Image via Suzanne Miller
Meet Meredith Tabscott, the founder and artist behind Prints by Poppy Mae, gorgeous typography prints just begging to be placed on a gallery wall and Instagrammed.
Her art prints are designed to celebrate the modern girl who is feminine and forward, sweet and sassy, and unique and whimsical. With some pops of color, clever phrases, and sprinkles of glitter, they certainly do just that.
For today’s Unbuttoned With post, Meredith has taken some time to share a bit about her career path and the importance of being gutsy.
A gorgeous gallery wall of Meredith's work on display at WestElm
“The circuitous route to my current career is strange for me to dissect. After failed attempts at novel and screenwriting after my work at the Washington University Writers Institute, I directed my creative energies toward my other loves: fashion and home décor.
My first real entrepreneurial risk came when I developed a handbag line in 1999 called “Ziouziou.” Though it never reached stores, I learned so much with Ziouziou, mostly, how to be unafraid and resourceful and how to work with designers and production specialists.
I traded handbags for clothing in 2010 with my line of children’s dresses and accessories called “Fiona Heavensbee.” Thankfully, Etsy.com was in full swing at that time, and my business saw success there and at local flea markets. However, at the end of the day, I was making pennies after I worked out the amount of time at my sewing machine versus the amount I was charging for my work. I was itching to try something new—something that didn’t rely on models under the age of six. (Ironically, I’ve come to learn that photographing six-year-olds is far easier than photographing interiors.)
Art prints were a natural transition for me. Because of my experiences with both writing and fashion, it was natural for me to play around with color and text. As that was happening, the word-art craze started trending, and bam! I had a perfect fit!
You know that saying about when something is meant to be, the whole universe conspires to make it happen? Well, that’s exactly how it worked out for me, and I’m still in awe at the combination of hard work and luck that got me to where I am today.
After several months of experimentation and editing the product line in my Etsy shop called “Oh, So Poppy!”, I was featured by decoist.com, an online architecture and design magazine. That really got things moving, and it prompted a dozen or so other features on some fab home décor blogs. Eventually, I was invited to sell at West Elm Saint Louis, and I am forever grateful to them. The West Elm opportunity opened more doors, and now, interior decorators are soliciting custom pieces for clients, and my business is growing stronger.
I’ve learned so much with all three businesses. Mostly, I’ve learned to be gutsy. My advice to those just starting is to get out there. Make contacts. Ask for help. Solicit feedback. If I didn’t have the courage to ask, “Hey, this is what I’m doing and I’m wondering if you have advice on how to…,” I absolutely would not be where I am today.
My favorite memory is cold-calling Isabella Fiore for handbag advice, and do you know that she answered her own phone and was willing to chat with me? How cool is that?
It’s just as important to surround yourself with inspirational people. They are the ones who you’ll rely on when you’re stuck or flat on your face. They’re the ones who will tell you that you totally rock and will help you through the rough patches. Self-doubt is a natural byproduct of creativity, so you need to have ways to quiet that voice. My “village,” along with motivational podcasts, does that for me. I’m grateful for my village big time.
As Poppy Mae evolves into the Oh, So Poppy! brand, I look forward to bringing the visions in my head to reality. The blog, Oh, So Poppy! launched in January, and I’m psyched to dust off my writing skills and make some noise on my keyboard. The blog will give me a place to explore other creative avenues which extend from my interests and my Etsy store. I’m energized by the possibilities that exist there (even though learning Wordpress has been an enormous challenge).
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope to see you again on the blog, in my Etsy store, and on Instagram @ohsopoppysblog! XOXO”
Editor's note: Thank YOU for sharing. The idea of surrounding ourselves with inspiration women is exactly why we started this series. Your story is so fantastic and we’re thrilled to be able to share it!
Unbuttoned with Meredith Tabscott
Style Icons: Jean Seberg and anyone wearing Orla Kiely
Favorite Heroine: Elizabeth Bennett
Dream lunch date: with Ernest Hemingway in Paris
Favorite cliché: …when one door closes…
Personal motto: “Why not?”
Idea that changed my life: intuitive eating
Always trying to improve: (and usually failing at) my sad organizational skills
Most envious of: people who have mastered Photoshop
Fashion item I would ban: pleather
Favorite piece in your wardrobe: vintage Frye boots from Goodwill
Biggest extravagance: handbags
Can’t bare to spend on: hair products
Irrational fear of: expiration dates
Brains or beauty: brains
Audrey or Katherine: Audrey
Jennifer Lopez or Lawrence: Lawrence (love her pixie!)
Diamonds or pearls: diamonds