Today, I have a lovely little post featuring one of my favorite artist and goods' maker, Annette of Nut & Bee! I fell in love with Nut & Bee a few years ago via Etsy, and have collected her super-cute notepads and stationery ever since! Not to mention looking up to her cute product and business sensibilities. :)
1. What's your name, and what's your game?
I started N&B as a hobby in 2005, as something to do with my little drawings and as a homage to the Japanese character goods I've loved and collected for a long time. It began very small, with just a handful of designs and the odd sale to my friends, and grew to the point where I was able to quit my day job in 2008. Originally all my products were entirely handmade, but now I outsource some of the printing work in order to keep up.
My favourite part is the rush of getting designs finalised and released. I always love the feeling of having something new to present! My least favourite part is dealing with stressful circumstances like flaky suppliers and equipment breakdown. I know a lot of creative people resent routine tasks like accounting for their business, but I actually quite like those things. I'm a bit of a nerd with spreadsheets and bookkeeping :)
I've been fortunate enough not to make any significant mistakes thus far, so I don't have cautionary tales to share, but one thing that's helped me which I would recommend to all indie businesses is a focus on impeccable communication and customer service. I get a lot of satisfaction hearing from people who appreciate the personal touch, and in addition to warm fuzzies it's good for business! Being friendly and professional will help bring you repeat customers as well as word of mouth referrals.
How did he come to be?
Thank you! That was inspired by the apartment we used to live in, which had white walls and high ceilings and a slight resemblance to a museum. One day we were talking about decorating to enhance that feeling, joking about dioramas and installations and labeling things with little cards, and that spun into the idea of crocheting a (moderately) accurate dinosaur skeleton. It then took me several years to complete and we had moved house by the time it was done, but hopefully we'll have a nice high space for it again one day.
Thanks so much, Annette! :)
Make sure you pop by, say hello and peruse her shop - you'll be sure to fall in love with the knitting knarwhals and all their cute creature friends!