Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beau & Arrow

One of the biggest atrocities of the 21st Century is the death of snail mail. I love sending cards in the mail and getting them from other people. I think that when someone does something for you, the least that you can do is formally say thank you with a hand written note. When I was a little girl I was obsessed with Princess Diana and I once read that she always wrote thank you cards the second that she got home from an event. People would get thank you notes from her the next day and it meant a lot. I have always tried to stick to this and I still believe that sending a real birthday card to a friend on their special day can brighten their week. It is nice to know that someone has taken that extra step to wish you well on your day.

The biggest problem that I have these days is finding cards that I actually want to send. I try to stock up when I go to craft shows so that the cards I send are a little more unique. I was recently intrigued when I discovered that one of the hairdressers at my salon, Salon Noir had gotten into the card making business. Her designs are adorable and the cards are too good to pass up. I bought a few right then and there and contacted her to find out more. What I found is that she has an Etsy shop that is expanding everyday. I asked her to tell us a little more about her new venture so that I could share her DIY designs with our readers. Natalee Richards is not only a great hairdresser, but now she’s a little hustler running a great card business. Check out what she had to say about her new venture and visit her on Etsy here.

HID- Why did you name your Etsy store Beau & Arrow?
Natalee- "I actually had to come up with a fictitious store name in school and somehow I landed on that name. After the project, I decided that I really loved the name and that it would be perfect for a shop that sells cards, as you may get a card for your beau or just want to “shoot” a message at someone."

HID- How did you get into drawing and calligraphy?
Natalee- "I have always been very intrigued by drawing and calligraphy, but to be honest, I was always kind of scared... well, intimidated, to take the next step with them. A few years ago, I decided to go back to school and started with some drawing and design classes and that is when I started getting a little more serious about it. As for calligraphy, I always bought all of those crazy pens and “how-to” books to play around with, but I just recently took a class on Skillshare (love that website!) and became super obsessed with it! I still have a lot of practice to get in, but I’m working on it."

HID- What kind of tools do you use to write like this? It can't be a normal pen, right?
Natalee- "I have been playing around with a lot of different tools. For calligraphy, it is definitely not a normal pen. With that, you have a pen holder and you can get a bunch of different nibs (pen tips) that attach to it, which all give their own unique effect. It’s also fun because you have to actually dip it into the ink, so at the beginning, you feel a little like the Founding Fathers when you write! As for some of my other lettering, I just use a pencil to sketch how I want the letters to look and once I’m satisfied, I outline and fill them in with a marker/pen to scan into the computer. I have been dabbling around a lot with both techniques lately because they each have their own unique look."

HID- How do you come up with the design ideas for the cards?
Natalee- "Oh my gosh, the “Notes” section of my phone is FULL of random ideas - a lot of them can later be discarded, as I just put any idea in there when I think “Ooh, that’s a good idea for a card!” and a lot of times, it’s actually not. Ha! This way, though, I’m not completely stuck, thinking of an entire idea when I sit down to actually work on a design. Once I have an idea that I want to work with, I start sketching things over and over until I have a composition I like. Then, I finalize my sketches and move on over to the computer to digitize it."

HID- We love your button earrings. How did you come up with this idea?
Natalee- "Aw, thank you! I actually had a lot of cool fabric scraps that I didn’t really have a use for, so I started looking up ideas that I could put them to use with and came across a fabric covered button tutorial. I decided to give it a try and I loved how they turned out, so I thought they would be a nice addition to the shop! Eventually, I also want to draw up my own fabric designs and have them printed for the earrings, so I’m really excited about that possibility!"

HID- What do you have planned for the future?
Natalee- "I have a lot of learning planned for the future. I am still in school, so I plan on finishing that, hopefully sometime soonish. I also have a lot to learn with my shop - everywhere from improving my skills to the business side of it. No matter what, though, I want to keep my future creative!"

HID- Do you think you will do any of the summer craft fairs? If so, which ones can we expect to see you in?
Natalee- "I am not currently registered for any summer craft fairs, and at this point I have probably missed the deadlines - whoops! I will probably spend the summer working on getting a lot of new stuff out, but if a miracle happens, I will keep my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/beauarrowdesign) updated with any info!"

HID- Where do you want to see the company in five years?
Natalee- "In five years, I definitely want to have expanded my brand a lot. I also hope to be attending craft fairs regularly and I would like to take the plunge into trade shows with a wholesale line. That way, I can get my name out there and potentially have my cards in a lot of different shops and boutiques around the country. Also, as much as I love Etsy, I would love for my shop to expand beyond it with its very own website."

HID- What do you like more, doing hair or making custom cards?
Natalee- "OOOOH, are my bosses going to be reading this? Ha! I would have to say that I have a different love for both of them. I enjoy that I can be creative with both on a daily basis, but I would have to say that I feel a little more creative freedom when I make cards. I can be as goofy or as lame as I want with them and I always get super pumped when they start coming together! Also, if they don’t turn out in the end, it’s nothing like cutting two inches off of someone’s hair when they only wanted one."


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