Here at the AOI we are always interested in how creatives grow their businesses and expand their practice into new and exciting areas. We were thrilled to catch up with illustrator Louise Lockhart, to discuss how she has built a successful career selling her own printed products through her online store, The Printed Peanut. Since starting The Printed Peanut in 2012, Louise has developed an ever-expanding range of playful illustrated products, organically attracting the attention of high end clients such as Liberty, Heals and Anthropologie. But what does it take juggle client commissions, designing new products and running a busy e-commerce business? Louise talks openly about her ‘slow and steady’ approach to business growth and how she runs her one woman show in the interview below.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how The Printed Peanut was born?
I am an illustrator living in an old mill in a small town in England. I spend my days creating designs from little paper cut outs and line drawings, dreaming up worlds where men still wear suits and hats. As well as working as a freelance illustrator, I apply my illustrations to products, which I sells in my online shop The Printed Peanut. The business started as I wanted an outlet for my creations. I was working in a brilliant stationery shop in Vancouver, Canada which really inspired me to make my own products. I started by screen-printing wrapping paper and cards in my home. I’d pop them in the shop and see what sparked interest from customers. It was a great introduction into the business side of things as I had no experience in that previously.
Top 3 tips for your peers who are thinking about creating their own range of products?
- Keep true to your intentions, don’t just produce stuff for the sake of it, or if it’s in fashion right now.
- Just produce a small run at first, don’t buy loads of stock before you’ve tried it out. Start small and build up slowly.
- Do all the fairs you can and approach local shops with your wares. It’s a good way to learn about how businesses work.
Read the full interview here: