I first became familiar with HMC Designs during an Etsy search for all things teddy bear [for my post, “Please Bear with Me“]. It was hard not to fall in love with the adorable designs of Australian Artist, Heidi Crawford.
The product list includes gift cards, badges [buttons], magnets, colorful plushies, hair bobbles, and baby bibs – all hand crafted and some are even customizable! HMC Designs started in 2005 and quickly grew from selling at local market stands to a booming retail and online business. With the recent birth of her daughter, I just had to find out how Heidi finds the time to do it all [because there are days I can hardly find the time to shower!]. I also wanted to know more about her business and motivation …. here’s the Q & A:
How do you balance being a new mom and running your business?
“I try to find a good balance between looking after my daughter, my home and finally my business! I do a lot of my design work when she is napping during the day and after she has gone to bed at night. I am very lucky to have a wonderful partner and a close knit family who are always available any time I need help or someone to baby sit for a few hours when I need to fill an order or spend time at a market.
I think the key to running my business successfully is making sure that I am really organized and set achievable goals. This means lots of “To Do” lists! There’s nothing better than ticking the “Done” box after you have successfully completed something.”
What is your best selling item?
“My best selling item would have to be my Wedding and Graduation cards.
I have found that people really love the option to customize the faces so they look like the recipient. This feature makes the card that little bit more special when compared to the generic wedding card you may find in your local store.”
Where do you get the inspiration for all of the cute little characters?
“Currently, I am finding a lot of inspiration in children’s picture books, but I have always been fascinated with imagery from Japanese Pop culture. As a child I practised my drawing by copying Sanrio characters and cute illustrations found in Japanese magazines. From here I became interested in Anime and Pop Art in general. For a few years now I have been collecting lots of colourful and interesting images, figurines and treasures. All of these provide me with endless amounts of inspiration to continue designing and creating.”
Any plans to bring the products to US stores?
“Up until quite recently I have only been selling my products online and at local art markets. I have just started approaching stores here and so far I have been getting a really positive response. So once I have tackled the Australian market I hope to venture overseas to the US. Having said that, if any overseas wholesaling opportunities pop up in the meantime I will definitely consider them.”
What makes you laugh?
“I love this super cute comic strip called “Patchesâ” – It never fails to make me laugh.”
What is your favorite home decor item?
“My partner and I purchased some amazing outdoor “Roca” chairs from a fellow stallholder [Carey Potter] at an Artists’ Market here in Melbourne. They have a really grungy, weathered feel – they don’t look it, but they are really comfortable!
When I have a spare moment, I love to sit out in my backyard on my Roca and relax.”
[Heidi, I just might have to come to Melbourne to get one of these chairs! I LOVE THEM!!]
Have you been selling the baby bibs [they are adorable!] for awhile or was this something that came about when you found out you were going to be a mom?
“I started making the baby bibs after my daughter was born. I had a lot of trouble finding good quality cotton bibs that not only did its job but also looked good too. I gave a few as gifts to friends who had recently had babies and after receiving a lot of positive feedback from them and after my own extensive testing with my own baby, I decided that they would definitely become part of my product range.”
Thank you, Heidi!!! Can’t wait to see your stuff in the shops, but for now I am content with buying from your Etsy store!