Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2017

Maker Monday - with O&Y Studio

Today I have a little chat with Andrea from O&Y Studio. I discovered her on instagram, and have become very enamoured with her work!

1.Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create / your business?

I'm Andrea or Andy. I was born and raised in South Africa and moved to the USA in my twenties. I live in the beautiful Southern city of Charlotte in North Carolina.

I am the owner and designer of O&Y Studio. I hand stitch one-of-a-kind, wool-on-wool embroideries. First I crochet a circle or oval, then I mount it in a traditional, wooden embroidery hoop, and lastly, I embroider it.. The hoop becomes the frame and can be hung on a wall or rested on a shelf. I stitch mostly flowers and botanicals. I love to incorporate hand-spun and hand-dyed or painted wool yarns into my embroideries.

2. How long have you been creating?

I've been knitting and sewing since I was 4. My mother gave me my first sewing machine at age 11 and I taught myself (and my mother) to crochet in my teenage years. When my children were small I became hooked on smocking in a big way. I made custom order children’s clothing and heirloom christening gowns. I even owned a smocking shop for a while and taught many people in Charlotte to smock and to do fine hand sewing. I went on to work in retail as a buyer and set up store displays. More recently I wanted to start a new business selling my handmade items. I had a vague idea of what I wished to create but I especially wanted it to be something unique that no one else was making. I went about scouting for embroidery hoops in vintage shops and then I started experimenting with crocheting the backgrounds. When I got those proportions right, it was time to do the fun part - the embroidery. By November of 2016, I had a collection of hoops built up so I decided to launch a website and I listed my hoops in an Etsy shop. I have been most encouraged by the nice response to my work.

3. Do you start with ideas or materials?

I have the materials already, so I start with ideas. Flowers are my inspiration 90% of the time. The flowers I have growing in my garden inspire me. I love photographing flowers and have built up quite a library that I used this past winter when I didn’t have much blooming in the garden. Some of my flowers are realistic but mostly I love to do my own interpretation choosing the colours from the palette of the wools that I own. I have a little notebook of "Things I want to try” - colour combinations to use, different flowers I wish to stitch and other applications I would like to attempt. I have built up quite a stockpile of woolen yarns, many of them I bring back in my luggage from trips home to South Africa (from the area surrounding my family's sheep farm) or on other trips if I have time to go and find a new wool shop!

4. How relevant is social media to you and your business?

Social Media has had a lot of importance to me in my business. I've been growing an Instagram following of my @oandystudio account and most of my sales have come from there. My Facebook business page is definitely not growing in the same way, however, I have made a few sales though Facebook so I know I need to give it time, after all I’ve only been doing this for five months.

5. Would you like to add anything further?

Please consider following me in my social media and please tell me you discovered me on Emma's blog!
My Instagram account is and my Facebook page is at

For more about me and my embroideries, you may check out my website and if you care to, please subscribe to my mailing list
You can either access my shop through the website or through Etsy:

If you are a “pinner” and prefer Pinterest, I’m on there too and have a board of my hoops…

Monday, April 24, 2017

Maker Mondays- Adelaide Hills Yarn Co.

Welcome to this Monday's instalment of the blog series -

Today's Makers are a little different, Adelaide Hills Yarn Company.

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what your business?

We are Diana and Amanda, two friends who met whilst working together and developed a love for crocheting and using chunky yarns. We decided to start our own on line T shirt yarn store to make the products more accessible to Australian crafters. Our products are used by crocheters, knitters, weavers and macramé artists. 

How long have you been established?

We officially opened Adelaide Hills Yarn Co in June last year (2016), so not even 12 months yet. We have been delighted with the response that we received to our yarns, and can hardly believe how far we have come in such a short time. We have since added other 
products other than T shirt yarn.

Do you start with ideas or materials?

We started our business with just an idea. We had the materials in mind, and months were spent sourcing what we wanted

How relevant is social media to you?

Extremely. It is the foundation of our business really. We have built our business from nothing using Instagram and Facebook alone.

Anything else to add? 

Our products are made from factory offcuts from the textile industry that would otherwise go into landfill. We are pleased to be able to make a difference, no matter how small. 

My Textured Clutch pattern uses Adelaide Hills ribbon and rope yarn. You can find the pattern here:

Find the Adelaide Hills Yarn Co shop and Facebook page here:

If you would like to be a 'Monday Maker' email me a [email protected]

Monday, April 17, 2017

Maker Mondays with Mikaela Bates from Vivid Kreations

Time for the next Maker Monday! Settle in, while we take a look at the face behind Vivid Kreations, Micaela Bates

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?

