All posts by Yuko

About Yuko

Hi! I'm Yuko! I'm the illustrator/artist at Honeyberry Studios. I live and work out of my home studio in Seattle, Washington. I like to create art that is joyful, happy, and accessible. I get my inspiration from everyday small things, nature, animals, and food.

It’s all about self-love โค๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ

Hi friend,

First off, I’m so happy to know that my 60 Brighter Days emails have been resonating with so many of you!

Thanks for reading/sharing/responding with your kind words. It’s most definitely the highlight of my day ๐ŸŒž

Second, thank you so much for continuing to support my web shop!!

I feel so loved ๐Ÿฅฐ

It gives me joy to know my cheerful, uplifting art is making you and your loved one’s day a little brighter.

Today I wanted to share this short video where I share my message about self-love.

You know that’s my jam, right?

I also share a couple of recent reviews on my Self-Love Postcard set in the vid.

Here is one from Hannah:

SOB ๐Ÿ˜ญ Thank YOU, Hannah.

(I read all of my reviews, and they instantly lift up my spirits. So keep them coming if you’ve purchased something from me!)

Yes, I’m trying to cope with the anxiety of our rapidly changing world every day, but I’m also fired up to share my message of self-care and self-love right now ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Oh and one more thing – I’ve added a gift message section in my cart (it’s free!).

If you’re directly shipping self-love filled gifts to your loved ones, be sure to leave a message there.

I’ll then write it on one of these sweet block printed cards and include it in your package.

What a sweet way to add an extra thoughtful touch to your gift ๐Ÿฅฐ

Hope you’ll continue to take care of yourself and stay well.

Thinking of you,

xo

ps. Don’t forget, 15% off on everything (including clearance!) in my online shop.ย Use code: SPRING15 when you check out. You can use the code as many times as you want ๐Ÿ˜ฝ

Hanging in there?

Hi friend,

Hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Dave and I are staying home as much as we can, and thankfully we’re healthy so far.

For that, I’m most grateful.

You know what else I’m grateful for??

Your are causing me major gratitude overload!! I’ve been enjoying packaging up each and every order for you.

Seriously, you’re the BEST.

Keep them coming because your 15% off code “SPRING15” is still good.

(and you can use it more than once!)

As I said last week, I’m trying to offer more video contents because it makes me feel closer to you.

I’ve been feeling isolated as I practice social distancing – not only are my shows being cancelled, my pottery class, gym, and get-togethers with friends are cancelled as well ๐Ÿ˜”

(Not to mention my solo vacay to Sedona. Yup I cancelled it. Sad, but necessary ๐Ÿ˜ญ)

Yes, it is a temporary measure. And perhaps the best thing we can do right now to give ourselves a fighting chance.

So I’ve been recording short messages as I pack up your orders in the morning and sharing them on .

, I talk about why I share my story on the back of each card๐Ÿ‘€

At shows and markets, I’m able to chat more easily with my customers and share my story, but I don’t always get to, or you wouldn’t necessarily share that with the person you’re writing to.

So I’m putting it right there – whoever receives your lovely note will know that you’ve carefully selected a card that was created by a real person with real hopes and dreamsโœจ

You wouldn’t get that from mass-produced greeting cards from a drug store… Just sayin.

And here is

I share with you what my customers have been ordering, and which ones are my favorite!

It lifts me up to know that you’re actively reaching out to your loved ones in this time of uncertainty.

And being part of your love mail gives me so much joy โค๏ธ

When I’m feeling anxious and off-centered, it helps to do something. Especially, helping others shifts focus off of my own problems and worries.

So… I’ve started “60 Brighter Days” email series!! Sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already, and you’ll receive a happy, encouraging email from me every day for 60 days.

Ok, friend, stay strong. We’ll get through this together.

Sending you love,

xo

This is my Plan B

I wanted to give you a heads up about a couple of things today.

As you know, a special flu is going around in Seattle and lots of other places.

(I know technically it’s not a flu…but an article I read about how to reduce anxiety recommended you call it something else, like “the flu,” so that’s what I’m doing ๐Ÿ˜€)

To protect the public health and safety, lots of events are getting cancelled.

For me, that means my main source of income, shows and markets, is either getting cancelled or not many people are gonna turn up to shop in person for the foreseeable future.

For example, my next market, UPS Flea Market on 3/21, has been cancelled ๐Ÿ˜ญ Sorry if you were planning on going. I’m very disappointed, too.

