Geelong art: graphic designer Ally Pedersen on independent living

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Graphic designer Ally Pedersen creates custom artwork for your home and fun, quirky accessories for you and your dog.

ONE year ago, Ally Pedersen decided to take a leap of faith, quit her job and strike out on her own. And she’s never been happier.

The talented graphic designer now runs two online stores selling her own products, including custom house and dog designs, enamel pins and pet supplies.

With her iPad never far from her, Ally hand draws all her creations on the digital tablet.

Like many high school graduates, Ally didn’t know what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to do something she was good at.

Having always been creative and doing it just for fun, Ally decided to follow that passion and enrolled in Communication Design at Monash University.

“It was the kind of thing I did for myself and not to make money,” she recalls.

After graduating, Ally got a job at Cotton On as a product designer for Typo.

“It was very fast, but I’m a fast person. However, my goal was to do my own thing and not work for someone else,” she says.

She says the initial hype of seeing the products she designed in-store also died down after a while, but being able to work with Disney on certain products was a highlight as she admits she’s “obsessed by Disney.

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, although grateful to keep her job, that changed a lot and in October of the same year, with the encouragement of her partner Brenton Walker, Ally decided to go out on her own.

But she was not starting from scratch.

While working for Cotton On, Ally launched her online store Quirk in early 2018, making art and designer accessories.

“I had always talked about wanting to start something and my partner really pushed me to do it,” she says.

Ally was able to use her experience at Cotton On to start her own business.

So when she went out on her own at the end of last year, she had already set up Quirk and was able to devote more time to it, and also started her second business Basil & Co – pet supplies for the sophisticated pup – as well as indie graphics. design work. The pet brand was influenced by its own dogs, Basil and Wesley.

“We had Basil first and I decided I wanted to do something for him. Nothing stands out in the stores and they deserve so much more,” Ally says. my iPad. I made one for a friend and she told me I should sell them because people love their dogs and she was right, they turned out great.

“I thought I could also add to the brand with personalized tags, collars and leashes.”

Ally says she wanted the designs on the collars and leashes to stand out and also be high quality. If you read the reviews you will find that people are impressed.

“I had designed a few dog products at Typo, but it’s much more special to do it yourself,” she beams.

And now, a year after stepping out on her own, Ally couldn’t be happier.

“It was the best decision ever. Basil & Co had 5,000 sales and Quirk 7,000, it was really good,” she says. “It’s so nice to have reviews and comments , these are the happy butterflies.”

As Christmas approaches, Ally says her dog and house designs are hugely popular gift ideas, and when a customer comes back and orders another for a friend, she feels very proud of what she is doing. .

“It was a big decision to quit my job, especially not having a full-time job. I had to question myself and it worked, I’m so happy to have taken the plunge, ”she smiles.

The enamel pins that she designs and sells through Quirk are also extremely popular. She started with just eight models and now has 75.

This includes milk cartons, flowers, avocados, cats, boarding passes, dogs, Gameboys, tacos, and Kombi vans. However, the most popular pin is a juice box.

“I get about 10 orders a day, people love it,” smiles Ally.

Since stepping out on her own, Ally has been able to work from the comfort of her own home, but she looks forward to having more space once the house she and Brenton are building in Wandana Heights is complete.

“I have boxes everywhere and it’s starting to get a bit messy. I have to set it up properly in the new house,” she says.

Now, with her freelance job and two online businesses, Ally can’t wait to see what the future holds.

To follow @allypedersen, @basilandcopetshop and @shop_quirk on Instagram.

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