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Featured Shop: Little Low

Jan 31, 2014

by Caitlin McClain

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi, I’m Caitlin McClain and I own and operate Little Low – a cheerful line of illustrated paper and home goods from Austin, Texas.

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I was working as a web designer when I illustrated my first collection of prints. I made them strictly out of a need for decor in my new apartment, but my friends and family boosted my confidence enough that I opened my little corner of Etsy. I focused on making designs that made me happy and was slightly shocked when it turned out that other people found joy in them, too. Almost two years later, I’m still humbled and excited with every purchase my customers make.

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Craft and craftsmanship are words that carry a lot of weight with me. I went to college for interior design, and the professors there taught me the importance of working smart and taking pride in my work, as well as paying attention to small details and not cutting corners. For me, this is the core of good craft, and it’s what I try to incorporate into my business.

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I typically get my best ideas at night after I’ve had a happy, relaxed day with friends or family. Once I start a project, it’s not often that I know exactly how I’d like it to look, but I almost always know the message it should convey and the overall spirit it should have. My designs tend to go through several stages, and the finished result rarely looks much like its first few drafts. I won’t sell something I don’t love, so I sometimes re-work a design over and over until the “a-ha” moment, and nix the ones that never get there.

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I feel most inspired by everyday utilitarian objects that are beautiful and iconic on their own. That’s probably why many of my designs include illustrations referencing cooking utensils, camping gear, shoes, cars and vintage ephemera. I love the interaction we have with our belongings and how personal and meaningful an image of that item can be, especially when you look at it in a different light.

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Being the owner of a creative business can be a hugely rewarding, but very humbling experience. If something goes wrong, that’s on me — the same can be said when it goes right. I’m not a parent (hopefully someday!), but I imagine that many of the responsibilities I take for my business are similar to the ones I would take for a child. I want to make the best decisions for my business, make sure it’s going in the right direction, that it has what it needs to grow and that it’s safe, smart, and kind. It’s probably corny, but I think that owning this business has showed me what “ownership” really means.

All photographs by Little Low.

