Corner snatches five minutes with illustrator Yasmin El-Saie, Notting Hill-based illustrator and founder of Made With Love greetings cards…
When did you launch your business?
I started making handmade greeting cards as a hobby about two years ago and was delighted at the reaction they received. Slowly I developed my designs and production into a proper scalable business model which is finally ready to take off.
What’s the inspiration behind your illustrations?
My first inspirations behind my illustrations as a child were my beloved pets! I loved eternalising them as quirky little characters. My Chihuahua Chilli inspired me to create my range of dog cards and through him I am now collaborating with the Retired Greyhound Trust. My friends and their individual eccentricities are a great source of inspiration too which have led to the Girlie Girl cards. I have also created some unique characters which star in their own picture book story line! This a project very close to my heart which I intend to turn into a published illustrated book.
Where can we buy your cards?
Currently my cards are stocked at trendy Verve Pet Boutique, Portfolio Cards and online at www.yaswithlove.co.uk
How long have you lived in Notting Hill?
I have lived in Notting Hill for about five years.
Describe the area in 5 words…
Quirky, creative, community, homely, green.
What do you most like about it?
I love its unique energy and that it feels like a sanctuary within the big city. As it’s very dog friendly I can take my beloved chihuahua Chilli with me most of the time.
What are your favourite places to eat?
My favourite places to eat are Mediterraneo, Taqueria, Eat Tokyo, Golborne Deli and the Oak.
Where do you go to relax after work?
My work never really finishes! I love taking an afternoon break to go for a relaxing walk in Hyde Park with Chilli.
Describe your perfect day in Notting Hill…
I love Notting Hill in the summer when I can sit in one of the cafe terraces enjoying the warm rays of sunshine, watching the people go by. Afterwards I hugely enjoy going to the fruit and veg section of Portobello market to stock up on healthy produce. A quick afternoon stop at the Spanish tapas place is also nice. In the evening I either enjoy a nice romantic meal in one of my favourite restaurants or meeting friends in one of the bustling bars and pubs.
Finally, what’s new for you and the business?
I have finally taken the plunge to conquer the online market! The full range is available there as well as our new ‘Add Your Message’ service. It’s the physical luxurious equivalent of an e card! All messages are written by hand inside the card of your choice. Also the demand for corporate bespoke card designs is increasing and I greatly enjoy designing for a range of companies such as engineering offices, pharmaceutical companies, estate agents and IT companies among others. I am also looking to collaborate with more animal charities and hopefully this year some new great projects will take shape.