I am enjoying interviewing professionals and mom bosses about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with Illustrator Sarah of Sarah Shore Designs.
Interview with Sarah Shore Designs
Tell us about yourself and your new digital media clip art business.
Hi Julie! Thank you for having me here! I’m Sarah Shore, and I create cute clipart for young, busy Moms who are looking at making personalized gifts, pretty party invites (& so much more) as well as easy-to-do fun projects Moms can enjoy with their little ones.
Being a work-at-home Mom of two myself, I have also created these images for amazing Moms wanting to start a creative side hustle… they can simply drag-&-drop my proven kid-friendly designs onto print-on-demand products and profit from them!
For the past 15+ years, I have been helping Moms entertain their children through fun art classes in-person, as well as creating imagery for stationery ranges and children’s books that have sold in Waterstones, Clinton Cards, and many more.
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My mission has been to spread happy art around the world, encourage children to expand their imaginations, and help Moms fit joyful creative time into their schedules with ease!
Having juggled being a single Mom and raising two girls as well as working, I know how busy life can get! I also truly believe that fitting in time for creativity – (however small) – can do wonders for calming the mind and helping you reset; ready to take on the challenges of motherhood!
My two are 19 and 14 now, so I have even more time to devote to creating artwork & helping young moms live happier, more creative lives!
With my simple-to-use, time-saving digital media clip designs, Moms can enjoy creating their very own party invites, baby shower posters, nursery room prints, super-cute stickers, and gift tags, and even pop the designs onto clothing with their child’s name. They can design their child’s bedroom or nursery with the designs, making it a truly personalized, one-of-a-kind interior for their little ones. Moms can pop the clips onto their time schedules and kids’ chore charts, or even print them out and enjoy scrapbooking/craft-time. The designs can be used online in Canva, Zazzle, Redbubble, and many more. The possibilities are endless!
During my free time, currently, I love watching re-runs of the 2004 drama ‘Lost’… although I am still Lost – do you know what it’s all about?! 😀 And when I can stay awake long enough, I love to read old children’s classics such as Narnia, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and the Nancy Drew books. (I actually refuse to grow up!)
What inspired you to start selling clip art and images for digital use?
When my two girls were little, I’d become newly single. I found that a shock. I was working from home creating artwork for publishers and trying to stick to deadlines. I suddenly found all that pressure too hard to handle on my own. After much stress, I became very depressed. Unfortunately, that depression continued for years, and I started turning down artwork jobs because of the deadlines.
Because of that, I took on little part-time jobs that paid a little and relieved some worries… but I hated being away from my girls for too long.
I then started little art classes for children at my local Hobbycraft and that took off and I loved it. It was something that fitted around my girls and paid each week. No pressured deadlines. The smiles on the children’s faces raised my spirits and their love for creativity inspired me!
As my children grew, I started taking on freelance work again, and the projects were fun. However, I realized I still wasn’t so keen on the deadlines. Because of that, my struggle with deadlines kickstarted my journey to working from my home again, but at my own pace.
I looked online and discovered Zazzle and all the other ‘print-on-demand’ (POD) sites that allow anyone to set up their own designer shop. I came across a few influencers explaining how they obtained their artwork for their POD products… then a lightbulb went off; I could easily create designs for other Moms to use for their products, allowing them (and me) to work at our own pace!
Give us some examples of your designs for sale.
After a ton of research and hard work, I finally managed to create several digital graphic collections for others to enjoy! One of which, ‘Jungle Animals’ is newly launched on ‘Creative Market’.
(You’re the first to know about my upcoming sets that I am putting the finishing touches to: a super-cute fairy set, a cheeky animal character set, a cute ‘children in various fancy dress costumes’ set, and a funny food set. I’ll be launching those in the next few weeks!)
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How does your biz help moms?
