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Featured Shop: Clap Clap

Nov 24, 2014

by Mimi Kim

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi, my name is Mimi Kim. I’m the designer behind the stationery brand Clap Clap. I live and work in the arts district neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. My line is named Clap Clap because clapping your hands makes you happy!

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Before starting Clap Clap, I worked at an advertising company in Seoul, Korea. Back then, I often felt frustrated working for clients because I couldn’t design what I truly wanted. I started thinking about going to graduate school; for my portfolio, I made a calendar with 12 recipe cards. To my surprise, the people around me really loved it – I ended up making 200 additional calendars and they all sold out! The whole thing was unexpected but so exciting. I was able to hear directly from people who bought my work that they liked it, which I never had working at a large company. It was so great to control every part of the process, from design to production. The experience made me think about running my own business, and my husband Bert was completely supportive.

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I usually decide what color scheme I’m going to use before I start drawing. This is the most important part of my process. I get inspiration from different mediums: fashion lookbooks, packaging design, and even nail art. Sometimes I even find a great color combination while eating at a Chinese restaurant!

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I draw all of my designs using my iMac. I’ve been told that my work looks like it’s hand-drawn because it’s so detailed, but it’s actually all done on a computer. After I’m finished with a design, I have it printed at a local printer. Even though I had experience with the printing industry in Korea, it wasn’t easy to find a reliable printer here in Los Angeles – I had to learn a lot of technical terms and research the differences in paper types. Once everything is printed, Bert and I photograph each item in our loft, which I truly enjoy. I especially like the photos for my catalog because the colors and layouts go really well with my products.

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I opened my Etsy shop before I even officially launched Clap Clap; my only item was the recipe card calendar. Since then, Etsy has helped me learn valuable lessons about running a business and sharing my work with people around the world that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’m thankful for that. My goal for next year is to participate in the National Stationery Show in New York. This will be Clap Clap’s first big step for the international wholesale market, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m also planning to add a line of fabrics with my prints. Printing on fabric has always fascinated me because of all the possibilities using texture. Thinking about the future of my business is always exciting, and I hope that Clap Clap will take even bigger steps one day.

Follow Clap Clap on Instagram and Facebook.

All photographs by Bert Youn and Mimi Kim.

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Garden Bloom Pocket Planner - Blush
Garden Bloom Pocket Planner - Blush
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Pine Christmas Wrapping Paper - Holidays
Pine Christmas Wrapping Paper - Holidays
clapclapdesign
$15.00 USD
Winter Animals Christmas Wrapping Paper Cream - Holidays
Winter Animals Christmas Wrapping Paper Cream - Holidays
clapclapdesign
$15.00 USD
Christmas Present Card - Pink
Christmas Present Card - Pink
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Vintage Flowers Birthday Card
Vintage Flowers Birthday Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Fruit Friendship Card
Fruit Friendship Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Winter Animals Christmas Wrapping Paper Black - Holidays
Winter Animals Christmas Wrapping Paper Black - Holidays
clapclapdesign
$15.00 USD
Plant Variety Birthday Card - Ivory
Plant Variety Birthday Card - Ivory
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Wrapping Paper - Pink
Botanical Wrapping Paper - Pink
clapclapdesign
$15.00 USD
Garden Bloom Notebook - Blush
Garden Bloom Notebook - Blush
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Peony Valentine's Day Card
Peony Valentine's Day Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Retro Pocket Notebook
Retro Pocket Notebook
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Peony Blossom Pocket Notebook
Peony Blossom Pocket Notebook
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Animal Kingdom Pocket Notebook - Cream
Animal Kingdom Pocket Notebook - Cream
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Animal Kingdom Pocket Notebook - Navy
Animal Kingdom Pocket Notebook - Navy
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Toy Shop Holiday Card
Toy Shop Holiday Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Holiday Dessert Card - Deep Green
Holiday Dessert Card - Deep Green
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Holiday Dessert Card - Silver
Holiday Dessert Card - Silver
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Holiday Dessert Card - Pink
Holiday Dessert Card - Pink
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Hibiscus Notebook - Ivory
Hibiscus Notebook - Ivory
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Hawaiian Pocket Notebook - Cream
Hawaiian Pocket Notebook - Cream
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - Red Petal
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - Red Petal
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
I Love You Heart Card - Pink
I Love You Heart Card - Pink
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Hinoki
Botanical Scented Card - Hinoki
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Pink Rose Valentine's Day Card
Pink Rose Valentine's Day Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Camellia Japonica Valentine's Day Card
Camellia Japonica Valentine's Day Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Geranium
Botanical Scented Card - Geranium
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Bamboo
Botanical Scented Card - Bamboo
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Oriental Poppy Notebook - Vanilla
Oriental Poppy Notebook - Vanilla
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Wild Animals Notebook - Black
Wild Animals Notebook - Black
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Botanical Pocket Planner - Beige
Botanical Pocket Planner - Beige
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Animal Ghosts Halloween Card
Animal Ghosts Halloween Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
The Best is Yet to Come Card
The Best is Yet to Come Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Oh Baby Card for Baby Shower
Oh Baby Card for Baby Shower
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
White Rose Congratulations Card
White Rose Congratulations Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Assorted Botanical Thank You Card - Khaki
Assorted Botanical Thank You Card - Khaki
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Pastel Blossoms Thank You Card - Olive
Pastel Blossoms Thank You Card - Olive
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Blossom Gold Planner - Pink Petal
Blossom Gold Planner - Pink Petal
clapclapdesign
$24.00 USD
Botanical Pocket Planner - Black
Botanical Pocket Planner - Black
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Mom and Baby Monkey Happy Mother's Day Card
Mom and Baby Monkey Happy Mother's Day Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Amaryllis Holiday Card
Amaryllis Holiday Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Don't Worry Be Happy Bouquet Card
Don't Worry Be Happy Bouquet Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Holly and Birds Merry Christmas Card
Holly and Birds Merry Christmas Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Garden Bloom Notebook - Cream
Garden Bloom Notebook - Cream
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Wild Animals Notebook - Cream
Wild Animals Notebook - Cream
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Garden Bloom Wrapping Paper - Dusty Blue
Garden Bloom Wrapping Paper - Dusty Blue
clapclapdesign
$15.00 USD
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - White Petal
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - White Petal
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Tuberose
Botanical Scented Card - Tuberose
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - Pink Petal
Blossom Gold Greeting Card - Pink Petal
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Pomegranate
Botanical Scented Card - Pomegranate
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Blossom Gold Planner - White Petal
Blossom Gold Planner - White Petal
clapclapdesign
$24.00 USD
White Poppy Sympathy Card
White Poppy Sympathy Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Botanical Pocket Planner - Pink
Botanical Pocket Planner - Pink
clapclapdesign
$16.00 USD
Ducks Happy Birthday Card
Ducks Happy Birthday Card
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Blossom Gold Planner - Gold Petal
Blossom Gold Planner - Gold Petal
clapclapdesign
$24.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Oriental Lily
Botanical Scented Card - Oriental Lily
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Daisy
Botanical Scented Card - Daisy
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
Botanical Scented Card - Orchid
Botanical Scented Card - Orchid
clapclapdesign
$7.00 USD
I Love You Heart Card - Red
I Love You Heart Card - Red
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD
Lush Botany Birthday Card - Cream
Lush Botany Birthday Card - Cream
clapclapdesign
$5.00 USD

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