Heather Stillufsen, an artist native to Westfield, N.J., has always had a passion for illustrating. At a time when she needed a little extra money, she decided to start selling her work through Facebook. It all started naturally after she posted some of her designs to her personal Facebook page, where people were requesting them on greeting cards. She realized that this could go somewhere, so she went with it. From that moment on, she has drawn something new every morning. Over the years, her Facebook page has grown to have over 830,000 likes.
In 2005, she turned her hobby into a full-time job by opening up Rose Hill Design Studio. Through her Etsy shop, she now offers over 500 different products, ranging from calendars to greeting cards. All of Stillufsen’s prints sold through her Etsy shop are handmade, and she’s sold over 12,000 items so far. That’s a pretty impressive number for a one-woman business. She also has her products printed and sold through Papyrus, Leanin’ Tree and Blue Mountain Arts, but is always looking for new opportunities and ways to reach more people.
She gets her inspiration from every aspect of her own life. Her friends and family definitely influence her artwork, but so do random strangers. Someone she sees reading a book on a bench in the local park could inspire her next drawing just as much as her two daughters playing together. Her customers love the beauty and simplicity of her designs and they leave amazing reviews about her artwork and products. They are constantly waiting for new designs to be posted on Facebook, planning out which prints they will order from her Etsy shop next.
Stillufsen’s designs have a very specific aesthetic that caters to women. She has always loved the fashion industry, so she enjoys drawing girls in outfits that she would wear. They resemble the sketches of fashion designers. She says that she prefers to draw women and fashion simply because she’s not good as good at drawing men. She also loves drawing flowers, patterns and anything inspirational. Many of her prints and designs also have a quote written on them. Her favorite inspirational quote is, “Believe in yourself and your dreams first. You can be anything you want to be.”
After establishing a successful business through the internet, Stillufsen still hasn’t stopped dreaming. She continues to set goals for herself and accomplishes them one step at a time. She keeps vision boards in her office to remind her of her goals. Stillufsen has a book about sisters coming out in September. In the future, she hopes to illustrate a children’s book as well as design everything from plates and cocktail napkins to clothes and wrapping paper.
Stillufsen’s designs are great for gifting to all of the lovely women in your life. Her journals are perfect to send to your sister to let her know you’ve been thinking of her. Your mom would love to receive one of these greeting cards in the mail, reminding her how much you love her on Mother’s Day.
Assignments submitted as part of journalism, public relations and integrated communications classes.