Tell us about your business.In 2009 I purchased screen printing classes as a gift for my fiancé. After he showed me how it worked I became infatuated with the process. I combined this new obsession with my longtime love for nature and background in photography. The combination of these blossomed in 2010 when I officially began Sprouted Designs by opening an Etsy shop. The more I printed the more I fell in love with the process of developing designs to print. I am constantly working on new designs; currently I hand screen print note cards, flour sack towels, children’s clothes, and adult accessories. I am always looking for new products that would compliment my designs. All my prints begin with my original photographs, quite often of discoveries from my garden, local farmers markets and trips to the parks and zoo. I currently participate in many local craft/art festivals but I am hoping to expand and participate in other cities craft festivals. I am also working on expanding my wholesale clientele.
What makes your business stand out?All Sprouted Designs products are hand pulled screen prints with custom mixed inks on durable products that meet my high standards. I don’t consider Sprouted Designs to be a commercial screen printing shop, instead I look at my business as a design studio. I print only my own original designs focusing on the continuing success and growth of Sprouted Designs. Instead of using an automated printing machine, I hand pull each print, making each print a unique piece of usable art. When choosing products to print on, I look for high quality items that compliment my design aesthetic. I try to source products that are made in America and have as little environmental impact as possible, such as American Apparel clothing and French Co. Paper Mill (a sixth generation family owned paper mill that uses hydro power to supply electricity to it’s mill). I use environmentally friendly yet durable water based inks and I custom mix my unique vibrant colors.
What's the best business advice you've received?Be an active participant in your community. Sprouted Designs participates in numerous local festivals, farmers markets, and has a strong St. Louis presence in small boutiques. I’ve found that personally working my booth at farmers markets and festivals allows me one on one contact with my customer. Through these connections I get immediate feedback about new designs and I can discuss with my customer on the spot new product and design ideas. This has proven to be an invaluable resource. I have been introduced to local boutiques either through customer recommendations or the owner I am also a member of a local craft group that organizes large festivals and small pop-up shops in the St. Louis area. Through this crafting community we provide support and advice for one another helping us all to succeed. Since most of our businesses are only one or two people the group helps to advise each other on the common hurtles such as, business licenses, taxes, suppliers, and branding.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE MEETUPNov. 7, 2014
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AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 8, 2014
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RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRNov. 15 - 16, 2014
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