I'm Claire - by day I'm a marketing professional in Corporate America. By nights and weekends I'm a wanna-be artist creating fun designs for coffee mugs, art prints, and more over at Bumble and Bustle. I love my day job, but the need to flex my creative muscle led me to start Bumble and Bustle in early 2017 and it's been quite the ride already. Things I love: champagne cocktails, long walks along Lake Michigan, traveling - both for work and for fun, afternoon tea, my two cats, and so much more!
When did you first start creating?
Pretty much the day I was born. My mom had this amazing craft closet when I was growing up. Most of the modern craft rooms would put it to shame, but back then, it was my heaven. We were always looking for new projects - homemade Valentines, friendship bracelets - mom even taught me to sew! I'm definitely a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of crafter, but I appreciate the ability to bounce around and try new projects.
What made you decide to make what you make?
I opened Bumble and Bustle with the idea that I can add new and varied products on a regular basis. While I love my coffee mugs, I didn't want to get boxed in. Anything I can put a graphic on lets me develop new designs on my own time when I'm feeling creative.
How did you discover your talent?
I'm not a classically educated designer. Most of it has been trial and error. I was so lucky to have an internship in college where I worked under a Creative Director - she taught me my way around design software. After years of playing around with different tools, I feel comfortable enough to take on various design projects that come my way.
How did you come up with the name?
Oh geez, I'm so bad at coming up with names. This was honestly the most stressful part of opening my shop and I was actually on hold signing up for my Etsy account because I couldn't come up with a name. I was playing around with the word Bumble because I have a tattoo of a bee on my arm and thought it would be a cool nod to that. I was on my way home from a spin class one night and it just came to me. I love the idea that bumble can mean stumbling your way and bustle is sort of the opposite - moving fast and with finesse. Life is a solid combo of both for me!
How do you get inspired?
I love coming up with designs based on current events and trends. Also - flowers. So. Many. Flowers.
What are your favorite items?
From my shop? I love the water bottles! I just created a new design - "There's a Chance this is Rose" - that just really spoke to me. And I always laugh about the mugs I choose to have in my own kitchen - "No Drama Llama," "What Would Blair Waldorf Do," "Wild and Free," and "Namaste All Day." Some are best sellers that everyone loves, others just make me smile and I figure that's what it's all about.
What environment do you like to work in?
I have a teeny-tiny one bedroom apartment that has been completely taken over by mugs and that I now call my studio. I've covered an entire wall with two side-by-side desks that house a couple of printers, about a dozen different types of papers, and a small spot to actually work. Under one of the desks, there are now bins that hold mug and water bottle blanks ready to be pressed. My obsession is the beautiful stained glass window above my desks and the exposed brick fireplace off to the right. Those vintage touches make it so homey and comfortable.
Why do you think people should continue to make things by hand?
I don't necessarily think they should. I think that people should do what makes them feel happy - if that means they make things by hand, great; if that means they go to a huge store and buy it, that's fine too. Different things work for different people. I know I'll continue to make things by hand because I get enjoyment out of any project.
Are you an artist full-time or part-time?
Part-time and will always be that way. I really do love my day job and if this were it, I probably wouldn't like it quite as much. I'm currently on vacation from my day job and choosing to spend time on Bumble and Bustle.
What are you currently working on?
What product I should get into next. Tea towels, anyone? Workout tanks? Some sort of bath / body product? Now accepting requests! :)
What are your plans for the near future?
Expanding Bumble and Bustle beyond mugs and art prints. Part of the reason I chose the name is because I didn't want to be limited to my products. I'd also like to see more of B+B in local boutiques.
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
I love going to FlyWheel spin classes or other workout classes. I also love to run, so yoga helps keep my body loose. Really anything active or anything outdoors.
Describe your work in three words.
Colorful. Lighthearted. Sassy.
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