Hi, I’m Mim! I’m a planning-obsessed, Award-Winning Online Business Owner, Author and 5-Star Planner Sticker Seller.
I help new sticker makers create planner stickers from scratch that stand out and sell … even if you’ve never made a sticker before!

TPP #62 – How to Profit as a Designer with Carina Gardner

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Welcome to Episode #62 of The Planner Podcast.

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I’m so excited to share this chat with Carina Gardner – you’ll love our conversation about prospering as a designer!

Carina has a Ph.D. in Design from the University of Minnesota. She taught design at the University of Minnesota for five years before starting Carina Gardner, Inc. Carina was also the Creative Director of Carta Bella Scrapbook papers. The Carina Gardner brand has been on dishwater, jewelry, prints, and holiday products for Deseret Books. Her brand Mini Lou has sold products for Nordstrom, Peek Clothing, and 500 independent retailers and museums in the US. Carina currently designs fabrics for Riley Blake Designs and die cut files for Silhouette. She also teaches surface pattern and crafting design to an exclusive Design Mastermind. She currently has the only design education program that teaches designers how to make money as they learn to design. You can find out more about her design strategies on her Make and Design with Carina Gardner Podcast. Carina currently lives in Sandy, Utah with her husband, three children, two cats, and a dog.

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Transcript

Hi, this is Mim Jenkinson and you’re listening to the Planner Podcast. I’m so very excited to share this interview in chat with my amazing friend Carina Gardiner with you today.

Now let me tell you a little bit about her first of all and whether you call yourself a designer now or it’s something that you’ve always wanted to move into, this is going to be a great episode for you. So Carina has a PhD in design from the University of Minnesota and she also taught there for five years before she started Carina Gardiner Inc.

And for those scrapbookers out there she was also the creative director of Carter Bella’s scrapbook papers. Now her brand spans so many different places you all have absolutely seen some of her products and designs, her brand Minilu has sold products for Nordstrom, P-clothing and 500 independent retailers and museums in the US. She also designed for Silhouette and for Riley Blake designs. Now Carina teaches service pattern and crafting design and she has an exclusive design mastermind.

We’re going to go over all of those things today. She also currently has the only design education program that teaches designers how to make money as they learn to design. So you can find out more about her design strategies, the kind of design that I’m talking about too in her make and design with Carina Gardiner Podcast. I’m also going to be on that podcast very soon. Carina lives in Sandy, Utah with her husband, three kids, two cats and a dog.

I know you’re going to get so much out of this conversation today. So let’s get started right now. Carina, I’m so excited that you’re here today. We had an amazing conversation in the last couple of months. And I just, there’s so many questions that I have for you. And I’m so excited to dive into talking to you today. But first of all, welcome. And what do you like to start by letting us know, everyone needs listening know more about you, how you got started, who do you help and how you help them? Amazing. Yes, we have just barely gotten to know each other because Mim came on to my podcast, which is really, really fun. And it’s just been lovely.

We both do a lot of these podcasts and it’s so fun when you meet someone that you’re like, oh my gosh, I love what they’re doing. It’s so fascinating what they’re doing. And you just kind of feel like kindred spirits. So that has been the funnest part about this. So a little bit about me, I’m Carina Gardner. I have a PhD in design and I teach design now. I’ve owned a design business for 15 years. I was the creative director of a scrapbooking company known as Cardobellits, a sister company to Echo Park. And what else have I done? I’m probably most well known for fabric for Riley Blake. They’re my main manufacturer for fabric. And then maybe silhouette because I do a lot of their cutting flials. I have done several videos for them for Michael’s corporation. If you’ve been to a Michael store in the United States, I have done several videos for that. And I’m in probably nine or so online shops. We do clipart and wallpaper and art prints, SVG, cricket and silhouette files.  I don’t even know what else we do. Lots of stuff stickers. And I’m like trying to think what else I’ve done the last 15 years. We own another company called Mini Lou, which is a kids coloring book and paper doll company. And that company, we actually just barely reopened the Etsy shop for that company because it has been mostly digital.

