08 July 2013

Interview: Sophie Cooper of Scoops Design

Coolorful cards, jewellery, cushions and more!

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Vinyl Design happens to share a studio in Surry Hills with very talented designer Sophie Cooper from Scoops Design, an Australian brand focused on handmade, colorful lifestyle products such as perspex jewellery, cushions, mirror sets, cards and more.

New products and designs are constantly added to her collection, on the blog today we talk to Sophie about Scoops, her products, inspiration and goals.

1) Tell us about Scoops Design, how it was born and what inspires you
Scoops Design was born at the end of 2005, when I started making brooches for friends as Christmas presents. At first it was a fun side project from my day job as Art Director for Channel 7. It grew from there and I got approached by the National Gallery of Victoria to make custom jewellery for exhibitions and was featured in lots of magazines and blogs. Towards the end of 2010, I decided that I really wanted to concentrate on Scoops and make it my full time work and I’m still going. All of my products are designed and made in Australia and the range now includes cards, mirrors, artwork, jewellery and cushions. Scoops can be found in over 50 shops around Australia and also online.

I love anything to do with design- architecture, interiors, products, graphics and animation. I have always gravitated towards simple shapes, strong bold colours and retro styling. I get inspiration from everywhere- the beach, Japanese pencil cases, talking to friends and also my 2000+ design books!

2) How would you describe your style and what is your creative process?
My style is very much influenced by the design I grew up around, such as Miffy, Meg and Mog, Astro Boy and Marimekko. I love bright colours and anything that has a bold graphic style.  

I like to spend a time researching what I’m going to make and looking at different materials. I usually start sketching and draw lots of doodles with crazy ideas before I go onto the computer. This is probably due to my background in graphic design! I will sit and think about how different shapes and colours work together for hours. I have way too many products as I really like the creative process and coming up with new ideas.

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3) What are the rewards and the challenges of owning your own business?
The best part about owning my own business is choosing how I spend my days and working on things that I love doing! Also seeing people wearing my jewellery or getting great customer feedback makes all the hours I spend making products very rewarding.

My main challenge is time- there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I have so many ideas and things I want to try but run out of time each day. I also find the actual business side pretty tough too as my background is broadcast design not business!

4) We know the fun part is designing and creating but how do you manage the business side?
I have to admit I find the business side very tough. I set myself goals and write lists in order to get the business side of things under control. As soon as I’m on top of one thing, something else needs my attention and I know there are definitely areas that need huge improvement. The creative side is pretty small in terms of the hours I spend making products and doing admin! I have a business coach who keeps me accountable to my goals and we chat about all the areas that need work. I read a lot of business blogs- in particular the ones that relate to creative businesses!

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5) Name 3 (or more!) of your favourite blogs and websites.
Oh wow- that’s so hard! I have quite a few, so here they are! Print and Pattern (http://printpattern.blogspot.com.au/) as its great to see all sorts of different pattern designs. I love the Creative Review blog (http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog) which has amazing graphic design from around the world. I love the Art Department who represent lots of fabulous illustrators (http://www.art-dept.com/). From a business perspective, Designing an MBA is full of great tips (http://designinganmba.com/). The Jacky Winter Group also represent great Australian illustrators- I love having a look at their exhibition photos (http://jackywinter.com/). I also look at Instagram a few times a day! Follow me @SCOOPSDESIGN1.

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