The countdown to LIVE...and a shout out to fellow creatives.

April, already? With the wonderful Spring Bank Holiday (and an extra day off the day job) this gives me an excellent chance to get on and make the website live. After a late night fiddling around with Paypal, and eventually getting it to work, it really feels like I'm coming down the home stretch. In fact, updating the blog is the last thing I need to do.

I've really enjoyed writing regular updates on how things have been going with the set up of Hilary Clea. I've always dreamed of being self-employed: both my parents were successful small business owners, and while I have really enjoyed working for some of the excellent organisations that I have been lucky enough to work for, there has always been a part of me that has thought I'd love to see if I can go it alone...

Back of card Hilary Clea 2.jpg

Research, research, research

This is something that all new businesses must do to check out the market, define thier customers and work out if there is a need for their product or service. While researching for Hilary Clea, I have been impressed by the numbers of small businesses making it in the craft/art/illustration/design market - and doing it really well. I've drawn inspiration from these people, and while technically they are my competitors, we are all in this with a common goal - to put our illustrations and designs out there, and let them bring a little bit of good feeling to the world. Here are some of my favourites:

Alice Tams draws stuff for money (that's her very honest strapline). Birds in hats are her speciality, and they are fabulous. As you know, I love a bird, and I could look at Alice's illustrations for hours. Everything about what she does is fun, neat and unique. Take a look

Rebecca Kiff is a design led interiors and clothing brand, and even though it has only been going since 2013, it has a great following. Rebecca has linked up with other brands to create completely unique products, and I love Rebecca's sense of the minimal, allowing her products to speak for themselves. The designs she has made are adorable - and very wantable! Check out their SS15 collection

Hello Sketchy is a much loved organisation, who create custom designs on vintage plates and greetings cards. This is a great one to follow on Instagram, as each post is interesting, funny and beautifully photographed. Hello Sketchy has been a real inspiration to the way I have set up Hilary Clea. It is precise, organised and totally unique! Take a look at Hello Sketchy's gorgeous website

With such great companies out there, I can't help but be spurred on to bring my illustrations to life. I want to create totally beautiful items that are British made, created with sustainability in mind and completely individual for everyone to enjoy. Let me know what you think of them at

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