Tell us about yourself!
My name is Danielle Fernandez and I own and operate Danielle Fernandez Designs. I was raised in West Des Moines, Iowa; went to the University of Iowa (GO HAWKS!), and now reside in La Grange, Illinois (by way of Chicago) with my husband, son, and two Shiba Inu dogs. Shibas are the best kind of dog you can have, and I have some fun products in my store for the fellow Shiba lovers. I thoroughly enjoy traveling to nice beaches or places with rich history, being a foodie, and a good glass of wine. On weekends, you’ll find me spending time with friends and family, cooking paleo dishes, playing with my son, and taking walks with my wolf pack.
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio or have you carved out a nook in your home?
I have an office in our house where I have a big monitor I hook up to my MacBook Air. The dogs come in and curl up by my feet, I open the window (weather allowing) and listen to music while I work.
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
I can remember drawing horses and my mom buying me drawing books as a child. I could sit with paper, scissors, and tape for hours creating. I used all my elective courses in high school and college to explore graphic design, painting, and drawing. In college my parents encouraged me to pursue business and put art on the back burner. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in finance and a minor in fine arts, I began working for a consulting firm in finance. I am very lucky to now work there part-time so I can take care of my son more often and focus on my passion for design. I needed a creative outlet to sell my artwork and stumbled upon Zazzle while creating a custom design for my mom’s 50th surprise birthday party. After my first sale, I started to think about how I could make more on Zazzle! I have always loved drawing and painting, but also learned a love for Microsoft Excel. This strange combination of my love for design and Excel, led me to create a set of spreadsheets specifically for Zazzle affiliates and designers who need to analyze those Zazzle CSV royalty, referral, and earnings files within a few minutes and a few clicks of a button. I encourage any interested affiliates or designers to visit my website www.daniellefernandezdesigns.com to learn more.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Walking around my house, nature, pop culture, music, and anything beautiful is my inspiration. One of my most popular designs came from a really beautiful agate stone I have displayed in my living room that I decided to photograph and design around. Another came from creating a replica of the recent royal wedding invitation. Friend and family requests always inspire me to do my best work. Some of my blue artwork that you see on a lot of my products was created and inspired mostly by the John Mayer album ‘Room for Squares.’
When do you feel your most creative? Your least?
In the morning when my son naps, I can think straight with a cup of Bulletproof coffee and music going. I feel least creative when I am chasing him around. He’s 1 ½ so he keeps me pretty busy!
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
I like putting my designs on invitations, pillows, and tote bags. Recently, I made some new watercolor designs that fit well on the all-over printed products.
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
I am obsessed with all things shiny! I would love foil flat cards to make wedding invitations and birth announcements and everything in between.
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
A teal surprise birthday party invitation that I created for my mom’s friend. I couldn’t believe it! That’s when I knew I had to start looking into Zazzle more seriously!
What are your favorite product types to design on Zazzle?
I love all things matching in my wedding and baby shower suites. I wish I could go back to my wedding and have all matching items! I enjoy thinking about my customers having the matching napkins, plates, cups, and banners, and the guests arriving and saying ‘oooo it all matches the invitation!’ A lot of my designs were created for my family and friends and it always makes me so happy when I receive one of my own announcements or invitations in the mail.
What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
Take your first sale seriously and dream big. If you really work at it, Zazzle can make you more than a few pennies! Don’t underestimate yourself or the power of having your own website and brand.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
I also design websites, Excel spreadsheets, and take custom orders on my website. The Zazzle Designer Earnings Analytics spreadsheets I have created are really handy for analyzing your sales! Please visit me at www.daniellefernandezdesigns.com. Thanks for reading!