Meet the Maker: Fran from the Little Stamp Store
Fran Sherbourne from the Little Stamp Store creates custom stamps featuring people’s logos and ideas, alongside her own designs. She even offers stamp subscription boxes for the stationery addicts among us. Fran’s stamp-making venture started in 2011, as a way to regain her independence and deal with postpartum anxiety after the birth of her two boys – “the process of designing and carving stamps was great for the soul and allowed me to grow a business at my own pace.” Initially just making logo stamps for local crafters, her business soon “snowballed” and she found she couldn’t keep up with demand. While searching for a more efficient way to make her stamps and fulfil orders, Fran discovered resin, and she now uses this technique to create beautiful, intricate and detailed clear stamps that can be used for packaging, printing fabric, wallpaper, stamping pottery or soaps, baking – the list goes on. Fran talks to textile artist Amanda Barnes about her creative business and the people who inspire her…
I always try to bring out a new stamp design each month, which gets harder the busier I get.
Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
Hi, I’m Fran, the maker and creator at the Little Stamp Store. I hand carve rubber stamps and I also make clear resin stamps for any logo or picture, hand drawn or graphically produced, up to A4 in size. It’s very exciting.
Seasons inspire me. My love for springtime inspired me to draw this little rabbit and clover.
You make beautiful and very intricate stamps for people…
Thank you! I do like to create stamps for other people and that’s my main source of income. I love designing other people’s logos and I also like working on logos already created to make sure they are stamp ready. I always try to bring out a new stamp design each month, which gets harder the busier I get.
Making stamps each month for the subscription boxes inspires me to design something relevant to that month, season or something that’s on trend.
To overcome this I started producing monthly and quarterly stamp subscription boxes – this way I have to keep up with the new design work. Making stamps each month for the subscription boxes inspires me to design something relevant to that month, season or something that’s on trend.
Do you also design stamps for yourself?
I do! I designed some massive stamps featuring beach trees and native UK birds to decorate my living room wall, and when I shared those on social media, loads of other people wanted me to make them for them too. For years now I’ve been meaning to get them online to sell… I think putting it in print has just made me commit right there, so I’d better do it! I also recently made a kitchen tile stamp to pop straight on to a washable paint wall as a splashback in the kitchen. I designed this tile with my mum in mind, who I recently lost.
My stamps are perfect for printing on to fabric because the depth of print is so high.
As someone who works principally in fabric I’m always looking for new patterns and designs. Have you ever created stamps for printing on to fabric?
I love that you’d want a new fabric stamp – my business head says what would you like? I can make anything :) My stamps are actually perfect for printing on to fabric because the depth of print is so high. I love printing on fabric with my stamps for myself and for my family too, as do many of my customers. I just made my husband a massive bumble bee printed t-shirt and I’ve also made a large alphabet for named t-shirts for my boys and I ended up selling more at their sports clubs.
My monthly and quarterly stamp subscription boxes help keep the ideas flowing…
What is the biggest piece that you have created and what was it used for?
I made a massive tile print for someone in America – they printed the tile pattern on the roof of their porch and it looks amazing :) I also hand carved the whole of a vintage farmhouse, bricks and all, it was so lovely to do and very relaxing, as well as a bunny and doily, which were all very large stamps.
We built my first “Shedio” in 2015 but we moved house this April and have been working on my new “Shedio” since then – and it’s finally ready!
You’ve been building your new “Shedio” at the bottom of your garden as studio for Little Stamp Store. I love the idea of a “Shedio”. What have you done with the space that you have reclaimed in your home?
We built my first “Shedio” in 2015 but we moved house this April and have been working on my new “Shedio” since then – it’s finally ready! While that’s being built my son has been sharing a room with his brother, and Little Stamp Store has been in his. He’s been asking me patiently when I’ll move out of his bedroom, so once I’m all tidied and set up in the new studio, we’ll start decorating his room, which he’d like neon orange… aarrghhhhh.
It’s a pleasure every time I list something new.
What or who inspires you the most?
Kelly from @Knitbrooks is an inspiration! She crochets awesome everything and her Instagram is so pretty and, well, I just want to have a little bit of Knitbrooks in my life. Ontario, Canada, looks so pretty too – the pictures of the mountain lake views she posts are so pretty. There’s also a UK-based lady called Laura @lefarq who I met at event in London and, again, her Instagram is so inspiring and her husband cooks the most amazing dinners. We’re currently working on a ‘wee collab’ as she puts it on my next quarterly rubber stamp subscription box. Her drawings are to-die-for cute. I’m so excited about this next box – I am actually squealing a little bit while writing this :)
I tried producing my logo as a stamp in resin and was so over the moon with the result that I saved up for the resin set-up and started designing any stamp I could think up.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome since starting the Little Stamp Store?
I started selling so many hand-carved stamps and I couldn’t keep up with the carving, so after a few disgruntled customers I knew that I’d have to up my game and that I had to find another stamp that would print as well, if not better, than my carved pink rubber. I tried producing my logo on a laser stamp – red and grey rubber – and thought they were really poor quality, so I tried engraved stamps, again, no good. I then tried producing it in resin and was so over the moon with the result that I saved up for the resin set-up and started designing any stamp I could think up. I love it so much and it’s a pleasure every time I list something new.
I designed some massive stamps featuring beach trees and native UK birds to decorate my living room wall, and when I shared those on social media, loads of other people wanted me to make them for them too.
Do you do any other crafts as a way to relax? If not, are there any that you would be interested in trying?
Ha ha, I was just having a giggle about this the other day. I have a craft stash, a mahooosive box full of crafts I cannot wait to try one day, including felting, weaving, macramé. However, I do have a blanket I’ve nearly finished two years ago. I’ve got to the stage of just putting the last edging around each hexagon and I need to finish it… one day!
I have a craft stash, a mahooosive box full of crafts I cannot wait to try one day, including felting, weaving, macramé.
You have clearly worked very hard to build Little Stamp Store. If money were no object and you were to take a year off, what would you do?
I have worked hard and, WOW, what would I do with a year off? I’m trying to think of something really cool to say to this but, in truth, I love what I do so much that I think I’d work behind the scenes making the Little Stamp Store so pretty and come back in a year with even more cool ideas to show off. There we go, in a nutshell I bloody love producing stuff that I can show off! If I could have my family off for a year with me too, though, I’d love to go for a walk and see how far we could go. I think I’d start with the UK, then the Inca trail in Peru or go to Barbados, Italy, Mexico :)
Fran is taking over our @FolksyHQ Instagram this week. Follow her adventures there to discover more of what goes on behind the scenes and on her own Instagram at @littlestampstore. Watch her introduction below.
Meet the Interviewer