The Resilient Retail Blog

Grumpy British Blue Cats? Our brilliant small business member of the month for December knows exactly what’s popular with her customers!
small business member of the month for December - Ellie Good

During arguably the busiest month for our small business community I still had a brilliant chat with our Resilient Retail Club ‘Member of the Month for December, Ellie Good – Founder of Ellie Good Illustration. We chatted about how her customers love Grumpy British Blue Cats, finding your local small business buddy for support, and keeping your cool when Ellie Goulding wears one of your products!

Ellie Good Our brilliant small business member of the month for December

Congratulations Ellie – we love your work and are thrilled you are part of The Resilient Retail Club community.

 

Why did you start your small business?

I did a degree in Fine Art, and then worked for years on magazines and then in graphic design. After I had my kids, I wanted to return more to the practical application of my creative skills, and I also wanted to somehow use my skill set for positive environmental impact, so I started making my own recycled greetings cards. My cards went down well, and I realised that I should have been doing illustration all along! I decided to work on expanding the range into product as well – and here I am now — a small business founder!

 

Tell us about your background before Ellie Good Illustration

As I mentioned I worked in the art department of magazines after finishing my degree in Fine Art and then progressed to graphic design. For a while I published my own magazine for a couple of years in London called EggMag, about living a more ethical lifestyle – without living less! It was received well, but it was tough, financially with no start-up funds. I learnt so many lessons that I still try and keep in mind with my small business now.

 

What’s your best selling product, and why do you think it’s so popular?

My Grumpy British Blue tea towel is a real best-seller, as is my Airedale notebook. I think they are two of my most characterful illustrations, so the images resonate with people. At markets, people often come over to my stall because one of these two has caught their eye and made them smile. That is the BEST feeling for me!

 

What’s the nicest thing a customer has said about your small business?

That’s so hard to answer because I’m lucky to have had a lot of lovely comments! I recently had a customer who was so happy with her tray, she ordered two more from me and said that all the trays are such amazing quality and the designs are all so fabulous she wanted them all! I think the biggest compliment, though, has got to be when Ellie Goulding wore one of my tote bags about 3 years ago!

 

What are you most looking forward to about 2023 with your small business?

I have found that as a creative running a small business, it’s hard to find the time for the actual artworking, which is ironic and very annoying. But this needs to be front and centre as it’s my illustrations that set my small business apart from others. I am looking at streamlining by trying to cut out any unnecessary admin, partly to save costs with my assistant, and partly to free up my own time for the creative. I will also be looking at getting more commission-based work this year and am working on a super exciting journal collaboration with a life coach.

 

As recommended by Ellie Good Illustration

Each month I ask our small business ‘Member of the Month’ to name 3 things that have inspired, supported and helped with running their business – here are Ellie’s.

I think us small business owners are so lucky at the moment because there is SO much support out there now. Obviously the Resilient Retail Club is fantastic and I also have a wonderful, entrepreneurial network of friends and family that are always up for bouncing ideas around with. However these are the 3 things that I repeatedly love and turn to for my small business, that might help others too:

  1. Seth Godin’s book ‘This is Marketing’ – it’s a short, concise and inspiring read on purposeful marketing. (I’d also recommend his podcast Akimbo!)
  2. Mary Portass’s podcast ‘Beautiful Misfits’ is wonderful. She interviews some super interesting people all with a small & purposeful business angle.
  3. If you work on your own, like me, find someone local in a similar situation as you and make a weekly time to check in with them. I have a friend, who also has her own small biz and we aim to go for a walk and a business-focussed chat every Tuesday morning. We get some fresh air, bump the step count up as well as learn from each other!

 

If you’d like to find out more about Ellie Good Illustration visit her website here and her Instagram account.

For more inspiration on starting your own small business check out my podcast episode 7  ‘5 Things You Need To Know Before Starting Your Business’.

Latest articles

small business
Small Product Business Guide for Getting Ready for Mother's Day 2024
Sales Call
What Can You Expect on a Sales Call for The Resilient Retail Club's Product Business Mastermind
sales plan
How to Create a Foolproof Sales Plan | Ideas, Challenges, and Goals
Valentine's Day Sale
Valentine's Day Sale 2024: How to Prepare Your Small Business

Related articles

competitive-pricing-strategy
What is the Best Pricing Strategy for Small Businesses? And Can the Value Triangle Help?
November’s small business member of the month, Emily chats International Elf Service
November’s small business member of the month, Emily chats International Elf Service
Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence - May 2023 May's small business member of the month, Melissa chats Honey Bee Home
May's small business member of the month, Melissa chats Honey Bee Home
Raising Ravers! Our brilliant April small business member of the month Annie Taylor Laxa
Raising Ravers! Our brilliant April small business member of the month Annie Taylor Laxa
Get more on the mailing list

Heaps of small business retail advice for your inbox

Sign up the The Resilient Retail Club mailing list for totally free advice and business help, the occasional digital download, updates from our podcast and promotions for indie retail brands

Share this article
More from the blog

Dive into helpful advice for small businesses and indie retail brands

small business
Small Product Business Guide for Getting Ready for Mother's Day 2024
Sales Call
What Can You Expect on a Sales Call for The Resilient Retail Club's Product Business Mastermind
sales plan
How to Create a Foolproof Sales Plan | Ideas, Challenges, and Goals
Valentine's Day Sale
Valentine's Day Sale 2024: How to Prepare Your Small Business
UK retail trends
4 Biggest Retail Trends for 2024
competitive-pricing-strategy
What is the Best Pricing Strategy for Small Businesses? And Can the Value Triangle Help?

News you can use

Join The Resilient Retail Club mailing list to receive The Weekly Sales Review, jam-packed full of useful information, events and expert advice for indie retailers, online sellers, Ecommerce brands and independent small businesses