When we started it, we had several deals. We were with 500 independent toy stores. We had a great deal with Nordstrom. If you’ve ever been to Nordstrom kids and museums everywhere. So we were a wholesaler. We did a lot of work with Jane.com. And so I was the CEO of that company. We had 15 designers on staff for that company. When I was the creative director of Carta Bella, we had about between six and eight at any given time. So I love designers. I love working with designers. I love designing. I’m passionate about it. And so a couple of years ago, we started a program called Design Suite. And so I can just work with designers, which is really fun for me. And they get to work with you. When I asked, what do you do? It’s more like what haven’t you done. So that, and I know my silhouette and Cricuters that is picked up at that point, because they will have definitely seen and probably used your beautiful designs. Maybe without knowing, maybe they already know, but it sounds like you just have such a vast experience and background. And you come from a completely different place, certainly to the way that I got started teaching others in the design space.

And also the way that I see others who do similar work to what you do, like it just is entirely different. And I know from our conversation previously, you come in with that teaching, educational, lecturing background too. So can you tell us a bit more about that too? Yeah, it should, I mean, it is really interesting. I’m talking to Mim, she knows so much about the online space. And I’m like, I’ve never heard of that person. I’m so there’s like a little bit of an island because the people I know are actually manufacturers and people in the academic realm. And so I taught at the University of Minnesota, that’s where I got my masters in my PhD in design. And I taught there for about five years. I love teaching there. My specialty is actually typography and packaging design. And I love both of those things. It’s no wonder I ended up at silhouette and doing cricket files and all of that because packaging design is really, really fun. So I did that. I also taught at the Art Institute. And when I left there, it was to start my own design business.

My children were really, really tiny at the time. I didn’t want to be away from them so much. So that’s when I started my design business. So I do have this academic background, which has served me well. It’s been really great. But I really attribute being a creative director at a large scrapping company for kind of like, melding what I currently teach today because something about that really wonderful academic background, melding it with this really business and marketing and savvy sense where we were working with distributors and understanding what customers like. It made me a better designer because I now make things I feel like customers really want. And are fascinated by and like, last Christmas, I had go viral a monstrous gingerbread house that I built out of my isyloet pro machine. Like people weren’t crazy for it. It’s because it’s monstrous. Like it takes two of us to carry it. Wow. And it’s really, really fun.

But just understanding and kind of figuring out like, what is cool? What is fun? What captures people’s attention? And that’s the kind of stuff that kind of gets really fun to design. What is the most enjoyable part of the design experience for you? Oh my gosh. I don’t know if it’s the very beginning or the very end. I love, I just said this on another podcast. I was on this culture podcast. And I was like, I like the last 30 to 10 minutes of a quilt. Like I’m like, I like it. All right, at the end. Cause it’s like that immediate satisfaction of finishing a project and knowing it works. And those of you who have saloon, cricket machines know that things go wrong once in a while. They go wrong once in a while.

And so when you finally get to the end of a project and you’re like, it cut correctly, especially for designers, because sometimes you’re putting things that are flat right in front of you, especially measurements and trying to make 3D structures, but you’re building them flat. When you cut them out and they all really go together and work, we’ve built some other big projects like a haunted mansion and a huge cherry blossom temple. And a lot of them have these crazy curves in it and things that you’re like, I don’t know if that’s going to work. And it’s just so cool when you start putting them together and you’re like, okay, that curved work, the number of tabs worked. Oh, this, you know, we have to trim this up. So I probably the end. Yes. I always like finishing things up. After pregnancy and labor is when they place the baby on your chest. That is exactly it. Oh, baby. I did it. All of those things were worth it. If now, here you are, you’re perfect. That is literally the best example ever. But yeah, it’s just like that finishing moment and feeling like, oh, I did something really cool. Maybe not as cool as have a baby. Baby is pretty cool. Yeah. Speaking from experience, babies are very cool. It’s so cool. Oh, I just love the way that you design how you feel, because it feels very similar to me too. And I’m the same with you. It’s kind of the fun at the end and the satisfaction and just being able to see everything come to fruition. And obviously, they look and enjoy on other spaces. But I also hear what you were saying about the start to be like for me, even just coming up with those ideas and starting to formulate what they might be.

