Friday, April 21, 2017

Woohoo! // Yay! // Celebrating 5 years of Little Smilemakers fabric on Spoonflower

This year we are celebrating our fifth anniversary this year over at Spoonflower. We opened up our Spoonflower shop back in 2012 when Spoonflower was only a new bee in the digital on demand printing business. There was so much to do and so many themes were not covered yet. We started making designs just for Spoonflower since the fabric industry was pretty old school and it was hard to find some colorful, fun and on trend designs. And while we were licensing to fabric printers, the designs they would pick were not really our own faves. We had so much stuff we wanted to put on fabric!

A great platform for Artists
For us working with Spoonflower was a great step of getting back in controle of our designs. We had been selling our prints over at Shutterstock but there was more and more misuse. Fabric popping up with our designs everywhere, but without paying for the proper license. It was way to easy to get your hands on the original vector files and do whatever. With Spoonflower we felt our designs were safe, our files were never shared with third parties and this way we could rely on the fact we would be properly compensated for each and every sale. In the beginning sales were pretty slow but after a year or so our designs got picked up. After starting our with our more colorful prints. Our plus signs, feathers, triangles and other geometric prints became hot sellers and we started to upload more designs ahead of the trend. Our 10 year old pineapple print suddenly took off and was lucky enough to catch the trend wave. If was fun to see how some of our older surface designs were suddenly selling like crazy when the trend kicked in.

Let's print color
Back in those first years, digital printing was all new and exciting for fabric designers, there were no color limitations so we could go nuts on color. Instead of designing fabric in the usual 5 colors we could add watercolors, use a rainbow of colors, shades, anything seemed possible. But of course after that first crazy exciting omg-we-need-more-color rush we toned down our prints a little bit. With a background in graphic design and typography I was looking for a more clean balance. Reducing colors and shapes lead to our very recognizable Scandinavian range. I always loved designing on a crisp white background and we were lucky this trend picked up immediately. Our woodland animals and geometric prints have been going strong ever since and the past two years we have been focussing more on adding more abstracts and raw detailed prints to our shop. Prints we love to see in our homes and fashion ourselves.

Researching & insight
Spoonflower has been a great way to built our portfolio, test the market, monetize our designs, get insight about what works where, since they sell and ship world wide. having that insight is very important. With all that information we know what works where and we can advise and coach our clients in their design signature for their brands. But what we love most of all is to see what our fabric is used for. We see new creations pop up on our Facebook page and Instagram every day and it is so much fun to see people from all over the globe enjoy working around our themes and color schemes. Making wonderful creations, kids fashion and accessories, totes, sports stuff, home decoration, pet accessories, you name it, we’ve seen it and we love it!

Links & Credits
For this post we have used some finished items from our long term supporters. Bean Sprout, Pistol and Arrow, Lucie June Boutique and Hen House Apparel. We just love their beautiful range of products using some of our all time best-sellers: Black and White Hedgehogs, Little Lions, The grid, Pineapple Arrows and of course our fave Bunny design. If you have some cool creations to shop yourself, please send us your finished items!

We’ll keep continuing expanding our portfolio, adding new designs and new color schemes every week. Our portfolio has over 3400 designs up for sale on fabric and wallpaper. Spoonflower has been a great platform for designers and creatives and we are proud to have over 2200 people following our work and with over 138.632 favorites received so far we would like to thank each and every one of our customers who has even ordered one of our designs. Thank you so much for your support and your awesome creations, sweet comments and requests. Let’s continue this journey!