ART SPOTLIGHT ON DANIELLE HARDY OF URBANWALLS
My favourite aspect of modern decor is the appreciation for individuality and personality within design. Long gone are the days when everyone coveted the same style and strived to achieve a cookie-cutter aesthetic; now, we seek to share a little of ourselves within the designs we choose and source out brands and decor finds that grant us that freedom.
Established in 2007 by Danielle Hardy (a local graphic designer turned stay at home mom turned creative entrepreneur), Urbanwalls has become an artistic outlet for people looking to explore unique decor within their spaces. The company designs easy to use, peel and stickwall decals as an ideal (and totally move-and-remove-able) alternative to traditional wallpaper. Not only offering a huge library of their own designs, custom options are also available for the more adventurous client.
The brand has partnered with a handful of local creative influencers like Leah Alexandra, Erin Sousa and Monika Hibbs to create collaboration collections that are also for sale. My favourite endeavour that Urbanwalls has embarked on is The Creative Collection, through which the brand is partnering with different local artists to create their own collections- one of my favourite artists, Dana Mooney, will be kicking off The Creative Collection, which is set to launch in the next few months.
How did you get started in your decal design business and what led you to where you are now?
In 2009, after the birth of my second son, I was searching for a creative outlet where I could put 10 years of graphic design and print experience to work. As a stay-at-home mom with a husband who often traveled, I didn’t have a ton of spare time… but I did have nights and a rather large cutter taking up space in the garage. On a whim, I decided to design a few wall decals―decals that I would actually want to hang in my own home, nothing tacky or dated. After experimenting with the cutter to create my own designs, I listed a few on Etsy. Maybe others were searching for a way to make their homes a little brighter, their spaces more individualized? I woke up the next morning with my first sale and I thought, “Well… I guess it’s time to invest in some vinyl.”
If you could describe your artistic style in one word, what would it be?
Freeform - this is the complete foundation of Urbanwalls. there are no rules. With each install we create for content, or a customer creates in their own space, the finished product ALWAYS looks unique and different. It’s what we pride our business on: being your own designer!
Do you have any predictions for the future of your industry?
I want our business to be a source of inspiration and practical help. So many people that follow along say "I could never do that" or "I'm not creative enough" and I think that our decals can be something that brings out the creativity of DIY’ing your perfect space. Thanks to the online world (hello, Instagram) inspiration is always around the corner, and more people will be looking for DIY décor solutions, which our decals fit perfectly into.
How would you describe Vancouver’s artistic/creative community?
I love Vancouver because it’s filled with amazing people that love to collaborate and see the value of working together to make a project amazing. When everybody comes together and brings their gifts and talents to the table, magic happens and everybody walks away a winner. Vancouver is filled with people that value collaboration over competition.