Biz Spotlight: Libby VanderPloeg Illustration

Time to boost your brand—and boost your sales! With well-designed branding pieces, you can turn casual shoppers into loyal customers.

Take a cue from our latest Small Business Spotlight: Libby VanderPloeg, a Brooklyn -based illustrator and designer who works just a hop, skip and jump from Makr HQ.

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We can’t get enough of Libby’s fun, whimsical aesthetic, and we love spotting her work spotlighted by other folks we love, too, like Food52 andDesign*Sponge. (Psst: Does her style look familiar? Libby’s also the illustrator behind our Classic Thanksgiving kit!)

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As Libby gears up for the flea markets, she’s using Makr to polish her branding. Here’s a bit of Libby’s MO when it comes to rocking her work:

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

The best thing about what I do is that I get to use my imagination pretty much every day, which is an undeniable privilege. I get to make funny things, pretty things, make people smile and laugh. But by no means is this an easy job!  Yes, it involves a lot of fun, but it’s work.  And like with anything you’re passionate about, there will be frustration from time to time (like after days of spinning your wheels trying to get something to work and it’s just not happening). But you learn to keep moving forward and embrace the challenges!

What do you value in great branding?

When branding is done well, it has the power to communicate your character at a glance, be it serious or silly, polished or slapdash. Great branding personifies what you care about. If it’s really effective, then maybe someone will take note and remember you; or better yet, they’ll see something you made and be able to tell that you made it before even looking for the attribution.

What advice would you give those looking to turn a passion into a livelihood?

In the words of RuPaul, “You better work!” No one is going to hand you a business plan or make it easy. I meet up monthly with a group of small business-owning ladies, and the one thing we all have in common is that we are crazy-in-love with what we do. For the most part, we work all of the time, and if we’re not working, we’re thinking about working or having coffee with one another and talking about work. We do so willingly because, like new moms, we worry that if we stop tending our babies then they might not thrive. So we do everything we can to give them a fighting chance. That’s how you turn a passion into a livelihood. You’ve got to be dedicated.  You’ve got to be nimble. You’ve gotta be open-minded. You’ve got to be flexible. But most importantly, you’ve got to really love what you do!

A big thanks to Libby for totally shining in our Small Biz Spotlight!

Studio shot of Libby above by photographer Joanna Donofrio.