Hi, I’m Mikaela from Vivid Kreations. I live in Ipswich, Queensland in Australia, though I am originally from Echuca, Victoria. 
I was (am) a secondary English and Italian teacher but I am currently lucky enough to be at home with my adorable 5 year old son. My partner and I run our own mobile detailing business and I have started my own business, Vivid Kreations. 

I love many different creative art forms though my biggest passion is crochet. I love to design items that are suitable for the warmer Queensland weather but still have a measure of comfort and cosiness, as well as beautiful items for the home. 


How long have you been crocheting and designing?

I discovered crochet just after moving to Queensland in 2013 and I was off down the rabbit hole, learning everything I could and thinking about crochet all the time!
My first design came the following year when I was looking for a summer friendly Santa hat pattern and couldn’t find one- and so the Slouchy Summer Santa hat was born. 

I haven’t really stopped designing since but I only started publishing my patterns last year. 

Do you start with ideas or materials?

I generally start with an idea. I have notebooks full of ideas all over the place! I have just started to organise them into my bullet journal so I can find them again and get more patterns written up to share.

Sometimes I am inspired by a particular yarn that’s just shouting to be something specific but usually an idea will come to me from a need (most often wishing for a lighter weight version of something so I can actually wear it!), an interesting stitch pattern or from something I’ve seen.

How relevant is social media to you?

Social media is definitely important for me in a few different ways. 
Number one is connecting with other makers. I am constantly inspired by the amazing things other people have made, which energises me and keeps me excited about my craft. 
Two, it’s perfect for sharing what I’m doing and to help me learn from other people who share their tips and tricks. 

Three, it’s a great way to get my designs out into the world in a way that feels friendly and not pushy.

Anything else to add? 

I believe that creativity is an important part of life. It’s enjoyable, satisfying (even when it’s challenging) and engages our minds in a way that motivates us and promotes learning. 
As a teacher I approach pattern writing like I would creating learning materials for my students and I try to make my patterns as accessible as possible. I want anyone who follows my patterns to be able to achieve success and feel proud of what they have created and capable of trying the next thing that comes along. 
I am also starting a blog to share my creative journey: my crochet and other creative projects; my love of colour in the world around us; and exploring what creativity means and how it is beneficial for all of us.




If you would like to be a 'Monday Maker' email me a [email protected]

Monday, April 10, 2017

Maker Mondays with Bec Morris from Pinch Me Beautiful

Welcome to this week's instalment of the blog series -

Today's we interview Bec- weaver extraordinaire, who appears online as Pinch Me Beautiful!

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?

Hi I’m Bec - I’m a beach loving, coastie mum of two. On any given day you can find me drinking tea, baking brownies and I also like to make pretty woven wall hangings in-between the school runs. 


How long have you been creating?

Well, after having my second baby I was feeling like I needed something creative - just for me. So I decided to start blogging and Pinch Me Beautiful was born (around two years ago now.) Randomly I bought a ticket to a local weaving workshop and something just clicked. My mum owns a wool shop so I have always been around yarn but could barely knit a scarf. Once I started I couldn’t stop! Soon my house was filling up with weaves. Then my friends and family started admiring my new hobby and asking me if they could buy them - and then and the custom requests started rolling in people love one-off pieces. It was from there that my business slowly started as people grew more and more interested.    

Do you start with ideas or materials?

Generally I’m not one to have a plan. Usually I just find a few skeins of yarn I love, or sometimes I’ll have an idea in mind. I like to take inspiration from around me, like the beach or a painting, or even a funky pattern. Then I just start and usually it all just evolves. For example, a customer posted me one of their pillowcases to use as inspo for a custom weave - It was really fun designing that way. I also find a lot of inspo from the beach but generally the designs evolve and I think, ohh a pom-pom would look good there. Sometimes I do stubble across a beautiful piece of roving or a skein of yarn and I know exactly what I want to do with it. 

customer's pillowcases

How relevant is social media to you?

Social media is a big part of my business. I love to be able to share my work online and embrace my other passion; photography. Because Pinch Me Beautiful all started as a Blog. 
It gave me the platform to share and sell my weaves. It is a great network and community - I love tagging the creative people who make the materials that I use, we all share each others images and use Instagram as a way to inspire each other, trade techniques and keep in touch. Instagram is also one of my fave hobbies - It’s my outlet to sharing myself and getting back in touch with my creative side after having my kids. And my profile isn’t just pictures of my weaving, it’s all the things that I’m grateful for, beautiful beaches, my awesome kids, style, fashion, baking and my ridiculously cute chubby cheeked cat. 

