Monday 30 April 2012

Vivid Please.


I was wandering through the Etsy Success forum the other day, when I came across a thread, searching
for people to participate in a feature swap. You can see the appeal: you both get some new exposure.
Well, I was game, so I had a look at their blog.

   Good gracious. It's not often you find blogs of such quality searching for people to participate in such things. Usually, the blogs in question have little design work, and little worth-while content, so I've never done them, but this time, well, I've had to add a new blog to my reading list. But it wasn't just that. I had a look in VividPlease's shop, too. Well, I had been in there before. I was looking for a gift for a friend and I came across their totebags - I never bought it, I ended up going in a different direction, but I still love the design. So when I found my virtual self standing in their virtual shop once again, I smiled to myself. I figured if I was fortunate to be picked for a feature swap, it would be win-win for  me. I get to pop up on a truly wonderful blog, and I get to feature a truly wonderful shop.
   It turned out that it was meant to be. I don't know how many of you post threads in the Teams, but you don't get notified of any new comments. To keep on top of it, you have to revisit the same thread and check manually. A few days passed since I left my offer, and I wouldn't usually have done it, I'd have normally just left it, but I sent them a quick message asking if they were still looking. A moment after I sent that message, a new one appeared in my mail box, from Vicky an David - Vivid (how clever!), and it was longer than it would have been if they had just replied to me.
   Well, long story short, Vicky and I ended up emailing eachother, and she's just fabulous. Her boyfriend, David, helps her to run the blog and the shop, and she's totally my kind of person - she's not afraid to be who she is, which makes a change these days.

   But onto my point. Their shop is wonderful. It's just full of so many cute things, from illustrations of their Scottish land of Edinburgh, to cute little strawberry brooches which are quickly growing on me...the brooches, not strawberries. That would be a delicious medical condition.

But let me show you...

   Awesome, yes? I am in love with those biscuits. Proper biscuits. Bourbon! Custard Cream! Jam Ring! These are true biscuits, the best biscuits. And the only flaw with the plaster ones is just that: they are plaster. I can't eat them - though that's probably a good thing. I'm trying to slim down afterall. And their pencils are awesome too. I love custom engraved pencils. I tried to find a way to get them done myself for promo but I could never find anything that wouldn't cost me a month's carer's allowance. But look at that card--WAIT, no, look at these:

   Pterodactyls. You know I had to. But the best part - aside from the fact that the card itself is linen, my favourite card type second only to Kraft - is that those are actual polaroids, held in place with photo corner thingies. How great is that? I love it. Almost as much as I love those post-its.

   I am a post-it fiend. If it's a funny shape, or has different colours/patterns/especially pictures, I must have them. These are sat in my Etsy cart right now, waiting for a little dosh to come my way. I can't honestly say I have need for them, since I work mostly on computers, but I have a ring binder upstairs falling apart with notes for my current trilogy, and I'm sure these post-its would look great stuck to paper scattered on the floor once it bursts. I must have them!

   After that brief jog through their wonderful shop, shall we have a chat?

Why did you start blogging? And why did you start Etsy?
We started blogging to document what we were up to. Places we had been, things we had seen and all the little things that we found inspiring but felt like they tend to get overlooked. It was like a little snap shot in our lives that we thought we should preserve. I would say that our blog started out to keep track of all the awesome things that we were experiencing so they would be remembered. I have a shocking memory, which is why I believe I got into photography, but when you shoot so much, your images inevitably get dumped on your computer to rarely be seen again. It's pretty sad! When you compile a journal, your naturally going to start putting pretty personal stuff in there too, so you probably wont share that either. But with a blog, you're telling the whole world what you think and what you've been up to! You're going to keep that PG cert :D hee hee!
As for our Etsy shop, it all started with a Penny Farthing bag. We had a lightbulb moment where making them was not an option and not sharing would be plain rude! Hee hee! We've found that we get complimented quite a lot on our eclectic style; people seem to like what we make and how we put it together so we decided that we should take the risk and put it out there. Etsy is a difficult market place as it is jam packed with good designers so you have to work hard at it. The more stuff you have in your etsy boutique the better, but not being able to be categorized in one box of what we do tends to mean we have to work harder. We love that our shop has a huge variety - it's like an Aladdin's cave of treats which is what we tend to be more drawn to, but it's a curse as much as it is a blessing. We're pretty flighty in what we want to do, we get ideas for everything, so sticking to just one category like stationery would kill us. We need a lot of distractions and spinning plates to keep entertained!

