Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Little Smilemakers Studio Moved // New Address

Finally we're all settled in and ready to focus on work again instead of scoring that perfect ochre carpet, shopping for some lush green in one of our local shops in our new street, or searching for that perfect cabinet to hold the printer we only use for doing taxes. Anyway it is back to work again! And we have moved into the best place to do so.

The new studio is located within an old swimming pool building. The facade has it’s original Art Deco detailing and signing from 1920. Back then the swimming pool was the largest in-house pool in Europe. But it closed up in 1995. 5 years ago De Nieuwe Regentes opened it’s theater doors. There is a main stage, built above the old swimming pool. Under this main stage area is the 'under water' area, still in tact. With it's old tiles and diagonal floor. This is an area for presentations and also used for art exhibits. You can still see the showers and changing rooms, original details are still there, making the place one of a kind. The building has transformed into a cultural hotspot and new parts were added to the old structure.

"4 years ago, I started doing volunteer work in the theater. Working from my home was driving me bonkers and I needed to be around people. I work as a volunteer, behind the scenes on our kids mornings. And I love being around the creative buzz that is constantly going around. So when my colleague asked me if I would like to move into the building with the studio everything screamed YES!"

We are working in the old changing area that is turned into three offices. As you can imagine, working inside of a theater can be hectic. Suddenly a woman starts to sing opera, practicing for her performance later that day. Kids run around finding their way to our weekly toddler concerts. Watching dance rehearsals during lunch break. Every day is different. And that is exactly what is needed to keep creatively inspired.

Feel welcome to visit us in our new office! We have a great tearoom to host and meet up with clients and some proper coffee to get you through the day. Or check the the website to see what's going on in the theater.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

New collab // Licensed work // Bedhead Hats summer collection

We all want to protect our little ones when they’re playing out in the sun. Wearing a cute half is half the work of getting your little ones get used to wearing something on their hats. I know those things can be a struggle to keep on!You have to admit these three look pretty adorable right? Getting your kids to wear a hat can be such a struggle! So Bedhead Hats created hats with the most adorable prints, with a great fit for all kids sizes and soft detailing.

Bedhead Hats is an Australian run family business that offers comfy and cute hats from the smallest new born baby sizes to outdoorsy and adventurous kids ready to go to school fashionably. We love their baby buckets and swim hats. Such a clever brand! For this fun kids hats brand we license some really cute designs. Unicorns, cacti and our fave: kangaroos. We adorable the little kangaroo hats. What about you? Curious what else this fun shop has to offer? Check out their website and browse around these cool kids pieces.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // June: The Rainforest Wanderlust launch // Bambino Mio

A little different than our usual monthly post. This months we have a ‘Made with’ completely devoted to our new Bambino Mio collection we have worked on the past year. With a strong visual consistency and the colors and joyful characters we know and love.

Bambino Mio is a company known for their re-usable baby diapers and they have been around for 20 years. Selling nappies with print designs is rarely new to them. We started working together 4 years ago and within the past years the print collection has been growing rapidly.

Signature research
But with this rapid growth, Bambino Mio was searching for the consistency within their print designs. Therefore we met up and talked about the importance of print designs, and how they could be a trend setting party in the eco baby business instead of a company that just follows the pack. We created a strong design signature. Including guidelines in using colors, composition, shapes and form. The new Rainforest collection is the first collection launched with the new Bambino Signature. With this signature we are creating a strong series of designs, all visually linked to the brand.

Trend research
For the Rainforest wanderlust collection we researched global trends too. Bambino Mio sells it’s products world wide and the prints should attract customers all around the world. A pretty big task. But we created a fun, colorful collection, appealing to a large audience but also with a distinctive unique Bambino Mio touch. The prints are already pretty popular. We already had so many sweet comments from Australia to Canada come in and new images are popping up on our social media feed every day. They look so damn cool!

Rainforest Wanderlust
So we are proud to show you these 6 print designs exclusively made for Bambino Mio. For this collection we were inspired by the tropical vibes of the rainforest. We created some adorable animal characters, sloths, snakes, toucan birds, wild cats and hummingbirds. There is a cute creature for everyone!

Curious to know more about licensing designs? Or is your business also in need of a clear visual language. Please send us an email. We are happy to guide you through this process.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Let's celebrate yellow / 5 reasons why we all adore this color of joy and sunshine

Colors have a strong but also subconscious effect on our everyday lives. During my design studies, studying color was our most demanding and time consuming subject. As a visual artist I was taught how to influence and effect others with my use of the color spectrum.

