Lindsey Rupp

"I should…” or “maybe someday I will" were all things Lindsey thought about. Now she has an online shop called Goosebeary.

Take us back to you as a kid. Arts and crafts have always been a part of my life. My mom says I’m the one who got all the creativity. I’ve always loved making things: knotted friendship bracelets, puffy paint t-shirts, holiday crafts, you name it. Some of what I made I came up with on my own, other ideas came from magazines and craft books. I liked looking at the pictures of crafts in magazines and seeing if I could follow their directions and come out with something that looked just as good.

What's keeping you busy? Right now it’s a mix between my full-time job, home improvement projects, summer activities and new ideas for Goosebeary Paper Art.

"A few years and a few ideas later, I was working on a personal project designing silhouettes of my dogs."

Walk us through the days leading up to starting your own thing? I was a graphic designer at my first full-time job after college. I enjoyed what I was doing but I also wanted something just for me. I’d been considering starting an Etsy shop, I just wasn’t sure what I really wanted to create. A few years and a few ideas later, I was working on a personal project designing silhouettes of my dogs. I had a cutting machine that allowed me to cut my own vector designs so I designed the silhouettes to be cut and framed. I sent them through the cutter, discarded the cuts of the positive space (the pieces most people use) and layered the remaining design over a piece of scrapbook paper. I added a frame and that was that.

Shortly after, I made a couple other dog silhouettes and a cat silhouette for a cancer benefit and a local animal shelter’s annual auction. I thought, “This is it.” I took the idea and ran with it. I currently have over sixty designs and am working on adding more. I also design the patterned backgrounds. I offer eight patterns and twenty colors for people to choose from for their background layer. I love that people can choose their favorite cut design and pair it with a color and pattern that complements their existing home or office décor.

What have been the challenges? Who and what has helped? The social aspect of showing my work can be intimidating for me but I enjoy talking about what I do so that makes it easier! You also might notice I say “we” or “our.” While I do all the designing and assembling, my husband Scott has been a huge support. I bounce ideas off him, he takes my display ideas for shows and builds them from scratch, helps with show prep, and you’ll find him at vendor shows right beside me.

Talk to us about one of your good days this week. Friday the weather was gorgeous, work was good and it was the perfect night to head out to Gray’s Lake to take advantage of the summer weather. I’m seriously in denial that we’re so far into summer right now.

"The social aspect of showing my work can be intimidating for me but I enjoy talking about what I do so that makes it easier!"

Someone is starting a project for the first time, what would you want to say to them? Everyone is different; find what works for you. For me that meant making a plan about what I wanted to accomplish and writing out the steps I needed to take to make it happen. My target is constantly evolving and I update my action steps based on where I want to be next. I live by to-do lists and deadlines and for me that (usually) works. Having a support system also helps me to keep moving forward.

Why Des Moines? I grew up in southwest Iowa, went to college in northwest Iowa, and then headed to Des Moines. Growing up I always had aspirations of moving to New York or Chicago, but Des Moines gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted to do and also be close to friends and family. I love to travel but at the end of the day I’m happy to come home.

Des Moines is growing. What’s one new thing that caught your eye? A few years ago I worked downtown and so much development has happened since then! I love seeing all the local restaurants and now it seems that more are being added in every direction. While I enjoy the local scene, I was pretty excited to see a Potbelly’s had opened. I interned in Washington D.C. my senior year of college and always went there for a quick bite between my internship and night class. New restaurants always top my list of list of new things to check out in Des Moines.

If you could grant Des Moines one wish what would it be and why? My wish would be that the makers and doers in Des Moines continue to share their wealth of knowledge and talent as the city grows. There are brilliant, caring, wonderful people here striving to make Des Moines the best it can be.

Convince someone new to DSM your favorite place to go on your day off. Spending the day in the East Village is always fun! I like walking shop to shop to check out what’s new. Domestica is always a must-stop, Raygun (of course), Porch Light, Wanderlust – just go to all of them, then stop for coffee and a treat at Scenic Route Bakery.

The most underrated thing in DSM is ________. Why? I’ve recently gotten into kayaking and love the boat rentals at Gray’s Lake! It’s a super affordable way to try out something new. It’s just five dollars for 30 minutes and it’s a nice workout.

What are you most proud of and why? I’m proud that I’ve taken an idea and turned it into something real. Before starting Goosebeary Paper Art I had lots of thoughts of “I should…” or “Maybe someday I will…” Now I have an online shop and have sold my work at juried shows in three different cities (a fourth in September!). I’m still growing and figuring things out as I go along but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.

"My wish would be that the makers and doers in Des Moines continue to share their wealth of knowledge and talent as the city grows."

In three months what do you hope to accomplish? I hope to have a few collaborations in the works!

What’s one thing people need to know you really care about? Finding a balance between work and everything else is important to me. Spending time with family and friends helps me to take a break for a fresh perspective and new ideas.

Derek Jensen