Happy Dappy Bits is a stationery company with the cutest designs. Obviously, it’s one of my favorites. Its owner and designer, Jane Berta, is also delightful and adorable. How do we know? Well, check out our interview below:
Why Happy Dappy Bits? What’s the story behind the name?
I’ve always been drawn to cute and happy things by nature (I also tend to find many things to be cute), and I have a tendency to rhyme a lot in my day to day conversations. After kicking around a bunch of names, Happy Dappy Bits clicked. I wanted something that would convey the spirit of my brand, and also give me flexibility if I decide to move beyond paper products. I chose the word “bits” because I’m also a big fan of computers and video games.
What was the moment when you realized that you wanted to “venture on your own” as opposed to working for a company? What made you decide to create Happy Dappy Bits?
I had been a Graphic Designer and Art Director for years; working for various corporations before deciding to pursue more freedom in my design work. I still have a passion for corporate design and branding, but I do enjoy the creative freedom of being my own boss. I feel that whatever we do in life, it needs to be fulfilling in some way, and sometimes that requires a big (and oftentimes scary) change. Moving from the office and cubicle to the home studio was a shift but I have worked from home in the past so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. I feel empowered to be working on my own creative and, most of all, eco-friendly-focused designs.
Where do you find inspirations for your gorgeous card designs?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the things I say and do with my immediate family — my fiancé and our cat, a big orange Maine Coon named Bubba, as well as my dad and sister. I also find a lot of inspiration in nature, drawing from my childhood growing up and playing in the forest & woods with friends and family. Those things combine together to form playful designs filled with the colors of nature. They also influence the eco-friendly papers I choose, the water-based paint I use on some of my designs like my popular travel journal as well as the natural pencils that accompany all my journals — and my packaging materials, too!
Do you have a studio? What do you love about it?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have an encouraging and supportive partner; he didn’t mind arranging furniture in a way to set aside a work area in our living room — it has become a pretty sizable office area! Over the years it’s evolved into an office/studio space where I can do everything from design work on the computer to production on a crafting table just a swivel of the chair behind me! The studio itself has big windows with tons of natural light, and a view of the little city here and I just love it. The hustle and bustle outside is a nice complement to my quiet little studio.
Favorite color combos:
Oh, I have so many favorite color combos! Currently peachy pink corals and teals, with mints is my fave. In my non-work life I love to combine contrasting neutrals with bright pastel colors, lights with darks. Rich navy blues with pastel bright aquas. My plan this year is to include more of these types of combinations in my work.
I absolutely love fonts, though I have been spending more time with my own hand lettering lately. There was a period in college during an independent study that I considered pursuing type design. So, naturally I’m drawn to fonts! I find myself gravitating towards simple, clean fonts. My favorite font at the moment is Intro, simple and lovely. Century Gothic is a good clean text font. Strangelove Text is a font I still really love because of its simple hand drawn quirky feel. My favorite place to look for fonts is myfonts.com, and I absolutely adore their newsletter — it is one of the few newsletters I actually enjoy reading regularly, it is so inspirational! And I’m always on the lookout for new and unique fonts.
If you didn?t work in the field of design, what do you think would your job be?
I knew I wanted to pursue some form of art when I was very little. There was never a doubt in my mind about it, it was really a matter of deciding between the genres of arts/crafts/fashion because I loved them all! But, I also had a few ideas in an alternate universe — singer (admittedly not the best at vocals, but it doesn’t stop me from humming along to a catchy tune), a backup dancer (I might be dating myself here, but do you remember In Living Color?), a stand-up comedian or a psychologist. My interests are wide and somewhat… bizarre!
If you could send one of your cards to somebody famous, who would the recipient be and what card would you send?
I would probably say Georgia O’Keeffe. She has always been one of my favorite artists and provided inspiration for the designer I am today through her many works. I spent many hours creating watercolor pieces influenced by her style with those bold colors. I believe modern art owes a lot to her work and vision, and I would be honored to give her one of my thank you cards, a small way to give thanks to such an inspiration in the art community.
Any new and exciting products to unveil to your customers this year?
I have a lot of new ideas and products that I am dabbling with this year. I plan to incorporate more contrasting colors, black & white with pops of color, as well as expand my small line of art prints, and possibly offer a few new products. I’m excited for what this year will bring!