We have three wonderful stallholders in this week’s Meet the Maker; Emily Harvey Art, Sophia’s Illustration & Lazy Creative. Each of these stallholders creates artwork and stationery, with a wide range of products that are fun, informative or just lovely to own!
We found out more about their inspirations, their love of markets and how they learnt their craft in our Q&A:
Pedddle: You each sell a variety of lovely products – what’s new for each of your businesses?
Emily Harvey Art: I have new products coming out next week, as part of my ‘Magical Things Can Happen’ collection. I have a new enamel pin coming as well as some other bits which I’ve shown on my Instagram. I also sell stickers and prints that are proving popular.
Emily also has a great YouTube channel, which showcases her work and has some fab tips and insights into markets.
Sophia’s Illustration: I create an increasingly wide range of artwork and products including art prints, greeting cards, map postcards, original wood slice pieces, quirky tea towels and my latest product, sets of ‘jigsaw coasters’, which consist of 4 different designs, which fit together to create a bigger picture.
Most of my products are designed specifically, which I think makes for quite a unique collection! All of my work is my own and printed products are all made in the UK. I also design a range of quirky map inspired tea towels, each featuring information and fact playfully illustrated. The research and design work is pretty labour-intensive but I am totally in my element designing them!
Lazy Creative: I’ve been selling lots of pins recently, but I have two brand new products which are both necklaces. One is a monstera leaf necklace, which I love. Watch this space!
Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in the skills it takes to produce your products, and how did you learn your craft?
Emily Harvey Art: I have a degree in animation and have worked as a designer for companies like Nickelodeon and Hasbro. But last year when I had my little boy, I realised I needed to work on my own products and sell items in an online shop.
I didn’t know what I was doing really and have just learnt over time what works and what doesn’t!
Sophia’s Illustration: From a young age I have always had a passion for art and after school I studied art full time at college, then went on to study illustration at Uni, graduating in 2010. Since then I have travelled a lot and spent a lot of time developing my style of work, which is constantly evolving and changing as I find new inspiration.
I think of being an artist or maker as more than ‘a job’; it’s a life’s passion and something that will never be fully perfected – kind of an obsession really.
Lazy Creative: I first became interested at university, in the last year of my photography degree. I was diagnosed with depression and something that kept me calm and helped my happiness was watercolour painting and drawing on my iPad. I have a love for Harry Potter, so that was the main inspiration behind what I drew. I decided to start there, with prints and cards on my online shop, but then I found the world of enamel pins and the rest is history! Now, I don’t just make myself happy but everyone else too!
Pedddle: What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
Emily Harvey Art: I’ve been doing markets for years but I focused on selling my custom portraits. I did really well with those over the years. It’s only in the past year that I’ve seen success selling my own stationery and prints.
Sophia’s Illustration: I first started trading at markets to help launch my work. At the start I was struggling to be seen online and thought I would try a local market. I hardly had any work, so shared a stall with a friend. My work was really well received and I did well, despite my lack of products and terrible display! It really gave me a confidence boost and made me think ‘I can do this!’
Lazy Creative: I’ve always loved going to markets as a kid and enjoyed finding little treasures. When I started getting more of a following and more products, I thought that these would look great in a shop – my own shop, but I thought physical products that people could see and hold would be an awesome way to sell products, and that’s what brought me to markets.
Pedddle: What do you love most about owning a creative business?
Emily Harvey Art: I love the freedom it gives me. If I have an idea, I don’t need to run it past 10 other people to get it into production. There are obviously some downsides to that, in terms of having to do everything myself and sometimes things don’t sell and that can be frustrating. But overall I find it so rewarding!
Sophia’s Illustration: I love how my life is always changing and days don’t have to be the same. I set my schedule and work to lists (so many lists!). I have been very lucky this year, my partner has built me a recycled studio-shed. Finally having a proper workspace has been amazing and really beneficial for my work. We live in a small narrowboat and the past 3 years of living and working in the same tiny space has been sometimes challenging!
Lazy Creative: I love the freedom of having my own business, as it is something I can be proud of and love to do! I’ve always hated the day jobs I had and never stuck with them for longer than a year, because I was never creatively challenged enough. I found my own way with Lazy Creative and I can’t wait to be 15 years down the line and still look forward to the next 15 years!
Pedddle: We are huge champions of small business. Why do you think it’s so important to shop small, independent and local?
Emily Harvey Art: To me, there’s nothing better than opening a package that is wrapped with love, by the creator of that product and knowing you’ve helped support their dream. It is true that when you buy from a small business they do a little happy dance! I do a little dance daily now.
Sophia’s Illustration: Buying locally and from independents is a unique experience today, you get a more personal service and the sense of community is increasingly important in a world of faceless online purchasing. There’s nothing better than buying something at a market, chatting with the stallholder. Also, I am a great believer in the importance of sustainability and shopping locally from small business can be much better for the environment.
Lazy Creative: It’s important to shop small to support people’s lives and dreams. I am a military wife and a lot of us have independent businesses, from fitness coaches and childcare services to massages, as well as creative businesses and The Bodyshop at Home. We all want to create something to be proud of while our partners are away protecting our country, and small shops are what keeps the economy running. They are also what keeps me running and I feel like no matter where we move, even if I can’t get a day job because of the constant moving, then at least I can still feel proud that I can provide income with a small business, like we all do. This is why I always try (wherever possible) to shop small and is also why I feel it is important.