today i'd like to introduce my featured sponsor - the lovely Amanda from Dragonflight Apparel. she has a great blog and a shop full of beautiful screen-printed goodies :)
Tell us a little about you and your business.
My name is Amanda, and my shop/blog is Dragonflight Dreams. I'm a freelance graphic designer by day and a hobbyist screenprinter/crafter by night - or really whenever I can find the spare time. My current home is in Round Rock, Texas (think northern suburb of Austin) with my boyfriend and our puppy. I've been called a 'cool geek,' which I guess just means that my extreme geekiness isn't immediately apparent and I'm not completely socially awkward. I love books and movies and art, and dragons, and have a pretty ferocious sweet tooth. My shop sells screenprinted goods (mostly shirts and tote bags at the moment) with my own unique designs. Everything is printed by hand. My blog started as just a way to chronicle my adventures in screenprinting and running a shop, but it's grown to be more of a general 'this is my life' blog, which can include anything from outfit posts to recipes to cute puppy pictures, along with the screenprinting stuff.
Where did the name ‘Dragonflight Dreams’ come from?
As anyone who knows me can attest, I have a bit of a thing for dragons (<---- understatement) and a thing for the idea of flying and a habit of dreaming big. The name Dragonflight Dreams is a marriage of all three. Since the designs I'll be putting out for the shop portion will also tend to be of a whimsical and/or fantastical nature, it seemed doubly fitting.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Oh man. Um, not anywhere terribly different from where I am now, I don't think. I'll likely still be living here in Texas (I do love it here), and still freelancing and screenprinting. I hope my shop will have grown quite a bit by that time, as well as the blog. Ideally, Ian & I will have gotten hitched and started on that whole family thing by then. I'll have learned to sew by then (just bought my first machine and have my first lesson later this month), so I'd like to be seeing the fruits of that labor by then.
Who or what is your inspiration?
This has always been a hard question for me. For the designs I create, I guess the answer that makes the most sense is: stories. Whether it's mythology or more modern fiction or a movie or just a story I invent in my head, every idea comes from some sort of story.
Asides from work, what else keeps you busy?
My other work, haha. Aside from running the Dragonflight Dreams blog and shop, I'm also a full-time freelance graphic designer (my 'real' job). So that takes a good chunk of time. Aside from that, I'm part of a writers group, like to go out and do things with friends, watch a lot of movies and cook and play video games with my boyfriend, read a lot of books, romp around with our puppy, travel (when time & money allow), hiking, Pilates, etc.
Do you have any advice for any one thinking of setting up their own business?
Dragonflight Dreams is still less than a year old, so this bit of advice comes more from my 6 years of freelancing: don't undersell yourself. Make sure you're charging enough to cover your time, skills, and effort (and base materials, if applicable). It can be tempting to put a lower price than your competitors, just to garner the cheapskate buyers looking for lowest price, but in the long run that is not the kind of client or customer that will keep your business afloat. Do your research and see what other businesses similar to you are charging, for sure, just to make sure you're in the ballpark, but ultimately you need to charge an amount that is fair to you.