Sunday, November 8, 2015

Monday Maker : Millie from the label Miss Emilie in BlackLace

Hi Millie and welcome to Brisstyle. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your label Miss Emilie in Black Lace.

Something we ask everyone is, were you creative as a child?

I come from a family of crafters.  Actually my maternal great grandfather made jewellery using gemstones and both my grandmothers sewed clothes for me as well as making teddy bears and lace.
My mother sewed and made copper plaque art.
My world was making. There was always someone making something by hand from scratch.

How would you describe your work?

I don't believe in fashion but I DO believe in Style.
Style is about pulling your outfit together with complimenting accessories.

I LOVE making accessories!

Anatomy Resin Brooch

How has your work evolved since you started?

I started with some things that weren't completely handmade which progressed to making hair flowers.
Now I am working with brooches and earrings. I know slowly over the past year I have 'found myself' as a crafter. I now know what works and what doesn't. 
And I am making items that I enjoy on a personal level rather than just at a customer level.
This seems to work.
I think being passionate about what you do, forces you to grow and change.

How did you start selling on etsy?

I discovered etsy when searching for jewellery findings then I started selling a few things on there myself.
I tried to work around the postage prices to make reasonable prices.
I have found that other social media also helps.

Who or what inspires you?

I guess I have always been a fairly solitary person. I don't take inspiration from anyone specifically or anything.
I just try to do my best with the things I find.
I think it's my visual language skills that just see something and want to turn it into something else.
I see creative potential everywhere.

Recycled Jar Tea Light Lantern

Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?

I make tea light lanterns from recycled glass jars.
Over the years I have tried to be more eco-friendly but sometimes feel it's a compromise to my vision.
Although recently I have been inspired to keep trying after my involvement in the Green Heart Fair. 
I recently made a trip to Reverse Garbage for supplies so here's hoping it all goes to plan.

My Studio

Can you describe your studio or workspace for us?

My work space is so complex. ( joke ) It's an IKEA side table in front of a couch! Basically I tend to craft in the living room in front of the TV watching a movie. I also have an enclosed patio area for the 'smellier' parts of my process. It's here that I try to reuse as much as I can.

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

Yes, I love making my Tea Light Lanterns. It's a long and involved process, but the end product is just lovely. So I feel it's all worth it.

How did you come up with your business name, 'Miss Emilie in Black Lace'?
My business name came from a vintage book my best friend, Sheryl gave me for my birthday ten years ago. It was Miss Emily Black Lace. I loved the story and how determined Miss Emily was to be herself. It resonated with me and here we are.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?As a kid, I hated these kind of questions, and as an adult, I still do. I'm never sure where It will all go, but I'd like to think that I'd be doing bigger and better things. I'd like to find something that I adore and don't want to change from. I currently swap so often because I get bored.  I'd really like to find something that challenges me and that I love so much I don't want to swap. What's your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market? To broaden your horizons. I thought I had an idea of who my target audience was until I joined Brisstyle. Now I realise that my target audience can be anyone and everyone. I was so grateful for doing different markets and learning more about my work and what others felt. So now I suggest you try everything and always take something away as a lesson. Crafting is a huge learning process!
Embrace the good with the bad.

Anatomy Resin Brooch

Can you describe to us your typical creative day?

The mood just sort of takes me. I grab everything and make a space in my lounge room. I always have some noise on, it helps me concentrate on what I am doing. I just do it.
Sometimes I can be really proud of something or very excited over something I make, so I will post a 'sneak peek' on social media.
I am passionate about what I do and I think sometimes I get quite taken with doing it and my poor man has a late dinner or walks in on my 'craft tornado'.
Luckily he doesn't mind too much.

Which do you prefer while crafting away, music of movies?

I love music, but I find I get distracted by singing along so I prefer to watch movies. Movies mean I can hear and look up occasionally, but I find I concentrate better.
Luckily I have a terrible memory and don't mind watching some of them heaps of times.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

It's a felted eyeball from Winnifred's Daughter. I bought it at the Green Heart Fair last year. It's so me.
I love anatomy and I had to have it.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I joined in April this year. I'd tried other markets but didn't feel that I'd had much success.

BrisStyle is more than a market, it's a community.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

A friend of mine posted on social media about going to BrisStyle events and then another friend became a member. She talked about it and I realised I needed to just take the leap and become a member.

I'm so glad I did.

Were there any other reasons you took the leap and joined BrisStyle?

I needed to take my business to the next level. I wanted to get 'my brand out there' and into the world.

I wanted to succeed. I don't know if I'm there yet but BrisStyle has helped me get a lot closer.

Do you mind if I ask 'why you craft?' 

To me, it's therapy. I needed a way to keep busy, to feel better and to distract myself from my worries after a serious incident in December 2013 which put me in hospital.

I have always been crafty but in January 2014 I really went into overdrive.
I found it helped me manage pain, loss and anger.
It made me feel whole again.
I coped with everything in life better by having a simple output to get me through.
Crafting has helped me remain sane and intact.
It's a passion I never want to lose.

Thanks so much for chatting to us today Millie, we wish you all the very best on your crafty journey.

Anita x

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