A Chat with Sarah from Pineapple Lobster

A couple of months ago I came across Pineapple Lobster on Instagram. Sarah’s beautifully curated feed of pastel ice cream tones is digital happiness personified. She’s also got a great sense of humour and clever use of words! 

I started chatting to Sarah to find out more about this mum to two little people who combines motherhood and running her creative business alongside each other (and if you would like to know what Sarah did before this – read on!).

Sarah has worked with Tea & Crafting to create two exclusive games to play at Hen Parties and Baby Showers. If you have either coming up take a look here and here . Download them, pass on to your friends, and share with anyone you know who may love them as much as us. You can follow Sarah using @pineapplelobster across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Read on to find out more about Sarah, a mum to two little people who combines motherhood and running her creative business alongside each other.

How and why did you start your business?
I’m actually a nurse by trade. I was a military nurse in the RAF for eight years before I had my two children. I decided to leave the forces and become a stay at home parent until they were both in full time school. I had quite a tough year after my youngest was born and it made me really question myself and my future plans. I’ve always loved being creative and making things so I started to draw again as a means of escape and almost a bit of therapy. That’s when I had a bit of a lightbulb moment “why don’t I make this a business?” It all spiralled from there really. I created my Instagram account and that’s where I finally felt like I belonged. It’s such an amazing community of people and I’ve made some lovely insta-friends. I’ve also spent a lot of money! I’m always amazed by how talented some people are. Now I have a website and in a couple of weeks will be opening my online shop. I love that I can work from home and be my own boss, mainly because I can just wear my pyjamas all day if I wish.

How did the name Pineapple Lobster come about?
Finding a name was such a hard task. I had no idea where to start. I had a few weird and wonderful words I liked written down but nothing seemed to suit. My designs are a bit whimsical at times so I needed a name that matched that. I also wanted to incorporate my children, Penny and Robin, somehow. I’ve always had (weird) pet names for them so I wrote them all down and started to pair them up. Penny pineapple and robster lobster stood out the most and so Pineapple Lobster was born.

If you could learn any new craft, what would it be?
I’m always so envious of anyone who can make things they can wear. I would love to be able to knit or crochet. I would just sit and make cardigans all day long. In every colour. I have a big thing for cardigans. It’s such a useful craft to have. I like the idea of being able to dress my family with clothes I’ve created and toys that I’ve made. I adore the little knitted cakes and dolls and I’d fill my house with them. It looks really therapeutic too and I like the sound of knitting needles.

If you weren’t running Pineapple Lobster what would your dream job be?
I would play Mary poppins on Broadway. Obviously! I saw the show in New York a few years ago and cried with happiness as I watched. So innocent and full of childhood memories. I learnt all the show songs off by heart and frequently sing and dance to them round the house, much to the delight of my children. I love the magic of theatre, the sets, the artwork and the music. I’d love to be a part of it.

Pineapple Lobster Illustrations
What’s your favourite/least favourite part of running your own business?
I love the time it gives me with my family and the freedom I have. I can create anything I want and nobody to tell me to do any different. A stark contrast to military life. My least favourite part is the technology and maths involved. I hate maths. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, but is necessary when pricing things for the shop and for working out orders. Technology baffles me and often takes me a long time to figure out. My website was a real labour of love.

What project are you working on right now?
I’m working on a collection of illustrations for children’s rooms (or any room really). It’s called ‘cake heaven’. It’s a sweet, pastel, heavenly, candy-cake themed dream world. It’s what the inside of my brain looks like.

Which product that you make is your favourite?
I love my Marie Antoinette themed “let them eat cake” range. It’s a patisserie paradise. I’ve always loved period costume and beautiful dresses. Marie Antoinette was the ultimate fashionista and trend setter so combining pretty cakes, macarons and costumes was a pleasure to make.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Often from films, especially my colour palettes. I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson and his quirky ways. I’d love to invite him over for a roast dinner and pick his brains. The 2006 Marie Antoinette film is also a huge inspiration. It’s such a delight to watch, it’s like a piece of art. I’m a huge lover of kawaii Japanese culture. They do cute so well! I love flat design and colour and bringing objects to life and I think that often shows up in my style.

What are your long term business goals?
Hopefully when my shop is up and running I can get more of an idea of what people are looking for from me. At the moment it is mainly prints and stationery I am concentrating on. I would love to make some flair! I collect enamel pins and patches and most of my jackets are covered in pretty things, so I would really enjoy making some myself. I would love to do some more collaborations with other businesses and makers too. It’s been so much fun.

What are your favourite colours/materials to use?
Favourite colours? I can’t ever choose. It depends what mood I wake up in. Sometimes it’s rainbow, sometimes it’s pastels and other times neon. I suppose I tend to gravitate towards the softer colours instead of super brights. I’m a real colour obsessive. I have been known to stare at Pantone chips for hours on end and I’m a nightmare when I have to decide on a colour theme. I don’t really use materials other than paper and computer equipment. I love good heavy card stock. It smells so good.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?
I think after having such a bad time following the birth of my youngest, I am super proud of myself for deciding to go ahead with pineapple lobster and actually getting it up and running. A year ago, the sad little person I was with a broken leg and a lost soul, could never imagine being here now. So I think I’ve come really far since those dark days. That and teaching myself the ways of adobe illustrator! I’m self taught and have put in a lot of YouTube tutorial hours and read many, many big books! It’s been quite the challenge but ultimately I’m pretty chuffed with myself.

All illustrations used in this post belong to Sarah @pineapplelobster. Take a look at www.pineapplelobster.co.uk for more colourful illustrations and keep an eye out on her shop which is due to open soon.

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