Yellow is the color of sunshine, joy, vitality, happiness and creativity. Yellow is bright and warm and often used for light, breezy and joyful subjects. When I think about yellow I think off sunshine, vacation… But this color is also symbol of courage an confidence, boosting energy and self esteem. And with a little hint of black, bright sunny yellow turns into a trendy mustard color. With a little touch of red, ochre. All gender neutral colors that are very popular right now.

1 // I love yellow personality
I personally never liked yellow. Up until last year I wouldn't use this color in my designs. Only a little hint every now and then. Now I create full yellow, mostly mustard colored, designs and I really love these shades of yellow, but still I would never add a 100% yellow color to my work. I still have this inexplicable aversion towards the bright yellow color. Maybe it is just a little too energetic, draws a little too much attention, and with this ingredient it is hard to balance out colors in a design too? According to spiritual studies the color represents our self worth and in stressful times can be too vibrant. The color always makes me feel a little agitated.

2 // Yellow & branding
Yellow has often been used as a signal color. Like red is used for caution, bright yellow is often used to stand out and bring attention to the subject too, think about urban signage or the numerous cabs that circle around Manhattan, they are easy to find since their color pops out. And what about post-it notes, a brilliant color to remind you of things to do. A great color for attention without the heaviness of danger. Yellow loves to talk and is a color that can speak for itself. It is not often used in logo design but if we think about yellow branding we all think about cheap, outlet companies. Can you come up with some?

3 // The color of creativity
Yellow also lifts our mood and increases brain activity if we are surrounded by the color. It is the color of new ideas, while activating us it puts the brain at work and can give us a new perspective, create new solutions. Yellow activates in al lot of ways.

4 // Yellow & food
Studies have shown that people that were eating in a yellow room would eat a lot more than in rooms that were painted in other colors. So maybe painting your dining room in a shade of yellow might not be a good idea if you want to watch your weight. I do not eat at fast food joints often, most of these 'restaurants' have yellow interiors to make you eat a little more. A clever way to generate more cash right? One of world's largest fast food joint is well know for it's screaming yellow logo. The go to place to stuff your face.

5 // Girls & boys
This year yellow has been making a come back in fashion design. Yellow is a perfect color for gender neutral interior accents and is perfect in fashion for both boys and girls. Right now ochre and mustard are two shades that are very trending in print and fashion and also two shades we love to work with. We have made an entire new mustard colored series for this summer season. Go shop for sunshine at Spoonflower.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sources of inspiration // Living at Sea

My home is located only a 10 minute bike ride from the beach. During the warmer season I love cycling through the dunes and stare at the sunset. It is such an amazing way to finish the day. Get some fresh air and clear my mind. During these warm days I notice my creations get influenced by the re-found calm. My designs get a little more minimal, soft and clear. I love this time of the year and I would love to live in a climate where visiting the beach on flip flops would be a possibility all year long. But for now I will just soak up the sun and try to store some energy for the colder season.

I love living close to the beach and therefore love to work with customers who make products for the ocean. Splash About, LSea Swimwear, Bambino Mio... We have licensed to numerous swimwear companies and love seeing our designs used for beachwear and sun protecting kids items. Batoko, Little Mermaids, Quinn & Belle, are a few companies we collab with. But we have a lot’s of sea themed prints still available. Maybe something for your business?

The sea has been a great influence for me ever since I moved to this city 10 years ago. The city is packed and busy and the beach offers a great ease on crazy days. I even created a -beach- series, soft abstract prints influences by the sea and the life around the beach, parasols, waves, seagulls. The collection is named ‘Miami.’ A little more catchy that naming the prints after this small Dutch city The Hague. These prints are great for woman’s fashion and accessories.

Two years ago we also created our ‘Ocean Life’ series. A fun range of prints for kids. With sea turtles, fish, sea horses and shells. Dedicated to the colorful imagination of your little one. We are still in love with our octopus print. Which one do you like most?

All prints shown here are available on fabric and wallpaper in our Spoonflower shop. The Miami prints and Ocean Life series are available for licensing. If you would like to use one of the prints featured here or any other designs you see in our feed just reach out and send us a quick message.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Finished Product: Lsea Swimwear // Flamingo two-piece bikini

Oh yes, I am a little water rat myself and love that the temperatures are rising again. Cannot wait to put on my bikini and take off to the beach when everyone else is working. You can imagine how super excited we get to work with fashion brands that focus on swimwear. We have worked together with several beachwear companies in the past and we wanted to put a little extra light on this cool fashion brand based in Florida.

