We were thrilled to discover Hartland Brooklyn, an amazing line of paper goods and temporary tattoos designed by founder Emily Johnson. Not only is there a perfect card for every occasion, everything is printed locally in NYC, using vegetable based inks and recycled materials whenever possible. Read on to hear the inspiration behind her dreamy designs, and how Emily got started in the stationery business!
B+G: Is there significance behind the name Hartland Brooklyn?Emily: I grew up on my parents dried flower farm in western New York in a tiny town called Hartland, and then I started the company in Brooklyn. So it tells a story of where I started, and where I ended up.
B+G: Tell us how Hartland Brooklyn came to be. Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Emily: I was working as a fashion designer in mid-town Manhattan, and drawing cards on the side. With a little luck and a few stores taking a chance on a tiny line, it became a company.
Growing up I saw my mom with her own business, and that you could do what you loved as your job. I knew I wanted to do my own thing, but I didn't know where I would end up until I started making stationery. It combined everything I loved about design.
B+G: Your beautiful prints are all hand-designed by you! Have you always been interested in art and drawing?
Emily: Always! I can't remember a time where I wasn't drawing. My grandma is a watercolor painter, and both my parents are artists in their own ways. It's always been a part of my life.
B+G: If you had to pick your favorite print you've designed, what would it be?
Emily: Right now I really love the simplicity of the card "you are my sunshine". We just started using neon yellow, and I'm really happy with how bright it turned out.
B+G: Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Emily: I usually need a card for an occasion, and realize I don't have one that works. So then I design one. I always try and make something I would want to use. In the beginning I was really inspired by California after a trip there. But inspiration can come from anywhere!
B+G: How do you ensure that your products are sustainable and eco-friendly?
Emily: I work with local printers with very high standards. It may be a tad more expensive, but if you're going to do something you should do it right!
B+G: Describe an average work day.
Emily: We just moved to the Hudson Valley (2 hours north of NYC) so things are a bit hectic. I grab a coffee, and go to the studio to check my emails. Then we plan the orders we need to ship that day.
We are still printing in Brooklyn and sharing some time there, so I've been coordinating print runs to line up with the days we're there. I haven't had as much time to design, so I'm setting aside Sundays as a design-only day. Moving upstate, I'm excited to gather new inspiration from the beautiful catskills.
B+G: Do you have any exciting projects/collaborations in the works that you can share?
Emily: We just finished a collaboration for our 2016 calendar with Brooklyn florist Ariel Dearie. She chose floral arrangements for each month and I illustrated them.
B+G: If you could describe the aesthetic of your home in three words, what would they be?
Emily: Cozy, Peaceful, Minimal
B+G: Pizza or ice cream? Cactus or flowers?
Emily: I love ice cream, but I think I love pizza even more. I was really inspired by cactus in the early Hartland Brooklyn days, but now I'm into flowers (especially after our calendar with Ariel)!
B+G: What are your favorite local eateries/shops in your neighborhood?
Emily: Near our apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn I love Tabac, which is a cozy french restaurant. In Greenpoint Brooklyn near our old studio, Nights and Weekends and Calexico. I had my wedding reception at Nights and Weekends so it's a special place. In Hudson Valley (our new studio!) I haven't been many places, but there is an AMAZING pizza place called Baba Louies.