Monday, September 26, 2011

Clever Mamma Profile: Buttercup Ink

This week we have another fabulous Clever Mamma in biz for you all to meet. It's Vari Longmuir from Buttercup Ink, a boutique design and stationery business located in Melbourne. With a beautiful little 2 year old and another on the way this talented Scotland-born mamma now calls Australia home.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your business...
I'm Vari - owner of Buttercup Ink, my Melbourne based boutique design and stationery studio. As far back as I can remember, I've always had a love of paper and design. My first school report card, aged 5 said Vari loves to draw and colour-in! And so graphic design was a clear career choice. After university, I worked in different areas of the graphic design industry, from national publications to in-house positions, and decided in 2010, after moving from my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland to Melbourne a few years previous, to branch out and set up my own design and stationery studio. Buttercup Ink produces art prints, organisational stationery and note cards for the family and home. My designs have a clean, contemporary aesthetic with a strong focus on beautiful typography. All products are designed, printed and finished in my home studio. Buttercup Ink also creates custom wedding and event stationery as well as corporate branding and design.

2. How did your business begin?
I've always dreamed of having my own business and being my own boss. Initially, I started doing custom wedding stationery for friends and family while working full time but it was more for the love of it than actually building a business. Being made redundant from my job whilst on maternity leave with my son in 2009 was a scary time but gave me the little push I needed to take Buttercup Ink to the next level and I've never looked back!

3. The bits I love...
Working to my own schedule. I love being able to be at home with my little boy and still do the fun stuff like going for a milkshake and our afternoon trip to the park. I also love working with other creative businesses and brides-to-be on their designs. It's nice to have a one-on-one relationship as opposed to the faceless corporate world.

4. The bits I not-so-love...
Bookkeeping and accounts! I'm sure this is a common complaint amongst people in creative businesses! I'd love nothing more that to spend all day creating new designs but it just doesn't work that way! I'm slowly but surely becoming more organised when it comes to the numbers stuff and paperwork!

5. Any tips for other Clever Mammas?
Where possible, assign a 'work area' if working from home. Even if it's just a small desk with your laptop on it. Whilst the flexibility of working from home is great, it also has it's downsides as you are essentially ALWAYS at work! You need to be able to switch off mentally and be able to relax at home with the family. I've also turned off my email alert and do not receive emails to my phone. When you have to be everybody to your business you don't need the added distraction of the email ping. I find I work so much more effectively when I can focus on one task at a time.

6. Devonshire Tea versus Coffee & Cake???
Coffee and cake - YUM!

Vari, thanks for stopping by Clever Mamma HQ to say Hi. We wish you all the very best with bubs number 2 and would love to hear when your bundle of joy arrives... oooh two Clever Mamma babies are in the midst! So exciting. To sneak a peak at Vari's gorgeous designs head over to the Buttercup Ink listing on the Clever Mamma directory. She has recently added some pre-made template logos for those on a small budget too. Head on over and sneak a peak!

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