Interview with Mandy from Belle and Boo

Being a big fan of Belle and Boo, I am very happy to share an interview I had with Mandy.
Mandy set up Belle and Boo in June 2007 (same month my daughter was born) in a tiny one bedroom flat in London (same city – not place – my daughter was born). In 2008 her good friend Kate joined her to do the business part of the ever growing company.
In case you do not know Belle and Boo yet, see their website including shop and/or check their etsy shop as well.
Be careful… everything is so cute and charming you cannot resist… I bet!

A little intro please !
Hello my name is Mandy.I run a business called Belle and Boo with my friend Kate. I think the best way to describe it is a children’s lifestyle brand, we sell art prints, clothes, cushions, stationery etc featuring my illustrations of children.

Who inspired you to do what you do? Maybe somebody from your family?
Probably my dad. He is a brilliant technical drawer and always helped me with my art projects at school. Once he came in and helped my primary school class all make elephant masks, they were really amazing I remember feeling very proud.

What is the biggest challenge in your profession ?
Finding time to do new art work & art work that I want to do specifically, the busier and more successful the business becomes the more other non creative work is generated. I do have a team of people to help with this but your opinion, input is still needed, I find myself at a lot of meetings!

What influences your work?
Life, I see children doing sweet stuff all the time, from stories my friends tell me about their kids, from my favourite books, the internet and day dreaming.

And what are your current inspirations?
I love finding new illustrators, that are actually old illustrators if you know what I mean, vintage illustration is my biggest influence & I love discovering a new artist.

You write a blog as well, how does it support your business?
I think/hope it shows a little about my personality, I try to keep it very upbeat and positive, but I assure you I have bad, boring days like everyone else. It promotes new products and lets people know about events Belle & Boo will be attending. It also keeps me in touch with like minded people.

Where would you like to live?
Anywhere I am up for offers!

What are the future plans for Belle & Boo, I know you started with some cute dresses and there is more coming for this Autumn/ Winter season… what else would you like to realize?
Our next big project is a Belle & Boo story book, well actually a series of them and then if they are successful, Belle & Boo animations.

Do you remember your first sale? What was it and how was the feedback?
My first sale was about 10 mins after I uploaded my first picture onto Etsy, I thought I had done something wrong (computers not being my strong point at the time) and was so excited when I realised it had disappeared from the shop because it had been bought. The feedback was great and the customer still shops with Belle and Boo to this day 4 years on.

Which trend annoys you?
I am not a big fan of personalisation.

Thank you so much Mandy, a big honour to have you on my little blog and share your words with my readers!
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