Custom blog banners from Etsy

Some of you may have noticed the fancy new banner I got a few weeks ago. Well it is thanks to etsy store whimsygraphicsdesigns and the woman behind it, Rebecca Allen. I asked Rebecca to answer a few questions about her work as a graphic designer. She was so fun to work with, was incredibly patient with me, and was willing to go in any direction! I'd highly recommend her affordable design services.

Rebecca's work station, where she makes handbags!

1. Is whimsygraphicdesigns your full-time job, or do you have a regular 9-5 too?

Whimsygraphicdesigns is what I like to consider my "side job", although it's grown much more than I ever expected! I do have a regular job (if you consider it that); I am a handbag designer for my line called Rebecca (which I sell on Etsy too at prettygirlhandbags.etsy.com). My job consists of creating, designing, and selling my line. I'm my own boss and I work from home, so this allows me to spend my breaks/free time working on Etsy designs!

2. Where do you find inspiration?

Her inspiration corner. Love the pink walls!

I find inspiration in pretty much anything; I’m the kind of person who can be inspired by a rusty nail (I see a great color in that nail to be used in my next design). I collect all my ideas and inspirational pieces on a large bulletin board in my office. My board is really for my handbag line, but I do find a lot of my ideas for my graphics shop from what new trends and designs are out there today. I try to keep it updated with future season’s designs, projects I'm working on, and ideas that I've clipped out of magazines.

3. What's a typical day like for you?

I'm lucky because I work from home, so most of the time I'm still in my pj's till 10 or 11 in the morning. The first thing I do is answer convos, finish orders, and send out designs for customers to approve. Typically I try and spend my afternoons working my real job by emailing customers, filling orders, designing and calling my suppliers. Here and there during the day I always check my convos, work on orders, and promote.

4. Being a small-shop myself, I really appreciated your affordability. Do you have a philosophy behind that?

Being a small business owner you have to understand what customers are willing to pay. I find that there is a threshold for most designs; where you’re not charging enough or charging too much. I’ve slowly played around prices and have found a good price point for most of my graphics; to get to this price I consider my time, cost of graphics/programs, and fees from Etsy and PayPal. I really try to make my items affordable, because I know that my customers will be more than willing to return and have me create another item for them. I can’t imagine charging $15.00 for just a single banner, it just doesn’t seem fair to the customer..and I know that I wouldn’t pay those prices!

Another shot of her workspace. The pegboard is a great way to keep crafting tools organized.

5. You were sooo patient with my "that's ALMOST it" answers and wavering opinion. You must do yoga? Pilates? Haha. How do you deal with a diffult client or the day-to-day stress of the job?

Most of my customers always need to have something changed. As a designer you have to understand that there will always be those that don’t like your design, or may be difficult. But focusing on the positive and understanding that if you were in the same situation you may act very similar..this helps me get through those “teeth clenching” moments. I really don’t mind fixing something for a client, it’s my job and they are paying me to do it. In the end I want them to be happy, and feel good about paying me to design for them. I have met some wonderful people and have gotten such great compliments about my work that it far out weighs any stress I might feel. On a side note, I do pilates as well as hiking, and bike riding. These things really help me relieve any stress I may have and help me “center myself.” I definitely believe that spending some down time is incredibly important!

Thank you, Rebecca! You did such an amazing job. Interested bloggers can find more examples of her work in her store.