Saturday, October 13, 2012

SHOP INDIE: Potato Studio

Hello dear friends,

Today we have another new and beautiful place to share with you!

The very talented creator and BrisStyle member Nicole Lacey (also known as  Hot toffee) has taken her dream into reality.

Few weeks ago, I took a little drive up to Laidley and was totally charmed and inspired by Nicole's beautiful shop "Potato Studio"
(nestled in the lovely  Lockyer Valley).

Please make yourself comfortable, I can assure you will love listening to the gentle voice of Nicole telling us about that big dream of hers coming to life while taking a virtual walk through my lens...

   *Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to open Potato Studio Nicole.

Since 2005 I have been working for myself under the label hot toffee. I started out at West End markets peddling my wares under a beautiful big fig tree every Saturday. It was around this time I discovered Etsy and opened my Etsy shop
After 12 months at the market I ventured into wholesale. The very first store to stock Hot Toffee was Lyssy May. Owner, Alyssa Milton has been a great inspiration over the years and has become a dear friend.
Since then I have been supplying my fused glass accessories to lovely boutiques and galleries.

Working for myself, by myself, from home has given me way too many hours to be in my own head and for at least five years I have wanted to work out of a little shop in the town we live in. 
I contacted the owner years ago and have just patiently waited for the space to become available.
I feel so lucky to now have a beautiful light filled space, be surrounded by beautiful products and to be meeting so many lovely people! 
I am feeling a lot of positive energy around me and with that has come a new wave of inspiration.

What PotatoStudio is all about?

Potato Studio is a little space to share the treasures we have come across through selling at markets, exhibiting at trade shows and travelling to Ryo’s home country Japan. 
I have met some amazing artists, designers, crafters and small business owners over the past few years and now it is time to showcase their products.
It is also our way of bringing the world closer to us.  Having these products at our finger tips makes us feel more connected to the places and people that inspire us.
It is important no matter where I am that I remember this quote:
‘The door to the world is inside of you’. 

Where did the name PotatoStudio come from?

We wanted something light and fun that could grow and change as the business does. A lot of ideas were thrown around but Potato Studio was what we kept coming back to.

* How does Potato Studio support independent artists and crafters and/or the handmade community?

We handpick a range of products from artists, crafters and designers at various stages of their practice.  If you make something and feel it suits the space let me know!
Creative people are drawn to the space so I am hoping it will become a meeting place of sorts.
How can local designers and crafters get involved with Potato Studio?
Please drop me an email or come in and see me! 
Living a creative life can be so isolating, so I really want locals to feel they can drop in to say hello and talk about new projects.
Eventually I would love to have an afternoon a week where an artist, crafter or maker can come in and work in the studio. Working side by side on different projects can help keep that buzz and energy we creative souls thrive on.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

As part of my practice is still run from home, my morning is spent firing the kiln, checking and responding to hot toffee emails to ensure I stay on top of everything.
I then head to my shop which is conveniently right next door to the largest op shop in town – so naturally I have a peek in there before opening Potato Studio.
From that point each day is different but includes several of the following activities: unpacking deliveries, pricing stock, merchandising (so much fun!), dusting, sweeping, chatting to visitors & customers, working on production for hot toffee, packing orders for hot toffee, and some days I even manage to squeeze in a little creative play.

* How do you promote Potato Studio?

At present facebook is the only way.

Once I do my branding I will contact the local papers.
I have started a mailing list and plan to send out monthly newsletters with what’s new and what is going on in the studio.
If you would like to join the mailing list please email me at

What is your favourite item in the shop at the moment?

Oh this is tough!
If I have to choose just one then it would be the Kinetic Bubble series of Brooches by fellow Bristyler and local contemporary jeweller Jemica Ostrofski.
They are so fun and affordable!

Image Courtesy Potato Studio Jewellery by Meekz

What’s in store for PotatoStudio in 2012 and beyond?

I am still feeling my way. 
It’s important to take my time to grow and change as I see the business needs to.

There is a strong community of artists in the Lockyer Valley and I would love to have one of the walls in my shop as a gallery wall with monthly exhibitions. 
I am working 6 days a week with Hot Toffee & Potato Studio as well as studying one day a week until mid November. 
There are so many ideas floating around in my head and on the pages of my sketch books which I hope to start implementing in the new year.

I can feel that 2013 is going to be an exciting year!

Do you run or plan to run any craft workshops at Potato Studio?

Over the years there has been a lot of interest in fused glass workshops so I may pursue that. 
My kiln is tiny so classes would need to be quite small. 
It would be great to have guest crafters, artists to run workshops. 
I really want to listen to my community and then respond to what they feel they need. 

More details about Potato Studio:

147 Patrick Street, Laidley QLD 4341

Opening hours: 
Wednesday 9.30 – 5.00. Friday 9.30 – 5.00, Saturday 9.30 – 2.00, Sunday 9.30 – 1.00


Hot Toffee

What an amazing story Nicole!
I hope you could feel a little the fantastic atmosphere of this gorgeous light filled space.
I hope you will be able to go and say hello to Nicole 
and most of all
 experience Potato Studio for yourself.

A real big Thank you Nicole 
for taking the time to share with us, while it is still such a busy time for you!

Happy Weekend!

Sandrine x


Nicole said...

Thanks Sandrine and BrisStyle xo

littlechrissy said...

Wow Nicole congrats on your beautiful store! Am definitely planning a visit and would love to chat about stocking some littlechrissy brooches there x

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful. Xxx

Unknown said...

thank all card are awesome.....
elle's studio