The sea has a calming effect to people. The sound of it can change our brain waves' frequency and put us into a mild meditative state. Many people long to be by the sea to achieve relaxation the busy cities can never give.
Ella, an illustrator who grew up in a fishing village, loved the sea and her hometown dearly. Because of this, she was inspired to create a business that would showcase and protect it.
"My name is Ella, and I am an illustrator based in a little fishing village called Newlyn in Cornwall, where I have lived for my whole life (nearly 20 years!) The name of my business is Mora, which is Cornish for 'to leave land on a voyage,' which I feel perfectly encompasses my love of the sea. It reflects the coastal and Cornish influences, which you can see in my designs."
Ella has always been creative and imaginative. She expresses this in different forms of art. She tried photography and graphic design, but she always keeps coming back to illustrating. So when the lockdown happened, it gave her the opportunity to find her style.
"I’ve always come back to illustration, so it just felt like the right path to progress to making it my career. I’m inspired by my interests such as nature, the sea, and Cornwall in general, so I love that I can portray the lifestyle that I love so much through my drawings. Like many people, lockdown gave me the much needed time to focus and find my style without any pressures or the usual distractions of a busy day to day life.
Along with the desire to become her own boss, she also wanted to encourage her hometown's independent and creative businesses.
"I’ve always had the aspiration to not only be my own boss but to bring something new to the area that I live in and be part of the positive influence in my town and Cornwall in general to push independent and creative businesses and begin to regenerate it so it can reach its potential as such an amazing place to be."
Having a business, Ella knew the importance of having a vision and a goal. Something that would inspire her to keep moving forward.
"The big vision for my brand is to ultimately have the facilities to create my own store, which can stock purely Cornish brands and showcase the incredible amount of talent in Cornwall. Incorporated into this, I want to expand my own range of products; I’m hoping to branch into clothing and more stationary and homeware, but I want to ensure that in doing, so I am sourcing entirely sustainable options as I go, to not only reduce my impact on the planet but to inspire others to follow suit whether that be in starting their own sustainable businesses or incorporating being eco-conscious into their everyday lives."
2020 brought challenges, but Ella saw this as something that pushed her to be more creative in showcasing her brand. The lockdown may have limited her plans, but this also led her to explore social media as a way to put her name out there and find support.
"Sadly, this year, I wasn’t able to take part in craft fairs and trade shows which is something I was really looking forward to, but I know that’s still to come. Instead, social media was very important for me, and as a result, I have already developed a clear brand identity and have been able to build strong links with other independent businesses and creatives. As hard as lockdown has been for starting my business, the small business community has pooled together, and their support has been really valuable. My advice for any new business would be to always think ahead and have a (flexible) plan which will mean that the steps you take will come together to create a clear, strong brand, and you’ll always be heading towards your main goal."
She shares that a small area like Cornwall gives her less opportunities and she wanted to do something about it.
"I really want to change the people's attitude, at least in my local area, and make it more accessible for others that have strong goals and positive ideas to make them a reality. Alongside this, I want to set an example of how your lifestyle can have a positive impact on the environment. Living in such a beautiful rural and coastal area, you can’t help but want to protect it."
Growing up near the sea, she saw its environment degrade and it urged her to start a positive change to help reverse the problem.
"I feel like my way of contributing to this is by having a business that encompasses the values of sustainability and protecting the environment. It also allows me to follow my dream of having my own business without ruining the future for those to come. Having grown up with the sea as my home, I would hate to see it suffer and degrade to the point that my own children wouldn’t get to enjoy it as I did, and I would at least like to think that I can do my part to protect it as much as possible."
Before starting her business, she searched for suppliers that care for the environment. She also made an effort to look for those that operate nearby so she can support local businesses as well.
"I tried to source my products as locally as possible to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting my goods. All of my prints are made using recycled paper. My bags and tea towels are made using organic cotton and water-based inks with both businesses being located only a matter of miles away from my home. All of the packaging for my products is either recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable from the boxes to the cello bags. I portray my ethos and attempts to be eco-friendly to my customers through my social media posts as well as in the product listings."
When it comes to her products, Ella understands the impact of having custom packaging and how it can make a receiver feel more special.
"I decided I wanted custom packaging because I was at the point where I was ready to push my business to the next level by looking more professional and put together. I chose the custom tissue paper because it was a great, flexible packaging option that I could use on all of my products, but I also always find that custom packaging makes an order feel so much more special and personal for your customers. I also purchased the self-inking stamp because I loved that noissue could capture all of the detail from my logo into the stamp which not many other companies can. Then lastly, I chose the stickers, which are really valuable to my brand identity because they complete the overall finish of my products e making them easily identifiable as my own. The custom packaging offered by noissue has helped to push my vision for my brand because it meant that I didn’t have to compromise on my eco-friendly values to be able to have cool, unique packaging for my items."
"I chose to use noissue because I found it really inspiring to see examples of how other businesses had utilized the website to make their own packaging and how it has elevated their brands. Another bonus to noissue is that it was so easy to add my design to the packaging using the website. I like that there are so many options on the website because as I grow, I can continue to elevate my packaging with more products such as the water-activated tape and compostable mailers."
Mora Cornwall fun fact:
"If I were given one superpower that can help better the situation of the planet, I would want to retain all the knowledge of David Attenborough so I could carry on his legacy to educate people on how to live more sustainably and care for our environment."
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