VIP - Very Interesting Person is a series where I interview someone who is... very interesting! I want to find out in an informal way who they are and maybe glean some tips and insights from them.
All the Very Interesting People I interview are different - some are small business owners, some are parents, some are young, some are women, some live in the U.K., some are all of these things and some are the opposite of these things!
I’ve never met today’s guest, but I have loved reading her new(ish) blog project, which I will let her tell you about and thought she would be a great person to get to know a little better. So without further ado…
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello! I’m Hollie, a designer, illustrator and writer from Bristol. I work full-time in social media and design, and I also run my own business (Woof by Hollie) selling dog themed cards, prints and stationery, and write a blog (Creative Endeavours) celebrating and promoting small businesses. I’m a very busy bee and like to have lots of projects on the go! Me and my boyfriend recently brought home our first puppy, an adorable Cockapoo called Lyra, and most of my life revolves around her at the moment…! Not that I’d have it any other way – I’ve always been dog obsessed and so happy we have our own pup now.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Getting my first creative job as a Junior Designer was huge for me, it took almost a year of applying non-stop and at various points while I was making ends meet by working at Sainsbury’s, I thought it might never happen.
I’m also really proud of the animation projects I worked on while I was at uni – my final major project was a 4-minute animated film that I made almost entirely by myself from original concept to the final edit, and I also won an award for a 48-hour animation challenge at Cardiff Animation Festival which was so much fun.
Now when I think of my accomplishments, I think about the businesses I’ve started, and although I’m not where I want to be yet, every sale and every blog post brings me one step closer and that makes me so happy.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
I watch Moana. That is ALWAYS my go to. It’s what I need to watch to feel myself again, to have confidence in my goals, to settle my anxiety.
Other things that make me feel better on a bad day: an ice cold can of Coke, cookie dough ice cream, going to bed early, drawing just for fun, spending time outside (usually reading), listening to comforting music (usually Dodie).
Do you know, I have heard lots about Moana but have yet to see it! What’s a great book you’ve read recently?
I don’t read enough books and it’s something I’m trying to work on, but when my schedule gets busy something has to give, and I usually collapse into bed without getting so far as even opening my book. However, I have managed to read a few books this year and I always listen to audiobooks when I’m going to bed (the same ones over and over). My favourite I’ve read recently is The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary which was a fun and light-hearted romance, with really meaningful moments and important messages weaved in.
Special shout out to the His Dark Materials series which I’ve been slowly reading, and which Lyra is named from!
When are you happiest?
Right now, with my puppy snoozing in my lap!
I love to be outside and sometimes I’ll grab a book, a drink and some headphones and just sit in a park and have a nice long read. I’m looking forward to when I can bring Lyra with me and we can both chill out together.
Who inspires you?
Mostly my friends. Seeing them post their beautiful work online, sharing in their successes, that’s what keeps me going.
It’s hard to say who else inspires me because I sort of go through phases of having my favourite people to watch online and businesses to follow on their journey. At the moment, I’m obsessed with the gals at Sighh Studio and Emily Coxhead who has just got a pup of her own.
Can you tell us 3 things you would bring to a desert island?
Can I say I would bring my puppy? But then I’d need to bring 100 other things to make sure she’s happy, so maybe not!
I’d bring a copy of a really good, long book. A notebook to write stories and draw in, and my Chilly’s water bottle because otherwise I would quickly die from dehydration because I just don’t drink water without it.
If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
How on Earth did you make dogs so pure and beautiful?!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve had a few really good ones. “Finished not perfect” got me through uni, “Get an accountant” got me through my first year of trying to freelance after uni. I think what has stuck with me through all of that is the importance of working hard (but not too hard – looking after yourself is sometimes more important), being genuine, and approaching everything with a positive mental attitude. It’s so cheesy but focusing on the good not the bad is so important for getting by day-to-day.
Awesome, thanks! Some gems there. On to a lightening round:
Tea or coffee? Neither – I’m a hot chocolate gal.
Cake or pie? Cake.
Pineapple on pizza? For other people? Sure. For me? Nooooo, pepperoni only please.
Winter or summer? Summer for being outside, winter for snuggling and comfort eating.
City or country? Probably city.
Book or movie? Book 90% of the time. But watching movies is easier!
Most used emoji? The one with the little hearts around the face, or the laughy-crying emoji.
Favourite day of the week? Friday! Of course.
What’s for dinner tonight? Fajitas!
Thanks so much for answering these questions, it’s been lovely getting to know you a little. Where can people find you online?
I run a small Etsy store called Woof by Hollie, selling dog themed cards, prints and stationery, and I also write a blog called Creative Endeavours, which is all about supporting and promoting small businesses.