Vendor Spotlight: The Stationery Bakery
Meet Sarah Donovan, owner and lead artist for The Stationery Bakery, an Austin, Texas-based creator of cards, notebooks, art prints, onesies and more. Donovan launched her company out of her apartment in 2010, designing custom invitations for all kinds of occasions. She then moved into illustrated greeting cards. Things picked up from there.
“A few years into the business, I began to expand our greeting cards and prints line, and that was the best decision,” she says. Donovan uses quality papers, watercolors, inks, acrylics for her handmade designs. Her work is wonderfully whimsical, often colorful and always makes us smile. We’re excited to welcome her back to our Dallas and Houston shows this fall.
Why did you decide to start The Stationery Bakery? I was doing custom work for various friends and family, and people around me started to encourage me to offer design services. I think they saw the potential for my designs to be a business before I did.
What’s the story behind the name? I started designing in my dining room and often would do production in my kitchen. I liked the idea of offering handmade and fresh designs. The name grew from there.
Did you go to school or have professional training in your field? I studied art and graphic design at Abilene Christian University. I also took art classes at Austin Community College.
Is The Stationery Bakery your full-time job? It is. I am also a stay-at-home mom to a toddler.
What was the hardest part about starting your business? It was really hard to build a portfolio and gain clients, but it happened — and still happens — organically.
Favorite part? My favorite part is that I get to share my illustrations with the world. And when I am doing custom work for a client, I love the whole design process, from sketching to picking out the paper.
What has been your proudest moment so far? Getting into my first store, Sanctuary in Austin, a few years ago. It’s really exciting to meet people who love and believe in your brand enough to sell the product in their own beautiful spaces.
Where do you get the inspiration for your illustrations? My inspiration comes from textiles from around the world and botanicals.
What’s been your favorite design/product to date? The 2017 wild animals in floral crowns are pretty sweet.
Have you tried something that you were sure would work but just didn’t? I’ve had illustrations that seemed like they’d be super neat for a card or calendar, but after painting them I felt no excitement.
Do you have any tips for newbies in the industry? Find inspiration in the environment around you. I think it’s so important to be unique and not re-create others’ work. I would also encourage those getting into art and design to take community art classes, whether at a community college or local art school. I learned so much from private classes as a child and a few really awesome art-specific classes at Austin Community College.
What’s new for your company? The onesies! Much of my artwork ends up in nurseries and toddlers’ rooms. I had friends telling me to try out onesies, and after doing a test print with our initial round of designs, I was very excited! Many of the stores we are in offer baby gifts, so it’s a good direction for The Stationery Bakery. Moms love having their babies in adorable clothing, and the artwork is really sweet on the onesies.
FLEA STYLE SPEED ROUND
Up with the birds or burning the midnight oil? Up with the birds.
Snapchat or Instagram? Instagram.
Cupcakes or cookies? Cookies.
Dogs or cats? Dogs.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.