Let's get visible: Meet Flow Supply Co

In an effort to actively support and promote the work of independent artists, Noemi Stauffer started Flow Supply Co, an online gallery featuring posters and prints made by independent studios, designers and illustrators. We were able to catch up with Noemie and learn about her journey, passions and what's next.

Tell us your story: Who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I would define myself as a digital creative, meaning I can do a bit of everything – design, code, marketing and business strategy. I’m currently based in Montreal, although the question "Where are you from?" is a hard one for me to answer. I am both Swiss and Canadian, but I have lived in five countries so far, and on different continents. I spent more than five years in Barcelona, and that’s where I truly feel at home. However, I think growing up in Switzerland is what most influenced me and my work. It is definitely where my fascination for design and clean, elegant lines, was born. Every time I go back, it strikes me how strong their visual culture is, and how they pay attention to it. 

I got kicked out of Art School, to later graduate from top Business Schools, only to realize that I was by no means suited for a corporate career. Therefore, I felt like the best way to bring my ideas to life was by starting my own projects, at the crossroads of art, design, business and tech. I really believe that good design means good business, but unfortunately, Business Schools don’t promote that perspective enough. Therefore, I occasionally give talks and lectures on Design Management, a field I never get tired of. I run two self-initiated projects at the moment, the first being Flow Supply Co, an online gallery of posters that are available to buy on artist-owned online stores. To support the work of these designers and illustrators, all posters are showcased on the website totally free of charge. I also publish Fresh Fonts every two weeks, a newsletter featuring the latest and hottest typefaces released by independent foundries, including variable fonts and open source projects.


How did you come up with the idea for Flow Supply Co? 
It wasn’t a creative spark but rather an iterative process. When I started the project one year ago, it was meant to become an online store of office accessories, because I thought that quality, visually attractive office items where hard to find. I had put together some kind of blog to test out the idea, on which I had featured a few art prints, too. I noticed that these products seemed to appeal to my users more than the rest. Around the same time, I stumbled upon an article that featured amazing posters from different designers and illustrators. By looking them up, I found out that most of them were selling prints on their own, independently-run online stores, which most people didn’t seem to know. Connecting the dots – I came up with the concept for Flow Supply.


Illustration by Petra Eriksson

How do you find independent artists to feature?
I spend a lot of time looking around Dribble, Behance, Instagram and design blogs. Also, some artists are recommended to me directly by users, something that you can do on the site. I try to feature as many women as men, although they are somewhat more difficult to find. 

What role does art and design play in your life?
Design is at the center of everything I do. It’s what I’m most passionate about – I see it everywhere, in everything. That’s probably how I can spend hours looking for designers to feature on Flow Supply Co, or hunting new font releases. I will easily buy a book because I like its cover, or obsess over well-designed products (mostly watches and handcrafted leather goods / shoes). Not only am I a sucker for design, but I have endless respect and admiration for designers. I can thank my time in Art School for that.

What’s next for you and Flow Supply Co?
I’ve got some exciting things coming up! I started commissioning some of my favourite designers and illustrators to make exclusive posters for Flow Supply Co. We will launch the online store very soon. On the new site, it will also be possible to download free desktop and mobile wallpapers, designed by the same artists.

How can the community follow and support your projects?
You can follow me on Twitter! It’s the best way not to miss the launch of Flow Supply’s online store. You can also subscribe to Fresh Fonts here and if you get a kick out of the newsletter, consider making a small donation through buy me a coffee. The newsletter gives free visibility to hundreds of independent type foundries from around the world, and given the amount of time that goes into it, this helps keeping it alive.

Art by Malika Favre

Best advice in three words?
“Move slow and get it right.” Haha, I know, it’s a bit more than three words, but it’s the best advice I can think of. There is this trend for startups and makers to “move fast and break things”. I think it’s crap. Coming up with good ideas, executing them with care and attention to details, while learning from the process, requires time and patience. It's more of an art than a science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2 comments

  • I think the “move fast and break things” is crap too 👏👏👏

    nick
  • I LOVE the idea of highlighting queers killin’ it out there through the shop’s blog!!
    Flowsupply co looks awesome :)

    Mikaela

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