Happy Maker Monday!
This Monday we are featuring Betsy Garcia of Bloomwolf Studio! We just love her fun designs and illustrations, and all the amazing products she creates with them! You can find everything from greeting cards, art prints and notepads, to postcards and button pins in her shop! One of Bloomwolf Studio’s aims is to help you celebrate people you love. To think that this sentiment is carried throughout the whole process of creating her products is what makes Betsy’s work so special. Read on to learn more about Bloomwolf Studio and Betsy’s inspiring journey towards achieving her dreams!
: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: I’m a 25-year- old artist, currently living in Orlando, Florida. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and take great pride in my cultural background. I was born and raised in Manatee County, and continue to go home to visit my family every chance I get. From a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of education and expected only the best from me. After graduating in the top 4% of my class in high school, I continued on to the University of South Florida where I received a dual degree in Psychology and Biomedical Sciences. After graduation, I decided to take some time off from school to ready my application for medical school. What I didn’t expect to do in that time, was start a creative business.
: Where did the name Bloomwolf Studio come from and how did you get your start designing?
: I actually started designing when I was in middle school. I went to a charter school for four years that focused on the arts, so here I took an interest in graphic design and learned to use Adobe illustrator and Photoshop to create illustrations and digital paintings. After those four years, I didn’t use Photoshop again until 2015. This was during what was supposed to be my “gap year” after college. I was living with my boyfriend Luis at the time, and working fulltime as a middle school science teacher. As a way to escape the stress of teaching, I began drawing again. After talking to Luis about potentially starting a small business based on my illustrations, he was completely onboard. I didn’t reapply for a teaching position once the school year ended that year, and we soon started readying ourselves for the launch of what is now Bloomwolf Studio.
Haha, how the name came to be is kind of interesting and non-interesting at the same time, I think. When we were in the planning stages of the business, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to name it. So what Luis did was he pulled up a “band name generator” online, that gave us thousands of random words that were put together to create supposed “band names.” After going through a few, we pulled out words that we thought were interesting and eventually landed on Bloomwolf. I added the Studio after just because I liked how it sounded.
: You were in the process of becoming a doctor. What was it like completely switching career paths and how did you have the courage to go after this dream?
: It was, and still is, frightening. After graduating from college, my dream was to become a doctor. After taking some time off from school to study for tests and things like that, I started working different jobs. First, I worked as a case manager at behavioral health clinic; then I worked as a full-time middle school science teacher. I quickly learned that while I loved being good at those jobs, they were not what I was truly passionate about.
One of my passions has always been art, so when I began drawing again it was Luis that pushed me to continue down this road and ultimately start a small business. Had it not been for his support and willingness to take on this dream with me, I don’t think I would be doing it today.
: How would you describe the items you design and how do you want others to look at them/feel when they see them?
: Hmm, I would describe the items I design as cheerful, colorful, and practical. I think my style is still evolving, but one thing that has remained consistent has been my bright color pallete, use of patterns, and hand lettering. I also like to design items that I know I would want to be using as well. I would love for others to feel happy and excited about our products. We create products that are meant to help people share meaningful moments with the people that they love, so if they’re excited about using one of our cards, it just makes everything worthwhile.
: How does your own personality or surroundings go into your designs?
: Luis says that I’m a very soft person. I love a good love story, and seeing the good in people. I’m very empathetic, and reserved at times. I think that all of those “soft-hearted” traits are reflected in my designs. I like to express my feelings through my illustrations, and sometimes even take a stand for what I believe is right, as in the case of our “I March For ______” card. I love sweet sentiments, and I feel that my products reflect that.
: You also work with your boyfriend! What is the joint process like of bringing one of your designs to reality?
: I love being able to work with him. He streamlines the business side of things, so that I have as much time as possible to focus on designing and thinking up new products. While he doesn’t directly do any of the designing himself, he does offer his opinion when I ask him for advice and vocalizes his love of certain designs. I love when he says, “whoa! I love that one!” It adds validation to what I am doing and shows, that although he has to say nice things, he is enthusiastic about our business.
: If you could choose one of your cards to give to someone, which one would it be? (Fave product/design)
: My favorite card, that I think is absolutely adorable, is our Just Married card. I just love the colors and the tiny illustrations. I love things that are really girly, as you can probably see from our designs, and I think that card is just really cute.
: How has your business changed since you started and what do you do to constantly improve and build your brand?
: When we started our business, we really did not know a lot about business practices in general. Everything that we did was a learning process. I did a lot of Googling, and still do! When we started, I had about 40 different greeting card designs, and 5 notepad designs; and that is what we launched our website with. Now, we have close to 90 greeting card designs, more notepads, art prints, and buttons. I am constantly trying to improve my hand lettering skills, and have become more detailed in my illustrations. We also have tried to introduce new products into our business, and keep looking for new and exciting products that we think people might like.
: What do you hope the future of Bloomwolf Studio looks like?
: I hope that in the future, our business really continues to grow so that I can continuing doing what I love to do. I love adding new products and coming up with new designs, so I would love for us to expand into other paper goods like calendars or wrapping paper, or even into different textiles. I would also love to have a store front! That would be a dream come true!
: Do you have any advice for other creators out there?
: My advice would just be to do what you really love to do. Having a creative business, or a business in general, is about taking chances, so I would just say to go for it. It’s okay to be scared, trust me, I’m scared and anxious all the time! But then I remember that I love what I’m doing, and if it’s meant to be it’ll happen, and if it doesn’t then I’ll have to adapt and go with the flow. Making something that others can use and celebrate is really fulfilling and if it’s what you want to do, then do it!
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