Monday, July 25, 2016

Kate from Studio Cockatoo is this week's Monday Maker

Studio Cockatoo is a very well known brand around SE QLD, and I'm sure you have seen at least one of their very recognisable prints popping up in a gorgeous boutique somewhere.
Kate Bordessa is the name behind the brand and she was very happy to share some tips with us.
Hi Kate it's so lovely of you to make the time to share your thoughts on creativity with us all today

Can you tell us please, were you creative as a child?
Yes I was a creative child, I pretty much lived in a dream world. I loved beads and crochet, also collecting bits and bobs, pebbles, sea glass, scraps of fabric.

How would you describe your work? 
Modern, geometric and fresh!

And do you think your work has evolved since you started? 
Yes definitely. I have very much let the creation of new designs be guided by customer input and requests. 
Recently I've noticed I'm working with less bright colours and more pastel tones.

How did you start selling online?
I built my own website through shopify, its very easy to use and edit.

Who or what inspires you? 
My friends inspire me, they are a creative bunch of gorgeous and unique women :) 

Are you able to reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process Kate? 
We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We do all our own printing and packing in house and use recycled materials wherever we can. We print with water based inks we do not use cartridges.
Can you describe your studio for us?
Organised chaos! 
We are lucky enough to work from our home studio in Pomona  (sunshine coast hinterland). 
Our dog Doug likes to supervise operations from under my desk, also serving as the ultimate foot warmer :)  

Do you have a favourite thing to make?
I love doing custom portraits for people, I always feel so humbled when asked to create a piece as a way to remember a four legged friend that has passed away.
Aww, so cute. 

And how did your shop name come about? 
Our studio backs onto parkland and we have lots of trees that attract the native birds. Especially the cockatoos, who are very noisy and lovable.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months Kate?
It's really hard to say, you never know what opportunities will present themselves, I like to keep my options open.


Do you have a top tip to share with others wanting to break into the handmade market?

Firstly figure out if there a demand for your craft. 
Have you found a niche? 
Focus on your point of difference, be unique and create your own style. 
Be confident and passionate about your craft :)

Such good advice, thank you Kate. Can you describe your typical creative day?
First up is coffee then the school run, then more coffee. 
Being self employed I have found self management to be vital. I find it very challenging most days to find balance with work, family and me. 
I'm most creative when I get all the necessary functional parts of running the business out of the way, paperwork, ordering materials etc. 
Although I find inspiration often tends to occurs at unusual times, like 3am... hence the coffee addiction.

And you're not the only creative person I know who gains inspiration at crazy hours of the night. It seems to be a common theme amongst creative geniuses.  
Do you have a Favourite quote?
Do what you love, love what you do 

Do you listen to music or podcasts while creating?
Normally I work in silence.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
I can't possibly choose!!!  

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of brisstyle?
Must be 3 or 4 years now :)

And how did you find out about brisstyle?
Through Friends.

Why did you become a member?
I love the network to creatives, although I don't post on the forum regularly, I have found other peoples post to be really helpful and interesting. 
It's also a great way to keep uptodate with what's going on in creative circles around Brissy.

Why do you craft?
Crafting = happiness 

Thank you so much Kate. X 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Michelle from Chelleybean is today's Monday Maker

Michelle from Chelleybean has been around in the creative industry for a number of years now. Let's find out what her secret is.

Hi Michelle and thanks so much for sharing.

Were you creative as a child?

Yes, I was always creative as a child. I loved trying new things. It didn't really matter what it was, I'd always give it a go. One of my biggest loves is scrapbooking. I love using art to document my family's life. 

My Mum has always been very crafty so I have followed in her footsteps. She's my creative mentor.

How would you describe your work?

Bright, colourful and fun. 
I try to incorporate these 3 things into each and every one of my hair accessories.

Has your work evolved since you started?

It has changed ... A LOT! I look back now and think how plain and simple my hair clips were when I first began back in 2008. Now, I think I've refined it a little, creating special hair accessories for big and little girls alike.

How did you start selling online?

I started selling on Etsy after making some hair accessories for my daughter. 

Friends commented on how beautiful they were and that I should make them to sell. It all started from there...

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? 

I do to a degree. 
Nothing gets thrown out.

Like any good crafter knows. There just may be a need for it down the track.

Describe your workspace?

My workspace is located downstairs in our home. 
Half is our rumpus room and the other half is my studio. That way I can create and feel close to my family, while they are watching TV or playing Playstation.

What is your favourite thing to make?

I do love making bows. 
All sorts, shapes, colours and various sizes. 

It's amazing how one simple idea can change so much by using different materials and textures. 

I love how little girls get excited when they see a bow that appeals to them. It makes my day!
How did your shop name come about?

