Interview: Bethany Wood
Bethany Wood runs her own business called Loving Dot. Her shop is full of illustrations and unique designs. I was lucky enough to interview Bethany about her shop and career plans.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m great thank you!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I have always been really into crafts from a young age. I've worked with wool felting, jewellery, print making in the past but stayed very academic focused until just after my GCSE's when I decided to be happy I needed to pursue a more creative career route. Since then I settled on Graphic Design which I love, and am now in my final year of uni studying!
I adore your business. What made you decide to set up Loving Dot?
I love enterprise! Blending business and creativity was the perfect fit for me.
Why did you call your shop Loving Dot?
After my family dog. My business is very much personal to me and I try and base my business and social media around lifestyle.
How has your creative process changed since the start?
I started designing before I had even started my initial work in graphic design and could make my designs a digital reality. Designing was very much manual and based on sketches to begin with. I do work far more digitally now.
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
Education was key and I have learnt lots of skills. The motivation to create new products for the shop and seeing what customers like mean I am constantly trying to learn and improve my craft.
Have you always been into design and illustration?
Yes very much.
If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?
I would love to open a pop up shop and work on the visual design of the store front and interior.
What equipment do you use for your work?
Mainly my Mac for designing and keeping track of orders and admin. Printers are also key, I am slowly starting to move away from getting my designs manufactured by suppliers and doing this myself. I have a brand new A3 printer which now does my prints and party invites meaning I can offer personalisation.
What tools or materials could you not live without?
My laptop! And at Christmas I couldn't be without my barcode scanner it makes admin and order dispatching so much easier in busy times.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Social media was the base for my business and I would not have got off the ground without it. Initially all my sales were from traffic directed via social media. Social media allowed me to create a customer base initially and has been so important for my business. I’m much more laid back with social media now, and use it more personally and to give customers a peek behind the scenes of business.
Who inspires your work?
I love artists like Donna Wilson and Jane Foster.
Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment from your shop?
I really love the new personalised space range i've released. Making up the collection was really fun and its the first bit of personalisation i've worked on so I really love altering the words on orders.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Facebook page, Instagram and your work?
This year is going to be a very busy one for me, I am now in my final year of uni so will be working on various Graphic Design projects, I am also expecting so I will try and restrain the number of baby posts!
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a new shop children's range so look out for those popping up!
What’s your typical working day?
My days are slightly different to the usual small business owner. Days vary depending on uni and I work to a strict timetable just because I have so much on. Coming up to Christmas I try and get up around 6 because I have to be on the train to uni at 8:10 and often need to pack orders or reply to urgent enquiries before the day starts, I also try to plan social media posts. Lunch time, I go to the post office.
What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?
Just time, there are so many possibilities and I am very aware that I am holding my business back due to my tight schedule.
Do you have any exciting plans for this year?
I am working on lots of new projects but can't really share them yet!
What are your career plans with your online shop?
I hope my shop will always run alongside what I do. Being self employed can be pretty lonely and during uni holidays I always realise this. Ideally I would love to work on my shop as well as continue with my links in education and teaching to find the perfect balance.
What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?
Try and work on what you love. Its so much easier to find your style when you work on projects your passionate about. And try not to compare yourself to others work.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own online shop?
Research and get as much knowledge on running an online business before. Mentors are great if you can get one!
What’s next for Loving Dot?
Keep balancing for now! Producing work I love and hopefully customers will too.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Do what YOU love. Its so much easier and more enjoyable to make and sell something you love and would buy.