Swimwear made with love
We loved seeing these images pop up in our social media feed. So fresh and fun. We just couldn’t wait to share them with you. But it is not only the awesome flamingo bikini we love. Also the story behind the product is very interesting.

Bethany is the owner of Lsea and she and her husband visited the Dominican Republic back in 2015. She totally fell in love with the country but also witnessed Dominican youth, the problems, the poverty. After this trip she decided she wanted to do something more meaningful and created a brand that would make a difference. A portion of the income is donated to educate and nourish Dominican children, giving them a proper foundation to build their future on. Bethany wanted to offer them the same opportunities she had while growing up and while her swimwear brand is rapidly growing, her dream of helping these kids becomes reality.

Support her cause
So if you would like to get your hands on a new two-piece for the swimming pool or if you are planning a trip and dip in the ocean. Take a look at her website and support her sweet cause. She has some fun tropical prints to choose from and there are also some one-piece bathing suits available if you are a little reluctant to wear these minimal bikini’s. I know they can be a little challenging! Enjoy browsing around Bethany’s online shop.

Interested in licensing our prints for your business? We license our designs to fashion brands, home decoration suppliers, we'll anything you can out a print on, so please send us a message and find out what we can do for you.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 May 2018

It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives that use our fabrics have a small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. But there are also some bigger fish out their using our Spoonflower designs for their business. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Australia and The United States. This month we selected a whole bunch of summer faves turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and fun dog accessories, so much to choose from! We have selected a some cool summer leggings, some on trend kids swim wear and some creations made for you four legged friend! Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. Have a look and enjoy our May selection.

1 // Waggin’ Tails
Our fabric gets used for all kinds of fun projects and used by various creative businesses. We love seeing our fabric being used for pet accessories. So seeing these cool images pop up in our feed made us all excited. Holden the Golden is wearing his super adorable kawaii ice cream bandana. The colors really look good on him right? We love seeing these kind of finished projects pop up. It makes me wanna run to the shelter and get myself a pup too. Curious to see more Waggin’ Tails handmade accessories and wanna get you hands on this cool summer bandana? Check the shop.

2 // Little Eskimo
We love the summer season and all those cute summer pieces popping up in our feed made with colorful summer themed fabric. These fun new born leggings were made by Little Eskimo, a small Australian shop filled with baby and toddler essentials. She offers a great selection of Little Smilemakers designs on beanies, bibs, blankets, rompers and a whole bunch more fun baby and toddler items. And new prints are up in the shop every few months. So for all you down under looking for fresh and fun kids wear, take a look!

3 // Pipolli
We wanted to show some more pet related items this month. And we stumbled upon this brand a few years ago. Pipolli creates fun dog home accessories. And we especially like the dog teepees they offer. The cactus print was licensed via Shutterstock when we still licensed our prints through this company. We love the companies fun style, Scandinavian minimal and on trend. So if you are looking for a fun doggie hang out or blanket check their website and see what they got to offer.

4 // Clamfeet
Those tiny soft soles. Only the cutest feet can wear these! Looking for some soft and comfy footwear for your little one? You might wanna check out this shop. They create the most adorable printed soft sole shoes. They are super soft and all handmade by Julie, who was inspired to create these after struggling to find suitable shoes for hew little boys. Her soft sole shoes are all vegan and easy to wash and dry. Very important! Tiny feet like puddles and mud! She also offers these cool prints in adult sizes, so you can mix and match with your little ones. So clever! Wanna support her little shop, take a look and see what’s there. These shoes make the most adorable baby shower gift. I know I am hooked!

5 // Quinn & Belle
This Arizona based shop has a cute range of girls fashion. Rompers, dresses, leggings and accessories, you name it. We love their colorful range. And there are lot’s of Little Smilemakers prints to choose from. This year Quinn & Belle launched their cool swimwear collection. We love the mix and match swim suits and triangle bikini’s. We love this little girl with her pineapples & monochrome grid combo. Did you know you can use the sports lycra to create swim fashion like this? if you are not that handy yourself you can always grab one of these cool swim wear pieces. Take a look in the shop.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Trend Alert // Botanical watercolors

We started creating prints and patterns 12 years ago already and we started out creating mostly vector based designs, followed by hand drawn prints, using our sketches made for vector design. We also created some custom watercolor designs in the early days, but for regular licensing; watercolors were impossible to sell.

But ever since the conscious trend, slow design kept growing, raw materials, abstracts, textures, use of paint, chalk, paper cuts and there it is watercolors. We are so happy to see this trend taking off and we have been making four new collections in watercolors the past three years. Our summer fruits, boho series, our abstracts and most recently, because how could we not…. our new watercolor botanicals.

