On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about building an illustration business with my guest, Stacie Bloomfield.

Stacie Bloomfield is the founder of the company Gingiber, based in Springdale Arkansas. She is an illustrator and printmaker who sells prints, stationery, fabric, and homewares in over 500 retail outlets around the country. She has collaborated with many retailers, including West Elm, Brooklyn Industries, The Land of Nod (now Crate & Kids), Moda Fabrics, Chasing Paper Wallpaper, and has been featured on Design Sponge, Martha Stewart.com, and others. She is also one of the founders of the Creative Social Retreat.

This episode is sponsored by AmyBarickman.com

Amy’s award-winning book, Vintage Notions: An inspirational guide to needlework, cooking, sewing, fashion & fun! shares lessons and wisdom from The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences which was founded in 1916 by Mary Brooks Picken, who Amy coined “the fairy godmother of modern sewing”.
 
Amy’s site offers a wealth of inspiration and information based on her extensive collection of vintage sewing and fashion treasures. Follow her blog and newsletter as she curates timeless wisdom, fascinating stories, and handmade style. Join & receive the “Welcome” printable which includes labels and recipe cards as well as a Magic Pattern for the Cropped Jacket.  Subscribe to the Amy Barickman Studio YouTube Channel for more Vintage Made Modern inspiration.

Stacie in her office.

We begin the conversation by talking about Springdale as a community and how Stacie and her husband came to live there. Next, I ask Stacie about her childhood and about what she was like as a teenager. Stacie explains that she always knew she wanted to be an artist, but that she’s a planner with a very practical mindset and found herself managing a Starbucks after college while her husband pursued his Phd. We talk about how she got back into artmaking when she became a mother and how she slowly began to build Gingiber into a business.

Bear print by Gingiber

Today, Gingiber is a thriving wholesale and retail business with an impressively broad product line. Stacie has multiple income streams including a brick-and-mortar shop where she sells her goods and hosts workshops, an online shop, licensing deals (including with Moda), wholesale, and soon she’ll be an author as well. Many of these opportunities came out about through Stacie’s willingness to pitch her work and her ideas and we talk about how to do that and how to accept the rejections and keep going.

Stacie has done several different trade shows multiple times including the National Stationery Show and Quilt Market. She talks about the differences she’s noticed between these two shows which is super interesting! She also talks about allowing the imagery in her work to evolve as she herself has grown and changed over the years and how that evolution has kept her products fresh and led to even more opportunities.

This image, which Stacie drew for herself, became the genesis for her forthcoming book.

I ask Stacie how she keeps her voice unique and stops herself from getting overly influenced by other artists or by trends. She has some great tips! I love Stacie’s upbeat attitude and her work ethic is so inspiring. I hope you enjoy this interview!

And, of course, I ask Stacie to recommend things she’s enjoying right now. Stacie recommends:

Keep up with Stacie and Gingiber on the Gingiber website and on Instagram. (I especially love Stacie’s Instagram Stories where she gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her every day.)

You can listen to this episode by clicking on the player above, or subscribe to the Craft Industry Alliance podcast on iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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