And I don’t have a show scheduled until May.

So… I’m engaging my Plan BโœŒ๐Ÿผ

I’m focusing my energy on growing for a while, and to make it more enjoyable for you, I’ve created a promo for you.

Yup, you know I don’t normally do random sales, but the time requires a bit of a flexibility – so you can enjoy 15% off on your entire order when you !

Just enter “SPRING15” at checkout ๐Ÿ˜˜

I haven’t decided how long the promo will go on, but at least till the end of the month. I’ll let you know when it’s about to end.

You can use this code as many times as you’d like, too. Feel free to share with friends and family.

(NOTE: I will not be able to apply the promo retroactively as Shopify, my online platform, charges fees based on the original sales amount ๐Ÿ˜” so don’t forget to enter it when you shop.)

Another thing I’m doing – because I don’t get to see you in person for a while – is for you!

It’s mostly me sharing quick updates and doing mini “informacials” if you will ๐Ÿ˜‚ but if you’d like to see me awkwardly talk to my phone camera, be sure to watch them ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

Thanks friend!!

Stay well,

xo

ps. Take advantage of 15% off online order with a special code “SPRING15”

pps. If you’ve come to my shows/markets, you know I offer special deals just for the market customers. I’ll of course continue to offer them when/if I do markets this season and beyond. Just so you know ๐Ÿ˜‰

10 things you may not know about me ๐Ÿ‘€

I’ve been enjoying some of my friends’ challenge posts on social media.

I especially liked reading their stories – although I’m not participating in the daily challenge, I thought it would be fun to share with you some facts about me you may not know ๐Ÿ˜†

Here are 10 things you may not know about me:

1) I have an older brother who lives in Japan, and he runs near my parents’ house.

He started it right after I quit my job to focus on my biz – it’s been cool to see his business thrive as well.

2)ย I was way into theater in my tween/teen years. I wrote, produced, and performed in several plays in middle and high school.

I loved getting into characters, hanging out with my theater friends (whom I see every time I go home), creating stories, and the thrill of acting in front of a live audience.

I don’t like being put on a spot, but give me a script, background story, and time to practice, I’m all about it ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

3)ย I’m a . In a nutshell, it means you’re wired to feel things deeply, and you may be easily overwhelmed by external (or internal) stimulations.

I consider my sensitivity to be a gift that helps me empathize with others and connect deeply with the beauty that surrounds me.

4) I’ve been meditating almost daily for the past 4 years. I usually meditate right after I wake up. I love starting my day with a quiet grounding practice.

It prepares me to face the world that’s so noisy and cluttered.

5)ย I have and ย personality traits. I consider myself an idealist who can get a lot done ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Having structure and routine is pretty important for me to thrive, and I’m not very flexible/spontaneous. So if you ask me to tea the day before (or really, less than 2 weeks notice is “short notice” for me ๐Ÿ˜ฌ), chances are I’ll say no โ˜•๏ธ

6)ย I struggled with (= an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating) about 4 years ago. Thoughts on what to eat and not eat were taking over my life.

I was lucky to have found and in my recovery.

I’m a much happier/relaxed eater now and rarely slip into my old thinking any more. And when I do, I’m much more compassionate with myself ๐Ÿ’•

7)ย When I turn 50, I want to live in Paris for a month ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท I want to take French lessons and make art every day ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽจ I’ve been putting $20 into my Paris dream account every week since I turned 41 last year.

8)ย I’m mostly a self-taught artist. I’d worked in a non-profit domestic violence organization for 14+ years before I became a full-time artist.

I studied graphic design while I was soul-searching about what I wanted to do with my life but realized I loved illustration much more than design after three years in the program ๐Ÿ’

I don’t regret going through the program – I use the skills I learned every day in my business!

9)ย I majored in Women Studies (now Gender & Sexuality Studies) in college. I happened to take Gender, Race, and Class course one quarter without knowing a lot about it and got immediately hooked. It opened my eyes to the reality of the world and validated my life experience big time.

Yes, I’m a feminist.

10)ย I joined the Board of Directors at , an amazing DV org serving LGBTQ community, last June. It’s been quite a learning curve to get back in the non-profit leadership work ๐Ÿ˜… but I’m honored to be part of it!

BONUS: My sweetie Dave and I met 14 years ago on Craigslist personnel (which no longer exits.)