Going back to creating watercolors has been so much fun. I loved using this medium when I was still studying, but as a graphic designer, using watercolors was always pretty difficult, very costly and difficult to integrate into graphic items.

Watercolors are only interesting to create and sell in between jobs. Since creating watercolors is pretty specific and takes a lot more time to create and to process and digitalize. So for now we are not looking for any custom watercolor jobs. But we do have a whole bunch you can license for your business in our non-exclusive library. Just send us a quick message to find our more about our licensing structures. Hope you like the new collection! Is is also available in our Spoonflower shop on both fabric and wallpaper.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sources of inspiration: Recharge // Getting back to nature

April has been a good month, travel wise. Just before moving the studio we decided to take a little break and travel. We visit Spain and Italy and came back recharged and full of inspiration.

As a designer I need to create my own bubble in order to make new work. But too much solitude also blocks creativity. Spring time is an amazing time of the year to get out more, see the leaves grow, trees turn green, flowers blossom. Such an inspirational time of the year. As you can imagine lot’s of nature inspired surface patterns will be in the making.

This year I booked two short trips to Spain, Siurana: a lush area, popular for climbing and hiking. I had a little peek into the world of rock climbing there. And I already signed up for a bouldering introduction course back home. Being outside all day, under the trees, watching the landscapes change, the dramatic mountains, the soft warm breeze. Living in a city is pretty challenging sometimes, the chaotic streets, so many people, cars, noise. So a 5 day all day green experience was an amazing way to recharge, absorb some sunlight to return home with some refreshed energy.

After Spain I travelled to the Amalfi coast. Nature has so much to offer. I love the dramatic rocks, the contrasting bright color of the water. The Amalfi coast is truly mesmerizing. But of course traveling to Italy means awesome food! I love being in the woods and enjoy being outside but I do love a little culture too. Italy will always be one of my fave European countries to visit.

Now we’re all back in the studio and also renovating the new studio space where we will be moving into within the next two weeks. Curious about the space and how we are turning it around into a new creative business office? Check @littlesmilemakers stories on Insta to get a little peek into what we are doing.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 April 2018

It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives that use our fabrics have a small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. But there are also some bigger fish out their using our Spoonflower designs for their business. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Latvia, Poland, the States and France. This month we selected a whole bunch of favorite fabrics turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and home and interior decoration, so much to choose from! We have selected a cool cute abstract rompers, some on trend kids bedding and some other fashion items you’re going to love! Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. Have a look and enjoy our April selection.

1 // Wuf Kids // Baby Teethers & Fashion Accessories
This Latvian shop has some cool things to offer. We love their range of leggings and we adore their fun little hedgehog fabric teethers. So clever! But they have lot’s more cute things to choose from. And lot’s of Little Smilemakers designs! Triangles, flamingo’s, teepees, ice cream cones, grizzly bears, and our minty feathers of course. I bet we forgot to mention some other designs but take a look at their Facebook page and see them all!

2 // Milutka // Bedding & outdoor accessories
Milutka is a company specialized in kids cottons. From soft winter hats to mommy hand warmers, pillows, soft toys and stroller gear, if you'd like to have one print for your entire nursery and kids outdoor gear go visit their online shop. They have our cute little raccoon cactus print in their collection but also our colorful pirates, elephants, squirrels, dachshund puppy, plus sign and owl prints. And last but not least: They have a great selection of kids bedding in all those prints mentioned above. Take a look!

3 // Woodbean // Baby Rompers
If you are looking for some unique snuggle wear for your little one this shop is the place to be. Lisa, who is based in Minnesota, creates the most wonderful soft pieces for your little one and we love her style of mixing and matching prints and uni’s. Her style is like no other and we wanted to share one of her custom made orders with you for which she has used our Abstract Bubble design. These soft little rompers are just to die for. We love how Lisa mixed the print with the contrasting earth tones. Check out her Etsy shop where you can see her wonderful collection in a series of beautiful, soft photography. Check out all her wonderful handmade creations.

4 // Pistol & Arrow // Leotards
We just adore the ice cream leotard made by Brittany Kleiss who runs her small Pistol & Arrow Etsy shop from Fair Oaks. The ice cream print has been around for a while but we found this adorable baby girl in her leo a few weeks ago. Since we have a little bit of a girly theme this month this webshop is def worth a visit. She has some adorable items for your little girl. So go take a look.

