Welcome to Trayde's Brand Spotlight series, here we take the time to appreciate the wonderful members of our platform. We have created this section to share inspiring stories on brands, their products and the meaningful purpose behind them.
Today, we are highlighting one of our members, Lauren founder of Eli the Goat, a greeting card brand which is inspired by nature and outdoor adventures. Each card is a hand-drawn illustration which in the end is digitally embellished. What makes this brand unique is that they use recycled material starting from manufacturing to shipping. See how the brand came into existence and what inspired Lauren to create such a unique and beautiful business.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your background
Hello, I’m Lauren and the creator of Eli the Goat, a greeting card brand which produces joyful and quirky cards for all occasions. I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible, and take inspiration from nature, flora and fauna, travelling and outdoor adventures for my designs. I grew up in a small, semi-rural village in Nottinghamshire surrounded by animals, and now live in Surrey and work in London as a practising architect.
What inspired you to create your business?
I have a love and an appreciation of design, illustration and all things nature – and Eli the Goat encompasses them all! Eli the Goat is my creative outlet, where I can draw freely, and explore new compositions and experiment with different colour palettes. Eli has to take a lot of credit as well – he was a sweet-natured and much-loved pygmy goat and family pet, born at my family home to Doris and Patrick, his pygmy goat parents. Many adventures were had in and around the paddock where he lived!
What are some of the products you have created that are closest to your heart?
Each design begins life as a hand-drawn illustration, which is then digitally embellished, before being printed into a lovely card. I love the process of sketching a new design and then bringing it to life with colour. I love potted plants and house plants, which has been the inspiration for some of my newest designs and some I am currently working on. In particular, I am loving my house plants and potted plants designs which have been well received!
Where do you sell your products?
As well as selling via our website and on Etsy, we are selling cards in several independent shops around the UK which is really exciting.
How did you adapt to the current situation? What are the challenges you faced and how do you tackle them?
Eli the Goat has come to fruition as a result of the current situation. The ‘lockdown’ period gave me more time to dedicate to the Eli - during this time I was very busy working away in the background finalising designs for different occasions and putting together the website. I launched Eli the Goat in May 2020 and had cards stocked in a local store by July.
What have been some of the proudest moments for you as an entrepreneur?
As Eli the Goat is a new brand, my proudest moment so far would be its launch. It is an exciting time for me where the brand is taking off and I am currently making new connections with independent shops across the country.
How would you say the near future looks like for independent brands like yours?
Even with the current COVID curveball, I think the future is exciting for independent brands. I think with everything that has happened this year, people have been staying a little closer to home and have an increased awareness of shopping local and support smaller, independent businesses.
What are some encouraging words of advice you would give to emerging businesses currently?
I would say keep true to yourself and your brand. Things don’t happen overnight but break down what might seem like an enormous task into smaller parts, and tackle them head-on, and don’t just prioritise the fun or easier tasks! There will be difficulties and setbacks along the way – but learn from these and try and turn these into positives
Visit Eli the Goat's shop to stock up on their products.
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