We had a semi-long distance relationship (he: Orcas Island, me: Seattle. About 3 hour commute one way) for 5 years before he moved to Seattle to be with me โค๏ธ

I can go on and on with tidbits about me but this is it for now. Maybe I’ll continue next year ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

Hope you enjoyed my stories ๐Ÿ˜Š

What are things that most people don’t know about you?

xo

Spring inspired ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

I’ve been at this week/end. Have you been there yet?

I’m in the same booth as last year at #967

As I was getting ready for the show, I realized just how much my work is inspired by nature, especially, florals.

Here are some of my favorites (and maybe, yours, too!)

so colorful!
I love creating imaginary plants, too.
and imaginary cat vase!

Pretty flowers instantly put me in a better mood ๐Ÿ’•

If you’re in Seattle area, I hope you and enjoy all the amazing garden exhibits and vendors!

Have a flower-ly inspired day ๐Ÿ’

xo

ps. you can also shop my mood-elevating goodies anytime!

pps. my next show is in Spokane, 3/6-8 ๐Ÿ˜˜

NY Show Recap

As promised, I wanted to share my National Stationery Show (NSS) recap and reflection with you today.

To be honest, I’ve been dreading it a little bit – sort of hoping you’d forgotten I was gonna write this, but enough people have been asking about how the show went, so I’m showing up in my full vulnerability ๐Ÿ˜†

I feel vulnerable sharing real numbers with you, but I wanted to keep it real… and if you’re a maker/designer yourself and thought about exhibiting there, I thought it would be helpful for you.

So, here are some of my goals and how they went.

Goal 1: Get at least 1 order a day

This was my low goal… I was trying to keep my expectations low because I’d never done the show before and didn’t want to be disappointed.

Well, good thing I had low expectations because I barely made this goal. Total of 4 new orders and 2 reorders.

Does that seem like a low number to you? ๐Ÿค” It did to me.

It felt pretty slow from my perspective, and honestly I was surprised I didn’t see more buyers. When I walked around, I saw some areas were bustling with people, but I was in no way overwhelmed at any point during the show.

Needless to say, I was a little disappointed.

But the quality of the orders I received was high – including , and , so that was really cool โœจ

And it was really nice to meet some of my existing cusomers in real life ๐Ÿ’•

As with any trade shows, often the reward comes after the show, and building relationships is the name of the game.

I’m grateful to have met lovely buyers and fellow exhibitors from all over the country and hope to nurture a long-lasting relationship with many of them.

Update: I’ve received two extra orders so far from the connections I made at the show. Yay ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Goal 2: Stay under budget

I didn’t achieve this goal 100% ๐Ÿ’ธ

My budget was $10K – including booth fee ($2800), booth build out ($3500 – including 3 walls, two colors, graphics, lighting, electricity, carpeting, labor), flight, lodging, food (for me and Dave) printing marketing collaterals, shipping materials, transportations, booth furniture etc. etc.

I haven’t done the actual numbers yet, but I probably went over by 10% more or less.

I’m glad to have hired someone to build the booth for me (it’s with if you’re interested. They’re great.) and it was great to have Dave with me to help, but next time, I probably won’t bring him ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I may still have the company take care of my booth, assuming it’ll be cheaper now that they have my materials…

It took me a year to save up for the show, and as I want to do more than one trade show a year, I’d need to be more mindful about the cost in the future.

Goal 3: Stay healthy

Well, let’s say, I managed to stay healthy during the show! ๐Ÿ˜น I kept on top of washing my hands and getting a good night sleep, so at least I’m happy that we didn’t get sick while we were there.

Goal 4: Enjoy NYC

I’d give ๐Ÿ’ฏ on this one.

Dave and I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood, went to American Natural History Museum and the MET, ate good food every day (, , were some of our favorites) and had a really good time there!

good coffee and ambience at Easy Victor Cafe

Thoughts & Questions:

Will I do this again?

Maybe. It depends on how things shake out in the next several months. The show itself was really awesome – so huge and everyone’s booth was so so good. I consider this the Super Bowl of stationery trade show ๐Ÿ˜† I’m curious to try in a different spot or different season maybe. It remains to be seen.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. I’ll change some things in the future (keep under budget, reach out to any potential buyers beforehand etc.) but I have no regrets about trying. I got lots of nice compliments from buyers and exhibitors alike, which always boosts my confidence.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the show – I’ve had enough time to throw myself a pity party and processed all the things, so I’m feeling pretty good in general. (And germ free) No need to worry. Onward and upward.

