I love you image by Trudy Willoughby
I've decided to connect with creative people I don't know and get to know them and their work better.
I've found inspiration around the internet, in shops etc,and I've tried to connect to the designer or artist. You all know that I'm a lover of all things embroidery, buttons and cupcakes. John my good friend from Ireland bought me an amazing little card for my birthday and it had all the above elements on it. I found it again recently and noticed that it was made by a company called Buttongirl Design. I loved the card so much, it is a print of embroidered cupcakes and buttons and is just so yummy. She used found vintage materials and buttons and the stitching and colour was so fun and bright. I just had to find out more.
I decided to contact them and was so glad I did as Trudy Willoughby soon responded and answered some of my questions.
Cupcake Happy Birthday image by Trudy Willoughby
How did buttongirl get started?
Well I studied at Loughborough School of Art and Design between 2000-2003 and specialised in 'Woven Textiles' where I embroidered and embellished onto my woven fashion designs. My love for buttons grew while studying and inspired the name 'buttongirl' so this is where it all began and doodling my ickle girl design that is now my logo with a special bird i love birds to! When I graduated I freelanced for a women's wear textile studio 'Lewis and Lewis Design' in South London designing prints and embroideries where i gained confidence in my abilities and a about four years later along side freelancing I decided to set up my own greeting card business 'Buttongirl Designs'.
New Home image by Trudy Willoughby
What advice would you give to other small creative business owners?
I would say keep believing in your dreams and do not give up all businesses have difficult times especially at the moment but perseverance will get you through you have to believe in your product and work hard. It's still early days for me and I certainly do not have a business brain!!!! but it's all about learning as you go along and learning from everyone you meet. My other advice would be to do your research 'market research' is key sourcing information to aid your business, for me it was important to speak to gift shop owners and find out what cards are the most popular and what do customers want how much are they willing to pay for a card etc.
baby girl image by Trudy Willoughby
What inspires you?
I get inspired by lots of things really everything around me!! I went to Tuscany recently which was beautiful and i'm obsessed with cupcakes anything associated with vintage tea parties and birds will get me drawing and creating away. I am currently inspired by folk art so I am buying lots of books and researching colour palettes and patterns to generate ideas!
Dylan Ties image by Trudy Willoughby