This week for 'Think Big, Shop Small' we are all about Plewsy. Plewsy is a Yorkshire based illustration brand created by boss mumma, Fiona, spreading sunshine with her paint brush. In this little Q&A we find out where it all began and how 2020 may have been a blessing in disguise. 

How did Plewsy begin?

Plewsy began with 6 cards and an etsy shop! I enrolled onto The Princes Trust Enterprise Course shortly after I had launched the tiniest card collection ever. This was one of the best decisions I have made as their support is amazing, they back you 100% and have some brilliant business resources. 

What was the inspiration behind the brand?
The business name is a play on my maiden name, Plews - my friends have always called me Plewsy! When working on creating a brand name I explored so many avenues but came back to something so simple, that had a great connection. I'm an only child, so it also felt nice to be carrying on the family name in the future!

What is your favourite piece to create in the Plewsy collection?
My heart I think, will always be with greetings cards. I love the feeling of designing a product that is so simple but that can bring a lot of joy. I also don't think we will ever tire of sending happy mail - which at the moment we could all do with! They say print is not dead, and I truly believe that digital will never take over the traditional methods of sending birthday wishes or welcoming a new bundle of joy. That said I really love creating repeat patterns and have been so excited to see the start of our textiles range with our tea towels and cosmetic bags.
What is one thing 2020 has taught you as a business owner?
The need to be able to pivot quickly and also to not have all of your eggs in one basket. My business has been quite wholesale heavy since we began back in 2015 as this was the route I decided to take. When covid hit and the majority of my customers had to sadly close their doors it became really apparent that I needed to flip things over and focus on my website sales. I think the nugget here is to never stop learning and always be able to adapt to change, because you never know what is going to happen! 

2020 has been a pretty tricky year for creatives. What are your go to ways to get through a creative block?
Ahh creative blocks are so so frustrating! I tend to down tools and get out into the fresh air, nature is a huge inspiration for me. Also weirdly, the most mundane of tasks, like hoovering or doing the laundry just takes my mind of things and I find ideas come when I'm least expecting. Stepping back and not exhausting things is definitely a good move!

What was your lockdown silver lining?
My husband was furloughed and we enjoyed lots of family time, which is usually rare as we are passing ships to manage work and the children! It also created lots of time for me to enjoy being creative and I designed the colour block collection in lockdown.

What are your future plans for the brand?
I would love to continue with exploring our textiles collection, the new tea towels and cosmetic bags have been so well received! Better than I could ever have imagined. We have a new collection lauching in 2021, alongside an exciting new product which I can't wait to show everyone!

What advice would you give to others looking to start their own business?
Absolutely go for it! It is so lovely to be building my own brand, working around my family and doing what I love, but boy it's hard work. Make sure you do your research, planning and always be ready to add to your skillset. Have a look at The Princes Trust, The Mamahood, The Resilliant Retail Club, The Enterprise Collective and many more for amazing business resources. 
Fiona is a true advocate for thinking big and shopping small, and she encouraged her followers to do just that with her gorgeous 'Shop small, shop early, shop happy' graphic, reminding everyone how important it is to support fellow Indies now more than ever. We feel you Fiona! 

Check out our fab range of Plewsy goodness here!

November 18, 2020 — Team C&K

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