Like, you know, the butterfly in your tummy experience like that. So fun to tell me more about the kind of people that you’ve been helping. And I know that you have an amazing program called Design Suite. So perhaps you could tell us a bit more about that at the same time and who you’re helping it and what the processes that they go through. Yeah. So we have an interesting emphasis. I know there are a lot of online programs out there that, you know, really emphasize teaching, which I appreciate. I know your program does that, which to me, it’s like the most amazing baseline. I think people need more of that, right? Like because we need to know how what the skills are necessary to get there. I’m kind of more, we call us the postdoc program. We like people to have taken other courses out there, actually, isn’t that kind of funny? We like people to have taken other things out there because when they come to us, we need them a little bit more seasoned. We need them to a place where, I mean, we do take some very new people who have never touched certain programs before, but there’s got to be a little bit of understanding about sticker sheets, about Photoshop, about a little bit of illustrator because when you come into our program, our focus is to teach you not only to design, but to teach you how to make money designing. So, our focus is a little different than most others because we very much care about helping you build a design business. Because of that, we think of ourselves as a design program with an MBA in it, and we kind of mesh those together.

Oh, I love the way you describe it. I don’t know why I’m coming up with these ridiculous metaphors today, but I feel like it’s like a training program. We’ll get someone trained like you’re trying to partner, but then you’re making that person marriage material. I like that. That is it. That is a great analogy as well. I’m going to use all of these, man. I don’t know why these are coming from today. That makes so much sense. When I think about some of the bigger programs and the real, like the next step programs that I’ve been a part of, and I sign up for all the things, I think we spoke about that before. I think yes, I would have been able to get a good grounding in this, and I would have definitely had success, but the difference between having success success or having success and flourishing out of the gate, when you do have some of that groundwork already done, I think can make a really big difference. Even now, I think at the stage I am in my business, I think about the courses or the classes that I took years ago and how they are still helping me to this day, and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now, but when you’re ready for that next step, maybe it’s going for a hobby to a business or even a side hustle to a fully fledged business, or maybe you want to be on a bigger platform and have your work and your designs seen by a much bigger audience, standing on a much bigger stage, I think that it sounds like that’s where designs really comes in, would that be right?

That is exactly right. Because of that, we invite people to, we have a really inexpensive boot camp, it’s called Design Boot Camp, and we love people, it’s like $27. We love people to go to that first because we will open up design speed, but for us, it’s a filter, because that way you can see if our program is right for you, and if we think you are also right for the program, we’re kind of interesting that way, I think a lot of programmers are like, we want everyone in because you’re beginner and we’re getting you started, we’re kind of not exactly that way, not that we’re like, non-exclusive, we’re super exclusive, I mean, inclusive, that’s the word I’m looking for, inclusive, we’re super inclusive, and we’re not super exclusive, it’s just more of, we want our members to succeed, and our program is such that I know everybody in our program, and I know what you’re working on, I know how many products you listed last month or last week, and because of that, we have a high success rate, I would say right now, it’s so crazy, our average for people to start making money is about eight weeks. So like, it is crazy fast, because we can get you from beginning to like getting going so quickly, especially depending on the season you’re in, we always tell everyone six months, but man, if we can push it faster than that, we do, we’ll push it pretty darn fast, and so that’s what really changes, that’s why there’s like kind of a divide between our program and you know, kind of what everybody else is doing, and part of it is also because I didn’t understand this online space, and so I built the program the way I would as kind of a professor being like, okay, this is what I need you guys to do in order to, this is your capstone project, your your job is to make money, and we’re going to figure out how to design in a way that provides income where you can meet the customer where they are, and it’s just been a joy, like watching these women build careers and succeed, it takes a while.

As you know, design businesses are just like any other business, it still takes about three years to really ground a business, and we like to be there for year one, because if we can set you off in the right path, man, the faster you go, it’s crazy. I can absolutely understand that, and I think that that applies in any space, but and just giving them that grounding from your experience as the designer, as the creative director, as the professor, you know, so many, it’s just a real holistic program from the sounds of things, and I can tell very clearly that you really care about the people that you’re bringing into. You’re amazing. They’re amazing. You love your members too. I think this makes this job, like, it doesn’t feel like a job. When you feel like all the members are your friends, and you kind of of like, oh my gosh, I just love seeing people succeed, and we do kuku things in our program. I shouldn’t say all the kuku things we do, but I mean, I see a lot of my members on Marco Polo. We have a Marco Polo feed. You know, and we have a lot of members, and people will hop on and say, oh my gosh, I made a sale today, or oh my gosh, I just put up my new Etsy shop, or oh my gosh, I created a told me I knew you’d go do this, and I totally got in, or Carina, we have something called Design Suite Agency, so we have people asking for logos and stuff, they pay our designers to do it, and it’ll be like, oh my gosh, I got this job, and I didn’t think I could get it, it’s just, it’s so incredible to see and hear people winning.

