Tell us about you & your creative business.
What is your signature style ?
I am a mother of an adventurous little boy, wife to a super supportive husband and the owner/creator of the Littlest Sidekick children's lifestyle brand. I hand screen print my original illustrations onto organic, sustainable clothing. My signature style is very playful, organic feel to all my type and designs. They showcase the simpler things in life that children always help us remember.
What inspired you to make you the decision to start your creative business?
My inspiration was all my son. It was a mix of things but all of it was because of him. I had some ideas for designs that I thought would look super cute on him. I've always wanted to learn to screen print so I taught myself how to screen print my designs onto clothes for him. As he grew and his personality started to show, those characteristics came through on the designs I created. His sense of adventure and a constant need to explore is the driving force behind my illustrations and t-shirts.
What creative step do you take when creating a new product?
I doodle. I sketch. I watch my son. Sometimes I'll be sitting at my desk and I'll be thinking about the past weekend events and an idea will pop up in my mind. I carry a little sketchbook around everywhere I go, so I'll pull that out and quickly sketch out the idea before I loose it. I've found in the past if you don't get it down right then and there, you loose it. Something else comes up and it's just a distant memory. So sketchbook is a lifesaver.
Who & what is your creative inspiration? Why?
My son is my inspiration. His actions, his view and facial features to the simple things in the outdoors. The flowers, the bugs, the clouds and birds, the way he reacts to them or his emotions when he sees something for the first time. It's real magic. It's something you won't see unless you stop your everyday routine and just live within the moment. It's the whole "stop and smell the roses" saying. With the way life moves in today's world, I feel like we miss those little moments. Those moments are something money can't buy and you only get to see if you put in the time with your little ones.
How do you deal with creative blocks? What steps do you take to shift them?Being outside. Whether it be going for a run with the little guy, playing tag in the yard, going to a new park. Stepping away from the computer or just getting outside has always helped me so far.
How do you balance your creative business / life / motherhood?
It's hard. It's a constant struggle all the time. It's usually my sleep that I loose out on. I have a 9-5 job, I have a long commute and then I still have to fit in everything that involves the clothing line (which is a lot). But when it comes to the clothing line, it's not work. It's fun. Every part of it.
We also find times to get up north a couple of times throughout the year. This is a real reset. We don't have reception up there so I'm forced to stay away from my phone and computer. Which is a blessing. We just went up north this past weekend and I couldn't have been more grateful. It needed to happen. It's a good reset for my mind, creative outlook, family and soul.
Social media is the be all of marketing today. What is your favourite platform? What tips can you share that have help you grow you following or sold your products?
Instagram has been my main hub for marketing my business. I also have a FB group where it's more of a platform to share all your fun photos of what you do with your kids!
Tips: Make lots of like minded friends on Instagram. The amount of creative peers that live on Instagram is mind blowing. Be transparent and always keep your word are key. People don't want to support or help a small business if your heart isn't in the right place.
What have been your biggest learning curves while running a business? How did you solve them?
Everything has been a learning curve. I was new to it all!! Even down to the actual printing process of the shirts. I asked a lot of questions. I researched blogs, articles, YouTube videos. I can say I am a self taught business owner so far. You hit a lot of bumps when trying something new out. It's all part of it. But it's fun too. To look back at when I first started to what I am now is amazing. I can literally see my progression as a designer, screenprinter, business women, marketing guru and in the social media game.
If money was no object, what would be the one thing you add to your business to make life easier?
The production side of things & funding. I have big plans for my business and those plans cost money like anything else. The process would go a lot faster if the funding was there. But it's not, so I'm taking things slow, building it slow. Nothing happens over night, right?
Advice is always something appreciated from mums who have established a business. Can you offer some wisdom to those who are also on the journey of running a business, or wanting to start one?
Just do it. You are the only person standing in your way. You can talk about it for years, but it's not an actual thing unless you take action. It's not that hard. Just one foot in front of the other, every day. Consistency is key. There are no stupid questions. Everyone has been in shoes before. You will learn, you will get better and it's amazing to see the person you become as you progress in your business. And don't worry if your idea or business morphs into something different than when you started. That's the whole idea. You learn and grow.
If you would love to connect with Shannon you can do so bellow.
Make sure you jump on her website her collection is TO. DIE. FOR
Web : www.littlestsidekick.com
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/777521935718592/
PS...If you or you know somebody who would love to read this interview please share it. OR if yo have a fab business story & would love to be interviewed please email me at email@example.com