How did FNIC designs come to be?
I've been working professionally in a non creative environment for the past 15 years. This year after having my baby who is now 7 months old, I decided to set up my own business selling greeting cards. Being a first time Mum and raising a child during lockdown has been tough however, I had always planned to use my time on maternity leave wisely when the time was right to start something creative.
Prior to the pandemic, I used to face paint at children’s, adults and corporate parties part time. I have always been a creative individual with an obsession with colour. I absolutely love cards and stationery so the combination of the two has led me to start producing cards with the vision for the end of this year / early next year to expand the range and introduce additional stationery products.
What is the inspiration behind your greeting cards? What is the creative process for you?
My son has been my biggest inspiration. I have been immersed into the world of motherhood and when I first had my child I appreciated all of the cards I received, but also quickly realised that they all looked very similar. Pastels were used throughout and they were mostly white cards.
I try to think about colours that are impactful, fitting but also unexpected in relation to the theme of the card. I research textures and patterns and adapt them to my style which is a bit more abstract and stylized. All of my cards are digitally hand drawn by myself.
What makes FNIC designs different from other greeting card companies?
FNIC designs are cards and stationery that are colourful and impactful. I do not conform to seasonal colour themes and cater for those who want a unique card which is vibrant, uplifting and most importantly different from the norm.
Greatest accomplishments and challenges as a business so far?
My greatest accomplishment had been setting up my business whilst looking after my son. I still design in one hand and hold my son in the other when he is teething or wanting attention.
Challenges – Working late nights as that’s usually the time when it’s most quiet for me to get work done but that has sometimes led to mistakes. I am trying to work in a more productive way when I am fully alert. Being a new business it’s always hard to gage what people will like and sometimes this is very much trial and error but I have found new ways to test the water with designs before buying bigger runs.
What does it mean to you to be a Black owned business?
I think it’s important to have a spotlight more on black owned brands and entrepreneurs. You rarely see black people in senior board roles so to take the power into our own hands and become our own directors and senior management is important. Even more so for young people who are looking for positive role models and representation.
How are you adapting your business to a COVID-19 world?
We have been offering different postal services to accommodate the delivery delays in different regions due to the pandemic. I have also introduced a send to recipient option whereby customers can choose for me to handwrite their cards and send directly to their friends, family and loved ones.
Lastly, I am in the process of designing cards for those who are missing special people in their lives. We have been restricted from seeing family and especially those abroad so I wanted to design cards for the purpose of letting people know how much we miss and love them. Cards, postcards and letters can play an important role in bridging the gap between distance.
Any advice for Black creatives or entrepreneurs?
Be your own biggest cheerleader! Believing in yourself and being your own driving force will be the fuel that keeps you going no matter what is thrown your way.