Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Maker : Kumihimo Designs experts - Lesley and Wal from Offbeat Designs

Who hasn't heard of 'French Knitting'?

Well how about French Knitting WITH BEADS! Pretty clever.

One of the trademark features that make 'offbeat designs' easily recognisable.

Let's have a chat with Lesley:
Hi Lesley, firstly would you say you were creative as a child?
No, I wasn't.

Well you certainly are creative now, how would you describe your work?
I love to create distinctive designs. We also welcome Custom jewellery as well as Repairs and Workshops.

How has your work evolved since you started?
We started off with simple techniques, which we then constantly refined and updated by studying the work of successful designers.

And by participating in workshops at the Tucson Bead and Gem show.

Kumihimo Bracelet

Do you sell online or on etsy?
Not yet, but we intend to do so.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I'm always inspired by Creative design and Innovative use of colours and materials.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  
Yes, we use some Vintage beads dating from the 1940’s

Describe your studio?
We enclosed our balcony to create a secure workspace totally devoted to workshops and a workroom.
One of our Workshops in progress

 Do you have a favourite thing to make?
No, I just love to make anything that appeals to my creative fancy at the time.

How did your business name come about?
It is the same name we originally used for our interior design business – before the jewellery bug got us.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
Our redesigned website with our new product range should be up and running.

And we are also excited about our new branding. 

Do you have a top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Study your craft, pick a direction, then go for it.

Describe your typical creative day?
Simply put, Chaotic !

Do you have a favourite quote?
-  “ Jewellery can change an outfit more than anything else.  TRANSFORMATION, PUNCH, 

INDIVIDUALITY - is why you should wear jewellery”. - Iris Apsel - ( Famous New York Designer )

French Knitting Beaded necklace
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
An original African Feather Headdress

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
About 12 months

How did you find out about brisstyle?
We did some workshops for Tracey from Side Street Vintage and Tracey recommended Brisstyle to us.

Why did you become a member?
It was an excellent fit for our business - designing and making jewellery, and teaching.

And lastly, my favourite question that I love to ask everyone, Why do you craft?
Because Design is our passion.

Thankyou Lesley and we look forward to seeing both you and Wal at a Brisstyle market soon.
Anita x

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



Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Maker - Meet Huis Design

This week I have selected another newcomer to Brisstyle as our Monday Maker.

Meet Juliette Hooper and her label Huis Design.

Hi Juliette,

Were you creative as a child/do you come from a creative family?
I was always drawing as a child and if I could get my hands on clay I would go for hours. My Dad is very creative; he has spent much of his life restoring antiques, and he is a painter, quite successful too.

How would you describe your work?
Bold, simplistic with touches of modernism and yet the timber softens the look and adds natural elements.

How has your work evolved since you started?
I was following a vintage vibe for quite a while so it started with a rockabilly feel. I am now developing and forever created my own look, I think through my love of the retro era and art deco, my work has evolved into a slight modern look.
How did you start selling online/ via Etsy?
It was a fairly natural flow on from the markets I’m doing, it’s so simple to use with the appropriate apps etc.
Who or what inspires you?
I’ve recently come to find Lisa Messenger, she is very inspirational. My sister-in-laws, they have their own businesses and have been a wealth of support to me. Buildings, nature, shapes, the all play their part.
Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? 
I try to use only local timbers, and the waste from larger cut objects is always used in some way and all our products are painted with low VOCs.
Describe your studio/workspace?
It’s basically a 1200mm desk! Yes, I really should fix that! It’s surrounded with colour swatches, art and quote, things I love.

What is your favourite thing to make?
Probably my triangle necklaces, I can mix each one up with metal and spikey bead, they all start the same but once strung on leather the look changes for each one.
How did your business/shop name come about (if applicable)?
My mother is from Holland, huis means home or house in Dutch, I have plans to expand the homewares section of huis design and cross over into interior design.
Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
At the moment we are looking into getting some pretty cool machinery set up and from that bigger scaled items will be produced, homewares etc. It’s going to be fun.
What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
If you love it, jump in.
Describe your typical creative day?
Do the school drop off and get into it, if I have a market coming up I’m generally working in the studio putting pieces together. I’ll check my email a few times a day and post at least twice a day on Instagram. There are always tunes playing and copious amounts of tea flowing.

What is your Favourite quote?
Follow your bliss
Music or movie while creating?
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
They are some very new stacking rings from Glass Rainbows, they are really beautiful. Denise is so talented.
Where can we find you online?
Instagram @huisdesign
How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
This is my first year, I wanted to join for a long time and have finally taken the step, and have found it so worthwhile for my business.
How did you find out about BrisStyle?
Social media
Why did you become a member?
Community support, to meet likeminded people, develop my knowledge and learn.
Why do you craft?
It just wants to come out of me, I tried to stop once but I just kept coming back to it. I think it’s built in, I love it and it’s fun. I like the way it makes others feel too, that’s a big plus.
Thanks so much Juliette, it was great chatting to you. Stay tuned for our next week's Monday Maker!
Anita x