And the other thing that’s so interesting is sometimes we get designers, you know, I talk to a lot of designers before they come in, and they’ll say, you know, I’m just not sure if I’m confident enough to do this, and I said, here’s the crazy thing about this program, you get in here, and you have like the biggest cheerleading spot behind you, because you’ll come in, you’ll be like, I don’t know if I’m good enough, everyone’s like, this is amazing, look how beautiful this work is, and it’s, it comes from a place of genuineness, right? Because they’re all doing the same thing, and I think people need a confidence boost because they don’t realize how good their work actually is.

They’ve been busy doing it in isolation, and so then when they bring it out and they put it in front of people in a safe environment, and everyone knows how good it is, because I don’t take people who are bad in my program, just kidding. Like really and truly, it doesn’t take a lot of good mentorship to get people into a good spot. That’s the crazy thing about design. It’s a step by step learn formula, just like anything is, and it’s just time putting in the time to learn how to do it. And I think the difference between being taught or trained and having mentorship is so different to do, and having that combination of the both is and the community, and I notice that you said a safe community, because some spaces don’t feel safe, whether it’s because you, especially in an area that could be competitive, you don’t want to share designs necessarily, or you are concerned about feedback, especially if you are coming from a space where you haven’t been to the TechShed with others, and maybe there’s some mindset challenges, just having that combination of the taught skills, the mentorship, and the safe environment to share, I think is a beautiful combination, and what is lacking in some other spaces. Yeah, we don’t really have that issue.

We even had the other days in a mentor meeting, and we had a newer designer come on who is trying to do Glow Forge earrings, and one of my older designers who’s been very successful at Glow Forge earrings came on and gave and was like, oh, you need to do this, and you need to do this, and she was like, oh my gosh, thank you, thank you, thank you. We don’t really have issues. The other issue is that everybody does such different things, and design work can be, and should be unique, right? So it shouldn’t matter that you’re in the same category, like you’re the same category stickers. It shouldn’t matter, because everyone’s design work is unique, and so you’re carving out that space for yourself in that niche. It’s just fine. I’ll tell me, and I’m sure the list is endless, but what kind of products and results are you students getting like, oh, what kind of things would we see that they’re doing? Oh my gosh, we are designing everything. Paper, digital paper, fabric, digital fabric, seamless patterns, glow forage or laser engravers, SVG files for people.

But more like print and cuts, kind of more situated for that. People who do 3D, like a lot of 3D stuff, the clip art stuff is really, really cool. Sublimation, lots of sublimation, lots of stuff with sawgrass, lots of POD, like print on demand, websites that we kind of like will look at and kind of figure out how to run a business that way. So like t-shirt designs and all of that good stuff. But really, I mean, it’s really all about platform, right? Choosing platforms, and we have several platforms we love our designers to be on. We like them to be on multiples because we’re always trying to build multiple streams of revenue and then figuring out how to repurpose artwork, right? So if you draw a kitty cat and you’re doing it, we like vector, I know that a lot of your students do procreate and pixel based. Yeah. Yeah. And so, which is and so we’ll teach them how to take something like that, put it into a vectorized program.

And the reason we like it in a vector program is because if we can build it in an illustrator program, that means we can repurpose it as clip art and then repurpose it later as an SVG file and then repurpose it later in an all over pattern for fabric and then build it as a seamless pattern later or then bring it into a digital scrapbooking shop. So there’s just, we like lots of avenues because it really helps with the overall income of a designer. Oh, and so all for repurposing, especially now when there are so many opportunities digitally to do so, to like let’s maximize them and also note that you were talking about having multiple income streams which for me as a business owner has always been incredibly important and it still is now. I mean, especially with changes in the economy and things like the pandemic, you know, just all of these things maybe have been pushed into a tighter timeframe than the Mowitz theory and previously these dips and trust them peaks but it’s very real.

