Haute Pink’s Mary Caitlyn Ward caught up with artist and graphic designer Carrie Beth Taylor of Sugar B Designs. Here’s what we learned.
What is the story behind the name “Sugar B”?
Oh, gracious heavens. I have a three-year-old little boy. When he was tiny, I called him ‘Sugar Britches’. When I started dabbling with the idea of custom invitations, he was something like four months old. So I dubbed the biz ‘Sugar Britches Design’. There were two problems with that…one, I found there were a million ‘Sugar Britches’ kids clothing lines…and two, it looked like ‘Sugar Bitches’ at first glance. So, we cut the bitches, and went with ‘B’. I wish there was a more glam-tastic story…but it’s all about the bitches, really.
How long have you done watercolor and graphic design?
Watercolor, since I was a wee tot. I started painting from the second I could dip my fingers into paint. The garage was my personal art gallery. Graphic design, I got into after college.
How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
Flirty and fun!
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am a magazine junkie…so anything from Traditional Home to Harpers Bazaar is like candy to me. When it comes to children’s art, I get inspired when I read books with my little boy.
Where else can your designs be found other than your website?
We sell to stationery retailers all over the country and we’re building up our dealers! I also create commissioned artwork for people’s homes, so my art is ‘hanging around’.
Favorite thing you’ve ever designed?
There’s a teacup bridal shower invitation that I just love. When I painted those teacups stacked up on each other, it made me so happy! I think it’s because I love china and dishes. If I weren’t practicing art for a living, I would open a china shop. I am obsessed with place settings!
What are some things you’ve designed that you use yourself?
I use our notepads all the time. I’m not an ‘IPad or IPhone’ digital note taker, so you’ll always find a few notepads strung out in my car and purse with randomness scratched all over them. I also use our calling cards all the time to stick in wedding and birthday gifts.
What is your favorite feature ever written on you and your brand?
I’m giving you a ‘Sunday School Answer’ on this one when I say, all of them, of course!
How do you balance everything else in life while owning a business?
Loaded question! I change clothes in the car a lot, going from one thing to another, and have learned how to do a mean liquid eyeliner swoop in my rearview mirror. There’s an awesome operation behind the madness with my family, my man, office manager, and design assistant. They are all lifesavers.
What is your advice to other young hopefuls looking to start their own business?
Be yourself. Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions. Network. Find mentors in your industry. Research. Work harder. Hire an awesome photographer for your product or business (I hired LesleeMitchell.com). Be ready to sacrifice your time and money. Surround yourself with encouragers. Always remember…it’s worth it.
I love the design of your site. Who did it?
Thanks! I actually designed the site, that’s one of the tasks I work on in the middle of the night…keeping it updated. LesleeMitchell.com did my professional photo images. She’s amazing.
You’re not only talented, you’re gorgeous! What are some of your beauty tips and favorite products?
Blushing, thank you!
Red Chanel lipstick: serves as caffeine for your face…smear it on your cheeks and rub it in if you’re on the go for an instant blush.
Johnson and Johnson baby powder: oil buster…use it on your roots, dab it on your forehead or under your arms in the summer for an instant dry effect. I carry a mini in my purse.
MAC black liquid eyeliner: Hello?!? Every woman looks good with a cat eye. Also Merle Norman Aqua Lube Cream: Call me granny–but it’s the BEST stuff to put under your eyes twice a day. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
While we’re on the topic of looking the part, what are some of your fashion must-haves?
Gold wedges: They go with everything, elongate your legs, and add sparkle to any pedicure.
Get a leopard scarf: You will be surprised at how much you wear it, and how posh you’ll feel.
Lastly, I couldn’t get through the summer without Yumi Kim’s fun loving floral pieces. They are easy breezy babe-a-licious!
I have a double name, too. Do you hate it? Love it? Hate to love it? Or love to hate it?
I love to love it. It bugs me when people call me Carrie. Most of the time, I’m known as CB.
Fave thing about living in the South?
That sweet Southern drawl we carry…it’s such a novelty.
Sweet tea or lemonade?
Arnold Palmer…mix them up, baby!
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Do I look like a vanilla girl? No way! Hello, Godiva with caramel!
Five Points or Lakeview?
I love Highlands and Chez Fon Fon…so I gotta say Five Points. Does that make me old?
Alabama or Auburn?
I was a Phi Mu at ‘Bama. Lawdy, we had fun…. I better stop there.
Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum?
Robert Bray. My man tops the charts! (Do you think that will get me points?) Hahaaa!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am a HUGE fan of Haute Pink B’ham!
www.lesleemitchell.com for photo credit for all photos