Tell us about yourself! Where is your hometown? Where do you live now? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of design? Any fun facts about yourself?
I was born and raised in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. I now reside in North Bay with my husband, two children, puppy and rabbit. Aside from designing on Zazzle, I love a great round of golf. I am competitive by nature and play indoor volleyball. I am also a huge outdoors person. I relish at any opportunity to play in my garden or meditate on a fresh bed of grass.
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio or have your carved out a nook in your home?
I have a dedicated office space in my home which is really nice. That was not always the case. When we bought our first home my office was between the living room and kitchen so it was chaotic. Toys were everywhere, toddlers at my feet. (Life was good, nonetheless.)
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
Art has always been a passion of mine. When I was young, I loved crafting, drawing caricatures, painting my bedroom walls. (Ask my parents about that one.) I spent countless hours creating Barbie towns, drawing in my sketch book, attending pottery classes. As I got older I took an interest in business (like my dad) and I attended a three-year business program at Canadore College. I dabbled in many jobs from the age of 20-28. I was a cake decorator, florist, and wedding planner. Ultimately I ended up running a few different businesses. Each one was a stepping stone for where I am today. Honestly, as one door closed another opened just as fast. Come 2008, I found Zazzle and the rest is truly history. I hired a graphic designer to teach me the skills I needed in order to be successful and I fell in love with designing.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I’m not a professional graphic artist, I’m a self-taught designer. To be quite honest many of my inspired designs come from commercial licensed graphics that other graphic artist have created. I have a dozen designers that I absolutely love and each time I see a beautiful piece of art I start creating things in my mind. I get so excited when I see pretty flowers, watercolor, glitter brushes… Many of my creations start off by a simple request. I have a wedding stationery store that I run from my home and brides will come to me with several ideas. I have a designer instinct inside of me. I can visualize what I think a design should look like. I’ve been designing for almost a decade now. I am confident in my work and I truly love what I do!
When do you feel your most creative? Your least?
When the kids are in bed and the house is silent. I also work very hard during the day to keep up with all of my custom requests. At night though, I can stay up for hours and create. I am least creative when my hubby wants to snuggle and watch a movie. I’m a sucker for movies so my brain shuts down instantly when we watch films together.
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
Business branding has always been a specialty of mine. I get a little crazy when I see a business card or outdoor signage that is poorly done. I really love to help the little guy that is just starting out. Branding is so important when starting a new business venture. I would have to say wedding paper goods are my second favorite thing to design. It’s a great feeling when Zazzle customers choose my designs for their wedding day. (I get giddy.) I’m very particular about creating wedding suites. The little details matter!
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
Round Business Cards would be a fun addition. They would be very versatile in several ways; they could be used as business cards, hangs tags, favor tags, cupcake toppers…
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
In 2008, my first sale was a floral keychain. I earned a .32 cent royalty and was OVER THE MOON.
What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?
I don’t have a favorite product. I enjoy every single creation; they are all important to me. My newest creations usually bring me instant gratification as soon as I post them. I just love when one of them sells for the first time. Here are some creations that I would like to share.
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
There are so many talented artists on Zazzle, truly! It is a wonderful creative outlet for someone who wants to try something new. My advice is to find your niche. If you love motorcycles and skulls, start with that. Let what you truly love steer you. I use to be a wedding planner so I am drawn to weddings. I also have a passion for business, so I love branding. If you look around and try too hard you will not be successful. You need to let it come naturally. When I initially started designing on Zazzle I was looking at what everyone else was doing. I really did not know where to begin. Don’t start by looking everywhere else. Just be creative, sketch ideas and start having fun!
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
Not really! I’m just thankful that I get to do what I love every single day. (It’s a blessing.) I would love to say a big huge “THANK YOU” to Zazzle for allowing me to share my passion with others. I am so grateful that an amazing company like Zazzle exists. A big thank you to all of my clients as well; it means so much to me that you support my love of design, and buy my products. I would not be a successful online designer without all of your support.