The digital clip sets help Moms who are looking to create truly personalized gifts for their loved ones, for starters. Even Moms with very little time to spare – (or worry it will be too difficult for them to ‘do’), can be surprised! The designs all come with a transparent background which means that they can be easily uploaded to Canva or Zazzle and popped onto a product! Their chosen ‘print-on-demand’ company simply prints them and ships them direct! Perfect for creating unique items!
Some Moms may want a creative side hustle, but may be thinking, “Will a design business work for me?” Well, yes! If you have a few hours to spare each week and decide you’d like to grow a creative Etsy shop selling nursery room prints and printables, for example, then having a regular supply of updated, freshly-designed, ‘trendy’ graphics can help you on your journey to success! Having a steady flow of new designs at your fingertips, you have more time for your children, your other half, and everything else you need to do for your new business!
Here’s an adorable video showing how you can use these designs to create a product in Zazzle:
What are some of your favorite things about running your business?
Certainly being able to be creative, be with my family and our dog, Poppy! Being able to work at my own pace and knowing my artwork can help Moms with their creative projects and/or business dreams. Being able to have ‘Murder She Wrote’ or Netflix on in the background as I work! 😀
What were some challenges you ran into when starting your business?
Despite spending nearly a year on creating my fairy set (which is all hand-drawn and has lots of different fairies and elements), the pandemic struck & I became my Mum’s carer (she has COPD). I feel thankful I have the spare time to be there for my Mum.
The only downside as far as setting up a business was concerned was that I just didn’t have the time to finish the fairy set. But that is coming soon!
They say life happens when you make other plans! So true! Internally, the pandemic and time away from my work made me question if I’d ever get my new business off the ground? My confidence took a blow.
I just felt I’d had my fair share of knock-backs and false-starts and had become overwhelmed again.
That was until something life-changing happened… I listened to hypnosis about focusing on what you want/law of attraction, and it helped me to relax and not over-complicate my life anymore. I worked on affirmations that gave me peace being where I’m at, stop comparing myself to others, and create a more balanced schedule.
A slogan sticks in my mind from a book I read years ago and it’s my new mantra: ‘KISS’ – Keep things simple, stupid! Possibly not ‘politically correct’ these days… nobody is stupid! But it helps keep me from over-thinking! That’s when the idea for the ‘Jungle Animals’ set (created in a simpler style than the fairy set) popped into my mind and I knew other Moms would love it!
I took small daily actions, and before I knew it, the “Jungle Animals” set was created.
I thought all was great until I started comparing my work to other designers (again!) and the self-doubt crept in…
I kept going, however, reminding myself that I’ve been published many times before by big publishers, and that we all have something to offer others, and we all get days when we succeed and other days where things seem slow.
I have since achieved the completion of several design sets that are nearly ready to be launched and I will never forget the feedback I’ve received from others who have seen the ‘Jungle Animals’ set so far, including Julie from “Fab Mom Working Life’! Thank you Julie for your kind words. I really appreciate what you said and again, thanks for inviting me on here!
Any advice you want to give fellow moms?
Just be yourself. Be at peace with where you are. Know that you are doing the best you can and your children love you even on the days you might think they don’t! Take small daily actions towards your goals, and appreciate yourself for each step you take. Small baby steps take you an amazingly long way if you allow them to. Oh, and try not to compare yourself to others… everyone else looks smiley and successful but have their own ‘things’ going on. Oh, and follow your heart! Your dreams will see you through 🙂
And as far as using my designs for your projects or products… these are for you if you are a Mom who appreciates quality and loves showing the world your individual style! Get instant access to the brand new ‘Jungle Animals’ design set Now! And if jungle animals are not your thing, bookmark that page for the release of the new fairy set (+ many other sets) soon!
Free Coloring Pages
As a big thank you to Julie and for you reading this, I especially created some coloring-in pages you can have. Print them out and enjoy a coloring session with your child in the next few minutes!
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the designs and I would love your feedback/comments. In fact, what graphics set would you like to suggest I create next?
If you’d like to get in contact with Sarah, her details are below.
If you would like to be interviewed for my side hustle series, please fill out this form.