In 2010 I moved to Waco, Texas from Ames, Iowa. I landed a job at a cool design firm where I was paid to doodle, draw and distract my co-workers with ridiculous hypotheticals. I look back on these 2 1/2 years fondly. But I often forget how hard it was in the beginning. I didn't have any friends when I moved. On one particular stroll through the aisles of Hobby Lobby, I saw a wood burning pen and a few planks of wood. I decided to buy it. That night I burned a ship (inspired by an old stamp) onto one of those planks of wood. Eventually I started burning more wood planks with quotes, pictures and letters. Then I had them laser cut and then I opened an Etsy shop.
(This one was laser cut)
In searching for the perfect name, with equal parts jolly, spunky and punny, I came upon Chipper Things. My product was literally (and I mean literally the way it is meant to be said) chipper things.
Not long after that, the Chipper Things blog began as an outlet for me to share my drawings, writing, ideas and inspiration. I started I'd Rather Be Short on this platform (as well as a handful of other good and bad ideas). Meanwhile, my Etsy store morphed into a little print shop, where I sold my art on paper instead of walnut (and by art I mean, mostly this print in particular). Through this experience, as well as writing my first book, I learned that it is indeed possible to make a living off of my art.
Enter Chipper Things 2.0
Between the wood burns and today, Launch Day (April 19, 2016), I've spent a lot of time freelancing. During this time, I had been dreaming of opening up a more robust online store with my work. I was slowly chipping (see what I did there?) away at this when I wasn't working on client work. Then, a little over a year ago, Adobe came out of nowhere. I started my Creative Residency, which afforded me the opportunity to work on Chipper Things full time, without the responsibility of those client obligations. Throughout the last year I had the chance to make art, explore, play, learn from artists, entrepreneurs and professional tinkerers who inspire me to keep playing and keep creating.
Today Chipper Things is an online store that sells paper and lifestyle goods. I have plans to expand to wholesale but I want to get this part right first. There are over 70 products and only two were carried in the original Etsy shop. The collections are: Gal Pals, Flowcharts, Young at Heart, Love and Kindness.
As the name implies, Chipper Things is as much about process as it is seeing the good in our world and ourselves. This business aims to embody exploration, connection and play. The logo, colors, art and products will always be evolving, as will I.
I think this is a good place to start.
I'd love to hear what you think. What do you like, don't like or want to see more of? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.