Welcome to a Spotlight On Wild Blue Yonder. Wild Blue Yonder are a family run small business based in the North West not far from the iconic scenery of the Lake District and Morecambe Bay. The talented artist behind the designs and products that you will see is Andrea McGrath (Andie). I recently asked them some a few questions – one, because I’m nosey and two, because I love getting to know the background of a small business and I wanted to share it with you too!
(Image sources: @wildblueyonder)
Why did you want to start this business?
Wild Blue Yonder started as an off-shoot from an existing family business, which already produced small runs of corporate products for local customers. However, we saw an opportunity to do something different and fun using our artist Andie’s original artwork. Each painting and drawing is unique and we love to be able to offer that to people. We live in such a beautiful part of the country and the designs are intended to reflect love of this area.
How did you decide on the name for the business?
We wanted a name that had meaning. Wild Blue Yonder is obviously a reference to the sky. The sky is impressive across Morecambe Bay. It can be different every day and that is part of Andie’s inspiration. It might not always be blue, but it’s frequently stunning and would make any artist want to paint, which is why you’ll see lots of versions of sky, be it blue, grey, or stormy in our designs.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Andie’s inspiration comes in many ways. Of course the beauty of the Bay and the Lake District contribute greatly, but sometimes suggestions from friends and family can spark an idea.
What difficulties have you had?
At times, we have all felt like we are learning on the job – we really want to be successful in what we do and are therefore stepping into unknown territories in many different ways!
We’ve discovered that sublimation – our method of reproducing Andie’s fine art onto a mug – is not an exact science. We pad press our Wild Blue Yonder logo onto the bottom of mugs, and that also can have its challenges! Doing things by hand is a lot of work, but it’s nice to think that each one has been produced by a person rather than a machine and we feel that adds to the charm of the designs.
What do you enjoy most?
It’s probably different for each member of the team. There is satisfaction in each person’s role, but for Andie, seeing a finished design go onto a product is very exciting! We all love to see other people’s reactions to the artwork and products and enjoy getting the feedback from our social media accounts.
What advice would you give?
When working creatively, it is important to have a cut-off point when work stops. A rested brain is more creative. Accept help from others. Be confident in your own ideas, but remember to listen to family and friends who have your best interests at heart.
What exciting plans do you have in 2020?
We’re looking forward to launching lots of lovely new designs and new products, including some more stationary. Ideas are always coming to us, so we are positive that what we do will continue to be fresh and appealing.
I’m sure you will agree that the woolies are very cute! I hope that you enjoyed learning more about this small business, Wild Blue Yonder. Please head to their Instagram and Etsy pages for more information about new products to come!