Talk Shop with Katie Wilson, founder of The Good Twin

Katie Wilson is the owner, operator, and all-around maker of The Good Twin, a paper goods line that launched in May of 2014. An illustrator for 10 years, she's built an LA-based brand of candy-colored prints and hand-drawn stationery.

Nearly four years into the business, Katie is expanding offline and opening up a retail shop. Come ask her all about it in person at Talk Shop, Thursday, March 22. Get to know Katie in the Q&A below and RSVP for Talk Shop here.

“The freedom and playfulness of illustration won me over.”

When and how did you decide to commit to making illustration your career?

I have my BFA in illustration, so I committed to it while I was still in school. I originally was planning on graphic design, but the freedom and playfulness of illustration won me over. I love the flexibility of illustration.

You just moved into new studio. Congrats! What’s the first thing you bought or did to make it feel more like home?

Thank you! I'm very excited about the new space. The first thing I did to make it feel like home was paint a big mural on the back wall, behind my desk. I love color, and taking the time to design and hand paint a mural gives me hours to feel out a new spot, and really live in it. After a mural project, I feel a new ownership and pride in a studio. I've done it in every studio we've been in, this is my third.

 Talk Shop with Katie Wilson, founder of The Good Twin

What’s something about the stationery world people would be surprised by?

I think people don't realize how many artists are involved in the stationery industry! My peers in greeting card world are some of the most talented illustrators and designers I know. Cards in particular are such a great way to essentially produce a miniature print that is accessible to most people in a way that fine art often isn't — they're only $5. 

What’s the last card that you sent to someone? I sent three cards out this week: a thank you to my lawyer, who helped me look over a few contracts recently; a sympathy card to a friend who just had to put down her beloved cat; and a birthday card to my dad! You caught me during a snail-mail heavy week.

 Talk Shop with Katie Wilson, founder of The Good Twin

“The biggest lesson I learned from that time was that sustainable, slow growth creates a strong business, but there is value in taking calculated risks.”

You were the co-owner of another print studio before starting The Good Twin. What was the biggest lesson you took away from that when breaking out on your own?

My previous company, Dude and Chick, was a collaboration with my friend John. We started when I was fresh out of art school, and I didn't really have my voice as an illustrator yet. I learned so much about illustrating for print (we did all letterpress at D&C), and I also got a crash course in running a small business, as I handled our books and sales outreach. When I started Good Twin, I felt ready to lean into my own aesthetic, and I also had learned the ways that I wanted to grow and expand my business - expansion that wasn't necessarily on the table for Dude and Chick. The biggest lesson I learned from that time was that sustainable, slow growth creates a strong business, but there is value in taking calculated risks. I've taken a lot of those leaps at Good Twin, and I believe that's what has enabled me to grow and expand over the last three years.

What’s your biggest inspiration: plants or your pugs? Listen, I love my plants, but nothing will ever top my pugs. Peggy and Stevie are my best gals, and Peg has been my constant companion since I started The Good Twin - she kept me company while I worked from home alone, before I hired employees! Those little gremlins are the best inspiration a girl could ask for.

Header image via Paper Chase Press.

Come talk shop with Katie Wilson. You don't want to miss it — RSVP here.

When: Thursday, March 22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Wine, cheese, and mingling at 6:30pm. Talk is at 7pm.

Where: Lumi HQ, 3828 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

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