Bethanie Yeong Papercuts

One of our most popular stalls last year was Behanie Yeong’s papercuts.  If you bought one of her beautifully intricate works of art or received one for Christmas, here’s a bit about Bethanie and her work:

Bethanie Yeong Papercuts is relatively new. Bethanie started operating as a business in April 2015, but she’s been working with paper since she was young.

“I have always cut things out of paper. I used to make stencils for printmaking and relief work, however my stencils became more and more intricate, they became a piece of artwork on their own. I studied Illustration at University, I have tried a large range of techniques and used a variety of materials. Papercutting was something I was able to do at home without spending a lot on the machine/materials needed.”

Papercutting

Bethanie starts a piece by making her designs digitally. She then prints them out on the reverse of the final piece, and starts cutting. She uses a very sharp scalpel and a cutting mat. It is a time consuming process, but the end results are unique pieces. They are finished off with custom made frames, which makes each one extra special.

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Bethanie works from home, in her spare-room studio. “All my mess is in the spare room, so it’s like a studio as I don’t think you can do anything else in there!”

After graduating from her degree in Illustration, Bethanie did an internship with acclaimed illustrator and papercutter Owen Gildersleeve. “His work is amazing and he has a lot of talent! I really enjoyed working with him, and it really helped me work out what I wanted to do. I realised I wanted to make small pieces for everyone to have in their homes, rather than making a large piece for an advertisement that would later be stored in a drawer and never seen again.”

Business Success

Bethanie has always wanted to have her own business, and she really enjoys it. Though like most artists, she finds the paperwork a bit of a chore! She has recently had a big breakthrough :

“I received a very large wholesale order where my papercut bikes will be displayed behind the check in desks of 236 hotels! It was hard to get through as they wanted them quite quickly, but it was amazing at the same time! I am not sure if I am allowed to say what the hotel chain is yet, but they will be all around the world, which I am still finding hard to comprehend.”

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The Future

The excitement of this hasn’t gone to Bethanie’s head though. She knows building a business takes time. “I wish to create expand my range of maps and designs and to sell in more independent shops. I currently also have a part time job while also managing my business. It would be amazing if I could just do my business full time, however I don’t think this will be in the near future.”

There may be a way to go for Bethanie’s business, but in meantime she still gets a thrill from the fact that people actually purchase her work and love it. “I am privileged to be able to make what I want and other people to like and even buy them.”

Rogues Gallery

Just some of the frankly AWESOME products we’ve had at our fairs since 2015.  Here’s some early ones.designheart-rectangle

Mugs by What Kate Loves.

 

Pendant by  Nimanoma.  Bangles by Melodies.  Ties by Catkin Jane.  Silver necklace by Alison Young Jewellery.

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Lampshade by Rehash Panache.  Fabric Boxes by CherryPeg.  Glass Dish by Glassprimitif.

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Guitar Tshirt by Guitar Geekery.  Cat Tshirt by Tomoto.  Letter Tshirt by FontNotFound.

Applying for Design@HEART

One of the hardest jobs of organising a fair is the selection process.  We’ve been really lucky since we started out in 2015 in getting really high quality stalls.  We obviously want to keep it that way!  But how do we choose?

Photographs

Unless we’re already familiar with your work,  selection mostly hinges on the photographs you send with your application.  That means that they have to be of really good quality.  We need to be able to use them in publicity as well as the selection process.  A quick snap with your phone usually won’t do the trick!

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Your Online Presence

We also have a look at your website, because this gives us a fuller picture of your work, showing it in situ and giving us an idea of your brand personality.  So make sure you include all your online presence on your application so we don’t have to go hunting on search engines to find you!

A Coherent Collection

We’re looking for a coherent collection of products that have a clear design aesthetic. We are aware that when makers first start out, they often try lots of different products.  We’ve all done that!  But it can also be a bit of a jumble and confusing for customers.  When we select, we’re looking not just at individual products but the whole collection or brand.

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Your Price Point

We know our customers (see below).  They aren’t expecting cheap as chips.  But nor are they spending hundreds of pounds on items.  A stallholder may want to exhibit some “aspiration” pieces of work, and that is absolutely fine, but we’d be looking for some more affordable pieces in the collection too.

 

Our Customers

Finally, we select for our audience.  We have been participating in fairs in Headingley since 2012 and although we get new people every time, we kind of know our customers.  We pretty much know what they like.  That doesn’t mean we only show them the same things time after time.  We like to push their boundaries, and show them new things at each fair.  But there are some things that we know they won’t be interested in.  And we won’t take your money if we think you don’t stand a chance of selling anything.

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Hello 2017!

Well hello there, and a Happy New Year to you all!

Now the Christmas break is over and I’m back at my desk, I can reveal plans for 2017.

You’ll see that we’ve had a bit of a rebrand.  Well, I say “a bit” – it’s actually quite a lot.  In discussion with Headingley HEART, we’ve decided to go all out and properly call ourselves Design@HEART.  You’ll see the difference on the Facebook page, and on Twitter, and of course here on our brand spanking new website.

Lots of you asked if there is going to be another Christmas fair this year, and I can now firmly say that there is. We’re going to have just the one at the beginning of December, and it’s going to be a bumper one.  So, if you’re being super organised, I’ve got the application forms already on line and you can get applying.

I’ll be keeping everyone posted with any new developments, but one thing that’s been bugging me is ….. should we have a summer fair too?  Let me know what you think. If I get a resounding YES in the next couple of weeks, I’ll get the venue booked.

Becky x