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Honor Society 2017 Calendar with Sew on Patch - 6x8" Wall Hung
Honor Society 2017 Calendar with Sew on Patch - 6x8" Wall Hung
littlelow
$18.00 USD
Get Cozy Fabric Banner - red or blue appliqué handmade wall hanging banner
Get Cozy Fabric Banner - red or blue appliqué handmade wall hanging banner
littlelow
$84.00 USD
Office Essentials Desk Calendar 2017
Office Essentials Desk Calendar 2017
littlelow
$14.00 USD
Get Cookin' Meal Planner and DIY Recipe Book Notebooks Set
Get Cookin' Meal Planner and DIY Recipe Book Notebooks Set
littlelow
$16.00 USD
Birthday List Perpetual Desk or Notepad Calendar
Birthday List Perpetual Desk or Notepad Calendar
littlelow
$14.00 USD
Pizza Cake Anniversary Card
Pizza Cake Anniversary Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Love You to the Moon Card
Love You to the Moon Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Happy Trails Card
Happy Trails Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Rock Paper Scissors Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
Rock Paper Scissors Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Worth Holding Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
Worth Holding Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
XL Cursive Alphabet Canvas Banner - White 18x27"
XL Cursive Alphabet Canvas Banner - White 18x27"
littlelow
$96.00 USD
XL Cursive Alphabet Canvas Banner - Black 18x27"
XL Cursive Alphabet Canvas Banner - Black 18x27"
littlelow
$96.00 USD
Hip Hip Hooray Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
Hip Hip Hooray Art Print 8x10 or 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - Blue 11x14
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - Blue 11x14
littlelow
$32.00 USD
Te Amo Mucho Card
Te Amo Mucho Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Swan in a Million Card
Swan in a Million Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Balloon Animals Card
Balloon Animals Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Done Honeybun Notepad
Done Honeybun Notepad
littlelow
$8.00 USD
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - Blush 11x14
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - Blush 11x14
littlelow
$32.00 USD
Week 12 Art Print 8x10 11x14
Week 12 Art Print 8x10 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Pop Art Thank You Card
Pop Art Thank You Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Pop Art Congratulations Card
Pop Art Congratulations Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Sending My Love Card
Sending My Love Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Thanks a Bushel Card - Singles & Box Set
Thanks a Bushel Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Stop Being Awesome Card
Stop Being Awesome Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Merci Card - Singles & Box Set
Merci Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Golly Thanks Card - Singles & Box Set
Golly Thanks Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
West Art Print 8x10 11x14
West Art Print 8x10 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Cake Wasted Birthday Card
Cake Wasted Birthday Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Life is Tough Art Hoop
Life is Tough Art Hoop
littlelow
$18.00 USD
Best Nest City Card - house warming new home owner brownstone illustrated card
Best Nest City Card - house warming new home owner brownstone illustrated card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
You're My Person Card
You're My Person Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
In Bloom Floral Canvas Chart
In Bloom Floral Canvas Chart
littlelow
$52.00 USD
Life is Tough Canvas Banner 6x8"
Life is Tough Canvas Banner 6x8"
littlelow
$24.00 USD
Folk Cake Card
Folk Cake Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Coffee Dad Card
Coffee Dad Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Mates for Life Art Print 11x14
Mates for Life Art Print 11x14
littlelow
$32.00 USD
Grazie Mille Card - Singles & Box Set
Grazie Mille Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
You've Stolen My Heart Card
You've Stolen My Heart Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Donut Forget Notepad
Donut Forget Notepad
littlelow
$8.00 USD
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - White 11x14
Small Fry Cursive Alphabet - White 11x14
littlelow
$32.00 USD
Rise and Shine Art Print 8x10 11x14
Rise and Shine Art Print 8x10 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Tiny Overlord Baby Card
Tiny Overlord Baby Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Exclame it Card
Exclame it Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Weird Matches Birthday Card
Weird Matches Birthday Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Rocking Pregnancy Card
Rocking Pregnancy Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Buy 3 Get 1 FREE greeting cards stationery calligraphy typography hand lettered chic clever cute paper goods promo deal
Buy 3 Get 1 FREE greeting cards stationery calligraphy typography hand lettered chic clever cute paper goods promo deal
littlelow
$13.50 USD
Christmas Car Card - Singles & Box Set
Christmas Car Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Best in Show Duo Books | Dog Insipired Notebook & Sketchbook Set
Best in Show Duo Books | Dog Insipired Notebook & Sketchbook Set
littlelow
$16.00 USD
The Great Outdoors Alphabet Chart - 11x14 Art Print
The Great Outdoors Alphabet Chart - 11x14 Art Print
littlelow
$32.00 USD
Cuddle Buddies for Life Card
Cuddle Buddies for Life Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Babe Town Card
Babe Town Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Sexy Beast Birthday Card
Sexy Beast Birthday Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Happy Cozy Days Holiday Card - Singles & Box Set
Happy Cozy Days Holiday Card - Singles & Box Set
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Feliz Navidad Card Singles and Box Set of 8
Feliz Navidad Card Singles and Box Set of 8
littlelow
$4.50 USD
Better Together Art Hoop
Better Together Art Hoop
littlelow
$18.00 USD
ON SALE - Perennials Blue Cactus Scarf
ON SALE - Perennials Blue Cactus Scarf
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Northwest Art Print 8x10 11x14
Northwest Art Print 8x10 11x14
littlelow
$20.00 USD
Cuppa Tea Art Hoop
Cuppa Tea Art Hoop
littlelow
$18.00 USD
Priority Mail For Anne - Crazy Cat Lady Birthday Purrthday Card
Priority Mail For Anne - Crazy Cat Lady Birthday Purrthday Card
littlelow
$4.50 USD

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