June 20, 2013

Handmade Marathon - Hello Plum Studio

Editor's Note: Handmade Marathon has returned in a slightly different format.  Be sure to look for this regular blog feature, in interview format!  If you missed the original handmade marathon, be sure to check out the amazing handmade businesses here.  

Tell us about your business

Hello Plum Studio is a colorful shop full of pretty things for homes and celebrations. From magnets and gift tags to garlands and cake toppers, you can find the perfect pretty thing for your stylish abode or birthday bash.

How did you get started?

My handmade journey actually began with my first Etsy shop, A Quiet Curiosity, where I sell colorful, geometric jewelry and accessories. After months of working with polymer clay, I started to realize how versatile it is and started dreaming up all of the products I could make. I finally decided to open a second shop that would house all of those product ideas that filled my notebooks and Hello Plum Studio was born.

The girl behind the business - Tell us about yourself, how do you spend your Saturday mornings, a little glimpse into your life, your family etc.

I live in Arkansas with my husband and we have just recently bought and moved into our first house. After living in a small 1 bedroom apartment and working from our dining table, I am so excited to finally have a room to call my workspace. 

A typical Saturday morning for my husband and I consists of sleeping in and then hanging out at home before we get ready and head out to do whatever it is that we have planned for the day. 

I love to read, mostly teen fantasy and dystopian society type books. I know, I know…maybe they're cheesy, but I love them! I also love to travel and go to flea markets. Finding that special treasure among the junk is so exciting!

What inspires you? Where does your creativity come from?

I am always inspired by color and geometric shapes/patterns. As you can see in my shops, these 2 things make their way into all of my designs. I am also inspired by polymer clay; it can be molded, stamped, textured, and formed into so many things. I love playing around with different tools to create various textures and patterns in the clay. Many designs have been born out of simply just experimenting and trying out different things. 

My dad is an artist and a potter, so I would say my creativity mostly comes from him. I definitely did not inherit his drawing talent, but I suppose I did inherit his need to be creative and make things. My mom used to sew a lot before I was born; she made curtains and clothes for my siblings when they were young, among other things. My parents told me that they once made a couch together; my dad built the frame and my mom sewed the cushions. I just love that! I started out wanting a career in the medical field and it took me a few wrong turns along the way, but that was the path that led me to realize I am happiest when being creative and making things for people to enjoy.

What's one thing you would like to improve about your business?

Can I say two things? I would love to work on my branding and create a really strong brand that people recognize. I feel that I am off to a good start by keeping everything consistent and making sure my logo is on all of my packaging, but I want to keep working on it and evolving my brand to be the best that it can be. I also want to improve my product photography. I got a new DSLR this past Christmas and I need to really start learning how to use it and all of its features to make my photos really great. In addition to that, I would love to learn more about using props and styling my photos. I experimented with that a little for my Hello Plum Studio photos and it was really fun, but I would love to improve and make them even better.

What is the best gift you have ever given or received?

Hmm, that's a tough one, but I'll have to say a trip to London and Paris. A couple of months after my husband and I got married, my sister-in-law and her husband took us to London for a week with a day trip to Paris. They paid for our plane tickets, our hotel room, and all of our meals during the trip. The only things we had to buy were our souvenirs! I have always wanted to go to both London and Paris, so this vacation was a dream come true for me. I had so much fun and it is definitely an experience I will never forget!

How do you celebrate special occasions?

Special occasions are usually low-key and spent with my family. If it's a birthday, we may go shopping and out to eat. We don't usually spend holidays with my extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. It's just my husband and I, my parents, my siblings, and their families. Our special occasions may be low-key and not spent with a big group of people, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am an introvert, after all, so those types of gatherings are perfect to me.

What do you do when you make time for yourself (you and only you)

I love to make things, so sometimes I will try to work on a project for myself or for my home. Most of the time, though, I am making things for my 2 shops, so I don't get around to just for fun projects as often as I'd like. I like to read and watch ABC Family shows (Pretty Little Liars, anyone?!) when I have some time to myself. ABC Family shows are definitely some of my guilty pleasures, but they're just so good! I also love painting my nails fun colors, but they usually don't last too long with all of the sanding I do.

You can find more Hello Plum Studio here:

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  1. Lovely to meet you & see your beautiful work Hana! That 'thank you' tag is stunning & a present in itself. I am excited to see this new format for the Handmade Marathon & get to meet all sorts of wonderful new makers!

  2. Such a great feature! Loved learning more about your business! My mother in law is doing a tour of Paris and London right now! So cool that you were able to travel and experience that, sounds like the trip of a lifetime!