Tuesday, May 10, 2016


So...as it turns out, in 2015 I did a TERRIBLE job of blogging.  That's the bad news.  The good news I guess is that the reason I was so bad at it was because I was SO busy!  I posted all about my prep work for Surtex and had the best of intentions to post all about my experience there as a first-timer but it just never happened.

So... I am now going to finally share my experience at Surtex 2015 as I work on my final preparations for Surtex 2016.

Last year was a complete whirlwind!  I made the drive from Columbus, Ohio to a remote parking lot near Newark airport in New Jersey with my mom and a car load of stuff for my booth. (I really didn't want to risk having my luggage, full of banners and marketing materials getting lost if I flew.) Plus, I had a shelving unit, a few stools and a bunch of samples as well.  I didn't want to deal with the logistics of shipping everything either. The remote parking lot was cheap and we just got a cab to pick us up from there and take us into the city. 3 of my cousins and a great friend of mine met us there, so I had a "Big Fat Greek Gaggle of Girls" to help me out.  (I'm Greek on my Mom's side and we travel in packs)

We set up on the first set-up day and were able to get it all set up that day. That meant we had the second set-up day to go shopping and "trend-spotting". (and have a nice ladies lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Soho, Mercer Kitchen)

I had a corner booth, which was great!  I have a corner booth again this year! I used vinyl banners printed with Smartpress.com and they did a great job!  I really like the quality of the banners as well as the color.  They went up pretty easily with poster size Command strips.  I had a shelf from Ikea that I brought ($20 galvanized metal shelf that I spray painted gold) and 2 stools from Ikea (they came in black but I painted parts of them gold) They were easy to put together.  I definitely did the first-timer thing where I spent a lot of time and money (and stress) creating mock-up product samples to have in my booth. In the end, I think it looked good and some of the things caught people's attention, but I don't think that it was necessary to have as much stuff as I had. 

I ordered by business cards from Moo with many different back designs which was great because people that were really interested in my work took more than one.  They used them as reminders or reference so they could remember what prints they really liked and also so they could share them with their co-workers once they got back to the office.  I also had stickers and postcards which most people took.

Full view of my corner booth

Close up of my shelf with product samples

Show Time!  In action at my booth.

So many people warned me that your first time showing at Surtex is usually slow. Word on the street was that a lot of companies like to see what's new, but often times, for whatever reason they are unsure about working with a "newbie".  I was cautioned not to be disappointed and that it typically takes 2 to 3 or even 4 years of showing at Surtex before you really get a lot of steady clients. Supposedly, the first day of the show is a little slow because people walk the show just to see what's there and then they come back the second day to actually sit and look through portfolios etc. So, Sunday is usually somewhat slow and then it picks up on Monday and then Tuesday is really slow. However, that was not really my experience at all. Now, since this was my first time at Surtex, I don't know if this year was just different or if I lucked out in getting traffic in my booth all 3 days - but either way, I was busy!  I was pretty busy the entire time which was such a surprise.  I had planned to walk the show myself quickly and even check out NSS and go to a trend seminar.  I had help in my booth, so in theory, that should have been fine, however I never felt like I could actually ever leave my booth. Not when I had potential clients in it.  So, I only left my booth to use the restroom or eat something quickly.

I can't complain! I was thrilled with the response to my booth! I met so many amazing people and gained some amazing clients!  I also sold a few prints outright. I can honestly say that the amount of work that I got out of Surtex paid for Surtex.

I have a handful of products out in the world now that I'm really excited about. I created my first coloring book for grown-ups last summer called "Blooms, Birds and Butterflies" with Peter Pauper Press, and it is now available online and in store. I had a LOT of fun working on it, but it was a LOT of work.

and Saks Off Fifth.  It's also available in-store at select Hallmark stores.

In addition to the coloring book, with Peter Pauper Press, I have a "Dapper Fox" journal.

I also have a set of "Blooms, Birds and Butterflies" notecards.

Keep an eye for out for more products with Peter Pauper Press.  There will be coloring posters and coloring postcard sets too!!  There are also a few more journals and notecard sets in the works.

