Monday, June 20, 2016

Michelle from Chelleybean is today's Monday Maker

Michelle from Chelleybean has been around in the creative industry for a number of years now. Let's find out what her secret is.

Hi Michelle and thanks so much for sharing.

Were you creative as a child?

Yes, I was always creative as a child. I loved trying new things. It didn't really matter what it was, I'd always give it a go. One of my biggest loves is scrapbooking. I love using art to document my family's life. 

My Mum has always been very crafty so I have followed in her footsteps. She's my creative mentor.

How would you describe your work?

Bright, colourful and fun. 
I try to incorporate these 3 things into each and every one of my hair accessories.

Has your work evolved since you started?

It has changed ... A LOT! I look back now and think how plain and simple my hair clips were when I first began back in 2008. Now, I think I've refined it a little, creating special hair accessories for big and little girls alike.

How did you start selling online?

I started selling on Etsy after making some hair accessories for my daughter. 

Friends commented on how beautiful they were and that I should make them to sell. It all started from there...

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

I do to a degree. 
Nothing gets thrown out.

Like any good crafter knows. There just may be a need for it down the track.

Describe your workspace?

My workspace is located downstairs in our home. 
Half is our rumpus room and the other half is my studio. That way I can create and feel close to my family, while they are watching TV or playing Playstation.

What is your favourite thing to make?

I do love making bows. 
All sorts, shapes, colours and various sizes. 

It's amazing how one simple idea can change so much by using different materials and textures. 

I love how little girls get excited when they see a bow that appeals to them. It makes my day!
How did your shop name come about?

The name "Chelley Bean" is a nickname a girlfriend gave me many years ago. Being a Michelle, I get called Chelle quite often. I loved the name and it kind of stuck, so it became my official business name!

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

I'll continue creating my hair accessories. 
They are always evolving as I come up with new ideas. I have plans to add a side avenue to Chelley Bean, but that's still in the planning at this stage. You'll have to follow me on Facebook to find out about that!

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade market?

If you're passionate about what you create and it makes you happy, I say go for it. 

Do plenty of research and be prepared for lots of hard work. 

Be open to advice, criticism and be willing to learn. I'm still learning.

Can you describe your typical creative day?

I'm not sure there is a typical creative day? 
I have two school aged children, so I get as much done between the hours of 9am-3pm.

And usually after everyone heads to bed at night, I'll catch up on anything I need to do or do some work on my computer, usually on my website.

Do you have a Favourite quote you'd like to share?

I have always loved this quote...

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort" ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

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

I love a good podcast while I'm creating. When it comes to music, just about anything goes. I love country as well as latest hits and I don't mind a bit of old school rock either!
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

I purchased a pin cushion on Etsy many years ago from a lovely lady in Sweden. I adore that pin cushion and it has seen so much of my creative journey, as it sits on my desk. It is still in great condition and going strong today.

So where can we find you online?


How long have you been a member of BrisStyle Michelle?

I've been a member of BrisStyle since the early days. I began Chelley Bean back in 2008 and I think I became a BrisStyle member the same year.

How did you find out about BrisStyle way back then?

I found out about BrisStyle online. 
I'm so glad I took the plunge and connected with this amazing group of creative minds. I've learnt so much because of BrisStyle and have made some wonderful friends as well.

What made you become a member?

I became a member to connect with other like-minded people and to learn a lot. 
I then became involved with the markets and am now regularly at the twilight markets.

Why do you craft Michelle?

I craft because I love it. It inspires and motivates me. 
I'm not one to sit in front of the TV. I usually sew or create something. I can't sit still and it keeps me busy!

Thanks so much Michelle! It was so lovely to hear your thoughts, especially from such a long time  BrisStyler.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Kim from Cacycat is this week's Monday Maker

This week we get an insight into our own Lego lady, Kim from the label Cacycat. Kim and I have shared a table often at BrisStyle markets and during that time I have seen firsthand how she has grown with her label. Let's find out where her creative journey has taken her now.

Hi Kim and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Were you creative as a child and do you come from a creative family?

I've been crocheting since I was about 7 years old and have always been interested in lots of crafts from a young age! 

Mum used to make us a homemade playdough so we would make little things out of it. Then she'd dry it in the oven or on the windowsill and we'd paint it to put on display or give as gifts :)

How would you describe your work?

My work is generally inspired by geeky/nerdy or quirky things so lots of colourful jewellery made from LEGO(r), crochet amigurumi toys of movie characters, trendy baby things and funky toys. 

How has your work evolved since you started?

I do my research, what's trending, check what lots of other people are selling so I don't sell the same or at least have my own spin on it that is unique to my brand. That's how I started making more crochet things like toys as I tested out my style and found a wanted gap in the local market :) 

How did you start selling on Etsy?

Someone mentioned it to me years ago so I just looked it up and signed up! After attending a BrisStyle workshop I finally found graphic design packages on Etsy for an Etsy Shop look and feel. I bought it and it was a turning point in establishing my online brand through Etsy.

Who or what inspires you?

Colour inspires me. And yarn, the touch, the feel, the possibilities! And I'm obsessed with Pinterest. LOL!

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

Lots of the LEGO I use is either used or vintage so I upcycle it and I've rescued plenty of yarn from deceased estates (donated to me). 

Can you describe your workspace to us?

Things are constantly evolving from sitting in front of the TV working out of a small container to having a desk and office space and now several shelves full of yarn. I do a lot of my work still on the couch though binge watching Netflix ;)

 Do you have a favourite thing to make?
Anything crochet is my fave. Mostly toys that are my own design.

How did your business name come about?

I've had the email address Cacycat since I was a teenager it came from my maiden initials K C - Cacy and I've always loved cats! So it made sense to keep it and use Cacycat as my business name as it feels like part of my identity.

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

In the next 12 months I'd like to expand my range and set up and finally create my own website.

Do you have a top tip for others wanting to into the handmade market?

Find the niche that suits you. 

Do your research and find something different you can do to a great quality for a reasonable profit.  

Can you describe your typical creative day?

I crochet on the bus to work, at lunch, on the way home on the bus or in the car and there after dinner on the couch!

I feel weird if I haven't crocheted all day!

Do you have a favourite quote?
"Fail to Plan: Plan to Fail"

Do you have a favourite TV program to watch while making?

Just watching my soapie or movies with my toddler :) And my fave movie is 'Silence of he Lambs'.

Where can we find you online and in the flesh?

I have stock in Reverse Garbage Emporium.

And I can be found online here:

How long have you been a member  of BrisStyle?

I think it's been about 5 or 6 years.

And how did you find out about BrisStyle?

I honestly can't remember, LOL, I think I heard through another stall holder at another market. Or maybe just through my research online.

Why did you become a member?

For the support, the info sessions and at the time, access to be a part of a regulated genuine handmade marketplace.

My favourite question Kim is, Why do you craft?

Because it makes me happy and calm, (mostly) and gives our family a little extra money to do the things we want or need to do.

Thank you so much Kim for sharing your wealth of experience with us today, and see you at the next BrisStyle market.