Today we are highlighting the work of talented designer Colleen at @little_hoot_designs. Here is part of our conversation.
Q: Tell us about @little_hoot_designs. What do you do, and how does your work reflect who you are?
A: Little Hoot Designs is a line of kids’ shirts that was inspired by laughing kids across the country and it was created to make them feel good about themselves.
I have a background in psychology and education; through that I wanted to create something that enabled children to have a sense of pride in their clothing through personalization, reflecting their interests, and making them plain happy when they wear it!
Q: How did you get started?
A: I began Little Hoot Designs when I decided to take an early “retirement” from my first grade teaching position after our second nugget was born. I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to do something to keep my creative juices flowing, but would allow me to stay home with our littles…and thus began Little Hoot Designs!
Q: Where and how do you work? Do you have a studio? Do you have a set schedule every day or is your work more fluid?
I work out of my home and I have a studio off our basement. With three young children and a traveling husband, my schedule changes often. However, I try to stick to a set schedule and what I don’t accomplish during those hours, I do after my kids bed time. I am known for being a night owl…I see midnight often!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your By Kids For Kids line? How do you find the kids who produce the art for this series?
A: By Kids For Kids is a new line that just began in January. The purpose of this line is for kids to help others. Each month we feature a new child artist who creates their own design to be printed on our shirts. They apply a bible verse to their work and donate their proceeds to a charity of their choice. I have been overwhelmed with joy by all the interest. The idea just came to me one day through conversation with my children as they were painting and I was drawing new shirt designs. My seven-year-old daughter was the first artist for the line. The idea came so naturally, we just went for it. At this time I haven’t had to search for kids to produce the art, they have come to me, which is thrilling! I have children lined up to feature their art through June of 2018! Agh!!!! Exciting!
Q: What are you currently reading, listening to, or looking at to fuel your creativity?
I wish I was more of a reader! Ha! Time does not allow for leisure reading these days, but I do a lot of Llama Llama Red Pajama and Dr Seuss… I listen a whole lot to my 3, 5 and 7 year old! They are the best fuel! My children’s ages are my target market and the three of them couldn’t be more different, so that helps me pick their brains to get new ideas for what will appeal to my audience.
Q: What are you discovering so far about running a handmade business? Is there anything you wish someone had told you?
A: Handmade businesses are much more demanding than people realize. This day and age everyone expects Amazon Prime-like service and response, so that is a challenge. On the flip side, our social media world allows a mom like me to work from home while building a lego castle with my son… and be successful, so that is pretty awesome! I love being creative and seeing those creations on kids around town and in pictures from afar. Making them happy, is very rewarding!
Q: How do you balance what sounds like a very active family life with running a business?
A: Haha! Got any tips?!… I am always trying to figure out that balance! 😉 I do have days that are set aside for work. However, my family comes first, so days that I have a hiccup in my work schedule, I stay up late or get up early to get my orders fulfilled…and I have found some really good sitters for back-up!
Q: What else would you like our readers to know? (How can they find you, etc.)
A: I appreciate Happier Handmade for featuring Little Hoot Designs! Thank You! My website is www.littlehootdesigns.com. I would love for any reader to follow us on Instagram @Little_Hoot_Designs and Facebook.