, her prints and original papercuts would make such stunning gifts for loved ones. If you’ve read this far please help us to spread the word of Natasha’s beautiful work (by sharing this short link: http://wp.me/p7dAyG-ca on Twitter or Facebook). It’s incredibly difficult as a sole trader/small business to get the word out and to get your work seen, so any help with this would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Next week Laura Bittles from Ip Dip Design joins us and trust me, with her bold and cheerful doodles and prints, you’re in for a real treat! Her work is the prefect ‘pick me up’ and I really hope you can pay us a visit and come and say hi! 

Leanne x

PS you might also be interested in reading about some beautiful geometric designs that are showcased on our Rose Filtered #FeatureFriday blog post. If you get a chance pop over and meet Natalie North Design

 

 

Featuring a Little Stitch of Nature

Welcome to our brand new article ‘Feature Friday’ where Leapup HQ showcases a different Etsy designer, maker, or artist each week. In this regular feature we will explore how they work, what inspires them, and of course take a look at some of their lovely makes… perhaps learning a thing or two that we can apply to our own journey along the way! 

This week we are talking to the lovely Megan Heffer from Little Stitch of Nature. Since I started my Leapup shop this year I’ve got to know of Megan’s beautiful work whilst networking on Etsy. She has some gorgeous animal and nature themed designs and in particular she has blue tits on her main Etsy logo image which are gorgeous and immediately caught my eye. I love blue tits, we even had them on the top of our wedding cake and I think you will agree she captures such a gorgeous bird so beautifully. Megan’s shop should help to set a great standard for the type of sellers that we hope to feature on our Leapup blog each week.

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Introducing Little Stitch of Nature

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Hi, I’m Megan, the creator of Little Stitch Of Nature.  I started Little Stitch Of Nature after discovering freehand machine embroidery at college. After finishing my final project I image1 (1)decided to experiment – that’s when I found out how much I love embroidering animals and nature. I started to create embroidery hoop wall hangings embellished with British birds such as Magpie’s, Kingfisher’s and Robin’s. I instantly fell in love with the technique and have continued to create new and exciting designs… Since then I have made cushions, fabric baskets and I’ve even had a new range of greetings cards printed.

Tell us a little bit about how & where you work? 
I work from home and have made a dedicated workspace in my bedroom. I have a desk, where my sewing machine is kept. Above this I have shelves full of my sewing supplies. From ribbons to fabric scraps, pieces I am working on and threads, they are all stored in pretty wooden crates. I also have a bookcase full of all my fabric – there is some in every colour and pattern.

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Next to my sewing machine sits my Roberts Radio – when I am working I love to listen to the radio, especially fun on a lovely bright day when I have the windows open and the radio up loud.

What inspires your work? image8
I’m inspired by the wildlife I see in the UK … from the common birds that fly in and out of my garden to the rarer creatures that live in the fields nearby. I love seeing the Scottish animals when I go on my summer holidays to Dumfries and Galloway – the inspiration for my popular Highland Cow design. British flowers are also a big inspiration, from the different garden varieties to the wildflowers that grow in the countryside – I am definitely going to expand my range of floral embroideries soon.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a few new designs for some Facebook Market Nights that I will be participating in. One in particular is based on the seaside, so lots of sea creatures are being created …
image11There are also lots of new designs that I’m creating through #the100dayproject that I am doing on Instagram. Everyday I post a new design which I will embroider this year! So far I have created a few – my favourite is definitely the Daisy … (ps … if you head over to my instagram page and see a design you like … just let me know and you will get 10% off that hoop!!!)

I am also working on an exciting project which will help support my mission to raise awareness of our beautiful native animals and wildlife. Something I think is really important … watch out for the big announcement on my social media very soon.

How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
Tricky… I am yet to find the perfect combination of photos, tags and prices which will help with sales. So I will carry on tweaking the shop until it is perfect. A long process but hopefully it will take off soon…

Your work is beautiful I am sure it will take off! Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers/online sellers?
I have found that pricing is tricky – don’t underprice (I’m still working on this) and don’t be afraid to increase your prices! People will be more willing to pay more for quality products as they will understand the time and love that has gone into it! Everything takes time to work on Etsy so don’t be impatient and keep on tweaking!

Your favourite make so far?
That is such a hard question to answer … I love so many of my embroidered animals that it hard to choose a favourite but, at the moment, I really love the Duck hoop.image6.JPG He’s got real character and I love the combination of the embroidery and the delicate blue gingham… I really think it is the perfect decoration for a children’s bedroom.

Processed with MOLDIV

Your best seller?
It a close call between my Hedgehog design and the Highland Cow. Both are super popular and get ordered again and again. The hedgehogs were particularly popular at Christmas when I embroidered teeny tiny santa hats onto them for tree decorations.

What’s next for your shop?
I am going to continue creating new designs – you wouldn’t believe the number of British animals and flowers I still want to embroider. There are also a few products I would like to try out including Wedding Favours, Bunting and maybe even Framed embroideries.

Your Etsy crush:
Oh this is so tricky. I have a list of shops I want to buy from, I just need more space in my home. My most favourite ones have to be;
– The Paper Butterfly (A new shop on Etsy full of beautiful decopaged pieces) www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SophsPaperButterfly
– Hope the Black Dog (An amazing business which raises awareness of mental health through beautiful cross stich) www.etsy.com/uk/shop/hopetheblackdog
– Sweet Pea Paperie (Super pretty prints which I want to fill my house with) www.etsy.com/uk/shop/sweetpeapaperiex

Your favourite Etsy purchase?
image12I think my favourite Etsy purchase has to be a super, super cute greeting card from BEEautiful Creatures. Who doesn’t want to receive a card with a pretty, rainbow unicorn on the front!?

I love so many of her beautiful prints and have been so close to ordering the Lily the Deer print multiple times! My self control is amazing!

lilythedeer

 

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Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’? 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LittleStitchOfNature
Twitter: www.twitter.com/littlestitchof
Blog: littlestitchofnature.wordpress.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/littlestitchofnature
Pinterest: uk.pinterest.com/LittleStitchOf

 

Thank you so much to Megan Heffer from Little Stitch of Nature for agreeing to be our guinea pig this week for our first ‘Feature Friday’.  I’m really looking to see how her work progresses, particularly with the floral theme of embroidery hoops. I love flowers and am looking forward to seeing some embroidered tulips! I’m guessing many Leapup readers would also love to know when Megan is going to turn her hand to doggie embroideries too, I’m sure they would be very popular.

I really want this ‘Feature Friday’ to help share the love and create a platform where Etsians can show off their lovely wares. It’s only when you actually start selling online that you get a real understanding of how hard it it is to get your work seen and as a newbie seller I know only too well the hurdles involved! A lot of new Etsy businesses don’t have thousands of pounds to spend on marketing and they certainly don’t have the footfall of an art gallery, never mind the high street giants. So this is about doing our little bit to raise the profile of some of the talented makers. I truly hope this feature will be a small step to help these businesses on their way to even greater success.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of the page please comment below if you have any feedback you’d like to give about the format of this feature and of course please can we ask you to share the article across social media. Why not visit the Little Stitch of Nature Shop – have a browse… treat yourself? 

Thanks

Leanne @ Leapup x

If you are an Etsy shop in the UK and are interested in ‘Feature Friday’ then please contact us here and simply send us the name of your Etsy shop, providing a few brief details. If we think you’d be a good feature then we will be back in touch. Please be advised that your photos should be light and bright and you should be actively involved in social media to be considered. It may take up to a month until you hear back as many slots in the coming weeks are already taken due to receiving a lot of interest. Thanks again for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!