It’s always fun meeting new people, which is why we came up with the idea of The HTF Hot Seat – a regular post to introduce you to the creative dynamites behind some of your favourite hardtofind products. This week’s seller in the spotlight: illustrator and designer Kylie Loy.
I’m known on hardtofind for my… personalised children’s décor and gifts. I design pieces for the nursery or kid’s bedroom that are created with their name or other important details. You will find in my store name cushions and birth stat cushions, wall art, pillowcases and storage sacks. Just recently I have launched a range of kids tote bags to my hardtofind store. I also create personalised heat packs for mothers day, fathers day, or any day actually where you can add the recipients names along with a very personalised message on the back. Lastly personalised Santa Sacks. A special place for Santa’s gifts to be placed ready for Christmas morning.
Right now I’m inspired by… colour. Colour is so influential in décor and design. I’m loving designing with blush pink, mustard and white right now – it’s so soft and romantic. I’m also really into the Pantone colour of the year, Ultra Violet, which I’ve translated into a softer lilac. When I’m designing for boys, good old old black and white is still super popular, but adding a pop of blue or mustard gives it a whole new look. I can take a best-selling design from two years ago, and by changing the colour around, give it a whole new look. The power of colour is extraordinary!
My favourite part of the making process is… the sketching and design process. I’ll sketch ideas either on paper or on my iPad pro and, when I am happy (which is not always immediately!), I export them to Adobe Illustrator. This is where I slave over all the small details and colour palette until it is perfect. I love printing my illustrations for the first time on my digital printer. It’s exciting seeing them come to life – from a computer screen to a tangible piece of art, ready to make into a cushion.
I work from… a dedicated room in my Melbourne home that I use as a studio. It’s very compact, but large enough for me to run my business. I dream of a bigger space one day, but I also love working from my home. It suits my family life, as I have two very busy primary school-age kids, so it helps that I’m able to work my design business around them. Plus, I have an adorable cavoodle called Charlie Bear and he sits on his mat just outside my work room and keeps me company!
A typical day for me involves… an early morning start 5.50am. I enjoy going to the gym – it gives me some me time to work out and I love listening to podcasts. Once I get home, it’s go go go getting the kids ready for school. I treat my work seriously and dedicate the hours of 9.30-3pm to work. I love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else! Occasionally, I’ll sneak it in a few household chores when I need a break from my computer screen. If I have to finish anything that I didn’t get done during school hours, I’ll complete it later in the evening, when all the craziness in the house has stopped. I try to be in bed by 10pm, read a little and lights out.
My proudest business moment was… when I managed to build my business up, over a couple of years, so I was in the position to purchase my very own digital printer. It’s was a huge expense that I don’t regret one bit, nor did I worry as I knew it was the only way I could grow. To me, being able to print my own original designs onto fabric and create my own décor is everything to me. It’s incredibly satisfying knowing all my fabrics are my own illustrations.
When I started my business, I wish I’d known… what a rollercoaster it would be. It was super scary as suddenly I wasn’t employed anymore and responsible for earning my own income. Some days I’m on top of the world and things are great, and other days I’ve wanted to quit. It’s a lot of work, sometimes long hours, especially at season gift giving times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’d describe my personal style as… very simple – my interiors are a little contemporary/Scandi, but I do love that Hamptons look. Oh, and I love florals! I like to dress for comfort and my fashion style changes with my mood. I’d say I am more on the girly side. I love basic pieces with something patterned or floaty, beaded necklaces and a pair of statement shoes.
My last purchase was… a stunning glittery pair of gunmetal grey Palmaira sandals.
The first thing I do when I wake up is… think, ‘OMG already?!’ Then I tell myself I can’t be bothered going to the gym, but go anyway as I always feel way better afterwards.
The motto I live by is… “I didn’t get here by dreaming about it, I got here by doing it” – Estee Lauder. I love those words as they reflect everything in my life, not just business but also family goals.
I’m hoping 2018 will bring… Success, happiness and new opportunities. I want to remain happy while running my business and I hope to have a successful 2018 by meeting business/sales goals, implementing the new product designs I have planned, and look for opportunities to help me grow.
Everything tastes better with a little… wine!