News & Articles
Member Spotlight - Amanda Hillier
MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS – AMANDA HILLIER
Can you tell us a bit more about your brand?
My brand celebrates nature and landscape using images made by traditional painting and printmaking techniques, with a modern aesthetic. My artwork connects customers to the environments they love through a range of art cards.
Who is your audience?
My work appeals to anyone who enjoys wildlife and natural themes. Visitors to garden retail centres, museums and galleries are my discerning audience - I hope to provide that perfect image that could have been created especially for their loved one.
How long have you been trading and what is the history of the company?
I have illustrated for commercial projects including gift, greetings and packaging for around 20 years and my work appears on the high street around the world! However, recently, I have wanted to create a range that represents a strong visual style that I can carry forward as my own brand.
Over the last 7 years I have worked hard to create my unique hand crafted style and have grown my retail outlets particularly over the last two years.
What three words best describe your business and its products?
Handcrafted Contemporary Artistic
Where do you find your inspiration?
Firstly my local county of Shropshire with its diversity of landscape and heritage. Then I’m attracted to other unique locations and enjoy picking out individualities in flora, fauna and architecture within the landscape.
Do you use social media to promote your business? How has this landscape changed over the years within the home and gift industry?
Yes I use Twitter and Facebook but I find Instagram the most engaging as I feel I can tell the story of my brand to a supportive audience.
Before social media, trying to promote my own artwork would have been a lot harder. I feel that its given me a good opportunity to speak directly to my potential customer. The response to designer/makers and small businesses seems very positive - its aspirational to buy into something crafted and individual.
Do you do any advertising/PR?
Occasionally - county magazines. I’ve also been featured in a national magazine.
What do you wish you’d known at the very beginning of starting your business that you know now?
Its great to start building the business locally and then work outwards, however I feel I have spent too long concentrating on my local area and should have tried creating wider connections a little earlier. Working alone with an internal dialogue can hinder you, its better to create a network of good people to help give perspective.
Do you feel the economic climate is improving or is it getting tougher to trade?
It feels tougher, although those that have a distinct or unique identity and a sensible business approach seem too be doing reasonably well.
What do you see as being the biggest problem for giftware suppliers in the gift industry?
Although very new to this I would assume that most would need to supply volume for an attractive price point - however, retailers may be concerned about holding excess stock. Sourcing manufacturing at the right price is key.
What news do you have to share with us so we can celebrate your achievements in 2022, and what are you looking to achieve?
This year I have secured regular orders from Shropshire’s largest museum organisation - The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Spanning the Ironbridge Gorge this UNESCO world heritage site is home to 9 museums. My art cards and prints feature historic monuments within the natural environment and create a perfect memory for visitors.
My nature inspired artwork has also been licensed to Gibson Puzzles, UNICEF, Ambiente Europe and Apli Kids Spain.
I’m keen to supply other museums, galleries and visitor centres with my card ranges.
I would love to work together with organisations to create bespoke artwork and also welcome the opportunity to licence my unique style to other gift led companies.
To find out more about Amanda nd her work visit t=her website here - https://amandahillier.co.uk/