Behind the Scenes: Ruff House Art

Our boxes wouldn't be what they are without the amazing artists and small businesses we partner with each month.  Thanks to them your boxes are filled with the best in small batch products!  We had a chance to catch up with Jill, founder and creative director of Ruff House Art, whose letterpress cards were featured in our August box. 

Tell me a little about you and why you started Ruff House Art.
In my former life, I was a marketing graphic designer and I worked at various marketing and branding firms for about 5 or 6 years out of college. In early 2009, I fell victim to the poor economy and was let go of my job. I took it as an opportunity to start the business I had always dreamed I would own “someday”. I started in the wedding stationery industry and once that was established I added a retail/wholesale product line. And most recently we expanded once again with a brick & mortar in November of 2014. 

I love that having low environmental impact is a goal for your company.  Why was this particularly important to you and your business?  And how do you achieve this?
I feel that it is important for every company, not just a stationery company, to be aware of the environmental footprint. We should all do what we can to help conserve and reduce waste. We aim to source all our paper to have at least some recycled content. We operate our presses without using harsh cleaning chemicals (our presses our cleaned with crisco!). 

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I am inspired by my everyday life. Often the start of a card is sparked by something my daughter says or an experience I have had. My creativity seems to be rooted in my daughter’s hilarious personality, my husband and I’s deep friendship and relationships within my family & friends. I am also inspired by the wonderful stationery industry and the massive talent out there. 

How do you “balance” owning your own business and a family?
It’s tough and a daily, sometimes hourly, struggle. I feel like I constantly have to remind myself that there will always be work, not everything will happen in one day and that I need to take time for myself and enjoy my family. My family and my business overlap on so many fronts. My daughter and husband are often in the shop with me on the weekends and it is just part of our normal routine. 

How do you like to spend your downtime away from the studio?
My down time is typically pretty low-key. Evenings are spent with my husband and daughter (soon to be daughters!). We cook dinner, read books, play games and do normal “life with kids” things. Outside of our normal routine, we enjoy family bike rides, strolls downtown and generally just doing outside activities!