Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shop Indie: Fabric Fusion

We always shriek with delight when we hear of a new handmade retail outlet opening in crafty Brisbane.  This week we were so thrilled to catch up with Sasha, owner of Fabric Fusion to discuss all things fabric, craft and handmade.

Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to open Fabric Fusion?

I have loved fabrics and creating for as long as I can remember, and when I did a ‘learn to quilt’ class in my early 20’s, the obsession was revived.  When Brad and I started our little family, I couldn’t make my career as a lawyer work with how we wanted to raise our kids, so I became a stay at home mum.  That led to lots of playing with fabric, starting an Etsy shop, buying fabrics in larger quantities, and the rest is history!  Fabric Fusion opened as an online fabric shop in September 2009, and we opened our shopfront retail store in North Queensland, in July 2010.  Since then a transfer has brought us (and all the fabrics and craftiness) to Brisbane, which we love J

Tell us what Fabric Fusion is all about?

I wanted to start a craft and handmade shop that didn’t feel like a shop – it should feel like you are coming to visit me in my craft room, can sit down, have a cuppa and a chat and stay as long as you like.  We aim to support Australian fabric designers and handmade artisans, and try to feature as much local product in store, both by way of supplies and handmade items, as possible.

Where did the name Fabric Fusion come from?

Brad and I tossed around names for weeks, but I kept coming back to Fabric Fusion.  It really feels like the right fit for our concept – fresh, interesting, different, a mix of old and new – not your average craft and handmade shop!

How does Fabric Fusion support independent artists and crafters and/or the handmade community?
From the start of our retail store journey, we have always had space in the shop for local artisans to display and sell their beautiful handmade items.  As a maker and designer myself, I know how difficult it can be to bring your product to your target market – we aim to provide an avenue for creators to bring their items to an audience of people who are passionate about handmade.  We have display space for rent, and also do wholesale orders with some fabulous handmade artisans around the country J
How can local designers and crafters get involved with Fabric Fusion?
In so many ways! 
We have display space for rent, to showcase local handmade artists.  This includes in-store and window front feature spaces.  We love to have a little written ‘blurb’ about the creator and their inspiration, to display with the items, to help buyers know the time and expertise that goes into each piece.
As relative newbies in town, we are also seeking anyone who would be interested in conducting classes and workshops in our little crafty space.  
You can sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Sew Inspirational, at our website for regular updates.  Or just to chat with me about handmade in general, you can always call Sasha on 0431 178 678!
Does Fabric Fusion have any exciting upcoming events?
2012 is going to be a big year for us – in the pipeline are:
  •  ideas for workshops and classes;
  • we are starting a Crafty Mums Group, where Mums are welcome to bring along their kids for an organised activity while you get some crafting done (Wednesdays at 10.00am);
  • 'meet the artisans' in-store sessions, with local handmade creators;
  • and perhaps a Grand Opening in the New Year - any excuse for a glass of champagne.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
With 2 young children, there is usually one little ‘helper’ at the shop with me!  We open at 9.30am, and between chatting and serving customers, displaying new items that arrive, and some more chatting, I create and fill orders for my own design label, Buster Boo, making fabric baby shoes and kids sun hats.  Cutting, ironing, sewing, labelling etc.  Some games of hide and seek and pushing trucks around in our back area with Mr 2, then back to work!  Close up at 5.00pm and go home to the usual family life!
How do you promote Fabric Fusion?
We have a Facebook page and a monthly e-newsletter that currenlty goes out to over 500 subscribers. We feature a handmade artisan in each newsletter, as well as what's new in store, upcoming classes etc.
We also do local and inter-suburb advertising, and are looking at local newspaper advertising.
What is your favourite item in the shop at the moment?
I just received a delivery of beautiful items from the lovely Rachel of Miss Isa. The paper flowers are my absolute favourite at the moment. Closely followed by the owl softie that my 4 year old daughter filled with fiber-fill today!
All images courtesy of Fabric Fusion
What’s in store for Fabric Fusion in 2011 and beyond?
Crafting world domination! No, seriously, we would like to consolidate our place as a niche market for beautiful crafting supplies, Australian fabric designers and handmade artisans, in Brisbane.  I want to meet as many local creators as possible - hearing people's stories and learning from them is such a rich opportunity.
I already have my eye on where the next outlet of Fabric Fusion will open up - hopefully in 2014!
Business-wise, the website will be expanded and freshened, to provide creators an online retail outlet for their items as well as the in-person retail store.
And a whole lot more fabric!
Fabric Fusion
19B Samford Road, Alderley, QLD, 4051
Tel: 3352 7997 or 0431 178 678

1 comment:

Michelle Jamieson said...

Oh, I'm excited!!!!
That's down the rd from me!!!!

Chelle Xx