Anything else to add? 

You can find my blog at It has lots of recipes, DIY projects, pom pom love and stories from my life. Even though it’s been over a year since I posted, I still consider it live, people still seem to enjoy it and maybe one day I’ll get back into it - if the orders ever slow down a bit. 
or just search the hashtag #pmbweaves

If you would like to be a 'Monday Maker' email me a [email protected]

Monday, March 27, 2017

Maker Mondays- with Shelley from Spincushions.

Welcome to this week's instalment of the blog series -

Today's Maker is Shelley Husband from Spincushions. I have followed Shelley for a long time on social media, and delighted when she agreed to an interview!

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?


Hi. I'm Shelley and I design crochet patterns.  My patterns are interesting and fun to do, gently challenging and encouraging you to create things you never thought you could.  My main love is designing crochet squares to make into blankets, cushions, scarves etc.  

How long have you been creating?

Oh I've always been crafty.  You name it, I've probably done it.  Paper making, candles, jewellery, embroidery of all kinds, hand sewn felt pincushions (that's where my name Spincushions came from), knitting etc

Do you start with ideas or materials?

Both. Sometimes I have a yarn or theme I need to work to, so I go from there. Like my Narrawong pattern; where I needed a pattern inspired by where I live for a local project.  Other times, I come up with ideas I just want to try, usually while crocheting other things.  Then there's my favourite time - blank notebook, fresh yarn and time to just play.  I love the designs that come from no restrictions, as I can be really creative and break the rules.

How relevant is social media to you?

Fairly I guess.  I never really got into any of the social media platforms until Instagram came along.  That one just made sense and was easy. In the beginning, I was just sharing bits and pieces of my life as well as my pincushions at the time. It has evolved over time and is a lot different from the beginning with algorithms etc.  These days I am more mindful of what I post.  I go through phases where I will post to a plan and others where I just post what I'm doing with no real plan.  I cringe if I see my early early posts (ha ha!)  So many filters!  

Anything else to add? 

Do what you love and try not to play the comparison game. What you assume you see is most often not the reality.  What you define as success, will be quite different to many others so follow what makes you feel good and fulfilled and the rest will come.  

You can find Shelley, and more info about the Narrawong project here :
Want some crochet fun in your inbox every month? Subscribe to newsletters here:

If you would like to be a 'Monday Maker' email me a [email protected]

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maker Mondays - with Erin from Nappy Cakes by Erin

Welcome to this week's instalment of the blog series - Maker Mondays.

Today's Maker is Erin from Nappy Cakes by Erin.

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?

I'm Erin, a Mum of two, wife and Primary School teacher. I'm also the owner, designer and blogger of Nappy Cakes by Erin and the founder of Celebrate Play - a FREE series of content focusing on PLAY in the home. 

How long have you been designing nappy cakes?

I have owned Nappy Cakes by Erin for a couple of years now and founded Celebrate Play in 2017. 

Do you start with ideas or materials?

When designing our Nappy Cakes I often start with ideas which lead to seeking materials. However, when I'm making custom designs, the process is the opposite, starting with materials based on customer preference/s.

How relevant is social media to you?

Social media is quite relevant to my biz for a few reasons such as brand awareness, a portion of orders/sales and building a rapport with my readers and followers. 

Anything else to add? 

You can find To browse our collection or join in the celebration of play, come and visit at:

If you would like to be a 'Monday Maker' email me a [email protected]

Monday, March 13, 2017

Maker Monday - with Kate from The Crow and Arrow


Welcome to this week's instalment of the blog series -

Today's Maker is Kate from the Crow and Arrow. Full disclosure, I have know Kate since she was born.. she is my sister! We have both been involved with various creative activities since childhood, and makes sense we now both work in creative industries!

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?

My name is Kate and I am a mermaid who lost her tail! What do I do? Ever had an image in your head of the perfect floral headpiece, whether it be for a race function, bridal shower, wedding or a party, but would have no idea how to find it or to make it. Well that’s what I do. I make those day dreams into reality.

How long have you been making these dreams into reality?

I have been in the flower crown business since 2012, re branded as The Crow and Arrow in 2016

Do you start with ideas or materials?

