Artist Profile: Linda Hughes

Using charming vintage images, Linda Hughes offers handmade items with a retro twist. She talks about overcoming hardship, and offering value to her customers.


Teacup Notecard by Linda Hughes


ABI:  Tell us how you got started, and what you offer in your collection.

LH:  I use to have an online store called Monkey Bizness from 2007- 2011 (I made sock monkey dolls & baby items). I had to close my shop in 2011 due to my going blind. Then I re-opened my store in 2013.

Nowadays, I offer wristlet purses and notecards. I combine my interests in purses (one can never enough of them, can we?) vintage and retro images, graphic design and sewing to create my artfully handmade items. The products I create are truly a passion of mine and a labor of love.


Beach Beauty Wristlet by Linda Hughes


ABI:  You faced significant challenges as an artist. How did you overcome them?

LH:  I was blind for almost two years. I am incredibly grateful to my family and friends who kept my spirits up, and to my longtime boyfriend who supported me while I was unable to work. In 2013, I had corrective eye surgery in both eyes and thankfully my vision was restored and only need reading glasses. Getting a second chance at sight, I was so ecstatic to getting back to work! I decided to set out on a new path, change my product line and recently changed my business name as well.


Vintage Paris Notecard by Linda Hughes


ABI:  What strategies are you using to encourage more sales?

LH:  Besides word of mouth, I use my notecards as thank you cards when mailing out orders to customers. Cards contain all my info on the back, so they provide a great way of spreading the news about my business and they see right away what I do!


Paris Parlor Notecard by Linda Hughes


I offer free gift wrapping on all my items. They are wrapped in pretty vintage style tissue paper, closed with a jeweled paper clip (which I make) and thank you note added. When it arrives, I want it to create a thrill and excitement by letting the customer open a beautifully wrapped item.


Linda Hughes in her Studio


Other strategies I use:

  • Giveaways- Usually give away 1 or 2 products from my product line at a time, or promo T-shirts with my business  logo on them.
  • Do commission work for wristlet purses and do graphic designs for banners, Facebook covers etc.
  • I do farmers markets mostly all summer, indoor shows in the fall.
  • Donate to charity on a regular basis. I am a firm believer in helping others and enjoy giving back.
  • Thinking outside the box, I’ve been gradually listing my designs on They will be available to purchase this fall in wallpaper, gift wrap or fabric.


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