Part of why I wanted to start this site and feature the badass boss women who are grinding away with their businesses every day is because I've been fortunate enough to meet and become friends with a lot of entrepreneurs and artists through my years of having even the tiniest of online presences. One of the women I've been lucky enough to connect with is Chloe of Tiny Forester.
I first met Chloe online years ago through our personal style blogs, and I always loved seeing her outfits and the artwork she would sometimes post. At some point she stopped blogging and we lost touch, so when I came across her shop on Instagram, I couldn't have been more excited. Between our style blogs and then, Chloe had turned her graphic design work into a business, selling the most precious pins, prints, and accessories. Her work is the kind that makes you smile, like her animal in teacups pins. Chloe works full-time as a graphic designer, but I love that she's found a way to turn her passion into a business. She also creates items from some of my personal favorite bits of pop culture, like Over the Garden Wall. Whether you're a fan of cute cartoons, plants, or animals, Tiny Forester has a pin for you. Enjoy getting to know Chloe!
My pick: like everyone on the planet, my life is consumed by Animal Crossing right now, so I can't get enough of the Wild World pin. The Potatoes & Molasses Over the Garden Wall pin is a close second though!
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?
A: I started an art Instagram for sharing my graphic design and printmaking art and found some pin makers while doing a 100 day vector art challenge! I ended up trying my hand at making pins and opened up a shop!
Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?
A: It was definitely a slow start for me. I still feel like I am on a gradual incline...but to me, that is success. Every time someone places an order in my shop I feel successful.
Q: What were your friends and family’s reactions to you starting this as a career or a business? Were you nervous to share it?
A: Everyone is so supportive of my shop. My friends & family make purchases when they can and share my posts all the time. For a while, I kept things to myself because I felt weird if someone I knew hopped on my live story on Instagram or something like that...but I got over that. It’s much more fun to be able to talk about something you are passionate about with those you love.
Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?
A: Nope! Tiny Forester is my fun side project. I am also a full time graphic designer.
Q: I love that so many of your designs come from characters or works of pop culture that I enjoy. How do you usually decide what to design next?
A: I usually just go with whatever I feel like making. If I am watching Over the Garden Wall for the 86793 time, maybe I’ll draw up a design for that. Whenever I am feeling inspired by something I take advantage of that inspiration and crank a design out.
Q: Obviously, we’re in strange times right now so I have to ask everyone I talk to - how has COVID-19 affected your business and what are you doing to keep everything going during this time? What can people do to support you and others during all of this?
A: Business was slow at the start of things but it has picked back up and people seem to be supporting my shop more than ever. It makes me really happy to have business right now because not only does it give me a good distraction but it also means they will be getting some mail to distract and hopefully cheer them up! The best thing people can do is interact with me! Share photos of their pins from my shop, comment on my posts, and of course..buy my art.
Q: What’s your advice for someone looking to stand out in the world of enamel pins?
A: Create something unique. If your idea has already been done and you aren’t putting a unique twist on it...skip it. You won’t sell as much if you are competing for that exact same audience. You want to make something people will need for a collection, not something they already have.
Q: Favorite item in your shop currently?
A: Probably the Wild World pin! I’m so happy with how it came out and Animal Crossing is near and dear to my heart.
Q: What goals do you have for your business going forward?
A: My biggest goal is to create a stationery line! I really want to make washi tape, stickers, notepads, etc.
Q: Lastly, let’s spread the love. What are a few of your favorite small shops owned by women that you personally shop from?
A: Unicorn Paper is ran by my friend Alex who is one of the most hardworking people I know. I am a member of her pin club and she never disappoints. Her art style is beautiful and I’m obsessed.
Another favorite of mine is Doodle Sweater Cat. We have done many collaborations and she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Lauren has a really unique style and she always finds a way to put her cute twist on things.
Lastly, Em & Sprout! I can’t tell you how many things I have bought from Lindsay’s shop! She screenprints her own apparel and the quality is always perfect. She is super down to earth and is really passionate about her art!
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