Shop News

Free UK Shipping Until Further Notice

It is a strange time for many of us. I hope you are keeping well, and staying safe for yourselves and others.

I had 5 markets booked until July, but unfortunately three of them so far have been cancelled due to Coronavirus. It’s understandable however, and very important that we all practise social distancing and self isolation to slow down its spread.

My shop sales have slowed down and all of my stockists have closed temporarily. As a result of this and market cancellations, my income has taken a hit. While I am fortunate that my partner’s income will keep the roof over our heads, it is a very worrying time for my business.

We small businesses need your help, more than ever. Please consider supporting us, no matter how little.

I am now offering free UK shipping for everything on my shop until further notice, with no minimum order.

It may take slightly longer than usual to receive your order because I am reducing the frequency of my trips to the Post Office to minimise contact with other people. When placing an order, please expect your delivery in 1-4 working days.

If you are not shopping for cards, wall art, or stationery, please consider supporting me on Ko-Fi where you can send me a few pounds to support my business.

There are other ways you can support me without spending: sign up to my newsletter, recommend Katrina Sophia to your friends, follow me on social media, like and comment on my posts, and share pictures of your Katrina Sophia products tagging me and using the hashtag #ksinthewild

Thank you ever so much, from the bottom of my heart!
Stay safe and see you on the other side.

Shop News and International Women’s Day

I have had very busy days since the launch of the new Wildflowers Collection with lots of new orders coming in. However, getting to the post office has been a bit of a challenge in the stormy and windy UK weather! We haven’t been too badly affected here but many parts of the UK have been terribly battered by the storms and rain.

 

Shop News

Good news! I am very excited that a selection of my products have been chosen for a pop-up run by Curated Makers. The pop-up will be at John Lewis & Partners at Trafford Centre (Manchester) from 24th February to 22nd March.

 

International Women’s Day

The other day, I was looking through some old work. I came across the line drawings of inspiring women that I did for Inktober 2016. My subjects are inspiring for what they have done, and continue to do, to help develop our world to a better, kinder, fairer place. I could add so many new portraits to that project. I am happy that our voices are getting louder. Perhaps I will revisit it again sometime.

While browsing the pictures, I remembered that next month International Women’s Day comes around again, on the 8th March. This year the theme is: An equal world is an enabled world.

It is the 21st Century and yet we still need to rally and continue the fight for equity and equality. International Women’s Day focuses on this and there are so many ways to get involved. Pop on over to their website to see how you can get involved and help get our voices heard.

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/2020Theme

We must continue to campaign to remove the prejudices, barriers and injustices that blight so many lives:  We can all have an impact on how this world changes.

 

Mother’s Day

My Inktober project focused on famous women that I find inspiring. However, I  do not forget that I stand on the shoulders of many unsung women, my mother, my grandmothers and their mothers, who were not famous or well-known, but nevertheless important, for they conquered the everyday.

I am looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day, with my mum on 22nd March, and International Women’s Day, on 8th March, with our worldwide family.

I hope you will join me in saying a big thank you to our mothers and all those women who went before us – I am sure we would not have the opportunities available to us now, if it wasn’t for all they have done.

Introducing Wildflowers Collection

I launched my newest collection on Friday – Wildflowers!

In the run up to Top Drawer in January I was advised to design a new range to launch at the event, so in the autumn last year I started to think about what my next collection would be. Wildflowers have been one of the collections on my to-do list for a while and I felt most excited and inspired about them.

During the Christmas rush I spent some time thinking about the collection, what type of products would the range includes, and learning more about wildflowers and choosing the ones I was going to paint. I used my Observer’s book of Wildflowers and RHS website for research.

I finally managed to find time to start painting and designing the range in December. I painted about 20 wildflowers and whittled it down to my best 12 for my first design of the range – British Wildflowers print.

I also designed four patterns from my wildflower illustrations. When I decided that I wanted to make patterns, I was stumped about where to start with so many wildflower illustrations in front of me! I had a brainwave and used my research to base my patterns on wildflowers that are mostly found in summer, spring, shady woodlands, and meadows. I found these groups of wildflowers actually work really well!

The product in this Wildflowers collection I am most proud of is Wildflowers Set of 6 Postcards.