We know that "Vivid" is a combination of both of your names, but how did the two of you meet? And what sparked your collaboration?
We met whilst working in an advertising agency actually. We both have creative backgrounds, but I ended up working as an account handler and David worked in the creative department. Not long after I started I got given my first full client to work on, which happened to be a very creative business indeed, and we worked together on a big rebrand. It was the best project either of us worked on the whole time we were there! I think it worked so well because we were on the same level; David would be working on the brief's I'd written and he would basically create what I had in my head, only 100 times better! Pretty quickly we found that we worked amazingly together and naturally started hanging out and talking nonsense over coffee, which is when the Penny bag came about and when we started to work together out of the office in a more serious way.

Why do your cards only feature Polaroids?
My camera of choice is a Polaroid camera from the 1970s. When I started studying photography my professer saw the spark and lent me his one. He had a damn hard time of getting it back :D After a few months I bought my own and I've been using it ever since. I've had it since I was 18 and it is the one thing I couldn't live without. When Polaroid went under I went into a mad panic and spent a lot of my savings buying up all the film I could. It's still in my fridge as I only use it when I know there is going to be good light and an amazing event worth documenting on such precious film. You can now buy a new kind of film for them, which is good, but just not the same. I will be sad when my last packet goes, but I forsee I will be holding onto it for a very long time :) We've just created our first line of illustrated cards for the shop which funnily enough are based on a lot of things I would have shot using the polaroid camera! It's like an addiction. I think I need Polaroids Anonymous! :D

Which products do you enjoy making the most? And which products are your favourite? I can certainly understand that items that are the most fun to make may not be your favourite final piece! Those blasted dinosaurs!
We love making biscuits - both the real kind and the ornamental ones! It can get messy, but that's the best part of the day :) Making the cloud, strawberry and lemon felt brooches are a lot of fun too as you get to see their expressions come together slowly as you're making them. I would say the strawberry is our favorite to make as he has a cheeky smile and pips for his freckles... Who doesn't want to sit and work on that? It's hard to choose favorites, but if we could choose 3 it would be the biscuits, the let's grow old together bag and the make & do note pads. We'd have it all though!

How would you describe your shop?
Ahh, the ultimate question! We would love to hear how other people would describe our shop as we find it quite the challenge to sum it up in one coherent sentence! At the moment we describe our shop as Bags, Stationery. Prints & Accessories For Kitsch Geeks. We think that our stuff is aimed at the creatively curious, but many people look baffled with that description. We love a bit of retro, a twist of kitsch and a sprinkle of geek. Hipster is a word that seems to generate many discussions as hipsters don't like to be called hipsters, but we don't know how else to refer to them and get their attention without offending. Maybe it's because we're not hipster enough to be let in on the secret ;)

Ice cream or ice lolly?
Both! I'm an ice cream gal and he's a lolly guy :) It's great though because we buy a box that contains both and we don't have to fight over who gets what!

What do you do for fun?
We love a good car boot sale! A proper rummage in someone else's trash always provides quite the treasure whether it is a new trinket to add to one of our colossal collections or a good idea :) I also love to cook, not that I'm particularly good at it! I bought a book full of Elvis's favorite recipes when I went to Graceland so I've been trailing some of those recently too. We also love trashy tv. I think everything I learned in my youth can be traced back to Bill Cosby & The Huxtables ... so does David for that matter!

Where can we find you?
Mostly at Vivid HQ or in our favorite coffee place! But if you're not in Edinburgh, you can pop in and see what we're up to on our blog: we'd love to have you round for a cuppa! You can check out our little boutique at and you can find us tweeting away at Oh, and we're on Pinterest too We'd love to meet you :D

Anything else?
We'd love to hear how you would describe our shop!
We are also hosting a monthly giveaway so be sure to pop over to our blog and enter :D
Finally, thanks for having us round today, we've had an awesome time and we LOVE your stuff! 

How would you describe Vivid's shop? Personally I had tried to sum it up myself before, but the
way Vivid has described it themselves: " Prints & Accessories For Kitsch Geeks" - Kitsch Geeks
certainly fits! Have a wander over to their shop and see if you can find something to line their
pockets! I certainly can!

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    Thanks for having us today Kim! What a super awesome write up :D we're super psyched you like our work becuase we think you'res is amazing!
    Im also delighted that you think my chat is not dire too :S hee hee! For the record I think you're pretty darn great also. We're defo lucky we found each other! I'm looking forward to finding everyone else too ;)
    Thanks again for featuring us! We're looking forward to having you on our blog this thursday too :D
    Vicky & David x


I do read every single comment, and I will try to respond where I can. If you have an important question about my blog or my shop, however, then you might be better off contacting me directly by email. Thanks so much for reading my blog!