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Women in Business: Interview with Little Loup

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m the owner and founder of Little Loup, and I am a scientist. I’ve always loved puzzle solving in any format, and scientific research is just that! I find it very rewarding. Drawing however, fuels that creative side of myself that we so often neglect. Drawing is one of those activities where I get to ‘switch off’ and let my hand do all the thinking.

Renee Blackie Little Loup

Tell us about your business?
I hand draw personalised fingerprint guest books for any event. Birthdays, christenings, baby showers, farewells, engagements and weddings. People usually write the same thing in a traditional guest book, and they aren’t very personal. You might read it a couple times over the years, but mostly it will go on a shelf or away in a box never to be seen again. My hand drawn guest books are a piece of art, that everyone ‘signs’ with their fingerprint, completing the image, to create an ever lasting keepsake.

My main point of contact for now is my Facebook Page.
People can make purchases at my Etsy Store.

Could you share your favourite product and tell us why it’s your favourite?
My current favourite is the “Malawi” guestbook. It was my first design where I felt totally comfortable with the pen, and the drawing came so naturally. Of course, it took drawing hundreds of trees and drafts to feel this comfortable, but when I decided to draw a new design, the Malawi was born, and it all came together in just a few hours. If I’m being totally honest, The Lion King was my inspiration for this tree, and thus why the tree also has an African name. Just looking at the illustration brings back some great childhood memories. That love must be felt by my clients too, because it is one of their most popular choices!

View a time-lapse of Renee creating the Malawi tree.

Why do you do what you do?
My day job (being a scientist) is really full-on and quite mentally draining. I used to play in a band, and that was a great creative outlet for me, but that also takes up an incredible amount of time. I couldn’t do both! So obviously I had to side with what makes more money, haha. I also loved art as a kid, I was always painting and drawing. When I got into high school, I actually hated art class! I didn’t like teachers telling me how to draw or what to do, so it put me off. Then I fell back into drawing some 10 years after high school finished, and Little Loup emerged from my creative side! It’s just a great way to keep my mind balanced and share something beautiful with others.

What has been your biggest obstacle, and how did you overcome it?
Time management! I’m pretty good at organising myself, don’t get me wrong, but getting into business is a whole other world and a massive learning curve! The little tasks really build up quickly, and the more you learn the more you realise you don’t know anything! Reaching out to other small businesses within my field has been the best support network. We all share advice and bump ideas off each other, it’s an extra family I am glad to be a part of!

What has been your biggest triumph so far?
Evolving my vendor setup at the bridal expos I have been to. I was such fresh meat at my first one! But I learnt so much from that experience that I was really able to shine at my second bridal expo and showcase my finest work.

What advice can you give someone wanting to start their own business?
There’s no such thing as too much research. Know your market, know your value, and don’t compromise your own worth. You will work for free a lot when you first start out, but your own time is valuable, so make sure you are putting it to good use or you’ll burn yourself out. Be brave, be bold, push yourself and your own thinking, and get yourself out there!

Your business or personal motto?
I haven’t really thought about this, but generally I always try to think positively and just adapt to any situation. You can’t plan or predict every situation or client’s needs, so having an open mind and going with the flow can really help. Don’t sweat the little stuff.

How can people contact you or place their orders?
My main point of contact for now is my Facebook Page.
People can make purchases at my Etsy Store.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Never be afraid to follow and investigate your own ideas.

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