What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Hi I’m Emily, I’m a designer and illustrator - Director & Founder of Doodlemoo - my passion is designing and my business - a lifestyle brand creating art prints, accessories and fun acrylic jewellery and soon more stationery. All is designed by me with the help of my husband.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I was always arty and creative growing up but the first thing I remember wanting to be was an astronaut!! I was always the child that would spend hours drawing and making things so not much has changed. I designed my Dad’s restaurant logo when I was 13 and always made all the family’s cards (my mum made me do them ha!).
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
I think it has to be to value my work and to change my view of what selling is, which is that you are giving someone something of value and they are happy to pay for this. I used to have a conflict about selling but when I started seeing it this way it all changed and I am much more comfortable with this now.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Flexibility. I love having my boys around me when I work, the fact that I can pick them up and still be involved in what they’re doing. I love my studio space that I’ve decorated to be really creative and inspiring with all my prints and other cool things I love. I like that I can work in my own time and that I don’t have a boss (although I miss having other people around to bounce ideas with, so I might chat on whatsapp or Instagram)
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I see myself having a small team in a studio out of my home. I want to grow my brand so it’s recognized for offering a wide range of art, design and products.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Well is not a charity but Great Ormond Street Hospital have been amazing with my boy’s two leg operations this year so we want to contribute by donating some of our sales or creating an art work that raises money for this amazing hospital. They have lovely art and amazing sculptures all around the building, which is so inspiring and shows how much they care.
What drives you?
Creativity drives me, I just have to always be making something. The feel that I’m building something for myself and not someone else motivates me. My boys of course, are a huge driver for me, they are my world. I love that they see me building this business with nothing but my skills and hope they can learn from it.
Any final comments?
I think one of the best things I’ve found through running Doodlemoo is all the female support groups that have helped me carry on and feel less lonely in my biz. My advice is that if you are feeling a bit lost or lonely, find some support groups. There are so many groups for women now, go to events and meet new ladies that are on similar paths to you. Find your tribe of supporters. Thanks so much, Ladies-who-Launch for your amazing events and creating this space to share.
What does a normal day look like for you?
My days can vary, as I work from my home studio. I generally start working at 9 once I’ve taken my boys to school. I try and do as much as I can before I go back to pick them up at 3 or 4. Depending on the day I will be packing orders, updating my website, creating new art work or sourcing products. I tend to finish things off in the evening (depending how productive I’ve been during the day!) Sometimes I get out and visit an exhibition or meet a friend so I make up the time at weekends too. So I am constrained by working from home but it is also really flexible, which I love.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Basically I’m most proud of setting up my own creative business doing what I love and around the ones I love. It can be so tough at time but so rewarding too, specially when you have customers telling me how happy our art prints make them feel. One of my biggest ‘pinch me’ moments recently has been seeing my prints on TV, I have 6 prints on the set of the current series of Tattoo Fixers Extreme. I was also featured in the Stylist magazine a few months ago which was so exciting! Hitting 10k on Instagram is quite a milestone for me as I never thought that was possible when I started.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
I love Sophia Amoruso who set up Nasty Gal and wrote Girlboss, an amazing story of a self-made woman. She’s also a big supporter of women in business and I love her fashion sense, oh and her Girlboss podcast is great. Leona Thrift-Ola who runs The Rollercoaster of running an Indie Biz, she’s so full of energy and wisdom and has a great creative community who share information and help each other.
What was your biggest failure?
Well so many to choose from! I made mistakes with some products before that haven’t sold well. I prefer to see failures as chances to learn now though!
What do you like most about yourself?
I am quite determined and if I want something I usually get it one way or another. I’m quite a warm person, that’s something I like in others so I guess I like that about me too!
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Accepting our differences and being more tolerant of others. My father was gay and my son has dwarfism so inclusivity and acceptance is a big part of me, my family and friends. The world would be a much better place if we could appreciate each other’s differences and see that this is why the world is so fascinating.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Perseverance has definitely been the key one, but also the ability to find things out. I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things by running an indie biz. Of course my design skills have been the bedrock of my journey.