5 // Ty Mom Studio // Kids Fashion
Charlene is based in Paris and has a great eye for thinking in collections. Her fabric choices have a steady ‘feel.’ She has a fun collection of on trend gender neutral fabrics and she is working on a big collection for her webshop launch. Even though her webshop is not quite open yet, we wanted to share some of her cute pineapple and cacti leggings and those gender neutral rompers with you. For now you will have to try and have a little more patience until she opens up her shop you can follow her on Instagram. I already have my eye on these cool cacti leggings. Click here is you want to follow this brand new small business.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New collection: Recharge // Botanical Pop // New fabric and Wallpaper & Art License available // Tropical destinations turned into a new colorful collection of surface pattern designs

Spring is such an inspiring time of the year. I live in a four season country and even though I am an autumn child I do prefer the warmer seasons. Actually the only season I do not like is winter. But the cold comes with crisp clean, sober ease as well. Anyway back to spring. Where the flowers blossom and the trees turn green again. The time of the year to release a whole bunch of new tropical print designs.

During the winter I usually travel to a tropical country. I go somewhere lush and warm. I have visit Indonesia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, all during Dutch wintertime. And past winter I traveled through Vietnam, where I got the botanical buzz. When I got back home early January I just had to sit down and create. Make a new series of botanical prints. And this time with a strong palette of colors that pop. Usually I just don’t have enough time and sit down and make an entire new collection when I get back in the studio after my month long winter break. It is all about responding to new emails, picking up new custom work for clients. But this time I just needed to create, I put all my inspiration, everything collected from those tropical destinations into the new tropical series. With as always a little touch of childhood.

We now have some gender neutral botanical pop garden prints available on fabric but we also added some kids themes, dinosaurs, flamingo’s to cover our tiniest target group too. Curious to see all prints? Check out our Spoonflower shop and enjoy the entire new collection! If you are interested in licensing one of these new designs, or any other print designs you see pop up in our social media posts and online shops. Please reach out and send us an email for more information about using our designs for your products.

Monday, March 19, 2018

New Work // Milovia cloth nappies spring 2018 launch

Have you seen the new monkeys over at Milovia? We are very proud to be part of their newest collection once again. It has been a while we have made some new designs for this fun cloth nappy brand.

We started working together when they were rebranding their business. Cloth nappies were not all that common 5 years ago and their business took off and grew rapidly. From a small Polish company they grew into an international brand selling their products world wide and the company was in need of a more international name, appealing to their global customers. So they changed their name from Male me to Milovia and we have been making print designs for them every now and then.

Last year they expanded their collection with home decoration and accessories. We love seeing those pillows and blankets! How perfect is that? Your favorite prints are no longer limited to your babies bum. We are very happy to give them a little shout out here on the blog and of course we really wanted to show you this new Monkey print we made. We love seeing the end result. We hereby want to congratulate Milovia with another fresh collection. Curious and want to know more about cloth diapers? Check out their website for more info and products.

If you would like to license on of our designs for your products? Send us a quick message! Click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How to take care of your Spoonflower fabrics // soft and gentle care

3 Tips for prepping your Spoonflower fabrics

1 // Wash your cotton or polyester fabric before use. Unfold your fabric and wash with a phosphate-free detergent in cool or warm water using a gentle or delicate machine cycle. Wash separately or with like colors for best results. Use of phosphates in detergent is highly regulated in the USA and many other countries and is relatively uncommon. However, we encourage you to double-check your detergent prior to use.
2 // Special note for cotton fabrics: As these fabrics are surface printed with water-based inks, there is a chance of some fading (especially on darker colors.) Front loading washers are the worst offenders due to increased tumbling action during cleaning. Fading can be minimized through the use of cool water and gentle wash cycles.
3 // Tumble dry before use. Indulge your fabric in a cozy tumble dry on a low temperature.

3 Tips for ironing Spoonflower fabrics

1 // Cotton fabrics: Iron our 100% cotton fabrics using standard settings for cotton. Always iron with the printed side down for best results. Steam may be used to remove wrinkles. You'll want to avoid spraying the fabric with a water bottle while ironing because this can lead to unexpected staining.
2 // Special note for Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra: High temperature settings may cause discoloration or crushing of linen, so we recommend you use synthetic settings and a light touch.
3 // Polyester fabrics: These tend to be wrinkle resistant, but if necessary, iron with a light touch on the unprinted side of the fabric using a synthetic setting only. Do be careful with the heat as higher iron temperatures may result in color transfer and, in extreme cases, melting of fabric.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 3 March 2018

We love sharing your creations on our blog and social media feeds. Every month we make a selection of finished creations made by our Spoonflower customers. Our hearts make a little jump for joy every time our studio gets tagged in your posts too.

