“Elegant eco-friendly kitsch for your heart and home“
Arrowyn Craban Lauer is the owner and designer of Little Gold Fox Designs, a local sustainable design and paper goods company. We asked her to tell us a bit about how she got started in the paper goods and design world!
“I’ve been working as a graphic designer and web developer for 14 years. I started cutting paper several years ago to relax and give myself something to do that was not on the computer. I have always loved traditional folk art and loved the stylized designs of cut paper art. I started sharing pictures of my designs and the response was so incredibly positive that I made prints and started selling them like hot apple strudel.
After 3 years of slowly building up products and stockists, I have now transitioned over to selling my artwork full time and have let web design go. I have expanded from prints into cards, bookmarks, postcards, and now jewelry. For me this path is not only more rewarding, and more sustainable, but also more profitable (I know, weird, right?).
Though I have decided to do small scale manufacturing of my art instead of individual handmade items, I still love the uniqueness that can come through a well chosen paper (or wood, sometimes, in my case). The natural fibers in textured paper give it an individual personality and I use that to mitigate the repetitiveness that makes it possible for me to run a small business and make a profit.
If I had to give advice to someone wanting to start their own business, it would be…in Joseph Campbell’s words…to follow your bliss! I know it sounds cliché, but as a woman who tried starting 4 different businesses in the last decade, the only one that really worked was the one I was the most scared to do. The one that most challenged me to shine, and the one that pulled at my heart strings.
I tried being clever, organized, and well funded…and all those businesses failed. But the one that is working is messy, full of love, and tied together with gum and shoestrings. Every decision I have made from the beginning is weighed against the question: Does this bring me joy? Not, should I do this? Is it clever? Will it make me money?
People respond to the gift you are meant to give and the world steps up to support you. The people and resources that you need will find their way to you. And we’re all better off for it!
For more examples of Arrowyn’s work and her contact information, please visit www.littlegoldfox.com
and make sure to like her on Facebook!