1. Tell us about you and your shop.
I am an independent designer from western New York with a relatively new online paper- and printable goods shop called Up Up Creative. The shop was named by my then-15-month-old son – I asked him one day what I should call my little store and he said, "Up up?" (wanting to be picked up, of course) and the name stuck.
The goal of my work is to provide modern, clean design and handmade goods that have practical and lasting applications (e.g. printable stationery sets, recipe cards, school valentines, wall calendars, and more). I only create and sell things that I would actually buy myself – things for the person who loves design and admires beauty but who lives within a budget. My work is clean but colorful; simple but with a sense of humor; bold but still understated. Much of it is downloadable and DIY – I want people like me who love to create things to be able to have a personal library of gorgeous designs.
I started Up Up Creative in 2008 after coming to the scary realization that writing my dissertation in English was making me miserable. Suddenly, I found myself gripped by the fierce need to create. I am the illustrator and designer, owner and operator. I am the marketing department and the shipping department. Up Up Creative is all me, 100%. And I love it.
2. How did you get started in your craft?
My introduction to design was through my undergraduate degree in communication systems and technology. In my program, we studied human-computer interaction (how people actually use computers) and so much of what we talked about pertaining to communication had to do with visual communication. I was immediately taken in by the idea that the way something looks contributes to its meaning and to its function.
It took me about ten years after I began in that program to really come around to this as a career. I did a lot of freelance web design in my early twenties and also worked as an IT consultant and web programmer before returning to graduate school in English (I have always had a romantic attachment to books and I always thought I’d prefer teaching literature to undergraduates than teaching oral comm., thus the switch in fields for graduate school).
It wasn’t until I was neck-deep in my dissertation that I suddenly found myself needing to make things all the time, and I’d say that in the last seven months since I started selling on Etsy my craft has really developed and I’ve started to find my own voice and style.
3. What tool can you not live without?
My imagination. And free babysitters. And Adobe Illustrator.
4. What inspires you?
Everything. Sometimes it’s actually overwhelming being inspired everywhere I look. I’m inspired a lot by my daily life – what I need, what I notice, what’s going on in my relationships. My crazy love cards, for example, are 100% inspired by my relationship with my husband as well as the relationships between my close friends and their significant others.
5. Name one favorite item from your store
Oh geez, just one? The cool thing about Up Up Creative is that every single thing I put in the shop is my new favorite. Every sale I make prompts the thought, “Oh, I love that one.” The most personally meaningful item in my shop, though, is probably the Feelgood List. I loved making it for myself, I love the design, and most of all I love the response I’ve gotten from people. I love reading their list items. I love their emails and how their Feelgood Lists make them feel.