Meet Erin Bonham, Founder of BoxBerry
Tell us a little about your background and how you got into illustration and paper goods.
I’ve had a love for stationery since I can remember. One of my greatest thrills as a child was receiving mail. I loved everything about it; the anticipation to the mailbox, the stamp, the envelope, and of course the stationery itself. I’ve been illustrating since I could pick up a pencil but never really considered doing anything with my creations -- until I started BoxBerry in 2013 (with about 5 card designs). At the time, I was working a “corporate job” so making cards was a much needed creative outlet for me. I initially made cards for pen pals but took a risk and started selling them at local Chicago craft shows. The shows were successful and witnessing the response to my designs was encouraging. I was making people laugh, smile, and even cry. When I realized that I could create a product and it would make people happy I just kept going.
What is most important to you when you set out to create a new product?
I don’t over think it. The image should be the most prominent part of the card and the message should be short and sweet.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m blessed that I don’t have to go looking. I’m inspired everyday by the simplest things.
What do you love about living and working in Chicago?
There’s a lot of talented people in Chicago taking their talent/craft and turning it into a business. I meet many people that are quitting their day jobs to run their own business and it’s a beautiful thing.
Describe your ideal Sunday.
I love Sundays with French press coffee, a visit to the farmer’s market and taking time to cook a new vegetarian recipe - all followed by an early bedtime.
If you could do any other occupation, what would it be?
Private detective, art restorer, museum curator, the list goes on.
What is your favorite artist in any field, living or dead?
It’s difficult to narrow down and it changes daily but today, it’s Keith Haring and Marc Chagall.
What is next?
Continuing to grow the line of cards with new styles. I’ll be incorporating more hand lettering and switching up the color palettes. I’ll also be doing more retail shows, which I’m really looking forward to!