5.11.2009

You Oughta Know: Lisa Zuraw of Sweetbeets


I'm having so much fun with my "You Oughta Know" series, I already have another one for you today! I am pleased to introduce you to Lisa Zuraw, owner of the wonderful business Sweetbeets. I ran across Lisa's shop on etsy when I was searching for a letterpress card for a friend's baby shower. I was instantly smitten with all of her lovely designs, and ended up choosing this one:

Baby in Basket card available here

Isn't that just the sweetest card you have ever seen? My friend ended up liking it so much, she framed it and put it up in her son's nursery! What I also love about Lisa's work is that all items are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Adorable and eco-friendly too-what a great combo! So listen up folks, because at the end of this interview you will get your chance to win a selection of Sweetbeets products valued at $30!

Here we go...

Q: What inspired you to start Sweetbeets?

A: I've always enjoyed making things and been interested in design. When I was a "tween" I'd change around the furniture in my bedroom every few months, I spent a ridiculous amount of time picking out the perfect wallpaper, and I convinced my Dad to convert the closet into a workspace with a built in desk and book shelf! I also tried sewing my own clothes--that didn't work out so well! Fast forward several years and I dabbled in soap making (but working with lye made me a bit nervous) and eventually I got into paper crafts. After my first son was born I started making cards, initially with rubber stamps and craft punches, as a creative outlet and to give myself some "me" time. I dreamed of starting my own stationery company and did tons of research online over a three-year period until my brother encouraged me to "just do it"! I started teaching myself Adobe Illustrator, and my brother helped me set up my first website (which I've since redesigned) in the summer of 2007.

Gift Tags available here

Q: I love the sweet, simple, nostalgic designs of your work. Can you take us through the process of coming up with a new design?

A: Thanks for your kind words! I have a long list of design ideas that come from watching my children play and thinking back to my own childhood. I'm inspired by the simple things most kids seem to love such as splashing in puddles and blowing dandelion seeds. I am self-taught so often I'll work from a photo that I've taken of one of my sons. For example, the "cowboy" card is based on my son riding his rocking horse.

Rocking horse card available here

Q: You have recently added a great art print to your line-up of products. What can we look forward to in the future at Sweetbeets?

A: I am working on a line of print-at-home baby shower and birthday invitations. I love pouring over all the wonderful birthday party inspiration online (Party Perfect is one of my new fave blogs on this topic). Despite thinking about my sons' birthdays far in advance, they always seem to sneak up on me and I realize I haven't actually done anything to get ready! I confess that last year I invited guests by email because I didn't leave myself enough time to create nice invitations and mail them before the party. Surely I cannot be alone in this! I figure there must be other moms who want unique party invitations that have a do-it-yourself element. The first design is based on the space party we had a couple of years ago and the PDF is now available in my Etsy shop. Check back very soon for new designs!

Space Birthday Party Invite pdf available here

Q: You also run a great blog called ModEco kids, featuring handmade and eco-friendly products for babies and children. Has having children of your own changed the way you view products designed for them?

A: Having children has made me realize that the best "toy" is their imagination! But of course it is nice to have some actual toys too. We've really streamlined the amount of toys we have at home and mainly kept the quality wooden toys and toys that encourage open-ended play.

Art prints available here


Q: What are some of your favorite/must-have "mommy essentials"?

A: I highly recommend a baby sling. It took me a few months to figure out how to use it with my first son but I carried my second son in my sling starting from when he was a few days old. Now that my sons have outgrown the sling, my current mommy essential is the CD "It's A Big World". My sons listen to this soothing music every night while going to sleep and we never get tired of it!


Q: What are some of your favorite activities to do with your sons?

A: Last summer I took my boys several times into the nearby forest to go "fishing" and also to catch frogs at the little stream. I'm looking forward to doing that again this summer!


Q: A few of your favorite things?


A: Besides my family (of course!), some of my favorite things include the color green, hour long massages, the process and rewards of decluttering, and Wild Sweet Orange herbal tea by Tazo. I also LOVE this little porcelain jar by Canadian artist Nesting Emily that I bought because it represents the inspiration for developing more of my own personal style, which is still a work in progress!



Thank you so much, Lisa for giving us a glimpse into your life and business!

And now for the giveaway instructions- pay attention, because it is a bit different this time:

Simply follow this link to the special Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle giveaway page at the Sweetbeets site, enter your email address where indicated and press "subscribe". You will be entered into the drawing as well as her monthly newsletter (which you can unsubscribe to at any time-not that you would want to-I get it and love the updates!). That's it! Easy! The winner will receive a selection of Sweetbeets valued at $30! The contest will be open through Sunday, May 17th. Lisa will randomly pick the winner and I will announce it here on Monday, May 18th. Good luck!

12 comments:

  1. Great find! Thanks for sharing!
    I'm going to check out!
    Hugs
    Federica

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  2. wow.love the cards. great interview.

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  3. great interview! my sister got the baby in basket card and used it to announce she + her husband are expecting their first baby! it was very cute!

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  4. I think I would frame mine too.

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  5. What wonderful cards and a great interview!

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  6. these are wonderful. i'm off to enter!

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  7. I like your "you oughta know" series. Great idea. I look forward to checking out more! Thanks!

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  8. I have LONG been a fan of Lisa's work! .. loved reading about her -so interesting to get inside a designers mind ! .. Tahnks !
    Louise xxx

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  9. lovely interview, i have been a fan of sweetbeets for some time, and have recently 'met' lisa on twitter. nice to learn a little more about her process. thankyou!

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  10. Definitely ripe for framing. Lisa's work is gorgeous, and if I don't get to use the party invitations for my boys, then I might just use them for my very own astro-fete.

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  11. What gorgeous things... I love how she's inspired by everyday activities with her kids.

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  12. Thanks everyone for your kind words! You are making me blush!!

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