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8 Highlights of 8 Years of Running a Design Business

This April, I'm celebrating 8 years of my design business so I thought I would do some reflecting and share my highlights from over the years. Hope it will inspire you in your own business, give you inspiration to start your own, or just give you some more insight into what makes Pixel & Bloom tick.

1. Building a Community

It's all been about my lovely customers, without them I couldn't do what I do (well profitably anyway!). The extra lovely stories I hear about them framing my cards, collecting fragrances for their homes, using my cards to send to their loved ones - it means so much. They believe in what I believe in - connection, celebration, and thoughtfulness. Here's to the wonderful Pixel & Bloom community!

2. Shipping Worldwide

Sending products all over the world on Etsy always brings a smile to my face. In 2023 I shipped to 15 different countries - 2 that I hadn't shipped to before. To know my cards are all over the world is an amazing feeling and that love and happiness is being spread further than I could have imagined is truly a business highlight.

3. Diversifying Within my Subject

It all started out 8 years ago with a personalised Christening invite, then personalised cards, to off the shelf cards, to wraps, to fragrances, to licensing. To have the freedom to create new ideas and products and offer them to people is the most exciting thing for a designer full of ideas. I'm truly thankful for this aspect of my business, no 2 days are the same and I'm continually pushed to come up with new things that challenge and push my skills.

4. Selling more than I ever imagined!

27,000 sales on Etsy and counting! I still get a buzz when the little cha-ching goes off on my phone or when I get a little buzz from my website shop. If you are on the fence about opening a shop - don't be! Go for it! It's a huge learning curve and sometimes unpredictable but packing up people's orders is one of my most favourite things, even after 8 years and thousands of parcels later.

5. A Portfolio of Work that I am proud of

Finding my style, building a body of work, building collections, it's take years to do, but I've finally got to a place where I can look at my art and work and think that it's looking ok! Don't get me wrong, I get some of my art very wrong still but it's great to be in a place where I know my formula, lean into my skills and create work that looks like it's come just from me.

6. Seeing my designs on all sorts of products in all sorts of places!

Cards, phone cases, wraps, candles, fabrics, in independent shops in the UK and over the world! It's so exciting to see all my designs on all these products. I was always the kid (and now adult!) in the shop with their mouth open looking at all the pretty fabrics and artworks, amazed at what artists can create. It's an honour to be stocked alongside some of the many artists I admire.

7. Making a difference

It's not all about just making art, and making money from it (although that is very nice), there are lots of ways art and design can make such a difference and I'm proud that even my small business has raised a decent amount of money for charity. And as mentioned above, and many times before, spreading happiness, thoughtfulness and love with my cards and work has always meant so much.

8. Finding a voice within design

I've enjoyed writing about small business and design (I actually am pretty obsessed with finding out about other people's small business!) so it's always a great part of gainign experience myself in the industry and getting to a place where I can share more than just my art. Here are a few things I've written about: women in art, celebrating small business, celebrating people and events, tips and tricks to use and reuse our products.

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