Behind the Scenes on starting up a wallpaper business + Our first collection

You know that feeling when you've been working on something for months and it finally becomes a reality? Anyone out there who is a work-at-home-mum or a creative/maker or has started up a business will identify with that! The journey is not easy. After months of researching, designing, planning... it is finally here, our wallpaper collection has landed!  

It has taken a completely failed attempt, a lot of sleepless nights, trials and errors, several meetings and a lot of going back and forth between designs and colour ways to get to where we are. Initially I 'lost' 3 months with a failed attempt, and I did reach a point where I couldn't see the way forward.

But when you are determined to not give up and make something happen you find a way.

The road of starting your own business is a rocky one not to be underestimated, and you have to stick to your guts and fight through the obstacles to be able to get anywhere in this over competitive age that we live in. This is a celebratory post though, so let's skip the challenges for now (I'll leave those for another post!) and get to the point...

I am really glad to say now that our collection has now been printed and is available for sale, all ready to make many homes prettier

To celebrate the launch, I am sharing some of what happens behind the scenes of wallpaper printing. Whist the final product is awesome and hanging wallpaper you love is like having your vision of the perfect home coming to life, seeing how it is done is super impressive as a LOT goes into it. 

I have selected a manufacturer based in the Midlands as I was happy with the quality they produce and also their ethics. They print for some of the biggest names in the wallpaper industry, and the quality is phenomenal (order a sample here to see what I mean!) 

Our wallpaper is printed on paper produced from sustainable sources and using organic ink pigments, and reduced waste is one of their main concerns. After all, with being in the wallpaper business comes a responsibility to look after the environment, and I was happy to find a manufacturer with the same ethos. 

First Steps - The Design Process

Once the colour match is done, the wallpaper is hung for final approval before printing

Once the colour match is done, the wallpaper is hung for final approval before printing

When you love what you do it doesn't feel like work... This is exactly what happened here. I spent hours designing and then perfecting the designs in the evenings whilst catching up on TV programs with the Mr (or pretending to, while really I was being absorbed by my ideas!) I look after my daughters full-time, so the evening is when I can get all my ideas on paper (or on the screen) and many times I worked late into the night without realising... the things you do when you're having fun ;) My growing pregnant body at the time wasn't so forgiving though as I'd pay for it the next day!

Once completed, I submitted my designs to the manufacturer and their expert team would double check the scale, quality and pattern repeats. Once all was approved, I got a sample for each design, and after I approved those, then the roller would be produced. Each wallpaper design printed using the flexographic technique has a roller which can be used in any colourway. 

The Colour Process

Palm Leaf Garden in Blush just before the final printing

Palm Leaf Garden in Blush just before the final printing

Once the roller was at the manufacturer, it was time to make a decision on the final colours. One of the toughest I have to say (because I loved so many combinations!) but I had to make a decision to fit my working budget! 

What can I say - thank goodness for the Instagram and FB communities, you guys rock! I did a lot of research on the colour options available and had expert advice from some of the best Interior Bloggers and Decorators, as well as an interior-obsessed crowd. 

The Printing Process

That was an exciting day... Childcare arranged, I got up early and got in the car for the hour and a half drive to see my designs being printed. As soon as I arrived at the manufacturer, the colour match started, and once I was happy with the matches then the printing started. It was amazing to see how quickly it all happened. The pictures will explain better than words, take a peek for yourself... 

After we got the perfect colour match, the ink buckets feeding into the printer, they look much more concentrated than what they look on paper. 

After we got the perfect colour match, the ink buckets feeding into the printer, they look much more concentrated than what they look on paper. 

This is what our signature blush looked like before being applied to the paper. 

This is what our signature blush looked like before being applied to the paper. 

Palm Leaf Garden - Green on Blush being printed. It is trimmed on the sides soon after printing. 

Palm Leaf Garden - Green on Blush being printed. It is trimmed on the sides soon after printing. 

Our final Bunnies in Pink design in place for the printing management team during the printing process. 

Our final Bunnies in Pink design in place for the printing management team during the printing process. 

The Bunnies in Pink ink - it has a pearlescent finish and it looks really magical once printed, just look at that pink! 

The Bunnies in Pink ink - it has a pearlescent finish and it looks really magical once printed, just look at that pink! 

The speed of the printers is incredible. The roll of wallpaper is more than 1500 metres long and it is printed at impressive speed and accuracy. This picture shows it in movement hence the blurred bunnies image. 

The speed of the printers is incredible. The roll of wallpaper is more than 1500 metres long and it is printed at impressive speed and accuracy. This picture shows it in movement hence the blurred bunnies image. 

The Finishing Touches 

After I signed off the printing process and the final designs, all I had to do was wait for the wallpaper rolls to be cut to size, labelled and wrapped. A couple of weeks later and they were all wrapped and ready to go into their new homes. 

Take a look at our full collection below. 

And for the little ones...  

It is being an incredible experience and one that I hope will continue for many years to come. I'd love to hear what you think of our new wallpaper collection on the comments below or email us at hello@theroomalive.com , and you can also check out more photos and order your own samples here

Danielle x