A Sneak Peek at I Love Nice Cards
In today’s ‘Behind the Design’ interview, we’re catching up with Leonie Huie-Martin from I Love Nice Cards.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
By day I am a secondary school teacher in inner-city London teaching Health & Social Care & Business to our future leaders of the world. I live in a little dinky flat in London, which is ever so cosy where I use ‘my little table of inspiration’, I like to call it to mark my schools books.
By night I use the same inspiring desk to create my new greeting card designs. This is where the magic happens for me at home with peace and quiet where I can focus on what I need to do. My company, ‘I Love Nice Cards’, started in April 2012 but did not kick off until May 2013 as I was doing my Masters and needed to focus on my studies, so in May I attended my first trade show – Progressive Greetings. Since then I have been trying to build my client base.
Describe your typical working day …
I wake up at 6.30am every morning to start my school day. I love teaching as every day is different, especially when you teach so many diverse characters. By 3.30pm I go into business mode which is the best time for me as I can focus on being creative and introducing new products. I am quite spontaneous so often change my mind with the different designs I want to create. I have two people working with me one is a social media guru who looks after my different social media accounts and the other assists with sales.
What is the best thing about your job?
I have the best of both worlds. I am never bored and always have something to do.
Do you use any specialist techniques?
No. My greeting cards are photographic and hand-made then printed. My prints & artwork are photographed then printed and my cushions are digitally printed designs.
What would you like to do next with the business?
Next I would like to sell my products in department stores where more customers have the opportunity to buy my creativity. This is my main focus for 2014 – getting my products in front of customers.
Your Products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
I love this design which is a greeting card (shown at the top of the post) and cushion. The image features shoes and accessories I own. It reminds me of me. I suppose it has personal value.
What are the most popular products in your range?
The shoes and accessories design shown above, which is great because they are my favourite.
Are you working on any new products at the moment?
Yes I have just finished a small collection of 6 hand-made Henna Art designs, which would be ideal for museum and art gallery gift shops.
What products do you want to introduce in the next year?
Next year, 2015, I would like to introduce a small range a calendars and mugs derived from images of my greeting cards, but my main focus now for 2014 is sharing my creative designs with the world.
Your Inspiration …
What inspired you to start your business?
In my spare time I like to visit art galleries, attend exhibitions and shows as well as having a love of shopping for accessories and items to decorate my home. I have always been creative and had a good eye for accessories and trinkets. I love colourful wall art and being able to express myself through the things I own and buy here, in London and also abroad as I love travelling. I never considered running my own business before but decided to do this based on taking a risk with my own creativity and it seems to be working in my favour.
What inspires your products?
The products I have designed are rather special to me as a lot of them derive from items or trinkets I own from here and abroad. Although I enjoy teaching I wanted to do something different with my life. Here I get to share with the world my personal creativity and spoils.
What other card & gift designers do you admire?
Thank you Leonie!
Visit the I Love Nice Cards website now.