Simple Joys / When Kelli Ann Harada answers the phone, you can immediately hear in her voice the adorability so apparent in her artwork. No one else could’ve started [doodlipoop.com], the webstore featuring punny and heartwarming designs on stationery. These designs can make even the coldest of shoulders thaw (which may come in handy when you send out the inevitable oops-you-got-me-something-for-Christmas-and-I-didn’t-get-you-anything cards).
“I really wanted to create stuff that I could brand as my own and share it with people,” says Harada, who graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with Art and Marketing degrees in 2009. Up until she started doodlipoop (an ambigram, if you didn’t already notice) nine months ago, she spent her time freelancing as a graphic designer. “I wanted to make stuff that was cute, quirky and nerdy, because I hang out with a lot of quirky and nerdy boys,” she laughs, so she turned her hobby into a business.
Some of Harada’s designs include a piece of toast popping up to say hello, a baby dinosaur hatching from an egg and a unicorn, but she says she’ll draw anything that comes out of her pen, as if a vessel of all things cute.
“I sit down at the computer and–whatever comes out of my pen–I can decide within five minutes if I like it or not,” Harada says. “If I can scribble it in five minutes, it’s raw enough from my heart that I’m communicating something simple and joyful.” And while her designs can seem basic, you’d be hard-pressed to find something elsewhere that makes you feel as good.
Throughout 2013, Harada hopes to expand her business by selling her work at boutiques and expanding into mass-production of her products. Currently, she can only print T-shirts once a month by renting an industrial iron and heat-transferring individually cut designs–because of this, she says each shirt is unique–and she recruits her fiancé and friends to help package orders of stickers and cards that she prints on a made-to-order basis at home.