I also am very lucky to still be working with Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  My "Fabulous Foxes" fabric collection launched this year with "Lady Foxes" and "Sailor Foxes".  It comes in cotton quilting fabric with some options in slicker fabric and jersey knit.

Here is the "Lady Fox" assortment

This is my sweet little Elle in a reversible jacket I made for her.

Here is a fun beach tote I made with the "Sailor Foxes"

And here is my sweet Elle again in a dress made by the very talented Mel Pearson of Doodle And Peg  Check out her adorable hand made children's apparel!!

I also had the exciting and proud opportunity to work with my son, Emerson.  He loves to spend time with me in my studio drawing and one day we decided to  do a project together. He drew a bunch of birds and cats and I scanned them in, put them into repeat and colored them up in Illustrator. Children's artwork is SO amazing and makes the cutest patterns! Emerson's "Doodle Pop" fabric collection is now available in cotton quilting fabric.

My newest fabric collection, just released is "Burly Beavers".  And yes, it is beavers. Lumberjack beavers. With beards. Enough said.

It comes in cotton quilting fabric AND in flannel! 

Most of my fabric collections can be found online at Amazon, Hawthorne Threads, Fabric.com, Fabricworm and more.

Stay tuned for several more fabric collections launching this year.

I also made some great connections with a few stationery and greeting card companies.  I have 2 greetings available now at Trader Joe's.

And I also have a slew of notecard sets, postcard sets and magnetic notepad sets available with Note Card Cafe.  Many of them are available on Amazon.com as well.
Here is one of the notepad sets

I've also continued to work with an Argentinian brand called Matete Objetos that makes bags, thermoses, notebooks, pouches etc.

I love these bags!

Lastly, I met a few clients that I do custom and freelance for which is so much fun because I still get to use my Fashion/Product design skills.

Surtex 2016 is in just a few days and I'm just as nervous and excited and stressed out as I was last year!  I got a corner booth again this year!  And I'm renting 2 shelves that hook into the walls instead of bringing and building my own.  And I'm brining much less product samples, but this year they are ALL real products that are out in the market - no mock-ups.  Yay!

I'm also really excited to be speaking at one of the Conferences this year called, "The Artist 'Life Cycle': From New Business to Established Operation" on Tuesday, May 17th from 11:00am to 12:30 pm.  If you're new to the world of Surface Design or just want to learn more about how to run your surface design business, come and check it out. I will be speaking in a panel of other artists in varying stages of their careers. I think it will be very informative. I wish I had been able to attend a conference like that when I was starting out.

Lastly, I am partnering with Modern Thrive to teach an online workshop called "The Business of Surface Pattern Design". If you want to learn how to build your career as a Surface Pattern Designer - this is a great opportunity. If you sign up before June 1st and use discount code "Andie Hanna" you can get $30 off the $97 price. It's June 7th-9th at 7pm CST. Click HERE to learn more and register.

I'm off to New York in 2 days.  Wish me luck.  I will be better this year about posting about my experience at the show.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SURTEX 2015 Here I come!

Well, I know it's been forever since I've posted so this might be a long one... I've been very busy getting ready for Surtex 2015 which is sneaking up on me rather quickly.  This will be my first time showing at Surtex and I'm beyond excited (and also a bit terrified).  I still have so much to do to get ready - printing, sewing, organizing, designing, packing, making dinner reservations (very important when in NYC) etc.  Needless to say, I haven't been sleeping much these days. But hopefully it will all be worth it!!  The really cool thing is that I won't be on this crazy adventure alone!  I have the awesome support of friends and family coming along to help me out. My mom and 3 cousins are coming too!  Woohoo!  And, a great and very talented artist friend of mine, Aimee Sicuro (who lives in Brooklyn) will be there too!
Considering there are a lot of artists out there who dream of showing at Surtex someday, as well as a lot of curious non-artists, I thought I would share a bit about my experience with Surtex, starting with the planning.  I have spent more than a year creating collections, many of which have already been licensed for fabric with Robert Kaufman.  One of the first things that I did (aside from TONS of research about Surtex) is create my portfolio books.  I used Blurb and I am very happy with the books.  They are beautiful!  The color and quality is fantastic!  I highly recommend using them.  It was definitely worth the effort. It took me FOREVER to set up all of my files (page by page) to get them into the correct scale and file-type and in order to upload to the Blurb website, so it was a huge project.  But now I will have the books for next year as well.  I will just create new books with my new work.

