Happy Friday and good morning: today's Friday Finds is a delicious designer - I love the colour Lyndy Hants uses and her distinctive crisp style.
When did you start your business and why? Did you plan how you started meticulously or was it almost accidental?
It was a along time ago! I studied Illustration and Design here in Melbourne back in the early 1990's and went straight into freelancing. After a
previous false start doing a business degree (ugggh!) I was impatient to get on with what I really wanted to do. I knew I wanted to freelance. I didn't
plan but was initially open to all sorts of projects, and work came my way. At some point I decided to narrow my focus more towards what I really
loved and moved into doing designs for stationery.
Did things take off immediately or has it been a slow burn?
After working on all sorts of projects - from illustrating educational publications to rendering film animation cells - I decided to start looking for work in the stationery area. I created a range of cards and posted them off to a company here in Melbourne. I heard back from them a few months later and produced my first range for them. This was my first job using Illustrator, which was pretty exciting at the time! I ended up developing a great working relationship with the company and went on to design many ranges of cards, wraps, stickers and so forth for them over a number of years. I loved it.
© Lyndy Hants
After having my first child I decided to "turn the burners off" for a while. I found juggling babies and deadlines didn't sit well with me, and apart from a few small jobs, I wound things right back and just enjoyed my little boys. Once my youngest child reached a more civilised age I decided to open my Etsy store, just to start designing again and to "test the waters" a bit. Sales were slow to start with, but have picked up now. Unexpectedly my Etsy store has lead to licensing deals and commissions, a nice surprise!!
Do you do your business part time or full time?
My "full-time" would probably be someone else's "part-time" as I work to fit in with school hours. I use those hours fully and certainly don't have time
for another job!
Do you intend to grow your business into something much bigger or are you happy with it as it is and why?
Both! I'm happy with how things are travelling, I'm making regular sales on Etsy and have had some nice commissions but would definitely like to
create designs for a wider range of products. So I'd basically like to be doing more of what I'm doing now .
Would you say you earn a good living from your work?
My work certainly wouldn't support our family of five! It's early days for me once again, so I feel that I'm still in the "building" phase, but things are
© Lyndy Hants
Where do you sell your work?
I sell prints in my Etsy store, and am available for commissions and licensing work.
Have you had publicity in national magazines? If so how did you you go about achieving this?
Yes, my prints were featured in Frankie magazine earlier this year. They've also appeared on a handful of blogs recently , which has been fun. The Frankie people got in touch and asked to feature my prints after coming across them on Etsy.
Who do you think your typical customer is?
I have two "typical" customers that are quite different. For Etsy sales my customers have mostly been women expecting their first child who are decorating their nurseries (though some of my customers have bought prints for other rooms in their homes.) And my other customers are Art buyers for large companies (Greeting Cards, Wall Art, etc.)
Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most?
The designing! I love it, particularly when I'm starting a new design I'm really excited about, whether it's for Etsy or for another client. ( I do have to discipline myself to see designs through to the end as I'm inclined to hop off and start something new.) I've also enjoyed the conversations with clients and Etsy customers, so that side of things is enjoyable. The admin side of things I have to make myself do!!
© Lyndy Hants
Is there anything you would have done differently if you were starting your business today?
There's no easy answer to that question. I started doing this work at a very different stage of my life, so if I was starting now I would naturally do it differently. Having a creative business is also so different to a business selling widgets or something because we often need to go through quite a process of developing and honing our style, and working out where it "fits". It's an ongoing process, and can take quite a long time. I think the early years of my business were really about gathering experience, and working on my style, and I'm glad I spent the time doing that. I have a very clear sense now of the style I like to work in.
Are you someone who sets goals regularly or more instinctive?
By nature I am definitely more instinctive, but I've started to use goals more recently as it really helps me remain focussed. Without setting goals I find it's too easy for designs not to make it out of my head! I have a list of pieces I want to do, and a schedule I try to stick to. Lists are a big part of my life!
© Lyndy Hants
Have you ever or do you employ people part time to help with any aspect of your business? For example, book keeper, accountant, packers?
No, I haven't employed anyone except my accountant. I can see it could be helpful to hire someone to help with Etsy orders, but I'm managing at the moment. I have had a fabulous nanny to help with my youngest child though and she's been a life-saver!
Could you describe where you work? Are you alone most of the day or with others? Do you feel that they way it is now is the best fit for you? Do you see that changing?
I work in my home-based studio over-looking the treetops in our garden. It's a lovely space, and I love to retreat to it whenever I can. I have worked in studios over the years but working from home fits in better with my family life now. I love the peace and quiet of working alone, it's such a nice contrast to when my children are home!
Do you have a mentor or people who you are able to discuss your business with? If not how do you find you best make decisions about your business?
Not a mentor as such but I do enjoy chats with other friends who are in the art/design business. We help each other along. I find it generally really helpful to be in touch with other creative women as I think there are issues unique to the creative life that are important to share.
© Lyndy Hants
What is a typical day for you in your business as it is now? What would be a dream day for you – business or otherwise?
A typical day starts with the mayhem of getting children off to school and /or pre-school. Fortunately it's all within walking distance and I usually walk back home with one of the lovely mums from my neighbourhood, so it's a nice start to the day. Then, a quick check of emails over my cup of coffee and I start work. I've developed the habit of starting with the project I most want to work on first - whether it's a new design , or whatever, in order to make sure it happens before anything else takes over. Then I usually tackle some admin tasks as a "break", before settling in to another session. Later in the day I do my Etsy orders, and whatever else needs to be done. The day isn't super long as I fit in with school hours but I often do more work at night.My perfect day would really be doing pretty much what I do now - but with more hours at my disposal!!
Anything else you want to add... tips or plans or ambitions or even
special offers to my blog readers.
Well some big news is that I've recently become a part of an exciting new Art Collective with Monika Forsberg, Jennifer Orkin Lewis and Kristen Balouch. We make up the Cloverly Art Collective and will be exhibiting at Surtex next May.
Our website: http://cloverlyart.com/
And a Special offer - A voucher for a 20% discount off any purchase in my Etsy store until December 6th. (Please quote coupon code:FRIDAYFINDS123)
Finally please tell us where we can buy your work!
My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleDesignHaus
My website : http://lyndyhants.com/
Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of this Gabriella! xx
You are very welcome Lyndy, thank you for doing it and for such a generous discount offer in your shop!