INDIE OUTLOOK: HELLO HARRIET August 07 2015, 0 Comments

Meet Hello Harriet, purveyor of adorable goods adorned with alpacas, pugs and kittens (to name a few), but really, what's not to like? I've been following Harriet for some time on social media and my first purchase was the 'Alpaca that for you' tote bag, which is probably my favourite pun ever. Read about how she went from packing custard powder, to full-time freelance below...

WHAT DID YOU WORK AS BEFORE BUILDING YOUR INDEPENDENT EMPIRE?
It took me a good 4 years after leaving Uni before I started working for myself full time, and I literally had *so many* random jobs in that time! The most recent before becoming self employed I worked in a factory packing powdered custard, jelly and hot chocolate, which was … interesting, and as you can imagine super glamorous {I’m talking hairnets and overalls}. After that I took on a part time job at a local convenience shop just down the road from my house, which was much more bearable! I actually quite enjoyed that little job but only ended up staying there for about 6 months as that’s when my own shop really took off and I was able to make the jump to full time boss lady.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I originally planned to be a freelance Illustrator, but after graduating I started to realise I really didn’t get on with tight deadlines and the pressure that kind of work involved. I knew I really enjoyed creating artwork and making things, but it was just by chance that a friend invited me to share a stall with her & a few other creatives one Christmas that I ended up making a few products featuring my drawings. I set up an Etsy shop with the remaining stock and things went from there. I cannot imagine working for someone else now. I love the freedom of being able to work on what I want when I want.

WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU'RE SUFFERING WITH CREATIVE BLOCK?

Urgh, creative block is the worst! It usually happens to me when I have been spending way too long on Pinterest or Instagram green eying other people’s amazing work. I try to take myself away from creating anything at all. I’ll get on with other little jobs that need to be done that take zero creativity, like tidying up the studio or replying to emails to give myself a break from the ‘pressure’ of creating artwork. A bit of down time always help to clear my head out so I’ll go outside, to the gym or hang out with friends {Meeko the cat}. I basically remind myself to have fun.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING FOR YOURSELF?
There are so many things I love about my job, it’s awesome being able to work from home, as it means I get to hang out with my little fur baby Meeko all day long. {My partner, Luke is a freelance illustrator and we share our home studio so I get to see him a lot too, which is pretty sweet.} But the thing I love most is seeing my lovely customers sharing photos of things they’ve bought from my shop. There is nothing better than getting tagged in their photos on Instagram, it totally makes my day!

WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF WORKING FOR YOURSELF?

Aside from having to find my own motivation, being strict with myself about actually getting work done and being a one woman band - having to do literally everything myself. One of the things I often struggle with is when other people don’t take your job seriously. Yes, I draw cats and cute things, but this is a legitimate business and it takes hard work to make it work! {I can’t tell you how much I wanted to write that last sentence in lolcat}

WHAT SONG DO YOU PUT ON WHEN YOU NEED TO PICK YOURSELF UP AND 'GET SHIT DONE'?
I’m actually one of those weirdos who really enjoys silence whilst working … but, I’ve always got time for a bit of Beyonce.

WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB AS A CHILD?
Mermaid.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
I’m always working on expanding my range of products, I have a few new items in the pipeline that I’m really excited about. I’m also planning a bit of a relaunch this Autumn, so at the moment I’m planning my first ever ‘proper' photo shoot and doing a lot of work behind the scenes.


If you want to keep up with Harriet and her beautiful furball Meeko, you can follow them here.

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