Hello! I’m Sara Showalter, an illustrator and designer from the sometimes foggy part of California. I’m also the person behind Dottie & Caro. If you’ve come to learn a little bit about me, you’re in the right place!
I’ve been drawing and creating things from my often very overactive imagination for as long as I can remember. I was the kid who took the “write a letter to a friend as if you were a Puritan on the Mayflower” assignment extremely seriously, complete with researching Puritan names to find just the right name for myself and my hypothetical friend and carefully burning the edges of my paper to make it look weathered and aged. (I may also be a bit of a history nerd.)
I taught myself Photoshop when I was in college, so I could create pretty graphics for my blog, because you needed a pretty blog if you wanted to join the oh so important and cool web rings. (Remember those?) It was then that I learned that I could take all of my drawings and doodles and bring them to life on the computer.
A few years later, I ended up teaching myself Illustrator, so I could sell illustrations on microstock sites to save money to buy a new digital SLR. I got the camera pretty quickly, but kept making the illustrations, because it turned out making money from doing something I had always enjoyed was pretty fun. You can still find many of those stock illustrations on sites like iStock, Getty Images, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock. (And marvel at the evolution of my drawing style.)
Creating vector illustrations led to doing a bit of freelance illustration work, designing everything from logos to blog headers to spot illustrations. Along the way I learned how to turn my drawings into repeat patterns, which opened up the whole new world of pattern design. How cool is it to see your design on something like bedding and wallpaper? Very cool.
As someone who has hoarded fonts since my early blog designing days, it seemed only natural that I would venture into a bit of stationery design. I got started by entering a few design challenges at Minted and even had a card sold at Target. (Again, very cool.)
Now the majority of my work can be found on Zazzle, Spoonflower, Society6, and of course, my Etsy shop.
My work has been featured on Refinery29, USA Today, Brides, Los Angeles Magazine, and Good Morning America.
I’ve always loved creating art, but knowing now that people all over the world see it and like it? That will always be awesome to me.
In my endless quest to keep learning things, I took a branding class that covered how to up with business names. One of the suggestions was to use your grandparents’ names. Being a bit of a genealogy geek, I tried out different names from my family tree. (There are some interesting names if you go way back!) But I kept coming back to the names of my grandmothers, Dorothy and Carolina.
I tried different combinations of their names before settling on a playful spin on the two names. Dottie & Caro just felt right. The rest, they say, is history.
fall and Halloween