Business Babes - Luella and Toots

March 07, 2014

A while ago, the lovely Steph from Luella and Toots and I struck up a conversation about her shop. She proved to be a very sweet and creative individual with a love of nostalgia and pastel colors. The items from Luella and Toots are reminiscent of daydreams, nursery rhymes and notebook doodles. I asked her if she'd like to a few questions about her inspirations, and this is what she had to say!
Shop Name:
Luella and Toots

Tell us about yourself:
Luella and I dream of buying a caravan, and turning it into a shop for vintage dresses and afternoon tea, traveling and selling everywhere we go. 
She named me Toots when we were watching 'Bright Star'. I share the little girl’s rosy cheeks, which I get ceaseless comments about. Please don’t ask me why I’m embarrassed all the time, its just genetics. 
The caravan shop hasn’t happened yet, but currently I’m still dreaming, studying design and catching up on a lot of 'New Girl'. Golly I love Zooey Deschanel. And stalking Jennifer Lawrence tumblrs too. 

A description of your product / materials / aesthetic:
I love illustration, hand-painted brooches and stickers. I’ve kind of fused all three together and have started to sell anything pretty that you can stick all over yourself, belongings or your home. 


When did you start your shop?
Luella and I spent our childhood obsessed with picnics on oak tree avenues, vintage clothes, making tepees - and above all making things and talking about our own shop. 
I officially started Luella & Toots early 2013, selling hand-made teddy bears, but didn’t really get serious about selling and making till December 2013 - I’m only a few months old!


What are your goals for your shop in 2014?

I want to build up my own custom-made products. I’ve started hand-painting brooches for people who want particular things like portraits or animals. I’ve illustrated an Etsy avatar for someone, and a few blog headers.

I’ve also done a portrait for Jess here, and I've recently started doing stickers and tattoos!

Things that most inspire you to create:
Other peoples illustrations. A lot of people are scared to copy other peoples work, this big stress on being “original.”

I think it’s really important when establishing yourself as an illustrator that you copy artists you love to gain skill, and mash all these inspiring people together to form your own style. It becomes a totally new thing and in the meantime you’ve learnt the technical skills off these great people.

Do you have a favorite Etsy shop besides your own? Care to share?
I love girliepains by Mel Stringer! She has so many fun ways to put her illustrations onto different things - like zines, stickers, coloring books and brooches.

A peek inside your workspace:

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out?

Of course there a gabizillion things that make a shop good. Like naturally-lit photography, finessed shop banner, detailed descriptions, lots of listings and thought-out policies, but the biggest thing for me has been prices. 
I think a big rookie error on Etsy is lowering your prices when you aren’t getting any sales. Take pride in your work! And have the prices reflect this. I made this massive mistake at the beginning, and people on forums told me it made them wonder what kind of quality the product was. 

What would your ideal day be like?
I live in Sydney, Australia - and its a really beautiful summer at the moment. 
My perfect day in this season would be getting up early and jogging with the sunrise - from Bondi to Bronte beach, and swimming in the sea baths afterwards. I’d probably be wandering very sore after this and collapse in a cafe for a coffee with my friend and eat the brilliant sourdough and roast tomatoes Sydney does. We’d wander up Crown Street in Surry Hills with all its vintage and thrift stores, and the rest of the day would be a hazy mix of making things together and painting in my room in the hipster suburb of Newtown. In the evening we’d make Churros and melted dark chocolate and have a picnic on my bedroom floor with my canopy of fairy lights overhead. That day would be pretty wizard. 


1 comment

  1. I love the tattoos, they're so cute!


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