Building a collection

Hello friends, it is Sunday evening here in Parsons Green and if you read my post last week you will notice that I have failed in my efforts to try and write this post earlier in the week.

However instead of getting out the beating stick I am feeling positive that this is my third blog post in three weeks, only another eighteen to go and it apparently will become a lifelong habit! It has been a busy week, gradually settling back into the school routine, trying to keep the coughs and colds at bay and then the frightening explosion at Parsons Green tube station on Friday morning. Thankfully Jake and I were already at school and Seb and Posy were still at home so we were all safe, but such a scare at what could have been.

Rather than dwelling on my worries I wanted to write a more hopeful post and to share some little behind the scenes photographs of the bits and pieces I have been working on over the past few months. As many of you know I have decided to put workshops and other ‘in person’ ideas on hold as it simply isn’t compatible with my work and family commitments right now and have decided to focus on building a small capsule collection of paper products to initially sell online and then if that all goes well to slowly approach some retailers.

I have had several other small businesses at different stages in my life and I have to say that designing and storyboarding a collection is one of my favourite things about being a designer maker. I love the dreaming, scribbling and sketching. Sitting on the floor with a great stack of gathered images, spreading them out and then slowly editing them one by one until I am left with a precious handful that I tape onto a piece of card, which then gets folded and tucked into my planner, staying with me always. That’s how it all begins and this dogeared sheet gets pulled out of my bag frequently as I solve a problem, come up with a new idea or find a perfect image in a magazine that causes my synapses to fire. Sometimes it all happens quickly and other times it is a frustratingly slow process, but when it all comes together it really does feel like a tiny bit of magic.

I would describe Posy + Petal as a pocket paperie at the moment. ‘Pocket’ because it really is the teeniest of businesses, with just a handful of products and also because the majority of my paper offerings are indeed pocket sized. I am also building this business with pocket money as I don’t have a budget to grow at a fast rate and need to sell the products that I make to enable me to fund new products and to expand my collection. I have created two boxes of sprinkles, two little boxes of cards, a couple of prints and some hand stitched decorations. All in my trademark colours of greens, pinks and greys, although I have added a tiny touch of blue for the first time. The story behind everything I make is celebrating the power of small and thoughtful gestures. Making a day with a kind word and sweet sentiment. Whilst we all know that a smile, a shoulder squeeze or a well timed phone call can do the trick perfectly, it is also nice to have some paper hugs and kisses to hand when a little extra something is called for.

I have designed my tiny collection at the kitchen table, during the hours of 8pm and 10pm and during Posy’s nap time at the weekend, usually side by side with Jake as he draws pokemon characters. I treasure this time especially, as Jake likes to come up with ideas and frequently adds his own little speech bubbles to my tiny bears and bunnies. His tiny drawings and scribbles on top of my illustrations have inspired a little dot wood poster that can either be popped in a frame as it is or can be doodled on by your little ones. Jake has added little windows to the trees, swirling paths through the forest and his own little animals enjoying a picnic. I look forward to sharing the final version in the springtime.

My process may sound a little whimsical and unnecessary for such modest offerings but it is the only way that I know how to work and I have always approached the smallest of projects with the same care and attention that I would give to a huge event or trade show. I had hoped to have all of my new products in my little online shop by now but some tight deadlines have been eating into my 8-10pm sessions. I am aiming to be up to date and fully stocked within the next couple of weeks but just wanted to share a sneak peek in the meantime. I would love to know your thoughts and wish you all a lovely start to the new week x

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