Tag Archives: featured seller

featured handmade seller: Belinda from Studio Astratta

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This always puts me in a good mood: introducing an amazingly talented and dedicated handmade small business artisan, and Belinda from Studio Astratta has created work that puts me in a good mood every day – she created the wooden decor word ‘dream’ I showed you in a previous post, that brightens up my studio. I also have the mini easel artwork “all you need is love” that Belinda is featuring in today’s blog post, you should get one, honestly!

Belinda, Studio Astratta

Belinda, Studio Astratta

Introduction:

Hi, I’m Belinda, creator behind the home decor label Studio Astratta.

I’m a Sydney girl but followed my heart to Brisbane a few years ago, where I live with my wonderful boyfriend in a beautiful bayside suburb.

Studio Astratta is all about unique and inspirational handmade home decor and gifts, including abstract paintings (‘astratta’ means ‘abstract’ in Italian), mini canvases featuring inspiring quotes, wooden words and ampersands, pen holders and ceramic coasters.


Where did your creative journey begin?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved creating (and selling) beautiful things. As a child I would make things (think mice made from seashells etc) and sit out the front of my house with a little table, selling my creations to neighbours and anyone passing by!

In high school it was all about drawing. I even created a family of elf characters! I still have the drawings.

I began creating more seriously a few years after finishing high school, when I taught myself how to make jewellery. I spent a few years designing, creating and selling jewellery before deciding that it wasn’t for me.

I moved from Sydney to Brisbane in late 2010 and began abstract painting in an attempt to fill the empty walls of my new home. After receiving lots of positive feedback from friends and family, I decided to sell my paintings and in early 2012 Studio Astratta was born. My attention has since turned to paper craft and Studio Astratta has evolved from abstract paintings to a range of home decor pieces.

inspirational mini easel artwork

inspirational mini easel artwork


What kind of things inspire and excite you?

I have always been inspired by quotes and words. I surround myself with them – stamped onto jewellery, printed on cushions, inked onto china, scrawled on scraps of paper… Many of my products also focus on inspirational quotes and words, so my studio is full of them!

I also draw inspiration from magazines, Pantone colour forecasts and on trend patterns like chevron and Aztec prints.

As for what excites me – every sale I make and every time my work is featured somewhere! It’s also exciting when I come up with a new idea for a product or find the exact supplies I have been looking for.

love, wooden home decor

love, wooden home decor


What is the biggest challenge you have had in your creative life, and how did you overcome it (or are you currently tackling it)

I find photography one of the hardest things about selling my creations online. It’s so important to have the best photos possible. I recently rephotographed all the products in my store based on tips and advice from fellow madeit sellers. There is still definitely room for improvement but I’m much happier with my new photos and have received great feedback.

Some of the most important things I’ve learned are to avoid using distracting props, to include ‘in use’ photos, and to edit the brightness and contrast to make the photo POP! I use picmonkey.com and Microsoft Picture Manager for photo editing.

ceramic coaster sets

ceramic coaster sets


What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?

My ultimate dream is to be able to work on Studio Astratta full time. Other than that, I hope to continually exceed my sales goals and possibly sell my work through carefully selected shops and markets, in addition to my madeit store.

wooden ampersand

wooden ampersand

You can support Belinda and Studio Astratta here:

www.madeit.com.au/StudioAstratta

www.facebook.com/StudioAstratta

www.pinterest.com/StudioAstratta

www.studioastratta.blogspot.com.au

Thanks Belinda, and I wish you every happiness as you live and create for Studio Astratta.

featured handmade seller: Holly from Zuri

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Another special day for me, I always enjoy introducing the wonderful creative souls who bless this world with their handmade goodies, and today I’d love you to meet Holly of Zuri, here she is in her own words…

Holly is the creative talent responsible for Zuri

Holly is the creative talent responsible for Zuri

Introduction:

Hi I’m Holly, creator behind the accessory and jewellery atelier, Zuri. I was born in Oxford in 1981, yet my folk’s emigrated from the UK to Australia in November 1981 so I’m Aussie bred! I’m now long married to an Australian Air Force man and we have 2 children, our 6 year old son and a 3 year old devil, ahem daughter! We move on average every 5 years and are now in Canberra where ‘husband’ studies full time Electrical Engineering. Our first winter here is…interesting! It’s a very beautiful place and we are so excited to be living here!

handmade by Zuri

handmade by Zuri

Where did your creative journey begin?

