Today we’d like to introduce you to Faye Guanipa.
Faye, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It really starts with my family history. I’ve got it in the blood; my parents, grandparents, and their parents all have the creative gene that has been manifested in one form or another. My mom and dad met in a printmaking class at Massachusetts College of Art, where I also graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. I’ve been drawing and painting and drinking coffee since my toddler years, and my parents have always been steadfast in the support of my artistic endeavors. My career in art has evolved much over time with one constant, I always wanted to draw. Floundering after college led me to seek out steady work in corporate retail fashion. It wasn’t long before I was expecting our first baby, Olive, that I decided to stay home.
Fortunately, I was blessed enough to continue work at home doing what I love most, drawing. Three years of freelance illustration and pattern design gave me the confidence I needed to start creating designs for myself. With the news of baby number two, I knew it was time to make a move or forever regret missing my moment. In May of 2016, Olive & Company was born and has since been naturally growing into the vibrant collection that it is today.
Being a momma of two little people full to the brim with energy and life, I’ve had to learn my share of lessons in slowing down and allowing my work and business to mature and grow naturally; pushing the “fomo” [fear of missing out] aside, and enjoying the process while I balance doing life with my family the best way that I know how. This year Olive & Company has hit some major personal milestones.
In 2018 I’ve attended my first trade show, been represented in now over 20 shops throughout the U.S, and have over 100 designs on journals, greeting cards, art prints, and gift wrap added to the repertoire. While it may be new “on the street”, Olive & Company is a passion project almost 30 years in the making and I can’t wait to see whats on the horizon.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. From the beginning, by far the largest struggle has been facing my fears and dealing with personal insecurities. Comparison has been the thief of my joy for sure along the way, but as I walk my journey I’ve grown to love and embrace the things that make the Olive & Company story unique.
When I had my second daughter, Frida-Jean, I had a hard time letting go of the things I wanted to be doing in place of being a mom. Balancing life, family, and Olive & Company has been hard. But I am so grateful that it has been because I am seeing glimpses of myself coming out the other side wiser and much more patient.
As an artist, other challenges have been fighting through the occasional creative block and finding my own personal style. With social media at my fingertips every day, it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed by all the talent and artistic styles of the thousands of other makers out there. It has to be a daily, conscious effort to block out the negative inner voice, step away from what I see everyone else doing, and foster the style and aesthetic that comes naturally to me.
Olive & Company – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Olive & Company is a stationery and gifts business with a heavy focus on color-rich illustrations and patterns. We specialize in greeting cards, art prints, journals, and gift-wrap and plan to continue broadening the range of products for our designs. Olive & Company is known for creating vibrant, original illustrations with an emphasis on a joyful and consistent color palette across the collection.
I am proud of the steady growth of the company in such a short time and I’m proud that we have been picked to be a part of several lovely shops across the country.
I think Olive & Company is a handsome compliment to the world of paper goods, but it’s our story and message that sets us apart. My mother always taught me the importance of surrounding myself with beautiful things. My home is ever a source of inspiration and creative expression from the paint colors I choose to the silverware we eat with.
Every piece I bring into my home is beautiful to me in one way or another, and it makes me happy. Each piece I create for Olive & Company is sharing that story. Every design was and is created to be special, to be that piece of beauty to take home and enjoy, hang on a wall, or send to a friend. Each piece is a piece of me.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career was showing at my first ever trade show. I was able to stand back and get a tangible perspective on how far I’ve come and how much my line has expanded in just two years. It was also enormously rewarding to know that other people loved my work enough to buy it!
- Greeting Cards $4.00
- 5×7 Blank Journals $10.95
- Art Prints 8×10 $15.00
- Art Prints 8×10 $20.00
- 20″x29″ Gift Wrap Single Sheet $7.95
- Screen-printed Canvas Tote $17.95
- Website: www.oliveandcopaper.com
- Phone: 774.276.6746
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/oliveandcopaper
- Facebook: facebook.com/oliveandcopaper
- Other: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oliveandcopaper