HARRY’S BEAN IS AN INSTAGRAM HIT
A TEENAGER who decided against university is now a successful designer working with Instagram, after his surreal illustrations proved an internet hit.
When 18-year-old Harry Hambley finished college he decided to create his own business selling illustrations and clothing featuring a small character called The Bean.
Harry, from Llandaff, Cardiff, has now racked up more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, spent time working in LA, and is off to Mexico next month with the Welsh Honorary Consulate through his company Ketnipz, which he started from his bedroom at his mum’s house.
Harry said: “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at uni so I thought I didn’t want to spend the money.
“I knew that I wanted to travel and start a business so I did and I was just lucky.
“I just wanted to make something that could be anything really and that could be quite ambiguous.
“I had the initial idea of The Bean quite quickly. It started off a bit more creepy but then I realised that cute sells better so I changed it a little bit.”
He added: “I really liked the name Catnip but that was already taken so I thought I’d change it a bit and went with Ketnipz.”
In the space of a year Harry has built-up a strong social media following and was recently approached by Instagram to create a sticker for their story feature.
The story feature allows users to post pictures that disappear after a certain amount of time and can be decorated with stickers, including Harry’s Bean character inside a love heart.
Harry said: “About a month ago Instagram reached out to me for their Kind Comments idea.
“It’s all about practising positivity on social media.
“It’s really cool to see it used and a little bit surreal but it’s just fun and I’m glad that I’ve helped spread a bit of positivity.”
Celebrities including singer Paloma Faith and DJ Diplo have been using Harry’s sticker. Despite his success Harry’s mum Ruth was initially worried when he said he wasn’t going to university. Harry said: “I think she was definitely a bit worried at the start but I think she’s happy for me now.” Working from his bedroom and hand-drawing his designs digitally, Harry credits his success to social media. Harry said: “It’s all been 100% through social media really.
“I spent time in LA with a YouTuber called Danny Duncan and he has quite a big audience. After he mentioned me my followers went up by thousands overnight.”
In October Harry is visiting Mexico after contacting the Welsh Honorary Consulate and hopes to expand his audience in the country. Harry said: “Mexico is such a big audience and I’m pretty influenced by the Mexican culture in my work.
“We’re planning to do some pop-ups and try to get to some festivals with my work, too.”
Harry said that he now plans to carry on and develop the merchandise side of his business and focus more on clothing.
Harry Hambley, from Llandaff, Cardiff, has created his own business selling illustrations