How did you get started?
For the past 11 years, I have been running a design business: Hello Neighbor Designs. For the first few years, I took on any kind of job offered to me —fashion, real estate, non-profit, and everything in between. After starting to feel burnt out, I attended a design conference in the hopes that I would learn how to manage my work load and that this new knowledge would magically change my life, and I'm happy to report that it did!
The conference is where the seed was planted that I should have a niche, and figure out what my favorite type of project was. After taking a few months to feel out my favorites, I realized what I enjoyed most wasn’t my typical client work, but the jobs I gave myself, packaging up the cookies I made to gift to my clients every year for the holidays. In general, I found a lot of joy while baking in the kitchen and purusing the beauty found at farmers markets. Once I figured out the foodie scene is where I wanted to be, I needed to find clients in that industry interested in working with me.
I didn't have any food clients at the time, so in order to build up my portfolio to include the food-related work I wanted to be doing I began painting some of the produce I’d pick up at the farmers market, as well as illustrating some of my favorite recipes. I started with the cupcake recipe I made for my husband every year for his birthday because it held a special place in my heart, and because: cupcakes! I then moved on to our favorite pancake recipe, which showed up on our breakfast table at least once a month. This was in November of 2013 and with the holidays coming up I thought it would be fun to print these personalized recipes onto dishtowels to give to family and friends that year.
After doing some research and discovering screen printing was a much more time consuming process than I had originally thought, I decided not to print the towels that year and to sign up for a full semester screen printing course the beginning of 2014 to really learn the process and see where it took me. My very first print was that cupcake recipe printed onto a dish towel, and I haven’t looked back since!
I started creating new designs and a printing a LOT of towels. Soon people in the print shop started to ask if they could buy them. Once my inventory was building up I decided to give myself a company name, The Neighborgoods, and see if I could make it work. And now I'm creating dish towel gifts for everyone!