I’ve always been artistically inclined which I inherited from my mum and discarded mathematics as early as I could to fill my school days with art and drama. (The irony that I am now married to a mathematical genius!)

Once my daughter was born in 2009, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of little girl’s accessories and I discovered quite quickly I could create my designs to suit my own tastes, which are very particular! I started with button hair ties with unusual fabrics, untypical of children’s fabric. I also made accessories for friends and received so many compliments that I decided to ‘found’ my little business in March 2012.

I’m highly inspired by beautiful, gifted photography. I like to think I also have a fairly good eye for it! I find inspiration in all things natural, especially isolated West Australian beaches :sigh:  how I love the ocean. I’m a big outdoors person, exploring, 4WDriving, camping and picnic bbq’s. Our family loves cooking delicious food and we all hold great importance in fitness.

Individually, I really enjoy eclectic fabric designs, Moroccan, Metallic’s, Mohave, Aztec, all things ‘peacock’, neon’s and particular patterns suitable for the buttons I use to make hair ties. I then lead onto button earrings as my fabric collection ideally appealed to a higher demographic. Rings, necklaces then clay as it’s so fun to use, the outcome is stunning and there are endless designs to create out if it.

button hair tie by Zuri

button hair tie by Zuri

What has been your biggest obstacle in your creative life?

Because of our transient lifestyle I’d found it hard to adjust from job to job and decided it best to stay-at-home and raise our children, focusing on attempting to keep them settled in anticipation of moving or times when my husband is away. In our recent move from West to East, my business was put on hold for 5 months whilst we camped across the country and then lived in a hotel till our new home was ready. I was slow to start up but I’m in full swing now! I’m always eager to make new designs out of new mediums so the future for Zuri is always exciting! Sometimes I have so many ideas my wallet cannot possibly fund them all, I’m certain we all feel this way at some point in our lives! My newest challenge comes in the form of a bread and butter job, my first in 7 years! I vow to always find time to create and inspire!

jewellery by Zuri

jewellery by Zuri

What dreams to you have for the future of your creative business?

I’m edging towards 18 months with Zuri and my next big goal is to do a market but I confess I’m procrastinating! My goal is to get one under my belt by Christmas! We shall see J

You can support Holly and Zuri here:

www.facebook.com/ZuriAtelier

www.madeit.com.au/Zuri

Thanks so much Holly for adding your gorgeous work and insights into your creative life to the Starzyia blog, and thanks to my readers who are still visiting previous featured seller posts and getting to know the wonderful guests and their work.

one more beautiful pic from Zuri!

one more beautiful pic from Zuri!

Featured Handmade Seller: Sally Dixon, Razzle Dazzle

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For the first time I am featuring a second handmade maven in one month – meet the wonderful creative soul I could not overlook because, well, her creations are so amazingly adorable! Here is Sally Dixon in her own words…

Introduction:

Hello, my name is Sally and I’m currently living in Hope Valley, not far from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. My business is called Razzle Dazzle Creations.

Small, fiddly, intricate creations made with a touch of Razzle Dazzle – that’s what I love to make! I design and make critters and novelty items such as brooches, finger puppets, play food and more. Felt is my usual medium.

made with a touch of razzle dazzle

made with a touch of razzle dazzle

Where did your creative journey begin?

I create because creativity is built into my nature. I can’t stop! My journey began in my childhood. I went through many creative phases: cake baking, fimo modelling, and sewing. At home I was provided with encouragement and freedom to experiment and invent. I remember designing and sewing tiny felt teddy bears as a 12 year old. I ended up with an army of them, each unique in colour and outfit.

matchbox critters by razzle dazzle

matchbox critters by razzle dazzle

What kind of things inspire and excite you?

What inspires me?

Magazines and books filled with cute creations.

The internet, particularly Pinterest. It’s filled with tutorials and pretty pictures.

