Baby voices are easily one of the cutest sounds on the planet and true story: my fiancé can imitate our toddler nephews like it’s nobody’s business. He can always make me laugh but his two year old act is, without a doubt, one of my most favorite things. Seriously, if I were Oprah, it’d make the list. About a year ago, the “oh no!” exclamation became a permanent fixture in our household when a balloon escaped the grasp of tiny, little baby hands. It was completely adorable (albeit, the result of a relatively unfortunate circumstance) and naturally, it stuck. So, when I came across Rachel’s Etsy shop, the name (not to mention, her oh-so-lovely collection) caught my eye and made me smile. Baby talk, for the win.
NAME Rachel Basinger
LOCATION Southampton, UK
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND First Class Degree in Archaeology!! Specialising in human bones.
COMPANY OH NO Rachio!
Tell me a little bit about OH NO Rachio! & how you got started. OH NO Rachio! started from humble beginnings as a hobby really – I’ve always loved art, and I love designing and making things – during University, as a poor student I got really into making people unique birthday and Christmas presents. I soon found I had friends of friends and family members asking me to make gifts for their loved ones too and asking if I had an online store. So, in 2010 I opened an Etsy store and listed items as I made them.
I gradually started throwing more time and energy into my shop and soon it began to grow. Fast-forward to late 2013, following some great magazine features and interviews and I found myself in the position I’d always dreamed of. I was at a point where working full-time, and running a business were no longer feasible. So in February 2014 I handed in my notice, and after many tearful nights, and moments of self-doubt I took the plunge and began to run ONR full time!
Is there a story behind the name? There isn’t an exciting story behind the name unfortunately – it all came from me trying to think of a Twitter handle when I first joined the social network and my boyfriend’s was @ohyesjack so I made @ohnorachio – and it stuck, so OH NO Rachio! was born!
What inspires you? How has it changed over the years? I find inspiration everywhere – initially when I started out, looking for nice ideas of gifts to make I relied heavily on Pinterest and blogs, looking at people’s DIY craft projects and things like that, but gradually I’ve moved away from using the internet for sources of inspiration for my products, as I think it can inhibit creativity, and in many ways encourage your mind to work with ideas that aren’t hugely original.
As my range has evolved, I’ve found my own personal style and tend to develop new products through inspiration from nature. A central theme within my work is little stylised leafy wreaths, many of which I’ve found inspiration for from walks in the New Forest which is virtually on my doorstep – as well as an incredibly inspirational trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall last Summer!
Finding inspiration from real experiences feels much more organic, and allows me to develop my ideas without worry of blurring my designs with the work of others.
When I first came across your shop, the hand-drawn journals really caught my eye. They are sweet simplicity at its finest! What is your approach to design? Tell me a bit about your design process, as well. Thank you!! As I said, I find real plants a great source of inspiration and I often snap photographs of little plants on my iPhone – I then use those to great simplified leafy designs which I use within my paper goods & ceramics!
You have a wonderful studio space filled with all the essentials and lots of natural light (score!). What does your typical workday look like? I’m very lucky to have such a bright and lovely studio space right here in my own home! Work days for me generally start with a big bowl of porridge and a cup of tea at my desk as I catch up on emails and order enquiries. I then focus on illustrating and packing orders that need sending that day; then I have a spot of lunch; feed little Luna and head off to the gym. I really enjoy the gym, and find that the regular classes I attend help to give structure to my working week, and give me a little break, and the opportunity to clear my head. After the gym I post all of the orders I need to, then head back to the studio to get on with any blog posts, or extras that need doing.
Has there been a particular moment where you felt most accomplished and validated since launching your shop? There have been a few moments in the last 18 months that have made me feel incredibly proud – the biggest one for me was being asked by Etsy if they could use my shop for their ‘Featured Shop’ series on the blog. Having been a shopper on Etsy long before I created my own store in 2010 – I have always loved reading those blog posts, looking up to those sellers as role models, and wishing I’d one day be as successful as them. So to be asked to feature was a little dream come true – and to receive nearly 200 lovely heart-warming comments on the interview just made me melt. It was an experience that, though little, filled me with pride and made me feel very humbled!
Your goods can be found in a number of shops & galleries across the UK. How did you gain exposure when you first started out? What is your current approach to marketing? Fairly early on in the process of starting my business I was approached by several independent shops and galleries in the UK that wanted to stock my work. Many of them found my work through social media – namely my Twitter account & Facebook page. To be honest – it was a bit of a baptism of fire, and I learnt a lot about working with stockists, who I wanted to work with, what worked for them and what didn’t. I had a few less than savoury experiences with products being sent by me on a ‘sale or return’ basis which resulted in some of them returning to me damaged, or totally unsellable – meaning I was out of pocket. It did, however, teach me a lot!
In addition to creating things, what do you do? If I’m not at the gym, I’ll likely either be in the kitchen cooking delicious food (me and my boyfriend are really into cooking and trying new recipes) or at the allotment we have tending to our lovely vegetables! …and when I’m doing none of the above, you can find me on the sofa, with a cup of tea and a magazine having a little cuddle with Luna!