A cuppa & a Custard Cream with...ROSIE CAITLIN
1.   Who are you and where do you come from?!
Hello! I’m Rosie and am from a little village in Hertfordshire, UK. 

2.    What do you do and why?
I’ve been a Graphic Designer for over 8 years, but have always loved illustrating. So I set up Rosie Caitlin 5 years ago as a side, passion-project alongside my full time design job – fast forward 5 years and it’s now my main focus as well as being a Mama to my little boy. As I’ve spent so long answering to briefs and responding to feedback from clients, it’s been so nice to be creative and make things for myself.

3.    What are the biggest challenges you've faced in your career?
I think one of the biggest challenges I still face is imposter syndrome – always feeling like I’m not quite good enough and have winged it the whole way! 
One the biggest challenges I’m finding right now in my career is balancing my home life with my business. My little one isn’t at nursery yet (pandemic also not helping!), so I find myself squeezing everything into nap times, evenings and on a Thursday (the one day he goes to his Grandparents for a day). Although saying that, I know that I’m so lucky to be able to spend so much time with him right now – so for now, I’m making the most of being able to do both. I am looking forward to putting more time into the business though.

4.    What have been your biggest HURRAH moments so far?
Probably my most recent big HURRAH moment is becoming a partner on Not On The Highstreet. I’m excited to be part of such a great platform and one that really heroes small businesses. 
I also think it’s the small hurrah moments that keep me going – like every single order, lovely messages on Instagram, every share, every lovely review. It’s the best feeling when people like what you do. 

5.    If you could give 3 pieces of advice to yourself when you started out, 
what would it be?
1. Don’t overthink everything too much – just start! You gotta start somewhere and don’t be afraid to get it wrong. 
2. It’s OK to have a bad day and not get anywhere creatively sometimes. That doesn’t mean you’re bad at what you do or should stop. 
3. Keep drawing. Keep practicing. Keep going. It really is true that the more you do something, the better you’ll get. 

6.    What are your long-term hopes and aims?
I would love for Rosie Caitlin to be in more shops across the UK and to expand my range to textiles would be fun! I just want to continue making nice things for lovely people.

7.    Which 3 books would you recommend for: a long hour train journey (with no kids!) / a mood-lifter / a fact-finding mission (ie, non-fiction)?
OK so confession – I really don’t read much, eek! I know I should, and have been saying for years that I need to read more, but just never do! BUT podcasts save me on long journeys, so instead: 
1. For parents who need a laugh about parenting during a pandemic: Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s Lockdown Parenting Hell. A lot of laugh out loud moments and very relatable. 
2. For those that love food and listening to a good natter – Table Manners with Jessie Ware.
3. For anyone who loves a good thriller – Homecoming (it sounds odd, but it’s a fictional story told through a podcast and SO well done). 

8.    What are the most common misconceptions you've found from having your own business?
That orders will just fly in over night! You’ve really got to work for them. I could be doing SO much more right now and I’ve got a long list of stuff to do which I’m hoping will help, but I even notice a big difference of sales when I regularly post on Instagram. It’s just constantly reminding people that you’re there. 
And also that you just make nice stuff and it stops there. There’s so much more to having a business than the making stuff (the fun bit). It’s the planning, making, printing, working out costs, photographing products, packaging, processing orders, customer service, social media, wholesale management and probably so much more. Although there’s a lot in this list that I still find fun, I’m quite the geek when it comes to organisation and spreadsheets!

9.    You’re granted 1 wish (for you / your career) – what would it be?
To be able to live comfortably on doing what I love – which is making and selling things. I think I’m way off yet, but hopefully one day I’ll get there.

10.   What’s your favourite biscuit?
Now this is a hard one! I’m going to have to go for a dark chocolate Hobnob – really wishing a had a pack of these next to me right now!
You can find Rosie here
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