Hope you enjoyed my recap!

Talk soon,

xo

ps. I’ll be at next Wed – Sun! Come say hello at booth 967 if you’re around.

Thank you past me for thinking of future me ๐Ÿ”ฎ

Hey friend,

I’ve been sick this week ๐Ÿ˜ท Sad.

So rather than creating a whole new post (I was gonna share my recap about the NY show), I want to re-post from that got a lot of positive reactions this week.

(be sure to zoom in on the caption๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ)

and here is the front of the postcard ๐Ÿ˜

When I sent it, I thought it was super cheesy and kinda embarrassing, but it was really delightful to get it ๐Ÿ’•

Good job, past me, for thinking of future me!!

Don’t be shy about showing yourself love ๐Ÿฅฐ You deserve it and will appreciate it.

Take good care, my friend.

xo

Hi from NYC ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

Just wanted to send you a quick note from NYC!!

As I write this email, I’m sitting in my beautiful booth at National Stationery Show, reflecting on the last, looooong, 4 days ๐Ÿคช

I don’t have many words to describe the experience yet, but it’s been really amazing to be here.

I’ve got new orders, met many new friends, vendors and retailers alike, which is always my favorite part of doing a show โœจ

I’ll write a more in-depth reflection on my experience here later – when I have time (and energy) to think and organize my thoughts after I get home ๐Ÿ˜˜

Hope your week is going well!

Talk soon,

xo

Yuko

 

Off to NY! โœˆ๏ธ

Your girl is all grown up and going to the Big City!๐ŸŽ

I set two goals at the beginning of 2019 – one was , and the other, scary goal was to register for (NSS), which is the biggest stationery trade show in the U.S. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I’m proud to say I was able to accomplish both goals ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ and this week I’m flying to NY to exhibit at NSS!

Maybe you do this, too, but I tend to minimize my accomplishments.

When I reach a goal or a milestone, I think to myself, “Anyone can do that. It wasn’t a big deal. I was lucky. I haven’t reallyย done anything yet.”

But THIS one was hard to ignore.

Sure, I do have that little voice that tells me that you’re not really there yet. Things can go wrong. Who knows, you may come home with nothing to show for.

It was all a big waste of time and money. Who do you think YOU are? You don’t belong on the big stage.

Maybe so.

But, I’m patting myself on the back for doing it!

Just being able to save up for the show is in and of itself a hugeย accomplishment for me. And I know I’ll learn a ton from this experience.

If you’d asked me two years ago if I’d even considered going to the show, I’d had a nervous laugh and given you a vague “no” answer.

Well, I still have a nervous laugh ๐Ÿ˜ฌ but I’m going anyhow.

See, that’s the thing.ย If my business journey has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t have to know everything to start something new.

You are good enough to start now.

You’re capable of much more than you think. You’ve survived all of your worst case scenarios thus far. You’re resilient. You’re resourceful. Take one step at a time!!!

So I take my own advice to heart today. Courage over perfection. I’m taking lots of deep breathes as I tackle my scary goal this week!

Follow me on or if you haven’t already – I’ll be posting pics from my NY trip there!

Thank you for your support and encouragement always. It’s YOU who give me the courage to keep going for my dreams.

xo

ps. My VIP promo ends on Friday 1/31! Be sure to sign up for my email to get the code ๐Ÿ’•

Mushroom love ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„

Tell me something, my friend.

Do you love mushrooms??

Well…I LOVE mushrooms ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ„

They make me so happy with their colors, shapes, and texture – everything about it provokes the fairy understory world that I’m only allowed to peek in in the quiet pacific northwest woods.

They’re so magical… I’m deeply inspired by their presence and they’ve got me dreaming of one day creating a picture book about mushrooms and little creatures living happily together…

(Adding it to the list of things to do when I retire ๐Ÿ˜†)

When I doodle for fun, I often draw inspirations from them, too.

A birthday card I made for Dave last year

wall hanging I made in the ceramics class

 

Obsessedย ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„

Can you spot some of the mushies from the photos in my new design?? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘€

Mushroom Art Print

Mushroom Thank You Card

Tell me if you love them as mush as I do! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ„

xo

ps. You can still shop this mushroom and other new designs at an early-bird VIP rate in my shop! Sign up for my newsletter and get 15% off through January 31st.

pps. Always free US shipping for orders $35 and over.