Friday, June 29, 2007

Sophie & Spice

Jill Pearson is the designer behind Sophie and Spice, a business which offers delightful things for your little ones, including baby bibs, tees, bodysuits, and name tags. She also offers mom calling cards, as well as customized photo collages in canvas and print. Jill is a professional illustrator and designer who, after having her first baby Sophie, was inspired to create things for her daughter. Quickly realizing a new creative outlet, Sophie and Spice was born!

Background in Illustration
"I have a BFA in Illustration from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. After college I did a lot of editorial illustration, which required me to market my "brand" of illustration. I think that really sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and gave me the skills to get my products out there. I'm able to do all of my own design work, including my website, which saves me a tremendous amount of money."

Balancing Work and Business
"Sophie is only one now, so I am able to work during her nap and before she gets up in the morning. I also do some work when my husband is home. If I am very busy, then one of the grandmoms or a babysitter helps me out. It¹s really the best of both worlds, though it can be tough at times."

Outsourcing Products
"All of my products are printed, so I use a number of different companies.
Since it would require a lot of capital to purchase the necessary printers
to create my products, I felt that it was best to focus my available funds
on advertising."

Financing a Business
"Sophie and Spice is run under the wing of Jill Pearson Illustration and Design. I've been gradually adding more products and doing more advertising as I go. Since I have income coming in from the other freelance design work I do (mainly kids sports posters for photographers), I have not needed to take any loans to get things going. I already had a computer, home office, etc for my main business and my products are all made to order, so there was no investment in bulk ordering supplies. As I mentioned above, I do all of my own design work as well, including my website."

Pricing Items
"I take the production cost, my time involvement, and competitor's prices for similar products into account."

Marketing Products
"I use search engine optimization, Google Adwords, and write ups on blogs. I target my SEO and Adwords towards specific products. I find that when people do a web search for a certain product, they are usually more serious about buying it."

Low Cost Advertising
"Any kind of sites that offer free listings, press releases, etc. are a great way to get the word out there. I have found that Google will pick up content from some of these sites."

Business Challenges
"I wish I had more time to work on things, I have so many plans for products but with the other work I do, I simply don't have 8 hours a day to work on it. I also wish I wasn't so nervous about investing more money into advertising my business."

Motivated by...
"My family [who] believes in me, and love for what I do."

Recommended Business Resources
"The (for creative women in business), the Ispot (for illustration), and the Graphics Artists Guild. "

Words of Advice-Love Your Work
"Find something you love to do and it will never feel like work. If you plan to sell on the web, spend money on creating a professional looking website before advertising it. There is no sense in shelling out money to advertise a site that customers won't want to buy things from."

Jill Pearson

No comments: