Hello! Welcome to our little corner of the internet. I'm Louise, founder, illustrator and animal lover at Louise Mulgrew, a greetings card and stationery publisher based in beautiful Brighton, England.
My business journey began with my visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage in Nairobi whilst I was still at uni studying Illustration. I’d always been an animal lover and a crazy cat lady, but that trip was my inspiration to start painting animals for the very first time. For my Final Major Project of my degree I wrote and illustrated a picture book about an orphan elephant called Tibbo, and many years later, elephants are still my favourite animal to observe and paint.
After finishing uni in 2014, I moved back in with my parents and working from their spare room, I continued to grow my portfolio of animal illustrations which I sold at local markets and fairs. It took me a year or so after uni to start to develop my own style, and at Spring Fair in 2016 I showed my first collection of cards, Furry Friends, which is still my best selling collection five years later.
I soon roped in my business-savvy, accountant-brained Dad, who was coming to the end of a contract at the time and was in the market for a part-time, low stress, project. For the next two years (working full-time and most weekends) Dad devoted his life to helping me build the solid foundations of our animal-loving, paper enterprise. My Mum has also always been involved in spirit, but she officially joined a year or so later and our team has since grown to include my several wonderful non-Mulgrews, all of whom keep our Operations running smoothly and who cope admirably with the intense family dynamic.
We now supply around 400 independent shops in the UK in addition to our larger accounts like John Lewis, Waitrose, Waterstones and Fenwick and distribute to various countries in Europe and also Australia and New Zealand. We’ve even won a couple of prestigious industry awards called Henries, our first in 2017 where we won Best Art Range and two in 2020, Best Art Range and Most Promising Young Designer! We moved into my dream studio space a couple of years ago and it's a perfect space for painting inspiration, overlooking Old Steine Gardens and I can even see the sea from my balcony.
We are proud to publish all our cards and paper products in the UK, working with other UK-based small businesses as our suppliers and fulfilment partners and we are passionate about minimising our impact on the environment in every way that we can, constantly improving the materials and processes we use to create and send our products out into the world. All of our cards and products are now packaged plastic free!
It really is an absolute privilege to work alongside my fabulous team, without whom it would not be possible to see through this creative dream of mine and hopefully we create something that makes others happy in the process.
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