It was SO hard to narrow down my wildflower paintings to 6 favourites but I eventually got there with my kind partner’s help. I wanted my postcard set to have a Victorian botanical vibe so I went for a very dark grey background with contrasting white text for plant name, which I feel works really well with my colourful wildflowers. I also decided to go for a different-than-usual paper stock for the set – ‘acquerello’ laid paper that is gorgeously cream and textured with fine-lined markings. It was a risky move and I was so happy when I saw it in print for the first time – it was exactly what I imagined it to be! Yay!

The new collection was received really well in Top Drawer and most of the new products received a lot of orders!

I am glad I pushed myself to do the patterns, which I always find myself in the deep end designing, and also trying a new paper stock for the postcard and notebook sets. I want to be more adventurous in the manufacturing area of my business (where I outsource primarily) rather than sticking with the usual cards and prints – which sold really well, but I feel like my vision is bigger than this: I want to see my illustrations on everything, from functional wares to textiles! I am a tactile person so that reflects my ambition.

Thank you for reading, I think it’s clear that I am fond of my new collection and I hope you love it too!

Welcome 2020 and the Top Drawer Event

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and a great start to the New Year.

2020 already! Where did last year go? 2019 flew by as I continued to develop my art practice and grow my business and in a blink, it was gone. So, welcome 2020, I am excited to see what it brings.

I love having my online shop and, even though they are very tiring, I love market days too, especially because I get to meet lots of the lovely people who support my business.

Markets and fairs are such a good way for makers to showcase their work. When I am at these events, I am often reminded of the Just a Card Campaign, which was set up by artist and designer, Sarah Hamilton. The campaign aims to encourage people to support artists, designers and small, independent businesses, by reinforcing the message that all purchases, even ‘just a card’, does make a difference. So, while I can’t buy all the goodies that I come across, buying something small, like a card, really helps creators.

Being able to support myself as an artist and maintain my practice through income generated from my illustrations, can be very challenging. Whilst I would really love to sit and make art all day, the reality is that, like makers of any kind, I must keep finding new ways to sell my work in order to make a living!

So last year, with the hope of increasing my wholesale business, I applied for a stand at the January 2020 Top Drawer event – ‘the UK’s leading lifestyle trade show for design-led brands’ – and I was excited to be accepted into their ‘Spotted’ location in this month’s show.

There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get ready for the show, as well as developing my new Spring / Summer 2020 designs (more of that next month) so I was grateful to have the support of my fiancé, Aneurin, especially with the technical side of getting the wholesale catalogue ready and preparing the stand plan.

The show, held in London, is a regular, bi-annual event where buyers and retailers from all over the country can come and have a look at makers of all types: It is a five day event – two days to set up your stand and three days for the actual show, meeting, greeting and networking.

It was very nerve-racking and exciting. Being quite a shy person, it certainly stretched my communication skills. We had a British Sign Language interpreter with us, which helped. I managed to say ‘hello’ to everyone who passed by and learnt a few things about networking along the way. We aimed to be easily accessible, clear about the range of illustrations available and take orders quickly and efficiently. Adding SKU codes underneath every product on the stand, with a clipboard stacked with printed order forms, a calculator and a card reader at the ready, led to some very positive remarks on our organisational skills!

The show went very well, far beyond my expectations. I met lots of independent retailers and gained EIGHT new stockists. One of them was the Royal Horticultural Society, which is one of my dream stockists. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received an email from them placing an order! Happy, happy dance! It is a great start to 2020 for Katrina Sophia!

Whilst there wasn’t much time to have a look around at all the other exhibits, I did come across some fantastic new-to-me artists. Do go and look them up:

Both Emilia and Alice are now on list for items as we do up the house.

It was an exhausting five days. Luckily, we were glad to be able to enjoy some home comforts by staying with my mum in London! Thanks Mum!

A big shout out to my fiancé, for his outstanding support both before, during and after the show. I am looking out for something special for him for Valentine’s Day!

And lastly, but not least, as 2020 begins its sprint, a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to all of you who have supported and continue to support my creative business, from reading my blog to buying a card to commissioning art works.

You keep me doing a happy dance! Follow the link to a fun little video from the Just a Card Campaign