As some of you may know, I have been dabbling in a side business for a little while now. For the past several years, I have worked full-time as a graphic designer, but I felt like I needed a creative outlet where I could design anything and everything that tickled my fancy. And so my Etsy shop was born.
In the summer of 2015, I started designing wedding invitations and I listed a few of them on Etsy. And then life got busy and I gave up on it. I let my listings expire and focused on other things in my life that were more important.
Then, in 2016 my husband and I bought our first home. As I began to decorate it, I realized I wanted to somehow incorporate my love for Jane Austen into my decorating choices. So, I took to the internet and Googled “Jane Austen decor.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t very happy with the results. I just couldn’t find anything I loved enough to spend money on.
At one point, I did find an 8×10 print that had a Jane Austen quote on it, but it was a little above my price range. I was actually pretty frustrated about it, but then a lightbulb went off in my head. Um, hello. I’m a graphic designer. Why don’t I just design something and print it myself?!
So, I created this print with one of my favorite quotes from the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. I found the perfect frame for it at TJ Maxx, and I posted a picture of it on Instagram. The response I got was overwhelming! And so another lightbulb went off: Other people might want this. Why not list this design on my Etsy shop as a printable and see what happens?! So I did. And I began to design other pretty things inspired by my faith and by my favorite classic novels.
And you know what happened shortly after that? I made my very first Etsy sale. I was creating something I loved and that other people could love, too. I felt like I was onto something!
Fast forward to a year later, and here we are in the present day. I now have 18 listings in my shop, and I’ve made a few more sales. Now that I finally have a direction and a vision, I felt that it was also time to give my shop a name that made sense.
Previously, my shop was called Jennifer’s Hope Designs. I chose that name because it was easy and people would recognize the connection between my shop and my blog. But it didn’t hint at what I do, and that was really bothering me!
So, a few Saturdays ago I sat down with my sketchbook and made a list of all the name ideas that came to mind. I drew from words that inspired me, and I also drew from words that reminded me of Jane Austen. I took a few of them and started sketching logos to see what would work the best until I found a winner.
And so, Simply & Ardently Design Co was born.
I chose this name because it perfectly describes my designs. They are sweet and simple because I don’t like clutter or a lot of color. They are also mostly inspired by Jane Austen, and anyone who calls herself a Jane Austen fan will recognize Mr. Darcy’s famous words to Elizabeth Bennet: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
And then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this name also describes the way I aim to live my life. Simply and passionately (but ardently sounds fancier)! At that moment, I knew it would stick.
If you’ve gotten this far and have never visited my shop before, I would love for you to grab yourself a cup of coffee and head on over there. Let me know what you think! <3