Meet the Maker Feat. FINEASSLINES
With stationary that speaks to your inner child, FINEASSLINES is the purveyor of all things relatable, quirky, and authentic. The Los Angeles based company specializes in greeting cards, gift wrap, and blankets that are anything but normal. We sat down with the founder, Sophia Elias, to learn all about the brand.
What inspired you to launch your brand?
It pretty much started out of fear and desperation. I was in college taking night classes and auditioning for TV and film projects during the day, but I wasn't happy. Earning a degree and writing essays about nonverbal communication was not making my life path any clearer. Acting was a joke, and by joke I mean I didn't have the mental wherewithal to deal with 20 people at a network deciding whether I was worthy of a job. Out of frustration, I think I naturally reverted back to what I loved as a child, which was doodling. On days where I wasn't auditioning or writing essays, I'd make little cartoons. At first, I was just using it as a creative outlet, but then I thought, why not monetize these doodles? It doesn't cost much to start an Etsy shop. What did I have to lose but a few dollars? I opened my Etsy shop and decided to take up the very obsolete art of greeting card making. I truly was not expecting this to go anywhere, but as I started getting more orders, I found myself wanting to create more. The more orders I had to fill, the more motivated I was to somehow build this into my career. By the time I graduated college, I was fortunate enough to be able to make this my full time job.
What is the aesthetic of your brand?
Naïve, two-dimensional, colorful...it's definitely juvenile!
What was the most challenging part of launching your business?
Probably time management. I'm the only person working for FINEASSLINES at that moment, so allocating a certain amount of time toward packing orders, designing new collections, bookkeeping, and marketing has been extremely challenging.
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
If my inner child is awake that day, I can find embarrassing or punny dad-jokes just by observing my own conversations or listening to other peoples' conversations. Of course, pop culture, fashion, and celebrity fandom are a huge part of my inspiration as well.
What’s your favorite item you’ve designed for the brand?
So far, I'm really pleased with my new "color series" of cards. These are literally just A2 cards with colored backgrounds, but it's a whole new world for me. Up until about a year ago, I was printing all of my cards myself on a computer printer. I always wanted to have some sort of colored or textured background, but it was too difficult to print that way on a Canon inkjet. Now that I've outsourced my printing, I have the freedom to try out new design concepts, including colored backgrounds. I also just released gift wrap, so I'd really love to expand upon that more throughout the year.
Why did you choose POOLTRADESHOW?
It's an ideal place to connect with like-minded businesses and customers who are interested in art-forward specialty items.
What is your favorite part of POOLTRADESHOW?
With so much of my business being online, POOLTRADESHOW gives me the unique opportunity to connect with customers in person. Rather than printing a bunch of shipping labels and filling orders alone in my office, I get to see the faces and hear the stories on the other side. I think this is an invaluable experience. My customers are ultimately the decision makers in my business, so seeing which designs they laugh at or connect with really helps inform my creative process as well.
What’s next for your brand?
I definitely plan on expanding the "color series" cards throughout the year. I also have an idea for a whole series of gift wrap, but I'm gonna keep that a secret for now!