At Printed.com, we’re lucky enough to help thousands of people boost their businesses with print. We work with brands and companies from all sectors – from business services to charities, creatives to retailers.
We’re passionate about print, and even more passionate about helping each and every customer succeed. So, each and every month, we’ll be talking to our very own customers, asking them the questions you want to know the answers to. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve already found your feet in the industry, get tips, tricks and inspiration from people just like you with our Customer Showcase series.
This week, we’re talking all things creative with Claire Beavis of Littlebird Weddings.
Hi Claire! Tell us a little bit about you and your business to kick us off…
I’m a graphic designer / creator and I am the owner of Littlebird Weddings. I design wedding stationery from my little studio / second bedroom (!) in the beautiful Cotswolds. I started out as a digital designer working in various studios until I went freelance back in 2010. I then later started up my wedding stationery business to explore my more crafty side and to get back to producing lovely printed goods!
How did you get set up and what led you to where you are today?
I got the idea to start Littlebird Weddings after my own wedding in 2011. Producing my own wedding stationery and decorations was such good fun and reminded me of how much I like to ‘make’ things. Planning my own wedding meant I had the chance to go back to my arty crafty roots and get really creative.
I then had my first child in 2012 and in the hazy first few months of parenthood I somehow put a website together and some designs and started up my wedding stationery business. It was a perfect opportunity (if a little hard work to balance!) being able to grow my business slowly whilst allowing myself to be a full-time Mum as well. It also helped keep my sanity as it gave me a creative outlet!
I now have a 3 year old and a 5 year old and life is full of challenges but with one being in school and the other in preschool I’m now able to start developing the business more.
What do you print with Printed.com?
All the wedding stationery I produce is printed with Printed.com. I love the textured stock on offer and it gives my stationery a lovely professional finish. I think the textured stock is the perfect choice for wedding stationery as it has such a tactile quality and doesn’t have any ‘corporate shinyness’!
I also use Printed.com for the convenience of being able to quote and order so easily out of normal office hours. Having 2 young children often means I work in the evenings so this has been quite crucial.
How do you find being a creative in today’s industry?
I studied art and graphic design through school and university and I think it’s given me a good awareness of typography and layout. I don’t like to overcrowd designs, I like to declutter where possible without losing the illustrative elements. Some wedding stationery looks over-designed with too many swirls and swooshes, I like to try and keep things simple with a good amount of white space! I was always taught to use ‘white space’ wisely.
I find social media, especially instagram can be very inspiring and it’s lovely to see so much good design in the wedding industry these days. The downside is it can make me feel pressured to produce ‘what’s on trend’ all the time and I’m not sure that’s always the right approach. I like to try and develop my own styles while being influenced by what’s around me.
What does the future hold for you and your business? Where do you see your business going over the next year?
I am hoping to develop my calligraphy skills and create some new products to offer. I have already started working on some new designs which are professionally printed and then hand finished with calligraphy. And I’m also looking at some more ‘hand-made’ items using calligraphy. It’s a new hobby and I need to find some time to practice as I find it incredibly rewarding. Next year my youngest will be starting school so I will be looking to grow the business more and hopefully free up my evenings and weekends a bit!!
Do you have any advice for creatives looking to get set up in your industry?
If you can, grow slowly. It’s the best way to develop and try your designs without risking too much. You learn from your mistakes, what works and what doesn’t work. Growing slowly means a lower risk investment over a longer period rather than a large investment with high risk. I’m not sure whether I recommend starting a business with little children as it’s pretty exhausting – but it’s definitely worth the while, and I wouldn’t be where I am without my family!
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