Hello and welcome, I'm Catherine, head designer at Orla and the Gang. My team members are Orla aged 8, Roisin aged 5 and Aoife, aged 3, otherwise known as my children! Hence the name of my business, Orla and the Gang
They are a huge influence on the designs you will see in all the prints here and Orla has in fact drawn a few of them herself (see the bee print and others). Having previously designed luxury stationery for over 8 years with my other business (CJ Designs) I wanted to create a range of prints and stationery that had a more illustrative and fun element to them. I also wanted to show my children that not everything in life has to be perfect for it to be enjoyed and loved.
I especially wanted to show my eldest, Orla this, as during the lockdowns of 2020 and early 2021, Orla started to display symptoms of anxiety and became very upset. She deeply missed school and was struggling to cope without becoming very anxious, this in turn led to her having issues with perfectionism and wanting everything she did to be perfect. An issue, I know, which is not uncommon among both children and adults. I didn't want this perfectionism and anxiousness to stop Orla joining in with life. It had started to rob Orla of any self confidence and she started to retreat from activities she previously enjoyed.
I started 'Orla and the Gang' with the hope she'd join in with her own ideas and designs. I hoped it would slowly build her confidence when she sees she is capable of enjoying things she may not be entirely perfect at. So far it is working as I can see from including Orla in the designs and painting of illustrations she has started to see the beauty in painting outside of the lines, and what fun you can have without something being 'perfect'.
Please come and say hello at instagram@orlaandthegang where i feature updates about our prints, mum life and general tips for life with children and running a business.