Welcome to our Meet the Maker series, every month we will be featuring the person behind the brands you see here in our store so that you can get to know better the people who make the products that make your lives a whole lot easier and colourful!
This month we will be speaking to the lovely Audrey of Artsunami. In the beginning Artsunami products mainly consisted of A5 size prints but over the years she has expanded to produce a variety of stationeries from notepads and a huge collection planner stickers which are insanely popular among the planner and Bujo (that's bullet journaling for short) community!
Hello Audrey! Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, what were you doing prior to Artsunami and what led up to starting this wonderful company?
Hello Szetoo! Hello everybody! I grew up in the quaint, little city of Ipoh and currently reside in KL, where I juggle everyday life as a mom and being the founder of Artsunami. I studied Pharmacy growing up and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years before taking the plunge to start my own company.
Before Artsunami came about, I ran a little online store producing custom wall decals for home owners and retails spaces. That was about 6 years ago. It was during this time that we also started producing motivational quotes for sale as canvas prints, mini prints and fridge magnets online and in retail stores around Malaysia under the brand name, Artsunami. Things took off and we’ve been designing and producing prints and paper goods ever since.
Artsunami is such an adorable yet powerful name, how did the name come about and why did you choose it?
While the type of products we come out with vary widely from one another, one thing stays the same, our love and commitment to designing products that uplift and encourage people to be the best version of themselves using art and design.
Also, coming from the sciences and creating block colored works for decals, I found myself basic at best in the realm of digital design. I knew that in order to bring the best products to our customers, I was going to have to build and nurture a team. Artsunami reflects the power of collaboration between all these creative individuals, as well as the artists and designers who work with us from design process to production, marketing and sales.
Can you tell us about the products you currently produce and how many items are there in your current collection?
We currently focus on products that the planning and journaling community will find useful. On top of the motivational prints we started out with, we now have notepads and a huge offering of stickers, both functional and decorative. In July this year, we launched our first collection of printable products. So at the moment, it’s safe to say we have over a hundred items in our entire catalogue.
In the beginning you started off with prints, how did you end up dabbling in the sticker market?
I had already been using a planner and different planning systems for many years by that time, to organize my personal and working life. Like many Malaysians, I had found the local choices of planner stickers to be limited and ordering the items from overseas proved pricey. It occurred to me that we already had all the resources required from producing our decals and so we set out to give our planner community more options, at a better price.
What is your process in designing a new product and how do you come up with your ideas?
We’ve learnt over the years to listen closely to our customers and so a lot of our products are a result of their input. They usually start out as a simple request for a functional product like the packing list or a specific theme, as was the case for our Cactus series. Our designers go to work and depending on their specialty, design the yummy planner stationery you see online and in Stickerrific today. From digital illustration to watercolor florals, acrylic pour art and calligraphy, each design is then carefully crafted to within production specifications before being made into their final forms.
Audrey's workstation where all the magic happens!
Who inspires you and where do you find inspiration?
My mom is definitely my biggest inspiration. Coming from a single parent family, I learnt how to be courageous, that it was OK to live life differently from the expectations of others and how to do so joyously.
I personally get inspired by colors, which is why I love decorating my planner to a different theme each week. It gets me really excited to open it up, get working on that “to-do” list and I hope it has the same effect on our customers as well.
What does your stationery case look like?
Why are these items a must have for you?
Working from home, I have the luxury of keeping all my stationery in one place, without having to move them much so I don’t actually carry a stationery case. I do take my planner with me wherever I go, though, so I always have a pen or two for updating and adding things into my schedule.
Are you a morning person or night person?
I’m definitely a morning person, even more so since having kids of my own.
What’s the most memorable thing a customer has said to you?
One customer was so excited over her stickers, she sent us photos of them on her phonecover, her kindle, her powerbank and even her vitamin organizer, which got us super excited as well!
What is your favourite color?
My favorite colors are turquoise and mint, with all the lovely gradations in between.
Plenty of pastels in these Artsunami Public Holiday Stickers
Do you have any creative weird habits?
Hmmm…I like to snack a lot and coffee intake may go up drastically during design work but that may not quite be a weird habit.
What trends do you forecast in the near future?
Christmas is coming up in a few months so I imagine shimmer, glitter and gold to be in abundance!
Thank you so much for taking time to read our short Q&A with Audrey! Now that planner season is here, Artsunami has also come out with a new collection of 2019 planner stickers and more that are now available in store! Happy planning and do tag us #bujowithstickerrific #artsunami on Instagram to show us how you use Artsunami stickers in your journals. Follow @artsunami on Instagram for ideas and tutorials on how to use her stickers!
We'd also like to show our appreciation by offering a coupon code ARTSUNAMI5 for 5% off all Artsunami products from now until 30 November. Sale is only applicable for online purchases. Shop all Artsunami products here.