Felicia Salden, Elon student and founder of Felicia’s Designs came home from freshman year with a concussion and no summer job or other summer plans. You may say, “Poor Felicia,” but thankfully, rather than feeling sorry for herself, she turned her free time into action and opened her Redbubble store selling her awesome designs on stickers and more. Be sure to check her out at Redbubble [here] (www.redbubble.com/people/feliciasdesigns) and on Instagram [here] (@felicias_designs), and read on to learn more about this very inspirational #girlboss:
1. Tell us about Felicia’s Designs. What do you do?
Felicia’s Designs is my business that I started on Redbubble this past May. I use Illustrator and Photoshop to create designs that are available in a variety of products including laptop stickers, apparel, and room décor. I recently hit 6,000 sales in just under 6 months and I still have a hard time believing this!
2. What was your inspiration for starting the brand?
I came home from my first year of college with a concussion and no summer job or plans. I knew what Redbubble was and had been contemplating whether I should sell my work, but I always questioned whether my art was good enough and if I had the time. The one good part about being unemployed is that you suddenly do have this time. A girl can only watch so many episodes of How I Met Your Mother before needing a new hobby, so I took the chance. I figured that maybe creating Felicia’s Designs as an online portfolio could give me a little extra cash and maybe even help me land an internship for the next summer.
3. Where do you get your design ideas from?
Whenever I get an idea I add it to the notes app on my laptop. A lot of my designs are based on colleges because it’s a great market, but a lot of other designs are completely random. I get inspired from trends I see on social media and in magazines, from what other Redbubble artists come up with, and from my favorite songs and quotes. Inspiration can come from anywhere and I always try my best to remember this when thinking of new concepts.
4. What are your top sellers?
My “Always Stay Humble & Kind” sticker is by far my best seller with over 2,500 sales. My next most popular ones include “Somewhere on a Beach”, a USA one, and an American flag that is in the shape of the United States. A huge portion of my sales comes from my college collections as well.
5. Where are you in school?
I am currently a sophomore majoring in strategic communications and minoring in digital art at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, and I absolutely love it! At the moment I think I will want to do advertising for a smaller agency or a larger corporation after graduation, but I could see myself going into public relations as well.
6. Did you have a moment when you said, “Omg, I really have a business?” What was it, and how did you feel?
It began to feel very real when I came back to college this year. Some of my college friends learned about my business through social media, but I really had no idea that they had bought my designs. One really cool moment I had was when I was talking to a friend and thanked her for buying my sticker that I noticed on her laptop. She had no idea that I was the artist behind it and knowing that she bought it just for liking the design was the coolest feeling in the world. I also become a complete fan girl when I walk by strangers rocking my stickers. Part of me always wants to ask for a picture, but I usually decide that might come across as a little weird so usually just keep it to myself.
7. How do you balance school, social and work?
Not going to lie, it’s definitely been more of a challenge than I expected. Over the summer it was normal for me to spend entire days designing. I wanted to offer a lot on my site initially so I could then be able to focus on uploading, running social media, and managing my analytics when school got busy (which it has). I love the designing part of the process, but school does have to come first. I try to make a schedule for myself each morning so I can really prioritize what I should accomplish that day. Somehow through all of these I manage to hang out with my friends and am lucky that they have been so supportive of this. It also definitely helps that I made my schedule so I don’t have Friday classes this semester!
8. What’s your favorite look for winter?
Even though I’m not the biggest fan of winter (there was a reason I left Boston to go south for school), I do enjoy the clothes. My go-to look is probably riding boots, leggings, and big cardigans. I also love big scarves!
9. Starbucks holiday cup – yay or nay? What would you have designed?
Definitely yay for the message that Starbucks released with the cup. It was made to remind people of the community between their customers and employees because of common values which is great! However, if I were in charge of designing a cup, it would probably be a different design. If it were for the holidays I would do a red and white marble pattern, preferably metallic. I also think a pattern in gold or silver with a red logo would be fun and festive. I love how Starbucks had customers around the world design their cups for this year. All of the designs are beautiful and it’s great to see a company supporting creativity from their customers!
10. Favorite line from a song or other quote?
I absolutely love the song “Stand” by Rascal Flatts. My favorite lyric is “Every time you get up// And get back in the race// One more small piece of you// Starts to fall into place.” It’s just really motivational for those days when you need a little extra push-something I think everyone needs at one point or another!
11. What’s your advice to any girl who wants to start a business?
If you have a passion and can find a way to use it, please do yourself a favor and go for it. It’s the coolest feeling in the world to watch a risk pay off and see something you started grow. I also credit a lot of my growth to the fact that I did a lot of research before starting my business. I wanted to be familiar with what sells well on Redbubble, how the site worked, how other artists used social media to increase traffic, and other techniques. I definitely recommend this because it gave me a lot of initial momentum and success. If you put your mind and heart into your business, you’ll definitely achieve things you wouldn’t expect. Don’t forget, anything is possible! 🙂