Business Women,  Environment,  General,  Inspirational women

Eco-friendly t-shirts and art from Artful Sonder

Imagine starting a business in lockdown! As regular readers know I love to feature inspirational business women and their life stories on my blog.  Frankie has just launched an Eco-friendly t-shirt and art print brand that’s based in the UK and operates online at https://artfulsonder.com/. The business designs all t-shirts and art in house and ensures the process is environmentally friendly and ethical from manufacturing, to the materials used, right down to the packaging. You can find out more about how the business strives to be an ethical, Eco-friendly brand here: https://artfulsonder.com/pages/sustainability

What was your first career? What did you learn from this?

I’ve actually worked within digital marketing for the past 4 years with a particular focus on SEO. This was a driving factor for me wanting to start my own business, I spent so much time doing marketing for a big company I wanted to play around with different strategies for my own projects and have more freedom to be creative.

What led to you setting up your business?

At first it was for a creative outlet outside my normal 9-5 and then I began to research and look into it further and found that with my marketing background I believed I could make a profitable little business for myself. The idea started before lockdown but when I was put on to furlough I was truly able to throw myself into it full time.

What makes your business special?

The environmental impact is at the heart of this venture, as a brand we love nature and the great outdoors. A lot of the designs and art incorporate some element of the natural world and we’ll be publishing lots of lovely outdoorsy content on our blog soon.

Here are some of the ways we’re working towards being an environmentally-friendly brand:

100% organic cotton tees –produced exclusively from organic Indian cotton, and the entire production process is controlled and certified in accordance with the latest version of GOTS. Find out more on our Sustainability Page.

Screen printed designs using water-based inks.

100% recyclable and biodegradable packaging.

Our art prints are printed on 100% recycled, uncoated materials.

We donate and plant 2 trees for every t-shirt sold via our partner TreeSisters.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business but lacks self-belief?

This is what stopped me at first but you just need to take that first step, you’ll be surprised at the support you’ll get from friends, family and strangers in Facebook groups and other social media. It’s a learning curve and you’re not always going to make the right decision but that’s part of the fun, you need to learn to enjoy the ride in its entirety and not put too much pressure on yourself, people are going to judge you no matter what so you may as well pursue something you love in the process.

How do you ensure you look after yourself properly? What do you do for self-care?

This is so important especially in lockdown! Exercise is a great way to take care of yourself mentally and physically, I do Pilates once a week, live HIIT workouts a couple of times a week and I’ve just started climbing outside! I also love art and have recently got into digital illustration which is really relaxing and makes for great content for my brand. It’s also important to not judge yourself too harshly if you’re having off days and want to laze around the house, I think that’s a great way to relax, shut off and then come back to projects with fresh eyes.

Who supported you as you set up your business?

Financially I’ve supported myself fully but I’ve had incredible support from my boyfriend, family and friends who have encouraged me throughout the start of this business, I’m very lucky in that respect.

What things would you like to see change about the position of women in society?

I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction, there’s a lot of women who are starting businesses and with social media and blogging women have really come into their own. It would be great to see more women CEOs of larger companies but I think this will happen in time, things like gender pay gaps and social attitudes from particular groups are still an issue but hopefully this will change soon, it has to, we make up half of the population and the feminist movement is more prevalent than ever.

If you could recommend ONE book to women what would it be and why?

I haven’t actually finished this book yet but I’m really enjoying The Alchemist at the moment, I got it as a present from my boyfriend and it’s a fable about following your dream!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

One of our brand focuses is people and we’re always looking to collaborate with writers, designers, artists and would love to hear from anyone that has an opinion. We have a blog on our website which is a great creative outlet and we’re hoping to focus on this part of the brand more. So, if you end up having a gander at our site and you don’t fancy buying anything please check out our blog as well and let us know what you think, we’d also love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved creatively.

My Random Musings

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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