We had the good fortune of connecting with Camille Chavana and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camille, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Oh my! I love quotes. I have so many saved on a Pinterest board labeled Inspirado. I usually stumble across them when it’s something I really need to hear in that momemt, be it motivation or inspiration. An old fave is from the famed fashion designer Diane Von Furstenburg: “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” It took me awhile to figure out that graphic design was my true calling. Even during college and some much needed soul searching, I always new the kind of woman I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to be kind, inspiring, and create something for others to enjoy. I just wasn’t quite sure what that was yet. I felt like if I knew exactly who I wanted to be and didn’t stray from my values, everything else would fall into place. That included always wanting to be a mom as well. A new fave that I recently stumbled upon pertains more to my brand goals for You & Mille. “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” ~Seth Godin I want people to really know what I’m like and more importantly what I stand for when they are purchasing my greeting cards and art. I think that makes brands super successful when they share their stories. That’s where the magic happens.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is inspired mostly by my culture and funny things my family and I say. I create bilingual greeting cards, from funny spanglish to uplifting and girly. I was really sick of not seeing unique and funny bilingual greeting cards. I am very proud of how I celebrate and incorporate my Latinx culture into my designs. I love creating artwork and greeting cards with Latina women in mind. I really feel we aren’t well represented in the stationery world and I aim to change that. It’s excites me to see more of this work and the talented Latinx creatives that are putting it out there. I started You & Mille when I decided to quit my job at the ad agency and become a stay-at-home mom. I always wanted to have a greeting card and stationery line and the birth of my son created that opportunity for me. It wasn’t particularly easy because as a designer I was constantly overthinking my logo, brand aspects, and illustrations. I became almost afraid to put it out in the world. I still struggle with that at times but it’s definitely getting easier the more I create. Most of the lessons I have learned along the way have to do with the business side of things. The not so fun parts like pricing, my freelance rate and sourcing supplies like paper and envelopes. Those were learning curves for sure. I am definitely still finessing my brand and trying to make it something I am really proud of. Being a Mom is a 24/7 job (which is amazing and rewarding) and sometimes I don’t have much time left in the day to create (or energy lol). The beginning of 2020 really threw my work/mom life balance for a loop. That being said, the pandemic has also allowed me to slow down and focus on the future of my brand and business. We are expecting another baby in December, so I have taken a nice break, but now I am anxious to get back to work. I have also decided I don’t want to rush my designs and I’m shifting my focus to quality over quantity at this stage of You & Mille.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Where do I begin? There are so many places I love in our city! I feel like I am constantly saying, “What? You haven’t been there?” One of my favorite neighborhoods is Bishop Arts in Oak Cliff so that is a definite must see. There’s so much to see and places to shop. I would take my best friend to check out the books at The Wild Detectives book store, grab lunch at Taco y Vino or Lockhart BBQ and stop for dessert at CocoAndre’ Chocolatier. I would also take them to the new donut shop Salty because I have been wanting to stop by and try it. You really can’t go wrong with Bishop. I really love that we have hip hotels downtown for locals to hang out and well as out-of-towners. My favorite bar is inside the Joule, The MIdnight Rambler. Craft cocktails and vinyl, need I say more? This bar also has the best people watching. The Statler has fun bars and restaurants inside as well. The rooftop pool and bar has lovely views of downtown. Overeasy is the perfect breakfast spot also located inside The Statler. The Adolphus Hotel would be another favorite spot on my list. The rooftop pool is always a good time. Commerce Goods + Supply inside The Adolphus is the most fabulously curated retail shop. I love the gifts for kids. You can also grab some delicious coffee across the lobby at Otto’s Coffee. No trip would be complete without stopping by Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. I highly recommend “The Hot Mess”. If you have room for dessert go next door to Emporium Pies. The Smooth Operator is my fave! I would end the week with a trip to Homewood Dallas, A delicious restaurant co-founded by Matt McAllister. It’s nestled on the corner of Avondale and Oaklawn. You can immediately taste the care and creativity that goes into creating their delectable dishes made with only the freshest ingredients. I am so lucky that my niece Briana is a chef there and I get the inside scoop!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am such a lucky gal to have so much support, love and encouragement from my husband and my family. They are my biggest fans! They never tire of me sending them screenshots of greeting card ideas and illustrations no matter what time of night it is. Thank you! I have to give a major shoutout to my Insta fam. It’s crazy how this platform has given me the opportunity to meet and become really close friends with so many local, small business owners. The support is overwhelming and I know I don’t get the chance to thank them enough. They are always there for me when I need advice, have a question or I have to vent about having zero motivation or feel like I’m in a creative rut. I wouldn’t be able to keep You & Mille alive without them. I would like to give a special shoutout to all the lovely gals at CocoAndre, to my boys at Que Rico T-shirt Co. and the super talented Kelli of Kelmari jewelry. Their support means so much to me.
Website: Etsy Shop: https://etsy.me/2JSAmx5
Fernanda Garcia @capturingsunlightby_fey