Maker Interview is a new section on leroybettyandco.com where we interview a local handmade business owner. This week we interviewed the super talented Pepper from Pepper Raccoon.

1. Tell us a little bit about your business. What do you create? Where are you based?

Pepper Raccoon is my alter-ego who has existed for about a decade. I’ve just recently turned it into a brand for my shop! I sell pins, art prints, and commissioned works at the moment, but am soon to be adding patches and stickers to my selection! I lived in Wellington for a few years (so I have a bit of a base here), and then moved up to the Far North in March.

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2. What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always been really into collecting patches, pins, and other art objects. There’s so many illustrators online, and I’d been slacking on my art for a few years, so I used that as motivation to get started again!

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3. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Nature, my partner’s cooking, other artists, cartoons/comics…pretty much everywhere. I spend a lot of time outside with animals and plants, and my partner is a professional chef, so I get inspiration from drawing what he’s dreaming up in the kitchen.

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4. What do you enjoy about your business? What have been some of your favourite moments?

I love being based online, and being able to connect with everyone over Twitter, Tumblr, and FB. My favourite moments are always connecting with new people, and having people I’ve never met find joy in the things I create.

5. What plans do you have for your business over the next 6 months?

I’m still very new to running my own business, so it’ll likely be balanced against my freelance design job…but I’m planning on creating more pins, stickers, and patches. For October, I’ll be doing a drawing a day for Inktober, and putting that into a zine for sale at the end of the month.

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6. What’s your advice for someone wanting to start their own creative business?

Just do it! As stupid and clichéd as it sounds, there’s no better time to start than now. All you need is one idea. Be kind to other artists and they’ll help you out, but also take the time to find your own manufacturers/printers/etc. Having your own supply chain means you’ll have something that’s truly your own.

7. Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them.

Not at the moment, I rent and am very close to home ownership, when I will absolutely be adopting a dog from the SPCA the second we get settled!

8. Are you a follower of any pets/animals on social media? Which one(s) are your favourite?

I’m always a big fan of @ProBirdRights, which technically isn’t a real animal or pet, but a hilarious bird character.

9. Where can we find you online?

Peep my shop at: pepperraccoon.bigcartel.com
For my design work: peppercurry.com
Follow me on Twitter: sempercaps
Instagram: pepperraccoon
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pepperraccoon

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