The other huge project that took me quite some time was designing and setting up my artwork for my banner walls.  That was a really daunting task, but I got it done and just received them a few days ago.  I used Smartpress vinyl banners and for the most part I'm really impressed by the quality and color.  (There were some colors that weren't right, but they weren't terrible) One of my banners had a bad color issue, but I'm working it out with them now and getting it re-printed. (just in time)  I found their pricing and customer service to be great, so I will likely use them again in the future.

Another thing I've been doing a lot of is creating mock products to have in my booth.  I think having some actual products with my artwork on them will help potential clients to see the variety of uses my artwork has.  It's a great marketing tool and another HUGE project!  I am bringing my own shelf (versus renting them from the Javits) which of course, I am spray painting gold.  (Leave it to me, the perfectionist to be super particular about the color of my shelf - although in my own defense I'm obsessed with metallic gold right now and many of the accents in my booth will be gold - not just the shelf)  

I'm obsessed with Kate Spade's clear acrylic and gold desk accessories.  I mean, who knew a stapler could be so gorgeous?  And yes, even my binder clips and huge paper clips are gold.

I know, I have a problem when it comes to accessories.  (whether it's shoes, handbags and jewelry or even desk accessories and office supplies)  It must be the fashion designer in me...

Anyways, I have also been doing a ton of sewing to create some fun products for my booth.  Pillows, little plush characters, little girls' dresses etc.  Thanks to Spoonflower I can have my own fabric designs printed. One of my favorites is my "Haute Fox" dress.

I can't wait for this to fit my little Elle next year!  She LOVES foxes!

Here a few pillows.  I love the linen/cotton blend fabric from Spoonflower! 

I've also been wrapping boxes, covering books, making notebooks and greeting cards.  (lots of printing and crafting here) 

 These are some notebooks in my "Fields of Joy" collection.

Another fun thing I created is a children's board book with MemoryMixer.  Their quality is amazing and it's so fun to have a little book with my foxes in it!  Elle loves it.  I really only created it to showcase my work because I would LOVE to illustrate a children's book, but when I created it I realized I had to write something so now I guess I've sort of written a children's book.  I'm thinking of self-publishing it after Surtex and selling it in the Etsy shop I plan to open this summer.  Am I crazy?

Creating this book was a blast!  I want to make more!!!

I've ordered quite a few things from Zazzle as well. I have iphone covers, melamine plates, ceramic mugs, a ceramic bowl and water bottles. My MOST favorite is the "Doodle Pop" bird melamine plate which brings me to another huge project that I've been working on...

This bird was create by my 8 year old son, Emerson.  Now, I know I'm his mom and I'm somewhat biased, but isn't that just the BEST!??

Actually, he created a whole bunch of birds.  And some cats.  And flowers.  He is very creative and loves to draw and he sees me creating all the time.  He loves to hang in my studio with me and draw and so one day he decided he wanted to create a print.  He drew some birds and I scanned them and colored them up and put them into repeat.  It turned out so cute, he kept going and created some cats and flowers.  Thus was born his "Doodle Pop" collection.  I sent it out some potential clients and it has already been licensed for product early next year!!!  Well, of course Emerson thinks he's rich now and decided he had to do more.  I could hardly keep up with him.  We now have a small portfolio of collaborative work that I will be taking to Surtex.

Too cute, right? I've always loved children's artwork and we've had such a blast creating together!  I think his work would be adorable on lots of product!

Lastly, there is of course the marketing and PR.  I ordered my new business cards from MOO and they are fantastic!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you can print up to 50 different designs on the back of your cards!  

