Take a Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes of Laura Sherratt Designs
Today’s ‘Behind the Design’ interview is a look at Laura Sherratt Designs. I first spoke to company founder Laura Sherratt back in 2013, since then the greetings card publisher has gone from strength to strength and I am happy to share an update. Today’s behind the scenes look explores the business, inspiration and manufacturing; we also get a look at some greeting cards, Laura’s best-selling and personal favourite greeting card range ‘Ditsy Daisy’.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
Laura Sherratt Designs was started in December 2008. I have always loved all things patterned, decorative and embellished from a very young age and enjoyed drawing and designing for a diverse range of products throughout school and university.
Whilst studying Surface Pattern design at University I began to specialise in designing for small scale objects. Convening passions onto paper, using buttons, ribbon, crystals, line drawing, collage and material, winning prizes for Industry set product briefs. It wasn’t until sometime after university that I decided to set up my own business.
I had a desperate lust to design for industry but loved my home in the Staffordshire Moorlands and with very few opportunities near my countryside home I took the plunge. Laura Sherratt Designs began in my parents conservatory but has expanded somewhat since it began as we have now moved into a brand new countryside Barn Studio and expanded our family of employees.
What is your role in the business?
Company Director is my job description but my main role is to design the cards, as well as running the business.
Is there anyone else in the team?
We have a fantastic team of workers that work in the studio, as well as outworkers, who collect cards to embellish at home, they are truly dedicated.
Sally is my Studio Manager and she does so much, she is very involved in the business and runs the whole thing for me when I am busy designing, I literally couldn’t do it without her!
Working at Laura Sherratt Designs
What makes your workplace special?
The people in my work place make us special, this includes the outworkers who I value immensely, there is a real team spirit amongst us all, everyone tries so hard to produce wonderful cards, made with real love and care!
Describe your typical working day.
I spend most of my time working from home, which I love as it allows me to balance family life with doing a job that I am completely passionate about. I am still in touch with the studio all day everyday via phone, email or visits but working from home allows me to really put my time into designing, which is after all the most important job for me to do! I love being creative and it is what the business is built on.
My typical day is always very mixed, always working through my to do lists! These can involve planning trade fairs, creating the blog posts, Twitter & Facebook updates, adding new cards to the website, marketing the company, designing and generally running the business with lots of help from my fabulous studio manager Sally, who allows me the time to design as much as possible.
What is the best thing about your job?
I really love my job, planning my own time is fantastic. I love being creative everyday. I get such a buzz out of seeing the business develop, with something new happening everyday.
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
I love my latest collection of “Ditsy Daisy” cards, they are everything I like, cute, colourful and have ditsy, floral, prints collaged on to them!
What are the most popular products in your current range?
Currently its our newest collection “Ditsy Daisy” range.
What new products do you have planned for the future?
Today I am working on Father’s day cards for 2017, and I am looking for a new Male style, so watch this space!
What is it like seeing your products in shops?
It’s amazing, it was first time and still is, I love to see them in the stores, on the shelves! It makes me very proud of what we all do!
What inspires your products?
Everything and anything can unexpectedly inspire my next range of cards. Everything from a shopping trip in the city, to the local cupcake café, a trip to the haberdashery, I love to see object displayed in interesting compositions, looking at how colour compliment each other.
Why do you like designing greeting cards?
I love cards and always have, a card can say so much to someone and is a really special thing to receive. I love that something so small and paper based can be decorated in so many different ways creating something truly unique.
Tell us about your design style.
My design style is handmade and contemporary. I love buying handmade products, so this is a big influence on me, to follow this trend. My inspiration is taken from everything around me, I find so many objects inspiring! My children and their clothes inspire me, the countryside which I live in, and then packaging, interiors, fabrics … so many things are an inspiration!
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
I admire many other designers, a couple of local designers that really stand out for me are Emma Bridgewater & Jan Constantine, both have created British companies and set up business from my home of Staffordshire, they who share the same philosophy as me, to create beautiful, unique products of a high quality, made in the UK.
What current or upcoming trend are you’re coveting?
Loving the current trend towards buying British, buying local. Customers want to know the story behind a product and I think this is fantastic for British businesses.
Manufacturing & Production
What can you tell us about how your products are made?
We are proud to say our cards are all handmade from our studio base in Leek, in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Some cards are made with our out workers from their homes in the surrounding areas.
Do your greeting cards feature any special materials?
We try to source as many embellishments as we can from the UK, and all our cards are handmade in the UK, cards are hand finished with a variety of pretty embellishments including bows, gems, paper flowers and buttons.
Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment?
I love to experiment with line drawing and collage, combining these with the use of Photoshop and Indesign. We have the cards carefully printed using either Digital or Litho print methods. We are also proud to say that our beautiful, heavy weight board is sourced from the Lake District UK. We are renown for the handmade nature of our cards with all of the design being embellished in someway.
What would you like to do next with the business?
I have many aspirations for the business. I will continue to bring out new cards and may try out new techniques on these. I would eventually see us designing for other products, maybe not just paper based, but children’s clothes or ceramics.
Where do you dream of seeing your products next?
I would love to see our cards in some more high end department stores, I would also like to expand the export side of the business.
Thank you Laura!
Now you’ve seen behind the scenes, why not take a look at the greeting cards. Visit the Laura Sherratt Designs website.
This interview was first published in June 2013 and updated in July 2016.