The name "Chelley Bean" is a nickname a girlfriend gave me many years ago. Being a Michelle, I get called Chelle quite often. I loved the name and it kind of stuck, so it became my official business name!

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I'll continue creating my hair accessories. 
They are always evolving as I come up with new ideas. I have plans to add a side avenue to Chelley Bean, but that's still in the planning at this stage. You'll have to follow me on Facebook to find out about that!

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade market?

If you're passionate about what you create and it makes you happy, I say go for it. 

Do plenty of research and be prepared for lots of hard work. 

Be open to advice, criticism and be willing to learn. I'm still learning.

Can you describe your typical creative day?

I'm not sure there is a typical creative day? 
I have two school aged children, so I get as much done between the hours of 9am-3pm.

And usually after everyone heads to bed at night, I'll catch up on anything I need to do or do some work on my computer, usually on my website.

Do you have a Favourite quote you'd like to share?

I have always loved this quote...

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort" ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Do you like to listen to music or have a favourite movie you like to watch while creating?

I love a good podcast while I'm creating. When it comes to music, just about anything goes. I love country as well as latest hits and I don't mind a bit of old school rock either!
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

I purchased a pin cushion on Etsy many years ago from a lovely lady in Sweden. I adore that pin cushion and it has seen so much of my creative journey, as it sits on my desk. It is still in great condition and going strong today.

So where can we find you online?


How long have you been a member of BrisStyle Michelle?

I've been a member of BrisStyle since the early days. I began Chelley Bean back in 2008 and I think I became a BrisStyle member the same year.

How did you find out about BrisStyle way back then?

I found out about BrisStyle online. 
I'm so glad I took the plunge and connected with this amazing group of creative minds. I've learnt so much because of BrisStyle and have made some wonderful friends as well.

What made you become a member?

I became a member to connect with other like-minded people and to learn a lot. 
I then became involved with the markets and am now regularly at the twilight markets.

Why do you craft Michelle?

I craft because I love it. It inspires and motivates me. 
I'm not one to sit in front of the TV. I usually sew or create something. I can't sit still and it keeps me busy!

Thanks so much Michelle! It was so lovely to hear your thoughts, especially from such a long time  BrisStyler.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Kim from Cacycat is this week's Monday Maker

This week we get an insight into our own Lego lady, Kim from the label Cacycat. Kim and I have shared a table often at BrisStyle markets and during that time I have seen firsthand how she has grown with her label. Let's find out where her creative journey has taken her now.

Hi Kim and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Were you creative as a child and do you come from a creative family?

I've been crocheting since I was about 7 years old and have always been interested in lots of crafts from a young age! 

Mum used to make us a homemade playdough so we would make little things out of it. Then she'd dry it in the oven or on the windowsill and we'd paint it to put on display or give as gifts :)

How would you describe your work?

My work is generally inspired by geeky/nerdy or quirky things so lots of colourful jewellery made from LEGO(r), crochet amigurumi toys of movie characters, trendy baby things and funky toys. 

How has your work evolved since you started?

I do my research, what's trending, check what lots of other people are selling so I don't sell the same or at least have my own spin on it that is unique to my brand. That's how I started making more crochet things like toys as I tested out my style and found a wanted gap in the local market :) 

How did you start selling on Etsy?

Someone mentioned it to me years ago so I just looked it up and signed up! After attending a BrisStyle workshop I finally found graphic design packages on Etsy for an Etsy Shop look and feel. I bought it and it was a turning point in establishing my online brand through Etsy.

Who or what inspires you?

Colour inspires me. And yarn, the touch, the feel, the possibilities! And I'm obsessed with Pinterest. LOL!

Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?

Lots of the LEGO I use is either used or vintage so I upcycle it and I've rescued plenty of yarn from deceased estates (donated to me). 

Can you describe your workspace to us?

Things are constantly evolving from sitting in front of the TV working out of a small container to having a desk and office space and now several shelves full of yarn. I do a lot of my work still on the couch though binge watching Netflix ;)

 Do you have a favourite thing to make?
Anything crochet is my fave. Mostly toys that are my own design.

How did your business name come about?

I've had the email address Cacycat since I was a teenager it came from my maiden initials K C - Cacy and I've always loved cats! So it made sense to keep it and use Cacycat as my business name as it feels like part of my identity.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months I'd like to expand my range and set up and finally create my own website.

Do you have a top tip for others wanting to into the handmade market?

Find the niche that suits you. 

Do your research and find something different you can do to a great quality for a reasonable profit.  

Can you describe your typical creative day?

I crochet on the bus to work, at lunch, on the way home on the bus or in the car and there after dinner on the couch!

I feel weird if I haven't crocheted all day!

