Business Mama Interview: Print Ark
I am always searching for prints that are a bit different from the mass-produced ones in big department stores. I love pieces that have a story; hand drawn art, delicate watercolours or big pops of colour and modern geometric patterns. Recently I came across Print Ark, a platform which showcases work from a range of independent Australian artists and designers.
Nursery, boys room, girls room, tween room, teen room, playroom...you can find gorgeous artwork for your children's room all in one place. Here are my favourites from their website and below you can read my interview with Ruth Muller creative mum behind Print Ark.
I did an interview with Ruth Muller, founder of Print Ark to learn a bit more about her and her business.
1. Why do you do What you do?
I am a creative soul at heart and I love creating inspiring interiors. I always struggled to find quality prints that were unique, and I recognised that there were many talented small businesses out there producing exactly what I was after, if only I could find them easily! So, Print Ark was born, to showcase independent Australian artists, designers and small businesses, to become the one stop shop to help people like me, find unique prints and printed homewares online.
I love that I can help these artists showcase their talent and that we are helping small business by making their work more accessible to all of us!
2. Can you tell me more about your life before starting your business and how did you start?
It was becoming a mother and having the opportunity to reignite my creative side that brought me to Print Ark. After the birth of my daughter I studied Graphic design and started creating, making, selling and nurturing my creative spirit. I discovered that most artists/designers had their own website and online shop selling their prints, but many were struggling to be found online. When I realised there was no online space dedicated to supporting these Australian small businesses in this way, my plans for Print Ark started to take shape.
Print Bot, ‘Blush Pink and White Peonies’ and Pick a Pear Creative, ‘Sahara Mandala Print’ and ‘Marrakesh Mandala Print’
3. What does your typical day look like?
My typical Print Ark work day (once I drop the kids off at kindy/school!) would start with me scheduling my social media promotion. I’m very particular about what I share on Instagram and Facebook. It always takes me longer than I plan to select images from the Print Ark businesses, as well as the inspiration shots I love to share too. I often get lost in the Instagram vortex resurfacing hours later! I’m also a stickler for making sure credit to the original sources is made as well as tagging products in the images the best I can, this is one of the most time-consuming tasks.
Then I’m usually working on preparing promotions and collating pieces for our Showcases, which are a bi-monthly promotion of work from Print Ark businesses.
I spend time checking in and communicating with businesses as well as reaching out to others that might be interested in joining us and responding to enquiries. I also dedicate a good chunk of time to researching and learning, as I’m always keen to keep improving my knowledge and how I can best continue to support Print Ark Businesses.
4. When was Print Ark started, did you face any challenges on the way?
We have just celebrated our 1st birthday! It has been a huge year and reflecting on that I feel that the biggest challenge I faced in the beginning was very much my website! I had a very particular vision in mind and at that time not the technical knowledge or ability to make that happen easily. I outsourced the task to try make my vision reality and with some hurdles along the way we managed to create it.
I really wanted to make sure that I’d be able to showcase businesses in a unique way. I wanted to give them individual boutique pages to do this, and while it is more work, I am happy to have gone to the extra effort as I think it really gives them a better opportunity to present their business to potential customers.
5. What have been the highlights of Print Ark so far?
There are a few to choose from, but I think quite simply, the amazing Print Ark audience that I’ve built has been a big highlight for me. Since launching Print Ark in May 2017, I have built a Facebook audience of over 7600, my Instagram following over 3000, and they are growing every week! I love seeing people follow along and engaging with posts. It confirms to me that people are enjoying what I’m doing and loving what they are seeing!
6. Where do you see your business in future?
Print Ark is moving into a new phase, we have just celebrated our birthday with the launch of our first Print Ark Showcase. This last year has really been about building a strong foundation for Print Ark and now it’s about growth and continuing to build an amazing business on top of this.
In the future I see Print Ark becoming a community; supporting a wide range of businesses and services and expanding to incorporate stationery, wall paper, decals and beyond! I really want to create a special database of businesses that customise, print and create the perfect gifts, as I know these services are highly sought out for. I’m looking forward to seeing this vision take shape!
7. What is your favourite piece on your website?
This is an impossible question for me to answer! I can’t possibly choose, but I can share a little of the prints I have on my own walls and this will give you some insight 😊
Here, from left to right, we first have a gorgeous print from Elemental Prints. I love how Elemental Prints brings the outside into your home and this ‘Windswept’ piece does just this.
Second, we have a sweet little print from The Whimsical Wall. I am loving the Australian botanicals at the moment, and just couldn’t go pass this watercolour ‘Protea’ when it caught my eye.
And on the right I have my friend I’ve affectionally called Mr Cockatoo. He watches over me while I work. This stunning piece is taken from original artworks drawn with pencil by artist Rebecca Garfield from State Of Eden, the detail is amazing!
On the left here we have another Elemental Prints piece ‘Ripple'. Again, bringing a piece of the wonderful outdoors into your home.
In the middle we have another State of Eden piece ‘Mother Deer and Fawn’. The quality of this piece is amazing, the detail, and the gorgeous texture of the paper, makes it feel like it is an original piece. This one is a favourite of my daughters and is now framed and hung in her play room. The right is another from The Whimsical Wall, ‘White Peony’. Peonies! One of my favourites, how could I say no?
My Gallery wall at my work area is a work in progress, with still a few prints to add and probably much more rearranging before I get it just right! Other prints featured here include:
Right (top)- Sel Noir Designs ‘Black and Blush Abstract’. Sel Noir Designs has a wide range of modern prints for your home and the kids rooms too. Right (bottom)- All That is Wild creates modern wall art prints inspired by both local and international interior design trends. This piece ‘Adventure Starts’ reminds me to always be planning for adventure!
Far Right- Christina Cerqueira ‘Love Birds’. A super talented watercolour artist, she painted these to represent the love between her and her husband, and my husband gave me the piece as a gift on Valentine’s day. So much love!
And last of all I have this show stopper. ‘Refresh’ by All That is Wild. Doesn’t this just make you want to dive right in? I have this piece in the biggest size possible (60cm x 90cm) and I’m so glad I did, it’s a gorgeous piece and such a statement in the room.
Ruth is a Mum of 3 and founder of Print Ark, an online space showcasing Australian creative businesses, independent artists and designers who sell wall prints, stationery, printed décor and more. Her love of being creative and supporting creatives lead her to Print Ark, you can check it out here:
If you have any questions at all about styling your baby or childs room send me an email.