Homegrown Business: Tara Ritchie of LiaFail Designs

We had the opportunity to chat with illustrator, stationery and surface pattern designer Tara Ritchie who resides in Etobicoke about her creative business. Discover how her passion for illustration and its ability to manage stress and anxiety as a young student led her to pursue a career in design years later. She also shares the solution she wanted to solve with her business, the best question a prospective customer can ask when comparing services, and much more. Read on to learn about this creative entrepreneur and the businesses in her community that she loves to support.

LiaFail Designs

What is your business called and what does it do?

I do illustration, stationery and surface pattern design.

What made you want to do this work?

Illustration, doodling and practising writing styles goes back to when I didn’t want to do my school work, and coddled to control stress and anxiety. The fire was rekindled by accident when spending some time learning via Skillsbare and the opportunity of Surface Design was introduced. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

The world has gone digital, and the idea of art on stationary, and something beautiful arriving in the mail makes my day. The lit-up faces of my children when they receive a card in the mail is so worth communicating through greeting cards. And surface design is the joy that a pattern or an illustration on a pillow, or walls, compliments someone’s environment, and supports who they are, is amazing.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Anyone who likes to send a greeting card to a friend, colleague, or family member. Not just on holidays or birthdays, but also as a form of communication beyond texting. I love to send greeting cards as a way of practising my cursive 🙂

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Direct online sales, as well as being available in a physical store. Making money through finding an art licensing company that wants to commission a pattern or pattern collection.

LiaFail Designs

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Currently, I live in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Customization, do you do custom cards, or illustrations and patterns? Yes, not all illustrators or greeting card providers do customization but it is growing in popularity, as a means to expand our customer base.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

Creating art and making people happy with the illustrations and patterns. Managing the business is the hardest, and sometimes the worst. If you don’t stay on top of managing the books and building the business, you can slog through a lot of work to stay afloat.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

That greeting cards are dead, and yet it is a million-dollar industry.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Website | Pinterest

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

May you know Joy. She has a wonderful business that promotes decks of cards that can inspire you each and every day. For kids and adults!






About Emilea Semancik 104 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods