Meet The Babe Behind LA's Coolest Greeting Card Line
Sometimes the best way we can express our love, gratitude, or another specific sentiment to that special someone is though a greeting card depicting DJ Khaled's likeness. Or maybe a Goodburger reference. Or just a well-placed pun. It's exactly that kind of pop culture-laden, tongue-and-cheek imagery that has made Fine Ass Lines a best seller at some of the coolest retailers around. With stockists that include Urban Outfitters, TENOVERSIX, Individual Medley, and Twig & Twine, the card line has earned a cult following. That said, we simply had to find out more about the woman behind the brand, Sophia Elias.
The LA native got into the greeting card game after pursuing acting and becoming quickly disenchanted by the business. Always doodling and writing, Elias began creating illustrations with clever captions as a creative outlet, and she started sharing them on social media. Friends and followers loved what she was doing and soon enough she was making prints and selling them on Etsy. Now settled into her own studio, Sophia cranks out cards for dozens of retailers throughout the United States, as well as a few in countries including Sweden, New Zealand, and Canada who can't get enough of her hilarious illustrations.
As equal fans of her impressive drive and her rad products (besides cards, Fine Ass Lines offers wrapping paper and pins), we wanted to know more about Sophia, including her advice for following your creative passion and her pop culture guilty pleasure (we're totally not judging). Read on to learn about the beauty and brains behind this beloved brand.
Have you always been creative? What's your earliest memory of making art?
I had a comic book series called Moch and Vacuum Dog that I used to write and illustrate as a kid. I played the character of Moch (still don't know why I picked that name for myself) and my yellow labrador Nala played Vacuum Dog (she could effortlessly inhale food, leaves, etc. in real life, so I felt this name was appropriate). I'm not sure what was happening in my 7-year-old mind at the time, but for whatever reason the comic book series revolved around fighting aliens. I think Vacuum Dog once created a tornado to defend us from the aliens with her breathing techniques. I don't remember what my powers were, sadly. I also remember writing and illustrating a "book" that was based on a dish soap election. It was called "Dawn vs. Joy" which, if you don't know, are two different brands of liquid dish soap. The dishes and cutlery all voted based on which dish soap cleaned them best. I don't remember who won.
You're obviously inspired by pop culture. What's your guiltiest TV or music pleasure?
Oh boy. I hate that I love watching The Real Housewives. New York and Beverly Hills are my two favorites. I also love Family Feud, but I'm less ashamed of that.
On the topic of cards and gifts, what's the best gift you've ever been given?
My boyfriend moved to Palo Alto last year for work, so we've been traveling back and forth to see each other on some weekends. For my birthday this year, he showed up at my office completely unannounced. That was probably the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. The year before that when he was still living here, he went out of his way and had the people at Trois Familia make a giant sheet cake version of their famous tres leches cake for my birthday. I dunno why, but that one made me cry.
You're sold at some pretty amazing shops in LA (and nationally!). Where are some of your go-to spots for shopping in town?
For shoes, my go-to is Intentionally Blank. Their shoes are on a lot of great websites like Need Supply, but they've also got a storefront in Chinatown. As far as clothes go, I just bought a nice linen jumpsuit from Reformation for the first time. I'm not sure what took me so long. As far as higher-end/speciality boutiques in LA go, I would recommend Individual Medley and TENOVERSIX—both of which sell my cards! They really know how to edit when it comes to clothing, homewares, and everything in between. I'm very lucky to be in such amazing stores here!
What's the best and worst part of working for yourself?
You are in charge of everything, which is both a dream and a nightmare. Time management, money management, marketing, new ideas, new products, deciding how you want to grow your business: all of those things are up to you and only you. Don't get me wrong, those are all wonderful and rewarding aspects of owning your own business, but it isn't until you start second guessing yourself that you wish you had some big bad boss to tell you what to do. That said, I do enjoy the fact that I can work out in the morning and roll into my little office looking like hell. No one is there to complain.
Speaking of which, do people always seem surprised that there's a total babe behind Fine Ass Lines?
Oh man. Am I though? This is tough because I feel like a self-absorbed crazy person for answering. Modeling has been suggested to me quite a bit, which is very nice, but it's also a bit frustrating. The manner in which some people suggest it can sometimes feel like they're belittling my business; like I would somehow be better off pursuing that career instead. Little do they know I piqued in 6th grade when I modeled for Limited Too. I don't think I can top that.
What advice would you give any artists hoping to follow a similar path?
Just do it. Try. Even if it sucks or fails, take a calculated risk and put your work out there. You don't know what can come from your venture. It may transform into something else, it may give you a newer and better idea, or it may bring you lots of success. Nothing will come from you doing, well, nothing. Also, not to get all Tony Robbins on everyone, but comparing yourself to your competitors does not serve you. Rather than wasting energy wondering about someone else's awards and accolades, focus on what you're uniquely good at. I think that's one of the key ingredients for any growing artist or business.