Meet Nicola Rowlands

Meet Nicola Rowlands

Meet Nicola Rowlands

We are a little bit behind with our #meetthemaker but are definitely going to catch up this week and are going to kick off with the rather fabulous @nicolarowlands who designed and made this card! We are huge fans of Nicola and her quirky and positive life affirming designs and have bought in from her pretty much since the beginning of @happydashery. She has the perfect range of designs for when you want to send a card version of a hug and always gets it right for those cards that are just perfect for a crappy situation! 

Please can you tell us a little bit about you and your brand?
I started my business in 2009 after leaving uni - I sold a range of cards on etsy and shortly after started adding more and more designs. I've since worked with companies freelance as an illustrator but my main income/focus has always been my line of cards and fabric which I sell to shops and directly to customers online. I love colour and words and creating messages that make people feel seen and loved. In 2020 after selling online for 10 years I opened a gift and coffee shop of my own in Altrincham Manchester. 

Please can you tell us about your inspiration for your business?
I studied design and illustration and loved writing in school - I never really knew what I wanted to do as a job so creating my own 'job' just seemed to make the most sense at the time. 

What is the ethos behind your brand?
I've always tried to ensure that my products are meaningful and authentic, keeping in mind the choice of materials in order to avoid making any harmful impact on the planet. 

What is the most enjoyable thing about your business?
I like being able to work around my kids, I know a lot of friends who don't have the flexibility around school holidays. 

What are your top tips for anyone wanting to start their own creative business? 
Make sure you know someone who is good at tax, VAT and numbers in general. In fact just really educate yourself about VAT before/if you think you're going to hit that threshold. 

How do you get yourself out of any creative slumps?
Going running helps me crunch through ideas, and I've recently found that 'just doing the hard thing' pushes me out of the procrastination zone. There's normally something on my to-do list that will eat away at any creative positivity so by 'eating the frog' as they say I'm able to free up mental space for the fun things. it's taken me a while to figure this out and I still am no expert at it. Do as I say not as I do!

What songs feature most on your playlist for when you are working? 
A lot of american classic rock! I also enjoy podcasts about health and nutrition. 
What do you like doing in your downtime away from your business?
I have two kids so they take up a lot of my time! I also try to practice yoga a couple times a week, I enjoy running and discovered cold water swimming about a year ago which has brought me together with a group of women I really admire. 

What is next for your business?  
I'd like to focus a bit more on my writing, my dream would to be a book of some variety whether it's a childrens or adult book I'm not sure yet but that's where I'd like to head next.