Today on day five of the 12 Days of Christmas #WishList; We bring you an interview and showcase of the works of Helena Pion. We recently got a chance to talk to Helena, Helena and I discuss how her designs are created, her social media experiences? and What her #WishList for Christmas is in 2010.
Hi Helena, It’s great to introduce yourself to the Design Juices readers. Could you please tell us how the Helena Pion store came together and what it is your store brings to the world of online t-shirts, shoes, binders, stamps… and much more!
About a year ago, a friend urged me to join Zazzle because of my photography. I had never thought of selling products with my images, but I gave it a go, not thinking too much of it. Soon, I went beyond photography, started designing and haven’t looked back since. I create things I’d buy for myself or others, rather than following trends. I never create something which doesn’t come naturally.
Could you walk us through one of your designs? How this design was created? What was the inital idea? How succesful has it been? Who are its target audience?
I can mention one of my Halloween designs. Regrettably, it’s only on an invitation, but it’ll be on other products next year. For this Graveyard & Castle Hallowe’en Party Invite, I used several elements to create an eerie feeling, appealing to youthful people – perhaps teenagers or modern couples. I wanted it to be simple but effective. The back is slightly different and integrates a moody poem for the special evening. I always take as much care on the back of invitations as on the front. All text is customizable, as well as the background colour. It has sold a couple of times and became somewhat popular for having received a Zazzle’s Today’s Best Award (TBA) on September 24th 2010.
You have a healthy fan base with a fanpage on Facebook, How do you interact with your fans on Facebook (& Twitter?) and Would you say in todays online world, connecting with fans through social media is essential?
Essential. Definitely. You must understand their needs and also try to promote your designs in a way that’s not spamming. A balance is needed. I try to befriend my “fans” (a word I dislike) on Facebook, so that they actually know me and not just my work/stores or promotion side. I also have a Twitter account, yes. @helenapion I use it mostly for promoting, as I feel people who use it are looking for something specific and not friends as such (which does occur nonetheless), as most of the private conversations take place through private messages.
You design products for all kinds of events and occasions for throughout the year, Is there a particular event that you love to design for the most?
Hm… That is a difficult question. My favourite event of the year is Christmas, but this is my first Holiday Season on Zazzle, so I don’t have many of those designs, although I recently did open a Christmas store. Next year will be better So, I’d have to say Halloween has been my favourite so far.
Will Helena being doing anything special for Christmas and New years?
I don’t care much for New Year’s. It makes me jittery, somehow I always celebrate “my” New Year on my birthday. I’ll be spending Christmas with my immediate family, in Portugal. We are not many, but we are merry
Complete this sentence: “All i want for Christmas is…”
David. My fiancee is Canadian. I am Portuguese. For the last two years, Christmases have been difficult, as we have our own families and I’m not a Canadian resident yet, so we never know when we will see each other again. Air fares are expensive! But we always make our own Christmas before or after the actual date, depending when we are together.
Helena Pion: Favourite Designs
Graveyard & Castle Halloween Invite
2011 Canada Flowers Calendar
Gnarly Rainbow Skateboard
Bright Easter Eggs Button
Thanks to Helena, for talking her time out with this interview today. Tomorrow we will be interviewing and featuring Lady Umbrella. #WishList
Special thank you to Greg Wilson of @Your_Say on twitter, for event social media consultation.
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