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…

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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’.

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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!

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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 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.

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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!

The Leapup ‘Feature Friday’ starts this week!

I’m really excited to announce that Leapup’s first ‘Feature Friday’ will start this week. This is your chance to meet an Etsy artist, maker, designer each week and find out about what they do, why they do it, their learning curve selling on Etsy and of course gives a fantastic opportunity to showcase their latest makes and best sellers. This feature will be published each Friday and is currently only open to Etsy sellers.

If you’re wondering how you can promote your Etsy shop, details on how your small business can be featured will be posted on Friday.

Our first feature will be Megan Heffer from ‘Little Stitch of Nature’  – I look forward to sharing her talent with you and hope you’ll come and say ‘hi’ on Friday!

#LEAPUPFF