June 29, 2010

poppies for grace

poppies for grace is all about delicious stationary. I love the idea that three friends Alana, Kate and Sarah got together to create this successful business. They each contribute a different skill which in turn has made them a huge success. Meet Alana......

1. Where did the idea come from to start “Poppies for Grace”? Who is involved? Three friends- kate, sara and me (alana) Poppies started in a funny way. I was studying screen printing and my paper lecturer suggested I try and sell the cards I’d made for an assignment. I think if she had not suggested it the idea would not have entered my head. I’ve always made things for friends and family, but the idea of someone wanting to pay money for what I’d made baffled me. Turns out people do! Ha ha. I draw, Kate sells and Sara makes things happen.

2. In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine your label would be so hugely popular? NO. I still giggle that this is my job. That poppies pays the bills.

3. You must meet so many creative people, you yourselves are very creative. Do you think there is a common thread to creative success? Hummmm good question. I think that most creatives feel their work is never good enough, that deep down they are frauds. The fear of failure can stop us before we’ve begun. To have people standing alongside creative people is of most importance. I need Sara and Kate. I honestly believe if the talent is there and you can commit to the long slow road of starting a business you will find success. Starting is the hardest part.

4. What makes your card/stationery range so popular and interesting? I have no idea! I sit down and create things that make me happy, turns out that what makes me happy makes others happy.

5. Best piece of advice for someone trying to kick start their creative career?To seek out businesses that are a few steps further along the path, to get a bit of perspective and inspiration. To find a potential customer (for us it is was a favourite store) and get their feedback, we were very lucky and the store put in a small order on the spot. If that doesn’t happen, keep trying and take on their comments and critique. A funny thread in poppies is that whatever I love the most of our designs sells the least! I don’t know why- so its important I not get offended by that but make a spectrum of designs suitable to a larger range of tastes.

6. Is “Poppies for Grace” a dream come true??
It is a dream coming true, we have a long list of goals and I still feel like this is the early days for us. We’ve just started selling in the USA which is hugely exciting.

7. What are you currently passionate about?
God. Employment. Small business. Family. This beautiful earth that we call home. Sustainability. Community. Giving back. Faithfulness.

8. Five words that best describe your creative style.
Childlike. Joyful. Un-trained. Whimsical. free

9. Favourite places to visit locally for inspiration.
Anywhere there is a wide open space and green things growing. The Dandenong Ranges, Healesville and The Alpine Region in Victoria are full of inspiration for me

10. Lastly, comfort or style?Comfort for home-cosy clothes are so lovely. Style for work events like trade shows- I like expressing my personality through colours and things I wear.

my favorite answer by far is number 7! thanks Alana for your time, it is very much appreciated and insightful.........


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