Emma Waylett ~ Lovely Ink
Illustrator & Designer
Introducing the creative and talented Emma Waylett, founder of Lovely Ink, illustrator, designer and mother-of-two. Emma, based in Bournemouth, set up the Lovely Ink Print Shop to provide playful brush-letter art prints and milestones for modern families across the UK. She has a beautiful style to her work and any of her monochrome creations would sit happily in your home. But which one...? It's hard to choose. Let's find out a little more about Emma and how she started Lovely Inks. Emma's Mama Milestone cards are featured within our Super Mum - This Mama Rocks gift box.
What was the driver that got you to bite the bullet and start up your business?
Well, in the back of my mind, I've always fancied a business of my own and I've had PLENTY of ideas from a raw food cafe to spa box subscriptions but I've never actually taken the ideas from paper to reality. So I guess I've always had some spark in me to get my own thing off the ground.
I'm a graphic designer by trade (well in another life pre-babies!) and so my love for typography and pretty things has always been there. In truth, I didn't even mean to start Lovely Ink initially... I know that sounds odd but I wanted to find myself a hobby, something for me, that I could enjoy (other than wine or gin after the kids had gone to bed). So I found a brushlettering workshop as I've always loved how beautiful it is. I found a good one in London called Quill London ( link here https://quilllondon.com/
Emma Block, was our teacher, she is a fabulous illustrator and so sweet and modest. Anyway, I came home with the bug, I had to just keep doing it - it is so therapeutic and addictive! I have to admit I wasn't that good to start with but the amount I was playing around with it, I soon felt good enough that when I looked at the ones I was creating for our house I suddenly thought, "Hang on, I reckon I could sell these" so, with the help of the hubby, I designed a logo, brand and website, set myself up an Instagram account and just got going. It's been a steep learning curve with what works and what doesn't but here I am 7 months later...
What has been the biggest risk you've taken with starting and running your business?
I don't feel like I've done anything particularly risky per se, but I must admit, putting myself and my work out there for everyone to see and judge is a scary thing. BUT oh my goodness, I have found the Instagram small biz community astounding - it's the nicest place to do business and make friends. I can't tell you how many wonderful women (and men) there are out there supporting each other in the instabiz community. It's partly because of the support from many of my new instamum friends that I've had the confidence to really push myself and the business.
And your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievements are being commissioned by 2 of the leading UK hair and beauty brands for my work. Talk about proud. You'll have to stay tuned on my instagram to see who I've been busy working with.
Does it work around your family life?
It does really to an extent - I'm still able to be at home with my children all day, which is what I want while they're still young. I try to organise my time so that 3 mornings a week (my eldest Olivia is at preschool) and then the minute Jack (my youngest at 17months) goes down for a nap I'm sitting down, coffee already in place to crack on. The rest of the artwork is done in the evenings and weekends. Social media is, however, as 24/7 as I can manage. The one thing that is difficult is the evenings when I'd normally be sitting down to a binge on Netflix with the husband, I'm in the kicthen working and he's in the lounge binging on Netflix alone! But we make it work and I try to take a couple of evenings off a week and we try to make that time that we have, quality time.
What would you tell yourself if you were starting again now?
Be more organised. I mean I'll never be organised (organised chaos perhaps) but I've recently been able to give myself some structure and some space that makes my life a lot easier when trying to run the business in limited hours.
Any tips you can share for starting up a small business?
Just Begin. Learn. Learn fast. And most importantly Be You - being your true self is the most effective way to be successful.