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Interview with Nati & Vanessa - founders of @sppiy

· Handmade,work-life balance,Illustration

DIY never goes out of style, especially nowadays with the abundance of mass-produced items we are craving for something “special”, made with love and care, one of a kind. We like to give handmade gifts to our loved ones and we like to surround ourselves with beautiful handmade things - it brings so much warmth and happiness into our lives!


Our today’s Heroines of the week - Nati & Vanessa from @sppiy make this world a warmer place by creating beautiful printables, that one can use for individualizing their home and work space, for decorating a special event, for hobby handcrafting, and for making handmade gifts.

Their Etsy and Dawanda shops offer a stunning collection of illustrated posters, invitations, greeting cards, inserts for organisers, and DIY templates that make your heart melt.


But most importantly, they are following their passion and want to inspire others to do the same. “If you do what you love, you will be successful” - these beautiful ladies say with an encouraging smile.

Read Nati & Vanessa’s interview below!

@ichselbstaendig: You are a team of 2 girls creating together, how is it to work with girlfriends? How do you split responsibilities and handle tricky discussions?

Nati & Vanessa: We speak boldly with each other and talk about problems. This is our secret. As a result, larger problems do not occur at all, instead they remain small. Of course we are not always of the same opinion as the other, but it is also about compromises and giving in sometimes. It does not work if you are always stubborn, you have to let it go. Problems are hints for us that we can optimize our situations. This angle helps to accept and change problems. It’s about about solutions, not our own egos.

In addition, too much emotion or interpretation can lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, openness is very necessary. And do not take things too personally.

Another point is that everyone does what she does best and what she has fun with. Vanessa is more the visionary and designer (especially as she is also the business manager of the advertising agency SP) and Nati is best with organizing and converting the design ideas. So we complement each other well. Furthermore, we share a very similar design taste. This is why we usually create our ideas according to the taste of the other. When one of us comes up with a new printable idea, we often start discussing and brainstorming the style and use of it. After agreeing, we start designing it. Then we respect the otherness. This makes our offer more versatile. Things are often not better, just different!

@ichselbstaendig: Do you remember how your idea of PIY was first born?

Nati & Vanessa: We wanted to give people the opportunity to purchase beautiful designs budget-friendly. Regardless of time, space, place, nationality and so on. On special occasions for example we want to give our beloved, nice homemade gifts. And the easiest way ist to made them at home by yourself, quickly and out of paper. Not always the standard gifts, but lovely handmade paper gifts - Something different, something personal. Of course you have to like handicraft work. But our printables make it very easy for you to create a lovely gift idea or to decorate your room fast and individually.

The idea of PIY has actually arisen from the fact that we are dealing with the medium paper in our everyday job as media designers - and we love it! We love to be creative with it because it is so versatile. It is fun to us to redecorate our walls depending on the time of the year or our preferences. We can be individual when we want it and how we want it. And we believe it is similar to the people at home. But with not too much effort or high costs. This is more and more the trend. Be independent, spontaneous - be creative and inventive.

@ichselbstaendig: You create many printables for organisers (weekly plans, month dividers, to do lists, etc) - is it something that was born out of your own passion to organize, why do you think working with paper for planning works at digital age?

Nati & Vanessa: It is not that everything is only digital. Of course much is focused on digital media, we also sell our printable via internet shops and present ourselves on social digital platforms. But on the other hand, we believe there is also a recentering on non-digital media. It slows the world and your everyday life a little bit down. To sit comfortably with your paper planner and to plan your appointments by hand is something different. It is exactly like newspaper reading. It is more a way of life, a kind of tradition that cannot be totally described. In addition, with real paper you can organize much more creatively than with digital planning. Not for nothing, there is the famous scrapbooking. A planner is kind of a status symbol and it is simply fun handling. We like to support this creativity. Nevertheless, it should be conscious and resource-efficient. But everyone is responsible for this by oneself. It is good about it, that you can also decide for yourself which printable you want and print exactly how much you need.

Furthermore we do not think in either this or that. Bringing antagonisms into line so that it works – this was as a great recognition for us.

@ichselbstaendig: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome on your way to becoming an entrepreneur?

Nati & Vanessa: The biggest challenge is yourself. We often keep ourselves from implementing ideas. „I cannot do that - I can’t manage this - This is not good enough“. Everyone knows this inner voice and the fear of not living up to expectations. The good news is: It is not real. These are just thoughts about something that could be in the future. Just get started and get into the flow. It is not important to make everything perfect. Doing mistakes is necessary if we want a further development for ourselves. If we push ourselves too hard, stress arises: That is because we are „here“ right now but want to be „there“. It is a killer for your joy and creativity that we need so much to be successful.

@ichselbstaendig: Do you have a favorite quote among your printables that motivates you and brings you luck?


Nati & Vanessa: Especially these two quotes motivate us: "Should, Would, Could, Do IT!“ and "Do what you love" - ​​it is not always easy to stick to these intents, when life wants to go another way. But it is very helpful and strenuous to remember these mottos again and again. It hampers you if you only think about what you cannot or what could be if you do something in this or that way. Sometimes you have to come into action and act in spite of your fears and worries. This is the only way to overcome them. In the end everything will always be good anyway.

@ichselbstaendig: Would you say you have a healthy work-life balance and how do you manage it?

Nati & Vanessa: By this time, we are already close to have a healthy work-life balance. That was not always like this. Always this pressure from the outside, which you allowed to come to close. Be perfect, be fast, be successful without compromise. We have changed that. We are convinced that success comes with fulfillment. At the first step we have already understood what is important and as far as that goes, we are definetly quite a step ahead. Each of us has her own desires and ideas for a fulfilled life, and each of us is already at a different point to achieve them. It does not really matter to arrive that particular aspiration in a specific time or way. In fact, the journey is the destination and the attitude that goes within, as the circumstances of the outside. Listen to your inner voice, it tells you which is the right path for you. And so you gain a healthy work-life balance. It happens automatically when you listen to your inner soul. You start to exclude things that are not good for you. Or they simply stay away by itself because you do not attract them with your negativity. This does not mean that there are not difficult times or problems that you have to deal with, but it depends on how you do it. And of course, you have your commitments, man/woman, family, friends, accomplishments. However, if you live self-determined, it is easier to live and work and your environment also feels it and reacts to it. Usually more positive than you would guess before. And actually you would have to say life-balance. Because the largest part in our life is work. And this should

match to your own potentials and values. Then we do not have to make a difference between work and life. It just fits.

@ichselbstaendig: What would you advice to a woman, who wants to start her own business project but is hesitating to start?

Nati & Vanessa: Our experience is that you will be successful if you do what you love. That what is smooth-running. This does not mean that it is not exhausting or "unsafe". But it will feel more easy for you and then it will usually work out good. Do not try to force something. You may also achieve your goals, but in a much harder way and unhappy. And do not always look for the reasons not to do it, but rely on the reasons doing it. Nobody knows how it is going to end, but it's about trying. Later on you will be annoyed not to have done it. And you will never know before whether it will be successful or not. It may be that you will not be successful. But that is not that bad at all. It is also about your experiences, the people you meet and your feeling about it. If you love what you do, you will attract people around you who love it as well and support you. But be prepared to show commitment and sometimes be quite exhausted. But with the feeling inside, that what you're doing is right and pleasure. Bring together your expertise and passion. Then it can actually only work…

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