Most of the creations we see pop up are made by small home based businesses selling their projects via places like Etsy and they share and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from the United States, New Zealand and from the beautiful Paris. For this months March post we selected three shops run by moms. A little extra attentions for these three ladies!

1 // Ty Mom Studio
Charlene is based in Paris and has a great eye for thinking in collections. Her fabric choices have a steady ‘feel.’ She has a fun collection of on trend gender neutral fabrics and she is working on a big collection for her webshop launch. Even though her webshop is not quite open yet, we wanted to share some of her cute pineapple and cacti leggings and those gender neutral rompers with you. For now you will have to try and have a little more patience until she opens up her shop you can follow her on Instagram. I already have my eye on these cool cacti leggings. Click here is you want to follow this brand new small business.

2 // Bean Sprout Store
We love everything Hiedee creates. Her style is quirky and clean and she makes fun kids accessories such as book bags, hair ties and what do you think about these mustard cloud hats? She works together with Krystle Photography and together this New Zealand team of power ladies take it up a notch when it comes to small business marketing. Her photographs are amazing and make Hiedees creations pop! Take a look at her shop and see all new gender neutral creations made with our new spring fabric. Click here to take a look in her shop.

3 // Woodbean
Lisa is mom of 5 so you can imagine she has a lot on her plate with those tiny humans running around. Even so she makes time to build her business. Her style is comfy and cool. We love how she mixes prints and uni colors, these combinations make all her products one of a kind. Lisa has used some of our abstract designs in the past and for this months post we wanted to share her cool purple baby shirt where she mixes two of our most recent abstract designs. Her shop is currently closed for a bit while she is moving house. But stay in the loop and follow her Instagram account to see what she’s up to. So you can order one of her fashionable pieces as soon as she opens up her shop again mid-April. Follor her on Instagram here.

Most of our Spoonflower fabric gets purchased by mom’s who love to make something cute for their little one. But some of them take things to a whole other level and open up their own handmade shop with the most wonderful creations. So inspiring! We would love to give all of you hard working mommies a little shout out but we cannot share all your wonderful creations, unfortunately. If you would like to be featured in one of our Monthly ‘Made With’ posts. Just reach out and send us your fabric creations!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Behind the Scenes // Creative Business // Create a passive Income / Top 5 websites for artists

When I was still working as a graphic designer for a local design agency I started to upload my images on stock websites. I always loved to make photo’s and back in the day, we are talking 15 years ago, I was always carrying a camera. My archive of random street photography and abstracts was pilling up and I wanted to put those images to good use. While I was working as a graphic designer I use websites like Getty Images and iStock Photo and up until today I will have a steady base income from royalty platforms.

Passive income is very important. Without this chunk of income I would not be able to built my business. If you are starting out as an independent artist trying to monetize your work there are lot’s of places to turn to. Some websites are only looking for on trend creations, some you are welcome to sell your own original handwriting. Some just are too chaotic and you have to invest way too much time to prepare work in order to sell. I have tackled quite some websites in the past and am now happy with my small list of passive income companies I do business with. Here is a top 5 of my favorite websites to earn some extra cash.

1 // Spoonflower
If you are a surface pattern designer this website is a great way to showcase your work. You can upload your designs as .jpg files and the website is easy to navigate. You can add tag words, a short description and you can easily scale your designs, so you don’t have to worry too much about the quality you upload. Of course working with a high quality .jpg works best, that is obvious to proper designers, but you don’t have to add other scales manually. You can do that in their own system. Starting out Spoonflower can be a little bit pricey. You will have to order your own fabric samples and do a quality check and that can get a little costly. I started out selling my work through Spoonflower around 5 years ago. So my portfolio was built gradually. Seeing your first samples come in on organic cotton or silk is amazing though, and there is a lot you can do with those samples. For me this website is my number one pick.

2 // Society6
Society 6 is a website where you can sell wall art, clothes, iPhone cases, home textiles, accessories… there is so much to choose from. I love the quality of their iPhone cases and always order one of my own prints to protect my phone, a great way to start a conversation about your work, since your phone is always with you.
You can set your own price and I love how easy it is to navigate the backend. You can just prepare one file and use it for all products or you can customize your products. Whatever works best for you.

3 // Creative Market
As an artist I know creative Market is the obvious pick when it comes to passive income. I do not have a whole lot of experience with this website yet. I just started selling designs a year ago. But if you are a graphic designer it is a great way to showcase your work and get in touch with potential clients. You can upload logo designs, photography, website templates and more traditional graphic design products. You can also set your own process on this website. I love that you can have the option since some designs take a lot more effort to create then others. I would really recommend using Creative Market when you are starting as an independent designer. It is probably one of the most famous websites to purchase creative work. So your work will be exposed to people all around the globe. I see chances!

