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.
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It’s mostly me sharing quick updates and doing mini “informacials” if you will 😂 but if you’d like to see me awkwardly talk to my phone camera, be sure to watch them 💕👇🏼
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 😉
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 😆
Here are 10 things you may not know about me:
1) I have an older brother who lives in Japan, and he runs a cute little cafe 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) 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 🙋🏻♀️
3) I’m a Highly Sensitive Person. 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) I have INFJ and Upholder personality traits. I consider myself an idealist who can get a lot done 🙌🏼
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 😬), chances are I’ll say no ☕️
6) I struggled with Orthorexia (= an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating) about 4 years ago. Thoughts on what to eat and not eat were taking over my life.
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 💕
7) When I turn 50, I want to live in Paris for a month 🇫🇷 I want to take French lessons and make art every day 👩🏻🎨 I’ve been putting $20 into my Paris dream account every week since I turned 41 last year.
8) 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 🐒
I don’t regret going through the program – I use the skills I learned every day in my business!
9) 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) I joined the Board of Directors at The NW Network, 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 😅 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 ❤️
I can go on and on with tidbits about me but this is it for now. Maybe I’ll continue next year 👋🏼
Hope you enjoyed my stories 😊
What are things that most people don’t know about you?
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 😆
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? 🤔 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.
And it was really nice to meet some of my existing cusomers in real life 💕
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 🙌🏼
Goal 2: Stay under budget
I didn’t achieve this goal 100% 💸
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 M&J Innovations 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 😬 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! 😹 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 💯 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 (Dig Inn, 5 Napkin Burger, Sophie’s Cuban were some of our favorites) and had a really good time there!
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 😆 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.