Do you have a favourite quote?
"Fail to Plan: Plan to Fail"

Do you have a favourite TV program to watch while making?

Just watching my soapie or movies with my toddler :) And my fave movie is 'Silence of he Lambs'.

Where can we find you online and in the flesh?

I have stock in Reverse Garbage Emporium.

And I can be found online here:

How long have you been a member  of BrisStyle?

I think it's been about 5 or 6 years.

And how did you find out about BrisStyle?

I honestly can't remember, LOL, I think I heard through another stall holder at another market. Or maybe just through my research online.

Why did you become a member?

For the support, the info sessions and at the time, access to be a part of a regulated genuine handmade marketplace.

My favourite question Kim is, Why do you craft?

Because it makes me happy and calm, (mostly) and gives our family a little extra money to do the things we want or need to do.

Thank you so much Kim for sharing your wealth of experience with us today, and see you at the next BrisStyle market.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Meet Rachel from Servant Ceramics

Well it's no secret that I am a huge fan of all things clay and one of my favourite clay artist's is none other than the ever so sweet Rachel from Servant Ceramics.

Hi Rachel, thanks in advance for answering a few questions for us.

Were you creative as a child?

I always seemed to have my hands in something messy as a child - paint, pencils, baking...

Do you come from a creative family?

Both my parents were very supportive, especially my Dad who likes to dabble with sketching and watercolour landscapes. 

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my ceramic work as functional,  practical and unique vessels that enhance everyday living. 

Ideally, they become part of daily life and ensure that the user never eats or drinks alone but act as a reminder of community, resilience and grace. 

How has your work evolved since you started?

 I now have work with handles! 

Originally, I avoided handles as they are a true test of a potter's skills as they combine functionality and aesthetics. 

I have added additional glaze colours and have explored gold lustre and decal transfers too. And there's still so much I want to bring in as well but, you know, time!!

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I started selling on Etsy a couple of years ago after participating in Jess Van Den's Set Up Shop course.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm always inspired by people who are chasing down their dreams and just keep trying despite enormous odds and difficult life circumstances.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  

I do my best to recycle as much clay as I can in my making process. It makes so much sense!

Describe your studio/workspace?

My potters wheel is set up in a small sunroom-turned studio space at home. I glaze and fire my wares at a friend's studio as I am renting and my landlord won't allow me to have my own kiln set up. 

But I do have a small gas kiln that I'm trying to get up and running at my parents' house out at Redcliffe. 

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

I love my cupping cups - they are simple but so satisfying to make and to use! 

How did your business name come about?

My business name was chosen for two main reasons - my wares are service based vessels but I also knew that I could easily get overwhelmed and all-consumed by the demands of running one's own small business so it is a constant reminder of who is master and who is servant. 

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I have taken on a new project this year that has significantly reduced my studio time but I am looking at developing more collaborative ranges and introducing new clay bodies into my regular lines. 

Describe your typical creative day?

My typical creative day would be an early start with a good couple of throwing hours, early lunch and social media check with an afternoon of turning, altering and decorating. 

Do you like to listen to Music while creating?

I tend to throw and turn better in silence as it allows me to stay better connected with the clay but I do like listening to podcasts when glazing - like Tales of the Red Clay Rambler. 

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

At the last BrisStyle Twilight Market, I picked up on of Thorogami's yarn Cacti which I LOVE!!!! It's perfect for a black thumb like me - I can't even keep herbs alive!

Where can we find you online?

Via my Etsy shop and I am also in the Collective Store (at Wynnum). 

How long have you been a member of brisstyle?

I joined BrisStyle soon after I moved up from Melbourne so about 4 years ago.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

I found out about BrisStyle through a Brisbane City Council brochure promoting their library information sessions. One about setting up a market stall - it was just what I wanted and needed at the time.

Why did you become a member?

I joined BrisStyle to connect with like-minded creatives and to sell at their markets. 
BrisStyle has and continues to have such a good reputation for cultivating and promoting handmade makers and artisans. 

But the reason why I stay a member is because I want to stay connected with these fabulous makers and support them. 

The encouragement and friendships I've formed are indispensable in life and I just want to give back to an organisation that has given me so much! 

Why do you craft?

I believe I was created to create ...and I get cranky if I don't. I especially love working with such a primal material as clay and creating something with permanency and innate usefulness. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jenny from Thorigami - Monday Maker

Jenny must be one of the cheeriest creative people I've ever met. Always helpful and often helping out as one of our gorgeous 'market Angels'. I've been wanting to interview her for quite a while. Well the opportunity finally came.

And here it is. Hello Jenny and thank you so much for being this week's Monday Maker.

Do you come from a creative family?

