Searching illustrated design by Kathy Hare, beautiful card by Dena.
Searching searching, surfing and searching ...................I am always looking for new undiscovered talent.
It has given me great pleasure over the past 3 years to invite SAHM's to illustrate for Sugar Nellie. I too was a WAHM (work at home mum) and it was my only escape from watching kids TV and nursery school runs. I still put in more hours at home than I do in the House Of Sugar and with a manic house full of children, pets, sales men and farmers, sometimes I "need" to go to the office if you know what I mean.
Sugar Nellie was a very small business which came about purely by chance and a lot of lucky, we were in the right place at the right time.
The boom in cute children's stamps started in Sweden before taking over the world of stamping. At one point there were on a few companies who specialised in cute kids but now I can not even count them as there are so many the market is beyond saturated.
Digi has opened up a new format for stampers but clip art has been around for ever, the instant fix is good but nothing is better than inking and stamping. Which ever format you choose, quality of artwork counts more than format.
Things change very fast in our world, craft is now very much influenced by fashion and up to the minuet trends. Something can be popular for such a short time that it is scary to watch the trends come and go. The Big Guys, have their own style and do not follow the trends as much but stick to what they know works well for them, they are committed to be here next year and do not want to fall foul of fashion trends.
I have no formal training in this field, I was a crafter just like you and my inexperience and trust has no doubt caused a few issues, but my instinct has proven to be my best tool in this business.
Sugar Nellie is still a very small business, with no employees and just a few hours on the computer a week, I manage it the best I can. Cutting up rubber and packing it is where the time is spent and even then there are weeks where we have no rubber deliveries at all.
It is very often the case that the business you see online is in fact nothing like reality, it cost very little to have an all singing and dancing web site but work it from a kitchen table. I myself have been surprised to see the real business behind a web site in the past and never fall into the trap of judging a business by its web site , that's my new take on "judging a book by its cover".
The standard of acceptable artwork for stamps has changed much in the last 3 years, customers are far more fussy now about which stamps they work with, its a reflection of themselves what stamps they use on their cards and with everyone watching what they spend it is important the the customer feels that they received the best illustrations to work with and they have an amazing amount of companies to choose from. The customers is King or in this case Queen.
The best part of my "job" is the excitement of launching a new range, some artist we name others we don't but I have found what I have been looking for and am so excited about it, its been a long time and lot of searching but in the true words of a song "I have found what I'm looking for".
It will be a delight to launch our new artist in late September and watch as you all fall in love with her images, watch also as her etsy shop becomes busy and no doubt other opportunities will come her way. And yes before you ask she does draw boys LOL! i am thinking about lots of ways to promote this range and the artist, in the past we have always used magazines as a launching pad to get the new stamps seen, the web site and our DT. This new range may see the need to increase our DT as we will again have a regular supply of new designs to tempt you with. But first I have to come up with a name, today I am thinking Sassy Girls but tomorrow I might have changed my mind again.
But as one door opens another closes, Sugar Nellie stamps are sold online by Funkykits, our catalogue is now full of 3 years worth of stamps and it's time to let some of our older stamps retire, they have done their job but its time to make room for the new and out with the old. Funkykits will be reducing selected ranges in the near future, watch out for a bargain.
But for now its goodbye from me and I hope that today the sun shines on you.