It’s the way that business is often do need to run and and it’s also fun. Like to be able to use a design for example and take it and use it in so many different ways and see it come to brand new lives in a different way. I think that that as a designer would be just so rewarding too and we often don’t know how our designs are going to end up either. So I just think it’s super fun to be able to create new adventures with people. Sounds like your poem is like a choose your own design adventure in many ways where the outcome for one student could be entirely different to another. Yeah and that’s part of the reason it does feel like a safe environment because just because you choose to do sublimation tumblers right now doesn’t mean in a year from now you’re going to not do endless fabric patterns right?

And since everybody’s delving in and doing it with their own design unique style it’s really not like a competitive environment. If anything it’s more like oh you did tumblers is there any way you can teach me how to do tumblers? Oh I see how you did that. Oh okay right because they’re going to do it in their style and maybe they’re all pastels and this person is to share and give to other people which I think is a really important thing. Oh I agree with you and there’s something else that I want to talk to you about because speaking of sharing you have put together a new baby, a new book to share some experience and knowledge. So Corinne is holding up her beautiful book design plus it and plus but it’s the most gorgeous front cover I think I’ve ever seen on a book. It’s absolutely beautiful. Tell us more about it and where we can get our hands on it. This is so crazy.

So this is the hardcover version which I highly recommend. There is a paperback version as well and it is a little bit cheaper but the reason it’s as expensive it is. First of all if anybody has ever sold a book before you know you make zero money on it, right? Like you literally do it of the happiness and goodness of your heart and to dissume any information out there. So it’s a full color book and that is why it is a little bit more pricing but you know it’s design so it had to be in color. So this book is available on Amazon.com. If you put in Carina Gardner or you put in design profit and prosper it will show right up. If you are unsure about my spelling if you go to design profitprosper.com there’s a link there to get it on Amazon as well. So it’s just on Amazon so you can get it anywhere in the world which is really fun. This book is like kind of my core models that I use to determine profitability. So the crazy thing is everybody thinks design is this amazingly subjective thing. It’s actually not. And business is definitely objective. There are things you can check off a list right to say whether you’re on the right path or not. And so that kind of gets accumulated in this book.

I have several models that I use in two weeks. I’m teaching to the entire department at BYU at a hoe. It’s about 250 people and their professors because they’re starting a surface pattern program. And I’m going in and talking to their department and we’re using this book as a guide. So it’s like the core things you need to understand about creating a creative business. And what you need to do for profitability. To me, the models are actually relatively simple. I’m probably at this point, I teach a lot, the design process model and it teaches people how we have to cycle through to get to profitability. But there are also some simple models in there, like the questioning problem solving model that I find that creatives and crafters and designers don’t ever think about, you know, if you have a problem, you go, oh, I have a problem. Now what? Okay, we’ll ask some questions about it. Okay, what are some solutions? Let’s try one of the solutions. Oh, it didn’t work. Let’s cycle back around again. I mean, it seems really basic, but very often because we’re not in a business mindset when we’re doing our creative work, we don’t think, hey, there are some things we can do here that would help alleviate some of the problems that we’re finding in our profitability. That makes so much sense. And I think it comes down to experimenting sometimes, which you would do with your designs and your art and you craft the whole thing can be an experiment on many experiments.

And it’s the same when it comes to business and possibility, isn’t it, like experimenting, trying new things and looking at the data, which sounds very boring, but can actually be super fun to see what’s working, what isn’t and what changes can be made on new things that you can try. Yeah, 100%. I listen, as a designer, as someone who loves creative stuff, looking at the data, like when someone says that to me, I’m just like, oh, or my friend, may you can, Megan will be like, look at the spreadsheets. And I’m like, no, no, to the spreadsheets, I don’t see them. I like my spreadsheets, but like looking at general spreadsheets just make me a little bit crazy. So if you’re in that boat, that’s okay. It’s just more about logically thinking and thinking through if this isn’t working, if this sticker sheet isn’t working or I’m not telling any of it, hmm, maybe that theme didn’t work.

