Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Maker is Dot from Designz by Dot

Hi Dot and thank you for making the time to tell us a bit about your label, Dezignzbydot.

Now please tell us, 

Were you creative as a child?

I’ve never considered myself a creative person.  As a child I liked to colour in but I can’t draw to save my life (even my stick men come out disfigured).  

I’ve always been good with colour, though and I did some photography courses when I was younger which I really enjoyed.  I do a bit of abstract painting using different mediums and I’ve just started learning how to sew.  

Do you come from a creative family?

There is creativity in my family – my sister is a very talented artist and my aunt can do anything creative that she puts her mind to, so I guess there is a creative gene in there somewhere.

How would you describe your work?

That’s a really tough question!  I guess I would describe it as eclectic because I draw inspiration from so many different areas, which you can see in the different types of jewellery I make and the different types of materials I use and I’m always seeing new techniques and materials that I’d like to learn how to use.

How has your work changed since you started?

I started with straight beading and have moved on since then to using buttons, cabochons, Japanese
paper, photographs, acrylic and wood.  

I’m hoping to do a resin course and a silversmith course in the future, which I’m really looking forward to.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

Selling my work came about as a way to support my (jewellery making) habit.  

I got obsessed with creating and there is only so much you can give away to your friends so I thought I should start selling to cover my costs and allow me to continue creating.  

I looked at different options and chose Etsy because the pricing was reasonable, the software easy to use, its popularity with customers (Etsy is a household name) and the fact that the site was all about supporting the handmade community.

Who or what inspires you?


When I’m waiting for the bus to go to work I check out what other women are wearing and think 
about what I like, what I would do differently, etc.  I tend to lean towards vintage designs – I like the elegance and femininity of the bygone eras (anything from the 1920s – 1960s) but you will see some steampunk influence in my designs at times as well.

Can you describe your workspace for us?

My studio is my kitchen/living area in my little granny flat!  

Most of the year my kitchen table is covered in materials waiting to be made into some design or 

I recently cleaned this up and it looks more like a living area again rather than a workspace.

What is your favourite thing to make?

My favourite creation so far is definitely my acrylic bird necklaces.  

I had the idea for at least six months before I went ahead and made them. In that time I researched what patterns and colours I wanted to use and brainstormed how I could bring the idea to life.  They can be a bit of a challenge to put together as well because they’re like a little puzzle that you glue together so all the bits have to be put in properly or the birds will look wrong.  I’m really happy with the outcome and can’t wait to create more.

How did  your business name come about?

My friend and I were up late ordering business cards at the last minute for my first market stall, so we quickly brainstormed ideas.  

Dezignz by Dot wasn’t my first choice (my other 
choices were already taken – including Designs 
by Dot) so I decided to go with something that included my (rather unique) name and I ordered 
business cards with polka dots on them which 
was cute and fun.  The name has been really good, though, because when people come to my stall they ask me if I’m Dot, which I think makes my items more personal.  

My friend also made me a fabulous frilly polka dot table cloth to use at markets, which I just love.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

Hopefully lots of places.  

I already have a number of ideas permeating in my brain and can’t wait to see them come to life. There will be a few changes over the next 12 months but I don’t like spoilers so you’ll just have to 
keep an eye on the Instagram and Facebook pages to see what they will be (wink).

What's your top tip for newbies?

At the risk of sounding like Nike – Just do It!  

You have something to share/give so believe in yourself and don’t listen to the little voices in your 
head telling you your not good enough.  

Be prepared to work hard, utilise social media and network with others of similar minds.  You’ll be
amazed how much you inspire each other and you’ll make some really great friends along the way.

Describe your typical creative day?

I’m not a morning person so I sleep until I wake up, have breaky and at least one cup of coffee 
(usually more).  Usually everything will already be on the table so I’ll sit there and look at it for a 
while until inspiration hits and then I create my little heart out.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Tomorrow is brand new with no mistakes in it – 
from Anne of Green Gables.  

Anne Shirley is one of my favourite redheads 
(I’m a redhead too) and I love her shenanigans
but also her positive attitude even when life was 
a bit harsh.

Do you have a favourite movie you like to watch while creating?

When I first started created I listened to a podcast called Serial, which is a true-life investigation into 
a murder in the 90s (I have an interest in crime investigation) and this led me to another podcast 
called This American Life which is a weekly podcast full of the most amazing, awe-inspiring and 
heart breaking true life stories I’ve ever heard.

What is your favourite item you have ever bought?

Another difficult question - there are so many lovely handmade items from some seriously talented 

I’d have to say that my favourite items would be my Materiel Design necklaces – I have the blue and 
white damask and the lotus flower.  I love their uniqueness and always get compliments when I wear 

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a BrisStyle member and how did you find out about BrisStyle?

Since May/June 2015.

I’d been aware of Brisstyle for a number of years but didn’t join because I felt like my products weren’t good enough as there are some truly talented people in the community and I felt a bit intimidated by that.  

Having been a member for a while now, I know that my fears were unfounded as it really is a great 
supportive community.

Why did you become a member?

My friend Marnie bought me a membership and after seeing how supportive everyone was I decided 
to renew at the beginning of the financial year.

Why do you craft Dot?

Because I love it!  It’s become a passion/obsession.  My day job is all about following policy and
procedure so crafting is a good way to balance that out. Also, this is going to sound really vain but I 
love it when people get joy from something I’ve made and I think it’s the ultimate endorsement when
someone chooses to spend their hard-earned money on one of my creations.

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Monday Maker Gen Rossouw from Jhoomka

Hi Gen and thanks for participating in the Monday Maker interview. 

I'd love to ask you just a few questions.

Firstly, do you come from a creative family?

Yes, I have a family of creatives, my mum makes quilts and my 3 aunties have all been very successful crafters.

How would you describe your work?

My earrings are funky ;)

Has your work changed since you started?

Yes, slowly and bit by bit I have tried new styles of earrings to make and improved the doilies heaps.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I opened my Etsy store through joining  Brisstyle and talking to members. It seems to work for a lot of people so I thought to give it a go!

What inspires you?

Art, street art especially! 

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

Yes I do! My earrings are from old tableclothes, reused and repurposed! They are eco-friendly :)

What is your work area like?

I have a small table set up at home.

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

Knitted beanies. There is an odd satisfaction that I get from knitting.

Where did the name Jhoomka come from?

Jhoomka means earrings in Nepalese and I recently spent a lot of time there and it seemed fitting and different.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I hope to get a small thriving business going as part of my creative journey as well as delving into different aspects of jewelry making such as wire work and making beads.

Do you have any advice for others trying to make it in the creative industry?

Persistence, patience and belief in your work.

Do you like to watch movies or listen to music while creating?

I watch movies when I make earrings or listen to blues music. Keeps the juices flowing :)

What is your favourite handmade object that you have bought?

A handmade bed spread from Cambodia. It must have taken hours for someone to make and it's so so gorgeous!

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I joined only a few months ago.

And how did you find out about BrisStyle?

Through Facebook.

Why did you join?

I became a member to learn more about making my crafts into a business, how to do the markets and overall inspiration.

Why do you create Gen?

I can't sit still and it's a great way to release tension and stress

Thanks Gen and welcome to BrisStyle.