4 // Zazzle
This website has so many products listed it is madness. You can place your designs on products that will be printed by Zazzle. Since I have been selling here for a while I know all ins and outs but all those product choices can be a little bit overwhelming and you will have to invest quite some time to get some traction here. The overall style of the website is a little messy and looks a little cheaper than the clean Society6 website or stylish Spoonflower design. iI can understand this would be a no go. The website does represent your work. Something to consider. The fun thing about Zazzle is that some products are also used on tv series and in films. I found my owl iPhone case in a How I Met Your Mother episode. That sure was awesome! if you are based in the US this website is a great place to upload your content. If you are based in Europe like me you will also have to deal with tax forms and international trading laws. So inform yourself on these things before you start selling and notice it is not giving you any proper revenue due to tax regulations.

5 // Skillshare
Everyone has something to tell and something they can teach. When i hired an account manager this month I noticed all those things I could do on automatic pilot were not at all obvious for her. I had to sit down with here and while I was talking things over I realized running a creative business has let me to some skills other people are looking to learn from. Skillshare is a website where you can share those skills. You can make tutorials and monetize your creative wisdom. Talking about forms of media, targeting new clients to using Instagram for business, how to pick the right brush, creating watercolor flowers, there is so much we can all teach others. Make a list and write down all the things you need to do in order to run your business and also add your creative process. I bet there is a lot you did not realize is worth a little explanation. Teach art. Sounds like a great experience right?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Collab // Dollhouse Bandits by Tiny Little Cactus

With a new year came a new fun product launch. Tiny Little Cactus has created a new range of tiny dollhouse furniture with fitted bedding and interior textiles for your little ones tiny home.

When I was a little girl I had this amazing three story wooden dollhouse. But I didn’t like the furniture that was available in the eighties: all plastic and too big to fit into my perfect dream house. I remember being frustrated that my interior was a mix and match of style. Well, more of a mix and mis-match. When Krista approached me to help her on her new collection I just had to say yes. I love a well thought out interior design. And this seemed to be it!

You might know Tiny Little Cactus from last year’s fabric collab: BabyBooties. Adorable soft sole baby booties, all handmade with soft and on trend fabrics. This year they added a fun new range of products and for this we have created some custom print designs in Kawaii style. Clouds, bunnies, stars and some of our abstract designs have been used for the bedding for these tiny beds. These small blankets and pillows are now available in all Tiny Little Cactus palette colors. So if you have a little one and want to surprise her with a little bedroom ‘make over’ choose your favorite Dollhouse Bandit.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 February 2018

It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy for some kids fashion you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Mexico, India, USA and The Netherlands. This month we selected a whole bunch of hot selling fabrics, turned into beautiful items. We have some cool kiwi bird backpacks, FU prints and fun woodland bears. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our February top 5.

1 // Zippy Jamz
This US company changes how babies and parents experience their new lives together through high-quality, simple and intuitive products. ZippyJamz’ patent-pending design combines two zippers in a single garment. The first, along the front makes dressing easy; the second, along the inseam, makes diaper changing super convenient. Your baby stays warm during the changing and keeps them in a state of sleep making the nights a little less challenging.
Curious about these genius onesies? Check out their webshop and experience these easy to unzip pieces for yourself.

2 // Cucu Baby
We have been licensing our designs to this baby accessories company for over a few years now and the most recent prints are now launched and available on their website. Their collection is colorful and joyful. With clever diaper bags, blankets, accessories and toddler school bags they offer a wide range of high quality products that are unique on the Mexican market. We love seeing how small businesses develop and grow with us and we hope to create even more fun pieces together in the future.

3 // Dollhouse Bandits
We love clever small businesses and this on one of them most definitely. The Dutch based business Tiny Little Cactus creates the most adorable nursery items and has now launched a new range of doll house furniture, bedding, characters and decoration. We love seeing these adorable items pop up in our feed and it makes me all nostalgic. I used to have a big dollhouse with three stories but never got around to decorating it, my parents thought it was too expensive to actually get doll house items, and they were back then. Dollhouse Bandits is affordable, on trend and perfect as a gift for your little one. Check out all cuteness on the Tiny Little Cactus website.

4 // Daily Objects
We started working for Daily Objects right after our second trip to India. I was all awe about the country and said yes to this collab immediately, which is not something I usually do. There is some research and proper conversation before the ‘yes’ usually. But working together has not been disappointing. Four years ago the company made phone accessories and I started selling Little Smilemakers designs on cases and laptop covers. Now they expanded their range with office supplies, notebooks and home decoration and we love seeing our new prints added to their collection. Take a look and see if there is something you like!

