Get to know the talented artist behind Fond below and keep an eye out for the launch of our collaboration!
PP: Tell us a little bit about yourself (who you are, where you live, your home life, your career)
AB: Hi! My name is Ariel Biggerstaff and I live on The Hill in St. Louis, Missouri with my husband Tyler and our 2 basset hounds, Pluto and Comet and also our cat, Luna. When I’m not working on Fond Printed Goods I work full time as a graphic designer at a multidisciplinary studio in University City.
PP:Tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist. We would love to hear your story – how you got started, where you are now and all the ups and downs in between.
AB: For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in art and design, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in a graphic design course at a community college that I considered it as a career path. I went on to study graphic design at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where I really developed my passion for typography and simple illustration. After working in a number of graphic design internships and graduating from college, I was hired at my current position where I have been for the last 7+ years.
While working full-time, I would occasionally work on freelance projects and over time, I began to realize the potential of working and creating things for myself. In 2020, I started to feel burnt out with the routine of my career. This led me to create an Instagram account that I could use as a creative outlet to showcase my geometric patterns, illustrations, and other designs. As this progressed, and I started dedicating more of my time to creating things outside of work, I developed a series of prints that I thought others might enjoy in their own homes.
With that idea in mind, I decided to invest in a pigment-based inkjet printer and got to work on the branding — the name Fond is inspired by my passion for all things design. From there, I was ready to create my Etsy shop and my first few listings. I was so happy to see such a positive response, especially for my Slow Down print, which continues to be one of my bestsellers. This positive momentum sparked my interest in expanding into greeting cards and becoming a vendor at local markets in the spring of 2022. Since then, I’ve been doing markets and pop-ups regularly, launched my own website, and have built great relationships with a handful of local shops that carry my paper goods. I have also started offering wholesale on Faire in hopes of building more relationships with shop owners in other cities and states.
I’m working towards my goal of taking Fond full-time, and I’m super excited to see what’s next!
PP: Share a little bit about your daily life – what does the typical routine look like for you?
AB: Typically, I start my day at 6:30-7:00 AM and get ready. With a cup of coffee, I spend a bit of time catching up on emails and managing Fond's social media. I’ll then head to my day job, where I work from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. I’m fortunate to have an employer that is flexible with my schedule and respects my personal aspirations.
When I get home, I’ll unwind with a long walk with our two basset hounds or a Peloton ride. After a short break, I’ll jump into my task list for a couple of hours, which may include anything from printing and packing orders, delivering inventory to local partners, working on custom projects, and creating new print and greeting card designs. Around this time, I’ll have dinner with my husband, and we’ll catch up on any of our favorite TV shows. If I’m not feeling too busy, I’ll grab my iPad and work on some new ideas from the couch.
I love to design when things begin to quiet down for the night. Working a full-time job and dedicating a majority of my free time to Fond can make for some long days and nights, but it’s so rewarding!
PP: Where do you find inspiration these days? Is there anyone in particular in your life who inspires you?
AB: I've always been inspired by mid-century design, whether it's in architecture, interiors or graphic design. I love the bold use of color, typography and simple illustrations that were used in this era and it has played a big part in developing my own style. I also find inspiration in everyday life - things like plants, nature and anything else with a good vibe or message. I'm very lucky to have so many extremely talented people in my life and the local small business community as a whole is so inspirational.
PP: What is the last book you read? Favorite musician/band you can’t get enough of?
AB: Music has been a big part of my life since I was young. I love going to shows and supporting the St. Louis music scene, and my husband and I travel frequently to see bands and artists in other cities as well. One of my current favorites is Boygenius; they're so good! Give them a listen if you haven't already!
PP: Can you share the most recent act of kindness you witnessed? (or that was shown to you)
AB: As a fairly new small business in St. Louis, it's been so nice to see how welcoming and supportive this community truly is, whether it's in person or on social media. This ongoing kindness is a great motivator and pushes me to continue doing what I love!
PP: What are your professional and life plans for the next year? Any words of wisdom for those of us who are also creatives, striving to lead more intentional lives and build something beautiful?
AB: My goals for the next year are to continue vending at markets regularly, to get my paper goods in more shops locally and nationally, and to continue taking on more custom work – such as branding, custom prints and cards, and wedding stationary. I’ve also been updating my greeting card collection and I’m looking forward to sharing those details soon!
My advice to fellow creatives would be to keep going and keep growing, but remember the importance of allowing yourself time to slow down and reset.
PP: Where can we learn more about you and your work? (website, social, etc.)