Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Maker - Kirsten from Each To Own

I've been loving preparing the weekly Monday Maker interview for the BrisStyle blog. 
What an awesome way to see inside each member's head ( not literally of course ) 

Have you ever admired someone as you followed their creative journey and felt encouraged by their progress? I'm sure you have. 

I've followed the journey of Kirsten Devitt from Each to Own label for a few years now and have found her to be inspirational to any budding artist/crafter. Oh and she's pretty hilarious too.
Let's see what's inside her head.

Hi Kirsten and thanks so much for sharing yourself with us.

Were you creative as a child?
I think I was imaginative but not very creative.  I liked drawing but talking took up most of my time ;)

What was the first thing you remember creating?
It would have been kindy craft - probably a pasta necklace for mum.  I do remember having a cotton reel that my grandma put nails in for me and I did french knitting… for about two minutes then I went off to be a horse. No concentration span.

How would you describe your work?
Bright, colourful, lots of bold moves and some useful ones too.

What was the first thing Each to Own ever produced and sold?
Button studs!  Didn’t we all start there?  I used to just glue earring posts on things that I could find - vintage and found objects.  A tube of E6000 and a couple of brooch backs have launched many a crafty career, I dare say :)

How did you start selling on Etsy?
I had sold some things to friends and I really had (and still have) no idea about website building so Etsy was a perfect place to just take a deep breath and go for it.

Can you remember your first etsy sale?
I do!  A beautiful lady at Strathpine who is still a good customer to this very day.  And it went missing in the post and I replaced it so THAT was a baptism of fire!

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere but mostly from looking at the shapes sitting around on my desk and moving them together.  

I get great colour inspo from mostly fashion and fabrics but there are only so many acrylic colours so it is a bit like colour haiku - you have to make what you have on hand work.  

I’m obsessed with finding new acrylics. I drive most suppliers here and overseas mad with my quest for new colours.

Can you tell us a bit about your workspace?
Messy, colourful, messy, fun but mostly messy.  

I am building a new light filled, clean, organised, breezy workshop down at our farm and intend on making that very messy too.

What is your favourite thing to make?
New things - I get sick of the old things very quickly, hence I seem to stick to seasonal ranges. 

I’m not sure why I have to make everything that comes into my head but I do.

How did your business name come about?
From opening my Etsy shop, realising that I could take the leap and leave work to do this full-time but mostly having to pay the overdraft I got for the laser cutter off ;)

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Start small and slow and start NOW.
Make what you believe comes from a true, original place from inside you. 

Stop watching telly and work days and nights.  Just work really hard.  

Let go of things that aren’t working and find a new way.

Describe your typical creative day?
After school drop off I grab a coffee and hit the workshop.  I fill orders until school pick up and then straight after the kid’s bedtime, and try and have a play around with new ideas. 

Daytimes for working, night times for dreaming and problem solving and creating. 
Do you have a Favourite inspirational quote ?
It is not really a quote but please watch Ira Glass’s video “The Gap” - it will give you all you need to create and keep on creating.  

What do you like to listen to while creating?
Nothing a lot of the time.  I am a person that really can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time.  If I am listening to music or a podcast, my mind just goes off with those people and I’m not really present. 

I listen to the hum of the machines.  

I really love it when the cutter is doing a job and it gets into the rhythm or squeak of a song you know.  It happens every now and then and I love that.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
That is the hardest question ever because I love every handmade thing I own and I buy SO much handmade stuff.  It would probably be my Sharon Muir Mountain Bud Vase or my Laurie Melia “Smoking Ladies” - obsessed with ceramics!

Do you have any suggestions on how to get noticed by stockists?
I think that you have to really study up hard on whether they are the right shop for you and then approach them - the worst thing that they can say is no.  

I had never approached stockists until early this year when I did a mail out with a pair of earrings to 80 stores that I had researched around Australia and NZ.  I ended up getting about 10 new stockists from that - I’m not sure if that is a good strike rate or not.  Probably not!  Maybe I am the wrong person to ask! :D

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
4 years I think.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?
Through Etsy.

Why did you become a member?
I wanted to join an Etsy Street Team because I was a bit clueless and they were the Brissie one so they got me :)

Why do you craft?
I don’t want to go and work in the real world again!  No, in honesty, I do it because it gives me a really happy life :)

You can find Each to Own here:

As well as running her own business full time, Kirsten is President of BrisStyle.

Anita x



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