5 // Baby Online Boutique
Of course we had to feature one of our handmade mommy at home businesses. Baby Online Boutique has the most adorable baby and toddles sets. Leggings and matching hats, sweet little jumpers, playsuits and more. We features little Harper in our Grizzly print. Check out this US business online for all fun items.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Daily Objects // New designs on iPhone cases, office supplies and home decoration

For over four years now we have been working together with Daily Objects. The company started out selling phone cases and accessories but has grown into a full trendy lifestyle brand. They have expanded their collection with stationary products, tote bags, pillow cases and so much more cool stuff. So as you can imagine it was about time to post a little piece about this company before the holiday craziness kicks in.

Global & On Trend Phone Cases
DailyObjects works with over 70 designers from around the world and offer a fun selection of graphics. Abstracts, comics, Scandinavian inspired prints… enough to choose from. They use advanced printing technologies to ensure that your cases and other items not only look fantastic but are also durable, they even offer a lifetime warranty on their products. Their amazing collection of designs have been carefully selected from artists across the globe, now offering designs from over 70 artists from 28 countries. Watercolorists, surface pattern designers, illustrators, they are all part of the Daily Objects collective and they are still expanding. So much fun to be part of this rapidly growing business.

Tote Bags & Pouches
Daily Objects offers a small range of leather goods, key chains, leather wraps and notebooks. But now they also launched a new collection of tote bags and pouches in different sizes with beautiful high quality leather detailing. We love those new totes! They make a perfect gift for Christmas. In Holland they have banned plastic bags, a cool shopper is a must. Oh yes and of course Daily Objects offers world wide shipping on their products too.

Ok as a designer I am pretty much a paper lover by heart. So when we found out Daily Objects was also making Notebooks we got super excited. We love those notebooks. I am a pretty neurotic list keeper so I can never have enough notebooks in stock. These notebooks have a soft matte finish. Perfect for some classroom notes or scribblings.

Cushion Covers
As a print designer my couch is filled with cool pillows. Daily Objects now offers cushion covers too. These cushions are a great gift for your BFF’s birthday or as a sweet house warming present. Many of our Indian themes are selected for their pillow range. There are some abstracts and Scandinavian inspired designs to choose from too. Take a look and smile up your new home!

Oh and don't worry they still sell over a 100 different cell phone case versions, protective cases, transparent cases and wood cut cases. Also they have some cool laptop sleeves and leather items. So for all you guy shoppers out there looking for a cool present for your girlfriend; check out their cool accessory collection for more manly stuff. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Finished work // Theater Rotterdam

Last fall the studio received an email from an exciting new client. Actually it was the first company I worked for as a graphic designer while I was doing an internship, when I was still eager to become a designer and didn’t have a clue what I was doing, most of the time… I was working here for 6 months.

Theater Rotterdam contacted me to license some illustrations for a kids production ‘Crazy but True’ by Ant Hampton performing in their theater mid-December. An interactive performance magnifying how kids can form their own reality. The flyer and posters were designed to show random facts using typography supported by illustrations.

We are very happy with the lovely result of these graphic items. The typography and illustration color palette with a deep blue, soft pink and white are a strong combination, fresh and fun without getting ‘too young’. We love the result. And we also love performance art, so hopefully there will be more exciting things to work on for Theater Rotterdam in the future.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Finished work // Bubblebubs Australia

This Australian nappie brand was created in 2004 co-incinding with the birth of Vicki’s daughter Abbi. Not long after Vicki started making nappies for Abbi and she had friends asking her to make them nappies and from there Bubblebubs was born.

With 10 years experience in this industry Vicki and her team know what they're talking about. You don't stay in business for that long unless you have great products, designs and great customer service and most importantly great customers! Bubblebubs philosophy is to treat a customer like royalty.

Sustainable Nursery
Sustainability is more and more important. We are happy to see a new trend of conscious consumers. Mommies want to know their baby products are honest. Throughout the years the Bubblebubs products have gone trough many changes and improvements. In 2009 they produced their first batch of One Sized - All in Two Nappies, outsourcing production overseas. These nappies became very populair and are a perfect fit from new born to toddler. Now Bubblebubs offers over 20 different products, from different types of reusable nappies to wipes and wetbags. All you need for your sustainable nursery.

For this high quality product we were delighted to work together on some new designs for their nappie range. Over the past months the new designs have been introduced and they are now available in the Bubblebubs shop.