Dippity and Snark is a stationary design studio from Akron, Ohio! We interviewed owner, Danielle Capotosto, to learn more about her local business. Meet Dippity and Snark at our Spring Maker Mart on April 7 in Cleveland!
Tell us about your business.
Dippity and Snark (formerly five blessings) is an independent design studio offering handmade cards, stationery, stickers and illustrated gifts. All designs are hand drawn by me, Danielle, a graphic designer and illustrator who started Dippity & Snark as a way to share my cheeky, funny and snarky creations with the world! In addition to pop-up markets and my website, I also have a small retail location in the Northside Marketplace in Akron, OH. My products are equal parts cute, punny and have lots of swear words, so I needed a name that would work with that. Dippity is a made up word derived from serendipity, which basically means “happy accident.” Snark is pretty self explanatory. Putting them together seems to perfectly describe both my sweet and sassy products!
What drew you to your craft?
I have always loved to make things. As a child I would always rather color than play outside. When it came time to go to college, I decided graphic design seemed like a natural fit. While studying design, I was introduced to illustration and basically fell in love! After some full time design gigs, I started a freelance design business. I wasn’t getting the opportunity to do much illustration work with my clients and I was really missing the opportunity to draw and make things. At a lunch in February of 2017, I was expressing these frustrations to my husband. He basically said, "so do it!” And I did. There’s been a lot of learning along the way, and it’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy with the growth I’ve managed so far.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
My favorite thing I have ever made are my stickers. I don’t have one in particular, but I have always adored stickers! I still have boxes full of them, some from childhood! My 10 year old self would geek out if she knew someday I would be designing and making my own!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
As you may have guessed by now, I’ve always wanted to be some sort of artist. I wasn’t always sure how that was going to happen, but I knew it was the only path for me. I though about being an art teacher before choosing design, but am really happy I went with design instead. As fate would have it, I ended up pursuing my Master of Arts in design and now teach part time at Kent State University anyway!
What is your creative process?
I don’t know that I really have one particular process. I basically start with an idea, usually as a response to something that has happened or something I think is funny. Then I get to drawing. I work both traditionally and digitally, using pencil, pen, watercolor, Illustrator, Photoshop, and/or Procreate. Once I’m happy with the illustration part of things, I work to put it on all the things… cards, stickers, wherever it fits the best.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Just start, and f*ck fear! Don’t wait for the right/best time… it will never come. Don’t be afraid of what other people think of your work. I waited almost 10 years to start this business, knowing the whole time it was something I wanted. Life and other opportunities and responsibilities kept me from it, but it was always in the back of my mind. Who knows where I’d be if I had started 5 years earlier, but I’m happy to have gotten things off the ground. There’s no point in looking back, we’re not going that way. Amazingly enough to me, when I make work that makes me happy, other people love it to! Shocks me everyday, but so thankful!!!
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Why is it not?! In all seriousness, supporting local artist/makers or any local small business does more than people realize. It allows that person to fulfill their dreams, support themselves and their families, and continue to grow. It also helps create jobs and support local economy. It really is a great way to support the local community and allow small businesses like mine to flourish.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I think there just really isn’t any other option for me. It might sound a little cheesy, but creating really is a part of my soul. Without the ability to make and create, I wouldn’t be me. It also brings me immense joy to see others laughing and enjoying my products. To share that creative happiness with others is pretty exciting!
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
There’s no better time than today. Give up on waiting, start however you can, today! Even if it’s a little step forward. Small amounts of growth is still growth!
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
Ohio has so much more to offer than people realize! We have amazing metro parks, art museums, music, and so much more! If you can’t find something great to do, you aren’t looking hard enough!