When did you set up your business and why?
I started this business in March 2022. Having my own business that combines my two passions - graphic design and crafting - was something I always dreamed of, but never had the courage to do.
Before starting the business, I worked as a graphic designer in a PR agency and although I enjoyed my job, it felt like there was something missing.
Since COVID started and I began working from home, I had a lot more time on my hands, which I would have normally spent commuting to work.
Now that I didn't have to do that, I was spending that time doing more of what I loved - crafting.
The lockdowns and the restrictions obviously had its effect on me too. With not many places to go and things to do, I was trying to find something to keep myself busy.
I noticed a significant rise of babies being born in the past two years and with more babies being born among my family and friends, I found myself looking for the perfect baby gifts for the new parents and their little bundles of joy.
Since I'm a very picky shopper, the gift-hunting wasn't going great, so one day I decided to make the perfect gift myself and hence created my very first product - a baby milestone book - without realising what it would turn into only a few months later!
I was just after starting a new job and quitting it to start my own business was definitely not on my to-do list!
Saying that, I have never felt so happy and so fulfilled as I did when I held the first ever product that I made from scratch and what made it even better was the joy of the person that received it.
I created something that this person will keep and treasure for years to come. Something so small and so worthless to the world and yet so priceless to that person!
At that moment, I realised that this is the way I want to feel at my job, designing and making things that mean nothing to the world, but mean the world to the people getting them. That's when I made the decision to take the leap of faith and go after my dream.
Can you explain your process?
I create many different types of products, which are grouped into themed collections, for example 'The Woodland Dream Collection'.
The process of creating a new collection starts with a visual concept. I choose the style and the look and feel that I want all of the products to have.
To help me with that, I create mood boards consisting of the chosen colour scheme, typography, visuals, textures, etc. Once I'm happy with the overall look and feel of the mood board, I move on to designing the products.
The first product I always create is a baby milestone book, which is basically a journal for documenting the most important moments and milestones of a baby's first year of life.
I start the process with creating the content for the book - this involves hours of research and copywriting to ensure that I'm covering everything a new parent would possibly want to document.
Once the content is ready, I move on to the design phase, where I design the inside pages of the book, making sure they're in keeping with the look and feel of the mood board. The design phase takes approximately two to four weeks.
Next is choosing the materials for the covers of the book. This takes a lot of sourcing, experimenting and testing.
I try different suppliers, different types of fabrics, test their durability and ensure that I'm happy with both the look and the quality of the chosen materials. This stage always takes a few weeks!
All of the books are handbound by me and the covers are personalised with the baby's name and date of birth using heat press vinyl.
Each book comes in a decorative box, which is also personalised with the baby's details. I source the boxes from an Irish supplier and decorate them with my handmade pieces, using the same materials that were used for the book covers to ensure consistency across the two items.
Once the book and the box are ready, I move on to designing other products, including keepsake boxes, nursery decorations, name signs, baby milestone cards, a range of baby apparel and smaller accessories such as soother clips.
The goal is to make sure that all of the products share the same consistent visual style.
What is your best seller?
The baby milestone books are definitely my best sellers since starting the business and I couldn't be happier knowing that the product and the idea that started this journey is the most-loved product among my customers!
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
I think if you do something that you truly love, you enjoy each and every part of the process, but if I was to pick one thing that makes me the happiest in the business, it is the amazing feedback that I get from my customers.
I started this business with the goal of creating something of great value to people and something that will put a smile on their faces now and in years to come.
Getting reviews from people saying that it's exactly what they were looking for and something they will treasure for years is the best reward I could ever ask for.
What are your hopes for 2022?
I'm working on a new collection at the moment, which I'm hoping to launch soon and I'm very excited about it.
I'm also planning to expand my product range next year (that also includes products outside of the baby market!) and since there's a lot of background work involved in it, I'm hoping to make a start on it in the coming weeks and get it ready for launch in 2023.
I'm also hoping to start looking into possible stockists around the country who would be willing to sell my products in their stores.
What advice would you give to another start-up business?
Don't wait for the perfect timing and the perfect circumstances. Start where you are, with what you have and keep growing!
For further information, visit https://thelittlebigmoments.ie/.