Listening to the success stories of other handmade business owners.

What excites me?

Meandering through craft store aisles filled with rows and rows of buttons, beads, ribbons, pretty papers, fabric and more!

Trying out a new design which began as a unique idea in my head.

Finding an email in my inbox with an order for a product. Never tire of it!

felt cats and critters by razzle dazzle

felt cats and critters by razzle dazzle

What is the biggest challenge you have had in your creative life, and how did you overcome it (or are you currently tackling it)

A big challenge to overcome is confidence. Self doubt can easily set in. I sometimes find myself thinking: Are my creations good enough to sell? Will my customer be pleased when the item arrives in the post and they see it in person? And a new one: Will my items sell in the gift shop? The key is to hold onto the encouragement you receive. Listen to the positive words about your creations, and just keep at it. The more you create, the better you get. And allow yourself to enjoy the process.

pouch key rings by razzle dazzle

pouch key rings by razzle dazzle

What dreams do you have for the future of your creative business?

Razzle Dazzle Creations began as a hobby, but it’s slowly growing. I hope to do two creative pursuits full time in the future: write books, and continue my business. I’d like to make a proper living from both pursuits. In terms of my business, I’d like to have my creations available in more stores. I’m working on that at the moment. My products are currently available in two stores, but this needs to grow! I’d like it to become more consistent online as well. At the moment it fluctuates from periods of no sales to periods of many sales! I’m also thinking of writing a craft book…we’ll see how that goes!
Support Sally & Razzle Dazzle:

Madeit: www.madeit.com.au/razzledazzle

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RazzleDazzlebySally

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RazzleDazzlebySally

Blog: http://razzledazzle7.wordpress.com/

mousy and ted in bed! by razzle dazzle

mousy and ted in bed! by razzle dazzle

Thanks so much Sally, for adding your beautiful work to the blog and sharing an insight into your creative life. Wishing you every happiness as you continue on your journey and good luck with the writing too, it’s a wonderful pursuit.

featured handmade seller interview, Michelle Yates, The China Hutch, madeit

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This month has taken an interesting turn, I was looking for someone who really wanted to be featured seller for June (I usually send out invitations to specific people with stores that I ogle) I knew that if I put out a cattle call, I would get someone who was ready and willing – what I didn’t expect was that I would have so many diverse and amazing applicants, and I have decided to try to feature two people every month at least until August. If you missed the cattle call, it probably means you don’t follow me on facebook – so if you want to have access to these chances, you might want to join me there on my Starzyia page.

Without further ado, here is my number one choice for featured seller…

you shall have a fishie, The China Hutch

you shall have a fishie, The China Hutch

Introduction:

My name is Michelle Yates and my online shop is called The China Hutch, I live in Melbourne Australia and I paint porcelain and bone china. I use on glaze paints on the porcelain which I then fire in a kiln at 820C a number of times to achieve a depth of colour.

Where did your creative journey begin?

I learnt the technique of painting on porcelain over 25 years ago here in Melbourne at a school where I attended classes one day a week, on one of my days off from my real job as a Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I learnt in the classical style of the day and have since developed my own styles.

hand painted plate, The China Hutch

hand painted plate, The China Hutch

What kind of things excite and inspire you?

So many things inspire and excite me, a picture in a book, a cartoon, a card, something from my childhood, an animal – eg. Our little Schnauzer, an image on the computer.

hand painted wedgewood plate

hand painted Wedgwood plate

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your creative life?

We lived in Holland for nearly 7 years in the 1990’s and I could not work on an intensive care unit as my dutch was not good enough, so painting became my occupation and I gradually built up a large business painting porcelain.

Now I am trying to build up another business in Australia – on line, as I have retired from nursing, it is hard to re-establish myself and at times I get disheartened and wonder why I try, then someone will buy a piece of my work and I am inspired once more to keep going. I say my paintings are an ‘Antiques of the future’!

hand painted royal doulton cake stand

hand painted royal doulton cake stand

poppy & butterfly painted wedgwood

poppy & butterfly painted Wedgwood

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Michelle and seeing her amazing work, if you’d like to show her some support here are the links to her store and facebook page:

madeit store

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