Customer Spotlight- Design’s By Ellie


Posted on 21st April 2018 by Emily
Filed under Customer Spotlight

My name is Ellie, I am 22 and I live in Birmingham. I am an illustrator and designer. My chosen media is watercolours and glitter. My business is called Design’s By Ellie.

1. What was your inspiration for setting up

My inspirations are Sophie Allport, Cath Kidson & Wrendale designs. Each one of these companies use their passion of illustrations and design to produce beautiful items that I and many others love. I always feel very inspired when I visit their websites, I feel like a kid in a candy store. 

Ellie 1

2. What have you found most difficult about running your own business so far?

I think the hardest part, alongside getting known, is the financial side of a business. It is very important to keep good records of your costs as this is crucial for deciding on a price point for your products. Other than that, to be honest, I haven’t found it too difficult, I already have experience of setting up a business, so that has enabled me to plan ahead. I’ve used my knowledge and experience from that business to help me build Designs By Ellie.

Ellie 2

4. All of your cards are hand decorated, how long does each card take you to make?

Each card varies on how long they take to make based on how detailed the glitter needs to be. On average I would say it takes 2/3 minutes to decorate each card.

Ellie 3

5. How do you come up with each design for your cards and what is your creative process?

I come up with each design based on things I love, places & images that inspire me. Part of this process is thinking outside the box like what type of cards would I buy if I was in a shop and also making sure I come up with designs that you don’t see on the high street.

My creative process is sketching a design then painting it use watercolours. I then scan each design into my computer; afterwards I print the illustrations onto card and finish them off by hand decorating with glitter.

Ellie 5

6. Do you have a most popular design?

My most popular design is my Flamingo.

Ellie 4

7. What is your favourite papermilldirect product and why?

My favourite papermilldirect product is the blank white hammered card. I use this card for all my cards large & small. I think the texture really compliments my designs, making my illustrations look really vibrant. I also think having a different texture to normal smooth cards adds interest and makes them stand out.

Designs By Ellie 7

8. Do you have any advice for people wanting to start up their own business?

My advice is if you’ve always wanted to give something ago then try it! You will never know if you don’t try. A big reason I didn’t start Designs By Ellie earlier was because of lack of confidence; I kept telling myself my cards weren’t good enough; I eventually braved this and took them to a stall where they flew off the table, the comments were amazing and filled me with so much pride – now I have a lot of confidence. I haven’t looked back since. If I hadn’t of taken a risk that evening, putting my designs out there, I would never be where I am now.

9. What does the future hold for Designs By Ellie?

I will of course carry on working hard to both create new designs &  get Designs By Ellies’ name out there as much as I can. But if the last 3 months are anything to go by - then hopefully - the future could be very exciting! I am now selling on Etsy as DesignsByEllieShop - & I would love it if people would take the time to go & take a look.  Thank you!

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