 I also ordered stickers from MOO for give-aways at my booth. Everything they do is amazing!  They are a bit pricier, but their quality and design options are the best!  I wanted to have a few different give-aways at my booth, so I had some postcards printed as well.  I printed them with Overnight Prints because I like their quality and speed and they were quite a bit cheaper than MOO.

The other part of marketing and PR is social media (which based on my blog absence is clearly NOT one of my strengths)  I've been trying to post a lot of my designs on Instagram. Just today I was featured on THE best print and pattern blog in the world (in my humble opinion) www.printpattern.blogspot.com  Here's the link where my work is highlighted.  WOOHOO!

I opted out of advertising in any of the trade publications that circulate at Surtex because they're so expensive and I'm not sure how much they help. Maybe next year.

So now the countdown is on.  Only a few more weeks until Surtex and so much left to do!  (lots of last minute artwork to create, organizing, printing, packing etc.)  I have to say I couldn't have done all this without the support of my amazing husband, Josh!  I stay home with the kids all day and I only get work done when baby Elle is sleeping and then in the evenings when Josh gets home from work.  He takes over and lets me disappear into the studio to work.  Also, I get lots of support from my mom who comes over once a week to babysit while I get some work done and she has helped (and is still helping) with the sewing and crafting etc.  It certainly takes a village to prepare for Surtex!

I will post again before Surtex with anything that I left out if I think of it.  Otherwise, be on the lookout for some posts about how Surtex is going and a recap after the show.  You can follow me on Instagram if you want more up-to-the-minute information.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Today is the day!  The voting starts today for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search 2014!  Please please check out the top 50 finalists and VOTE!  It will only take a minute.  Vote for me if you like my submission or just vote for your favorite and support all the talented artists that have worked so hard in this competition.  (or vote for me - please please)

Here is my submission, now that I'm allowed to share it..

Click HERE to vote

After I submitted this for the 2nd round, I wanted to play with it some more so I created a repeat and gave Mr. sailor bunny a little friend.

I hope you like it.  I had so much fun creating this and am grateful to have made it this far in the competition.  It's been a great learning experience and hopefully will be good exposure.  (even if I don't win)

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Oh my goodness - it's been FOREVER since I've posted!  So much has happened since my last post.  First of all, my baby girl is almost 1! (which is why I haven't posted in forever, I've been a little busy with the babe)  I can't believe it!  Time sure does fly.  

This is Elle in her ladybug costume I just found.

Aside from caring for my growing children, I had a fabulous girls vacation to Greece this summer (more on that later), my "Fox and Houndstooth" collection sold really well,  (sold out in many locations) and I've been super busy cranking out artwork in the hopes of attending Surtex next year.  (saving up for a booth) I'm pretty sure at this point that I've officially decided to do so.  I just need to put some final touches on my plans and put down a deposit on a booth.  Woohoo!  SOOOO exciting yet SOOOO stressful at the same time.  The pressure is on!  I'm such a perfectionist and planner that I will be LIVING Surtex for the next 8 months.  There's so much to do to get ready (aside from the obvious building of my portfolio)  I will try to be better about posting in the future and I'll post about my process of preparing for Surtex.


These are the 3 prints from my "Fox and the Houndstooth" collection
(if you liked this collection, stay tuned - there might be more foxes to come)

Currently, however, Surtex planning is on hold because I'm in the midst of competing in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search.  For those of you who don't know, Lilla Rogers is an amazing agent who reps some of the most talented artists all over the world and gets them all these amazing license deals.  The winner of this competition gets a 2-year contract with her as well as several great licensing opportunities and a trip to London.  About 1000 artists from all over the world entered this year and Lilla and a panel of judges have already narrowed it down to the top 50.  And… I MADE IT!   I can't believe it!  Woohoo!  I entered the competition mostly for the exposure and practice but never thought I'd make it even to the top 50.  I just turned in my 2nd assignment this week.  Lilla and the judges will be picking the top 5 and there will also be a 6th "People's Choice" artist who makes it to the next round by winning the most votes.  Voting starts tomorrow so make sure you vote! 

