More than a year and a half ago, you would have found me in a brick-and-mortar design and printing shop juggling more work than I had hands for, on my way to total burn-out, and an eagerness to keep working solo. Today, Suzy Swede Creative, feeds my need for solitude and allows me to continue the work I’ve loved for many years–using my creativity to put smiles on my customer’s faces. My mom always told me I had a warped sense of humor. I’m finally putting it to use!
Suzy Swede Creative is in the business of mellow vibes and tasteful sarcasm. My store is a one-stop shop for quirky graphic tees, spunky women’s apparel, and upbeat gifts like mugs and tote bags, and it’s all designed and made by yours truly, in Weeping Water, Nebraska, near the belly button of the USA. With sales in all 50 states and 14 countries, it’s exciting to know that people all across the world are sporting my products.
My best design ideas stem from ordinary life — those simple moments that nestle into your memory before you realize their significance. Take my best-selling Happy Camper tee, for instance. The idea fluttered in as I reflected on my life and the happiness it holds. As a 40-something entrepreneur, trust me when I say that good things are out there. The not-so-happy moments pass and life does get better. Let my Sh*t Creek Survivor tee, which I designed to celebrate the end of a grueling divorce, serve as a testament to that. It’s like writer Elbert Hubbard said: “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”
When I’m not creating, I’m hanging out with my sweet 11-year-old daughter, Treva, the love of my life, Jon, and our many kitties and chickens. And yes, it’s OK if you call me the Crazy Cat/Chicken Lady — you won’t be the first. Jon and I have remodeled our 1875 farmhouse into a cozy oasis, and spend a LOT of time in the kitchen (If you haven’t tried Jon’s ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls, you haven’t lived). Lovers of the great outdoors, we’re also on the hunt for a far-out camper to replace our last one that was just too-far-gone.
So if you want to find me, I’ll likely be sequestered in my “creative cabin” listening to some good red-dirt and Americana tunes (or blues on Blues Friday), a fluffball or feathered-friend in my lap, letting the design juices flow — A.K.A. my happy place.