Monday, August 15, 2016

Brooke from Vessel and Vine is today's Monday Maker

Hi Brooke and thank you for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to share your experience with us.

Were you creative as a child?
Yes very, I was the crafty kid. I did all kinds of art classes and went onto study art and then interior design and merchandising.

And do you come from a creative family?

Definitely influenced by family, my parents are very into DIY, we always lived in a half finished renovation!

How would you describe your work?
Cute, simple home wares. I always liked making my own home wares and objects to decorate with so it all sort of came about from that.

How has your work evolved since you started?
I think some of the first things I made were jewellery items, I used to work with leather a lot and then I started trying new materials and techniques.

How did you start selling online? 
I was a long time Etsy shopper and for a while in the early 2000s' I lived in a regional area and had to get my 'retail therapy' online. I
I found this cute little site called "Etsy" haha, and was hooked! 
I loved scrolling through and "favourite-ing" items and making treasuries and I always thought about one day opening my own shop, it took years but I finally got there!

Who or what inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration from other handmade designers, as well as nature, colour. 
I admire a lot of Australian designers as well as local people and other BrisStylers too!

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  
I used to do a lot or reduce, reuse and recycling work as part of my former job, I ran the handmade section at Reverse Garbage for 6 years before going full time with Vessel and Vine so that practice is definitely part of my creative process.  I don't use a lot of salvaged material anymore but I try to be thrifty and reduce my waste and consumption as part of my business.

Can you describe your workspace?
I work downstairs under our house and have a few tables and lots of storage and drying shelving in a corner of the downstairs space. Its not very stylish but it's practical. 

What is your favourite thing to make?
At the moment it's new things, I'm currently trying out some new designs and that's always fun. One of my items, a little marble tea light/planter has been so popular I've made 1000's over the past two years so it does get a bit repetitive! 
I'm looking forward to debuting some new items soon!

How did your business name come about?
I think it just popped into my head while driving to work one day....

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
We're expecting a baby in September so my plans for 2016 have changed dramatically! I wanted to do a lot more interstate design markets after having a go at Sydney Finders Keepers last year but those plans have changed! I just did the latest one down there a few weeks ago and it was hard work! I will be working on building up my online shop and adding new items to the range.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade market?
If you already make things that you think people will like go for it.! We're very lucky in Brisbane to have the amazing BrisStyle markets and development workshops, take advantage of learning everything you can and try a few markets cause everyone is so lovely and supportive. If you like the idea of being a maker and dabble in a few different things, find something you really love and stick with it. Be original, give your chosen craft your own signature style to set yourself apart in the handmade market. It's a long road, I didn't sell anything at my first market! but I learnt little things here and there and it eventually all came together. 

Describe your typical creative day?
My new year goal was to have devoted admin and making days and stick to a schedule, well its nearly June and that hasn't happened haha...I usually check social media and emails in the morning, head downstairs and make up any Etsy or wholesale orders until mid afternoon and then come back upstairs and do some emailing or invoicing. Everyday is different cause I don't have a schedule but it's organised chaos!

Do you have a Favourite quote?
I think I got this from the Create and Thrive podcast 'it's better done than perfect', I love that because I would procrastinate and put things off, like adding items to my online shop because I thought the photos weren't good enough or whatever the reason but I now think it's better to go for it and learn along the way! Another one is: "The best time to make mistakes is in the beginning when no one's watching!" haha

Do you have a fave anything to listen to while creating?
I usually listen to podcasts while I work as it helps me concentrate, I love BrisStyler, Jess Van Den's Create and Thrive Podcast its really great, lots of business tips and interviews with other makers.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
I have loads of handmade items, not sure if I have a favourite! I just love ceramics, lots of things I've gotten from BrisStylers like a kitty planter by Bonnie Hislop, little dishes from Birdy and Clementine and Servant Ceramics.

Where can we find you online? 
the link to my Etsy shop can be found on my website: or,

How long have you been a member of brisstyle? 
I think I joined in 2012

How did you find out about brisstyle? 
I had met Helen and Bel at a handmade exhibition and also met a lot of BrisStylers through my previous work.

Why did you become a member? 
I joined up to take part in some of the workshops and eventually started doing markets

Why do you craft?
Because I'm not good at sports?!

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