Becky is the wonderful designer and founder. She takes her inspiration from the natural world and the joy of having a good laugh with friends.
Becky, for those who have not come across Daffodowndilly before, can you describe your shop and the products you sell?
Hello! Well I’m based in beautiful Shropshire and I design and make greeting cards and other stationery as well as notebooks, wooden and enamel lapel pins, wooden keyrings, organic cotton printed T-shirts and jewellery and cross stitch kits. Everything is designed by me and as much as I possibly can, made in the UK.
I decided on the name Daffodowndilly as it is an old Shropshire word for Daffodils and they are one of my favourite spring flowers.
How did you come up with the idea for Daffodowndilly?
I have always loved creating things and really wanted to build something that would enable me to do this as a business. I also love stationery and enamel pins so it was pretty inevitable that I would go down that road!
It is always inspiring to hear how the shop began and how it has got to where it is now. Can you share with us your journey so far? What did you do before Daffodowndilly?
My love of the natural world led me to study and get my degree in Natural Sciences and then move into sourcing and creating art and educational kits and workshops for children and adults with the company we set up as a family.
I then decided I wanted to set up something for me to create things, starting with the jewellery designs which fed into my love of semi-precious gemstones and geology (something I have loved since a child and which led to many fossil finding trips) and Daffodowndilly was born. Next came the greeting cards, the cross stitch kits and finally the t-shirts, lapel pins and notebooks.
I still work at my other business, as Daffodowndilly is my part time job. They work really well together and both involve a lot of fun.
I love your designs, you are always coming up with new ideas. Can you describe your design process, what inspires them, how you develop them and how you hold on to all the ideas you must have?
Thank you so much! Well everything starts by being written or sketched in a notebook. I carry one everywhere and they are a brilliant resource to look back on. It is also really encouraging to look back through these and to see my progress.
Most of my designs are inspired by the natural world or a bit of positivity. That theme runs through most of what I do. If I can combine the two then even better!
After the initial idea I do a lot of research (if it is something very different to my other ranges) to see whether it is even possible and if so whether I can make it myself or, if not, where could I get things printed/cut/manufactured in the UK. I then start on creating the final designs. Sometimes I just start drawing and come up with something I really like very quickly while other times it takes ages and lots of erasing and starting again until I’m happy.
Such a brilliant mix of products. How do you decide what to create and how do you get them made?
I very much go by what I love and would like for myself and also what seems a good fit for Daffodowndilly. The notebooks and enamel pins are a good example as they are something that I would use and seem to be a good fit with the other stationery and accessories I was already making.
I have found that a huge amount of research is key when trying to find places to get items made or printed. I get all the cards, notebook covers, stickers and positivity postcards printed by the same UK printers. I have a really good relationship with them and trust their quality and customer service. I then print the inner pages, assemble and bind the notebooks myself.
As much as possible, the things I sell are either printed, cut or made in the UK and this was very important to me when I started. I was therefore particularly pleased to be able to find a lovely enamel pin making company in Birmingham, as I thought that it would be impossible to find one in the UK (they are usually exclusively made in China now). It makes things a little bit more expensive sometimes and eats into my profit margin, but it felt right to try to do my bit for British manufacturing and for the environment, by sourcing more locally.
What are some of yours and your customers favourite products?
The greeting cards are always the best seller at fairs and events but I’m really pleased that now the notebooks are starting to catch them up! The notebooks are probably my secret favourite too as I enjoy designing and binding them.
Do you attend events? What are your favourites and where do you plan to be next?
I do have stalls at craft fayres occasionally but this is something I really want to push going forward and move into doing markets too, so watch this space! I have a section on my website for events and stockists, I will be updating it with what I’m up to.
What can we expect to see from you and Daffodowndilly in the future?
Well I have just completed my silverclay level 1 qualification so I’m very excited to incorporate that into my jewellery designs, which I have very much neglected because of everything else. I want to get these properly updated and looking smart with my new branding as well as adding new designs for both kits and finished pieces. I’m also working on making “perfect bound” journals and desk pads. Another goal is to convert my office into a Daffodowndilly space too.
…and finally. For many people running a business is a dream. What is the best thing about it and what has been one of your proudest moments?
The best thing is that you can choose what you want to make and the directions you want to go in. It also means you can change things around if something isn’t working.
I have two proudest moments!
The first was when I was at my first craft fayre and had my initial small range of cards to sell, I was very self-conscious about them and was worried I wouldn’t sell anything so just seeing that people were buying my cards and that they were actually going to be sent to their friends and family was just such a wonderful feeling and blew me away.
The second was getting my first enamel pin design made, I have loved enamel pins for years and being able to make my own design seemed like an improbable dream but this year it came true! I now have another design in production and can’t wait to see it!
I have really enjoyed Becky’s Daffodowndilly story. She is always designing and launching something new. It is so wonderful to see so much creativity.
I hope you have been inspired by this Behind the Scenes post looking into one of Our Shops. You can find more Our Shops stories here.
Until next time, happy browsing and inspired shopping. 🙂
All opinions in this blog post are mine. Daffodowndilly is a member of my shopping directory.Tags: Gift Shops, Independent Shops Online, Shops Behind the Scenes, Stationery