I can't share my 2nd assignment just yet, but here is my first submission for the "Little Terrarium" assignment.

I will continue to post about the Global Talent Search in the coming days.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me and vote!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Well...the time has finally come!!!  I know it's been forever since I've posted, but I guess I have a pretty good reason.  I've been super busy being pregnant and preparing for our new baby girl.  I put the finishing touches on the nursery today which is perfect timing since I have a scheduled c-section tomorrow morning.  Yay!

After all the work we've been doing over the last 9 months I thought I would share my "Modern Bliss" nursery with you.  I had so much fun designing and creating all the fun stuff with my fabric...

I really love how the colors turned out.  I knew I wanted to use the Brights palette of my "Modern Bliss" collection but I didn't want the entire room to be pink.  I decided on pale aqua for the walls and I love it.  The hot pinks and oranges really pop.

Here is my little corner where I'll feed her and read her bed time stories etc.  The wicker chair was handed down from my mom.  I made the cushion cover with the Floral Ditzy print from my "Modern Bliss" collection.  I covered the Ikea cube ottoman with my Floral print  and the lamp shade is covered with my Chevron print.  The frame on the wall is framing the little dress that my mom brought my sister and I home from the hospital in when we were born.  I will be bringing baby Elle home in that same dress.

Here is a closer look at the chair and you can see the boppy on the floor in the background that I covered with my Chevron print.

Here is a closer look at the frame with the dress.  This was a black plastic frame from Ikea that we spray painted white and hung without the glass.

One my favorite parts of the room - my wall of artwork.  I found some amazing art prints on Etsy (2 of which are from my extremely talented friend Aimee Sicuro - check out her Etsy shop called 'weathergirlshop' - she's amazing) 

Here is the changing table with a pad cover made from my Floral Ditzy fabric.  I found the vintage doilies and the vintage handkerchief on Etsy and made bunting for the wall.  Above that is an applique of giraffes that I made out of my fabric.

I made a fun wall with embroidery hoops framing my fabric and some tiny birdhouses and butterflies.  I also covered an old dress form with my black and white diamonds print from my "Modern Bliss" collection.

Another one of my favorite things in the room is the pillow that I made for the back of the trunk/bench.  I had to have some fashion things in the room since I am a fashion designer after all and thought this play on words was fitting.  :)

This is for sure my favorite!!!  This was quite the project (just ask my husband).  Hanging and figuring out the layout of the pom-poms and lanterns was pretty tricky and so was making the butterfly mobile, but it turned out too cute.  I love it and I hope baby Elle does too!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Hello!  As you may know I'm having a trunk show starting this Saturday at a fantastic shop in Clintonville, Ohio called Sew To Speak.   For those of you in the central Ohio area, I will be at Sew To Speak from 10:00 to 1:00 on Saturday for a meet and greet and I'll be giving away some fabric!  Stop in and see me and win some fabric!  For those of you who can't make it, I will post some pics of the fun stuff we made soon!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Hey everyone!  We finally our winners!  Sorry for all of the confusion in the last few weeks! I'm sure you can tell that I'm somewhat new to this blog thing and my pregnant brain doesn't help things.  :)  You made it easy for me - there were only 3 comments that came through.  (I guess I need work on getting more readers to enter and comment)  Hopefully that will come with time.
So...The first winner will get the Vintage palette of my "Modern Bliss" fat quarter bundle and that person is... Kelsey Egelhoff.  Congrats!

The second winner will get the Brights palette of my "Modern Bliss" fat quarter bundle and that person is Tarah Smith.  Congrats! 

The 3rd and final winner will be getting the Caribbean palette of my "Modern Bliss" fat quarter bundle and that person is Patti.  Congrats!

I will be sending those out this week.  Tarah and Patti, if you're reading this - please email me your address through my "contact me" button on my website.  I'm unable to get your info from your comments.

For anyone in the Central Ohio area, my trunk show will be held at Sew to Speak in Clintonville the week of June 1st, so stop in and check it out!