Meet the designer Jessica Prout of littlearrowdesign
Modern Moroccan on Navy by littlearrowdesign

Jessica Prout, aka littlearrowdesign, didn’t start out designing, and that’s why we find her story so inspirational. In 2012, she stepped away from a corporate job in engineering to stay at home with her daughter, but soon after realized that while motherhood was an amazing experience, she still needed a creative outlet. So she opened an Etsy shop featuring her handmade bibs, crib sheets, and baby bedding. While searching for ways to make her shop stand out, she discovered Spoonflower. From there, the combination of her love for fabric and her husband’s background as a graphic designer led her to try designing too—with over 6,600 designs in her shop, you could say she found her calling! Get to know this featured designer who hails from Richmond, Virginia in our interview (and video) below.


My day starts with:

“Getting my kids ready for the day and a cup of coffee.

When did you fall in love with design?

I have always had a passion for creating, but it wasn’t until after my first daughter was born and I stopped working full time that I started pattern design. My passion and call to create is so strong, it is hard to think there was ever a time when I didn’t do it at all.

Watercolor Rainbow Wholecloth and Bunnies on Dark Mint by littlearrowdesign
Watercolor Rainbow Wholecloth and Bunnies on Dark Mint by littlearrowdesign

What influences or inspires your work and why?

I am most definitely inspired by all things nature and wildlife, but I also love to do illustrations of different objects that I find fun & interesting.

When I’m in my studio, I feel:

“Happy. I love designing and being able to create daily is something that I am very grateful for.

Left to right: Unicorns Pool Float Teal and Floral Llamas on Baby Blue by littlearrowdesign
Unicorns Pool Float Teal and Floral Llamas on Baby Blue by littlearrowdesign

What’s in your toolbox?

My MacBook pro, sketch book, scanner, Wacom tablet, iPad pro, watercolor paints, and a very creative 4-year-old who is full of great pattern ideas.”

I’d love to see one of my designs turned into:

Anything tangible. I love seeing my designs made into anything by the handmade community. The small-shop community is full of so many hard-working and talented creatives and I am honored any time they choose one of my designs.”

Vintage Moroccan – Deep Green and Multi Bear – Lumberjack Collection by littlearrowdesign | PJs handmade by @BearandRoo

What is your process when creating a new design?

I usually have an idea, then I make some rough sketches of my design, either on paper or on the Wacom tablet. Once I am happy with the general look, I refine the illustration in Adobe. Depending on the style I am going for, I add different strokes or textures. Then I start arranging my elements into a pattern. Once I am happy with the spacing and balance, I play with different colorways, until I find something I like.”

In process drawing of a llama by littlearrowdesign. See the final design here.

What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?

My flip-flops. I am a very casual person. Maybe too casual, if that is a thing?”

Left to right: Deconstructed Rainbow, Spots on Pink and Rainbows - Pink and Blue by littlearrowdesign
Deconstructed Rainbow, Spots on Pink and Rainbows – Pink and Blue by littlearrowdesign

The best advice I’ve ever received was:

Don’t be afraid to take a chance.  Trust yourself and your ability to succeed through hard work and dedication.”

If I could live in a painting, it would be:

Moraine Lake at Banff National Park by Lanjee Chee. It is just so gorgeous!”

Moraine Lake At Banff National Park by Lanjee Chee via Fine Art America

The secret to a strong collection is:

Choosing a strong color pallet, a variety of scale, and making some basic blender fabrics that coordinate with your hero print.”

Left to right: Happy Camper Wholecloth Quilt and Little Man Patchwork Quilt by littlearrowdesign
Happy Camper Wholecloth Quilt and Little Man Patchwork Quilt by littlearrowdesign | Hoodie by @Gooseloveslamb,  blanket by @Ohelloblanketshoppe, and baby nest by @Lovebirdsewingco

For someone new to trying the design challenge, what advice would you give them?

Go for it! Take your time to work with your design to fit your vision, and don’t get upset if you end up in a completely different place. Sometimes the best designs are a result of happy accidents.”


Little Arrow Design Co logo

Want to see more? Follow Jessica on Instagram to keep up with her lively collection of playful patterns and baby clothing, not to mention a sprinkling of sophisticated home décor. Speaking of that, you can also check out her designs on finished goods like bedding, napkins, pillows and more at our sister brand, Roostery.

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  • Linda Atherton

    Jess, I’m curious as to which Adobe software program you use to refine your illustrations. I’m guessing Illustrator, but they make so many different programs these days, I would love to know which one you use.

    • Jessica Prout

      Hi Linda,

      Yes, I use illustrator for about 99% of my work! Almost always to create my illustrations, and 100% of the time to create the finished pattern.

      xoxo jess

  • Great interview 🙂 I enjoyed hearing your story..and we are neighbors! I am 50 minutes from Richmond 🙂
    Thank you for sharing !

  • Tammy Lampert

    Loved this interview with Jessica – wow! Very inspirational and good to know I’m not the only mom who juggles different hours to keep creating new and fun designs! Congrats on the feature Jessica! 🙂

  • Ann Limbeck

    Dear Jess,
    I love you children’ s clothing. I have tried to launch a small business now that I’m retired. I have had a problem finding manufacturing services in the US or close, possibly Canada. Where do you have your clothing made? I would not be adverse to an overseas plant if I knew the employees were paid fairly. Also what is the small-shop community that you use?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Ann,
      You can see many of the small business shops that make custom clothing with Jess’s designs through her Instagram account. There are lots of creative individuals and shops that are inspired to make apparel featuring her designs!
      Cheers,
      Suz from Spoonflower