Both my parents are creative in different ways, so were my grandparents. My mum always knitted, crocheted, baked and stitched. As a child l would watch her, she was also very good at sewing, as was my grandmother, who was a seamstress. My parents are also very creative with their garden, creating an amazing space in their back yard and at their summer house in the forest. 

My Dad is incredible at creating things from his own designs, he builds outdoor rooms from recycled windows, outdoor showers, he can basically build anything and is a very creative person. They have both inspired me in different ways to be creative.

Were you creative as a child?

As a child l was sick a lot, so l guess l always had a lot of time being creative. I loved drawing and cutting things out and sorting my grandmother's buttons into colours. 

My grandmother taught me how to crochet at the age of about 7. She was a cool grandmother as she also taught me to play poker, with tooth picks as money, it still makes me laugh thinking about it. 

l would make Christmas gifts for my family, pretty wonky potholders mainly.  My dad also would take the time to teach me how to make my own wooden butter knives, cutting boards etc, which found their way into Christmas presents. 
I basically loved doing things with my hands and creating little things from a very early age.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my work as a little bit whimsical and very much inspired by nature. 
I love to watch things come to life, it really gives me a happy feeling. 

So basically my work is colorful and mainly inspired by nature. The shape, the colours all play a big part, even in my daily life. 

What is your favourite thing to make?

Big crochet toadstools, cacti and colorful mandalas are some of my favorite things to make, as well as folding origami into tiny little creations and then making them into earrings. 
I find the process really calming.

Focusing internally on one little thing, and being very repetitive, is almost like meditating.

Has your work evolved since you started?

I guess l am always evolving, l think if l stop evolving my craft, l would get immensely bored.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? 

I try to use as much recycled paper as l can, as well as buying recycled silver findings. Op shopping for yarn and ripping up sweaters. I like to do as much as l can, another example is that the stuffing l use for my toadstools and cactus are usually from old cushions. 

Most of the things l make can also be taken apart and recycled or reused for other things, if you get tired of them.

Describe your workspace?

I work from many places in my house, in front of the TV, on my sunny deck, out in the back yard or cafes. My craft is easy to take on the road, l guess because both paper and yarn are very portable.

l also have a sunroom, which l love sitting in, on my old yellow vinyl, late 60's chairs, around my octagonal table. The space is so full of light and also very close to my yarn and other things l need.

How did your business name come about?

My name came about, talking to my partner about names and just mucking around. He said "how's about Thorogami? Your surname and origami merged!" l liked it and from there it went. 

Hopefully l will still feel happy and inspired in the next year or so and keep coming up with new things to make. But l will never stop being creative, making and creating makes me happy and challenges me in many ways, l love it!

What's your top tip to others wanting to break into the creative market?

I would say to any one wanting to start selling their crafty creations, just do it, be brave, jump in! Join a creative group like BrisStyle and get involved, talk to other creative people and make things you love.

Describe your typical creative day?

The great thing about working from home is that l can stay in pj's if l want, drink tea all day and be around my two dogs, who sometimes get tangled in my yarn, especially my Chihuahua, Pippi, who likes to sleep on my lap. 

I really like it. But I guess my typical creative day doesn't just last 9-5, it goes into the evening, weekends and pretty much anytime. I love that it's flexible and that l love doing it, l never feel bored.

Do you like to listen to music or have any fave  movies while creating? 

I love listening to all sorts of music whilst creating, and also binge watch series on Netflix, naughty, l know. Sometimes l just love sitting outside with only the birds and the sound of my little back yard, it all depends on my mood.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

One of my favorite handmade things l've bought is a pair of silver earrings from a silver village in Sumatra, it was a really lovely place to visit and it took us a couple of hours to walk there, something l will never forget. 

But l also love many local Brisbane makers. Buying handmade is wonderful.

Where can we find you online

I am a bit of a procrastinator and have been saying for about 1 year that l'm going to start my etsy and madeit shops, l have started filling out everything, but then l get distracted. 

But you can find me on Instagram @jemthorsan_thorogami
and here

Thank you so much for wanting share my journey

Do you have a Favourite quote 

One of my favourite quotes are 'My religion is simple, my religion is kindness' HH Dalai Lama

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

l think l am on my third year now that l have been a member. 

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

I was invited to the Christmas party at Southside Tearoom, by Sharon, from Treble Two. We met at a crochet group, she thought l should come along. l am so glad l did, l loved it, even though l think it took me another 6 months to join. 

Why did you become a member?

l became a member because it felt like such a lovely community, easy going and encouraging, very friendly. l also wanted to feel part of a group of other creative people. 

Why do you craft?

l craft because it is part of me, l always have and always will craft, make things and think of things l want to try. Crafting challenges me and also keeps me happy, 

Well thank you so much Jenny, it's been lovely talking to you.