It’s not usually about the artwork, you guys, it’s the crazy thing. It’s usually not about the artwork. It’s usually about themes and what people and customers like or are palatable to them, right? And so it’s more about experimenting with ideas, experimenting with styles, experimenting with themes, until we find the ones that match up. And color, like, oh, I think it’s so subjective. And I love that. And I love that you still have, you have that creative thinking when it comes to those experiments too, which is so necessary. But for somebody new in the space, they might not have kind of evolved their mindset to when, even understand that that kind of thinking is possible for them, which is where you come in to mentor them and help them get to that point.

Yeah, design is so you guys, it’s, you know, everyone’s like, I don’t know if I’m an artist or I don’t know if I’m good enough. You are. You’re totally good enough. You’re good enough. You just needed someone to tell you good enough and kind of like nudge you in this direction. So the pink palette’s not working. Let’s, let’s go try purple. You know, like we, we just don’t know until we know. And here’s the thing, if we’re being honest, customers like not great stuff too. And so maybe your most beautiful thing, the most beautiful sticker sheet you’ve ever designed in your life isn’t selling well.

It’s not because it’s not beautiful. It’s just what customers do and don’t like. Oh, and it’s all feedback. And I spoke about this in my Instagram race. And they see back his just feedback. It isn’t good or bad. It’s literally just feedback. And it can be a gift and a message for us to try something new. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Yeah, it’s rough though, don’t you think? Like you have to grow a thick skin around it. Yeah, I am. Are you good at it? It’s getting thicker at the grand old age of four to four. It’s getting thicker. It’s still a bit thin at times for sure. And I think it just comes with the time that the more that you put out there, the more feedback we’re going to get, whether it’s a design, business, anything at all. And the more successful we are, the more we experiment, the more that we’re consistent and trying, we are going to get more feedback through. So I try and see that as a good thing, you know. And it is a message from it, even if it’s a message when I receive feedback, but actually I’m on the right track. So it’s still feedback, that’s fine, but I’m on the right track anyway. But when it comes to sales and selling things, again, it’s data isn’t it, you know, like we can very easily see from a higher level perspective where things and it might like you say, they are super simple change or it might be pairing something better. Look a bit, or it could be timing and seasonality. There are so many different things that come into it.

But as a design scientist, you know, we can still uncover a lot of those things and experience definitely helps, but also just having that mindset, I’m going to try and see what happens. Oh, I love that, Mim. I think that I just am going to try. I think that’s sometimes the one that you try. So true. Tell me, before we wrap up, though, I’d love to know before we talk about how people can find out more about you. What do you love the most about this? What do you love the most about the people you’re working with and how you’re helping them?

Oh, my gosh, seeing people win is way better than even seeing me win. You know, I think also when you’ve done what we’ve done amazing things, big scrapbooking lines, big deals. I’ve just we’ve done a lot of things. And I’ve been happy for me and they’ve been very cool. It is a totally different experience. It’s kind of like watching your kids win for the first time something. That is what it feels like in design suite. The first time I just got a message. It was like a month ago with one of our new designers. She was like, oh, my first saying, you’re old. 30:23 And she was so excited. She was like, I could have never done this by myself. And I honestly, I was like, this is amazing. And then I opened up the community. And someone else has said, oh, my gosh, who’s also brand new, I just had five cells in a row. And I’m just like, and that’s what like I get chills because I’m so excited for them because what they’re trying to create is possible. I, you know, I had another designer who’s been with me now for a little over a year.

And she said, you know, I was talking to my husband last and I said, I am literally living my dream life like now. I just wanted to be a designer. And without this program, I couldn’t have done it like this is my dream life. And that’s the kind of thing that pumps me up that I get to really change people’s lives. Like their trajectory of their lives, they get to spend their day designing and putting up product and making money from it. I don’t know if there’s anything better. It’s pretty phenomenal. Oh my goodness. I’ve got the response. I relate so much to every part of that. I feel exactly the same way about the amazing people in my community too. And like you say, it’s the same as when your kids succeed at something. And you know what too? When somebody comes into say, I made a sale, I made my first sale, I’ve made my 10th or my 100th sale. It’s given them the space to have people to share that with you really get that too, which is very different when you’re telling your partner or your friends. And it’s amazing to celebrate with different people, but just knowing that you’re celebrating with people who understand what came before that and how big of a milestone that is. I think that’s amazing too. So I think I’d love the fact that you’re creating such a beautiful environment to others in a community to help them fly and flourish and share too.

