Elise is not only one of our shiny new BrisStylers but also our last Monday Maker interview for 2016. Where DID that year go?
Hi Elise and firstly, a big warm welcome to BrisStyle.
Elise, we'd love to know a few things about you and your creative journey.
Were you creative as a child?
From stories that I have heard I have been making my whole life.
My mum remembers that I use to make ponies from lego, torn up tissues and paddle pop sticks.
As a kid I could always be found tying something together with string, drawing, nailing chunks of wood together, crocheting or redecorating my room.
How about your family, are they creative too?
My dad was a fantastic drawer when he was younger.
I remember flicking through old sketch books containing some of his drawings.
He designed and drew all the plans for my parent’s house.
I think that’s pretty incredible since he’s got no architectural training.
How would you describe your work?
As in I don’t believe I have a particular style, I just make what feels right at the time.
I do find myself drawn to more neutral colours and I do like the flowing tassels and boho feel so try to emulate that in my work.
How has your work improved since you started?
I have developed my own techniques and have gained confidence in my own ability to design my original pieces.
The more I work the more I develop my own designs.
What use to need a lot of thought now comes naturally.
How did you start selling online?
Family suggested it for a long time.
One day I just looked around my house and saw it was overflowing with stuff I’d made so I bit the bullet and opened my Etsy store and Facebook page.
Is there someone in particular who inspires you?
There is so much online. I can spend hours and hours on Instagram and Pinterest just scrolling through all the beautiful images.
I do particularly love Justina Blakeney from the Jungalow, Emily Henderson, Tammy Kanat, Shelly Sazanoff, Maryanne Moody and Emily Katz.
Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?
I use a mixture of new and old in my pieces. I like to scour op shops for old frames, cotton, beads and yarn to use.
People have given me vintage yarn and macramé cord but I tend to hoard it all instead of using it. LOL!
Can you describe your work space for us?
I work in one of two places. I have a mini studio downstairs at my house with a work bench and shelving. Upstairs I make the majority of my wall hangings. I find it more comfortable on my couch. I tend to paint and make labels and business cards downstairs.
Do you have a favourite thing to make?
Simple flat weave wall hangings or ones with extra extravagant tassels are generally my favourite things to make. I am enjoying macramé a lot at the moment though.
How did you come up with your business name?
My sister and I brainstormed names because I really suck at naming things. (Took me a week to name my dog!)
Elise Heather, my name, seemed like the logical pick.
I originally went with Elise Heather Creations but it was one character too long for a shop name on Etsy so it got changed to Designs.
Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
Hopefully more custom work and expanding the number of markets and events I will be attending.
I am also working on holding DIY classes with the ladies from Triangle House in the new year.
I started a Diploma in Business in November so I feel I will be pretty busy, but in a good way.
Do you have a top tip for others wanting to break out into the handmade market?
Give it a go and don’t back down. There are going to be times when everything goes wrong and you could end up spending more than you earn but as long as you are doing what you love it will be all worthwhile!
Can you describe your typical creative day?
I like to potter around until inspiration strikes then take my time, making sure everything’s how I want it to be.
It could take me a day to complete something or a month. Depends how excited I am to be working on it. I have been known to throw out half complete pieces because I couldn’t stand to look at them any longer.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.
While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol
Do you like to listen to music while creating?
Usually I like to have the TV or YouTube on in the background but if it’s been a hectic few days I work in silence.
What is your favourite handmade item you have bought?
My bathing lady from Laurie Melia. She’s awesome and has pride of place on my duchess in my bedroom.
And where can we find you online?
I have an Etsy store ( https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/e
liseheatherdesigns ) but I get lazy when it comes to updating it. I mostly connect with customers via Instagram and at the markets.
I take custom orders and offer postage or pickup from Toowoomba.
How long have you been a member of BrisStyle and what made you join?
Just joined! And am loving it already.
I attended the inaugural Ipswich Rail Museum Twilight Market and thought it was run spectacularly so I wanted in on the action.
Well thank you Elise and WELCOME.
That's our final Monday Maker for the year, let's see what 2017 brings.
X anita (Myclectic)