So exciting. It’s fun. It’s fun. So, tell me when is the next design boot camp or how can others find out more about design suite? I’m not 100% when this is coming out. If it’s coming out kind of the week that we’re doing it, our next one is the first week of April. We’re actually in the middle of a design boot camp right now. I usually do one once a month, once every two months, so we open it up. But we also have an amazing free training that if you want to find out about design suite, you can just go find out about it. It’s at koreanagardnercourses.com slash free training. It’s a workshop. It’s about an hour and a half. And what I do is talk through the three secrets in the industry that people don’t realize about design. So, I kind of, I delve into those. I think it’s a really good way for you to get to know me. Kind of my philosophies about design. And then I do tell you about design suite. And so if that is of interest, you can check that out. But if you’d like to come to a design boot camp, that is, it’s fun. We have a pretty good time. It’s an hour every day with me. I’m training on strategy. There’s a couple of illustrator classes to kind of get you going.

And I’m actually excited. I’m going to do an illustrator class for you and a summit soon. And a craft pro for the summit is coming up in June. And you’re going to be anyone listening. If you’re going to the summit, you’re going to be absolutely blown away by the class that Carina’s putting together. This is not just a standard summit class. This is going to blow blow everyone’s minds and be so substantial. So I can’t wait for them to see. My goal is to make you guys all want to take and learn illustrator. I love create, we use pro create and our program. I think pro create has probably been one of the big game changers in the last five years. Really and truly in the design industry. But like if you can marry that bad boy to some Photoshop and some illustrator. Oh my gosh, you’re kind of unstoppable. That’s mind in my husband’s next step. I think I told you that he’s in on illustrator. So as soon as we think that they want illustrator, the better is a little bit of a technical joke. You might need your help. Oh, that’s so amazing. And I’m going to join Design Bootcamp too because it sounds like so much fun. And it sounds like it’s amazing access to be able to learn even more from you.

So I’ll make sure to link the I’ll link the book and I’ll link design bootcamp and I’ll link design suite below so that everyone can go and find out about those things. And where’s the best place to follow you, generally? Just come hang out with me on Instagram. I’m usually talking about design and showing all our new products. We have some really cool things happening. And I’m going to tell you guys some secrets. Okay. The biggest secret is we are coming out with a brand new YouTube series. So go on Instagram. It’s just Carina Gardner. So Carina Gardner. And you can from there, link to all the other things we’re doing.

But we’re doing a brand new YouTube series where we have been buying short-term rentals, really nice houses. And we are styling them. And you will see brand new wallpaper collections from me, art print collections from me that are being styled in all of these houses that we’re renting out. So it’s so fun because I’m showing some of the surface pattern design that’s happening behind. Like we’re designing the wallpapers as we’re styling them. It’s kind of nutty. And so it’s just kind of fun to see that process because it’s like you’re building basically a custom home because it’s all custom stuff. But then we’re providing the ability for you to also buy those wallpapers or the art prints that we’re using in these houses.

So it’s just a real life way to see design in action. And I haven’t really gotten to do that a lot because if you’re doing SVG files, we’re just making it right. We make it and then maybe we show it in a space or we’re showing, you know, scrapbooking products. We make the layout and then we’re done. We put it in an album and it’s, you know, it’s done. So this is the first time we’re really showing, okay, here’s a pattern that actually used to be a fabric collection and we’ve turned it into a wall paper. We’ve changed all the colors and look how it transforms a space. Staging the whole creative house. It’s fun. It’s fun.

The fun and the possibilities for that will be endless. I can’t wait to watch that. So you’re going, you’re talking about that on your Instagram channel. So that’s why we can go and find out more and sign up to watch. Amazing. Thank you so much for being with us today, Carina. I could literally talk to you all day and you kind of do. We’ll get on together a little bit of the conversation. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this chat with you today. I can’t wait to see you at our Santa Clara Po Summit in June and thank you.

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I hope you enjoy learning how to make planner stickers or how to start a sticker business!

I’ve been making and selling stickers for journals and planners since 2016 and it’s become a wonderful and creative way to turn my hobby into a side hustle, then full-time online business.

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.