Each piece is unique just as their new owner is, so each process is unique. Sometimes I start with ideas from inspirational photos from the customer, other times they may send me a picture of the outfit they intend to wear with it, or they may even just say the colour or the flower types they like and give me full creative rein. 
Each piece I send progression photos to the client to ensure it is exactly what they are after, sometimes it needs a few tweaks to their liking, other times they love it and nothing needs to be changed. 
All my pieces are made with quality materials. The flowers look so perfect they are often mistaken for real. But unlike real flowers that will wilt on the day and die over time, my pieces last forever, to look perfect on the day and be enjoyed again and again. 

The pieces themselves can take a couple of weeks as perfection takes times, which the customer understands. Many brides often contact me six months in advance to ensure I can make what they are after prior to their big day. 

How relevant is social media to you?

In the era, we live in social media is everything. It’s how an artist communicates their work to the world. I find Instagram the best medium to use, as it is a bounty of beautiful photographs with relevant tags to the end user. It makes having a portfolio accessible to the world, and without it I would not have sent half my pieces out internationally.  It also gives me a chance to see my customers wearing the pieces at their special event. All it needs is a tag I can see their photos! It makes it all worthwhile when you can see how happy they are wearing your designs. 

You can find Kate as The Crow and Arrow on Instagram, Etsy and Facebook;

Monday, March 6, 2017

Maker Mondays - With Simone Bisson from Custom Room Plaques

Welcome to the second ever instalment of Monday Makers. Today I talk with Simone from Custom Room plaques. Simone has been a colleague (and gym buddy!) of mine for a few years, you may have seen some of her Christmas range on my instagram feed! 

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what do you create? 

I'm Simone from Custom Room Plaques and I create bespoke plaques, plates, lanterns and other made to order items. I work from home and sell via markets and also online. My items are almost always personalised with names, important family dates and are designed to be kept as beautiful keepsakes. I make a lot of seasonal holiday items. I love making something unique and not 'off the shelf' My other passions include my family, skincare, looking after myself and creating a healthier me. 

How long have you been making your custom items? 
2 1/2 years. My first items were name plaques - where the business name came from. I started with door plaques for my own kids, and found them to be very popular. The business started from there. 

Do you start with ideas or materials? 
Both. I use a wide variety of materials, sometimes a piece calls for hand lettering and that means you are creating something truly custom. Sometimes an order comes in as an idea and I work with the client from that.  

How relevant is social media to you? 
Very, it's how I get most of my work. You can find me pretty active over on Facebook or on instagram I take orders via either platform.

Thanks for chatting with us Simone!

If you would like to be one of our Monday Makers, please email me at [email protected]

Monday, February 27, 2017

Maker Mondays - with Jennifer Percival from Crochet at Play.

Welcome to the new blog series - Maker Mondays. Grab a cuppa and sit down for our first ever interview! This will be an ongoing series. I will be interviewing 'Makers' from around the world, who have turned or turning their hobby into a business.

Today's Maker is Jennifer Percival from Crochet to Play

Please introduce yourself, and tell us what you create?

I am Jennifer Percival and I'm from the Pacific Northwest in the USA.  I am a wife, mom to 3 little people, and a reading teacher.  And since all that is not enough, I am also an avid crocheter and pattern designer.  I used to create mostly garments - hats, dresses, scarves - but I've spent the past year designing amigurumi and home décor items.  I think it's having kids that made me change lanes a bit.  I like to make toys and little plush things that can't break and that my kids use for imaginary play.  My favorite design in the past year were ornaments for my kids to hang on their own little Christmas tree. My designs are published under my name on Ravelry and on Etsy with my shop Crochet to Play.  

How long have you been Designing?

I knew the basics of crochet when I was younger but really got into it after my first baby was born, seven years ago.  I started experimenting with my own designs right away but I've only been publishing the patterns for about a year.

Do you start with ideas or materials?

I start with ideas for my business.  I have more ideas than time, a notebook full at this point.  I like having a mental stockpile of things I want to create so that when time and inspiration strike, I can just go for it.  I've got a pretty respectable stash of my favorite yarns so I tend to get my ideas fully formed, work with the yarn I have, and then add colors as I need to.
However, when I stumble upon an especially lovely fiber I tend to let it inspire the project, but often those are just personal garments or gifts.

How relevant is social media to you?

Well I'm just so silly because it should be incredibly relevant to me, but I'm not taking advantage of it at all.  I talk myself out of investing time in Facebook or Instagram because I'm publishing patterns so slowly and I think that I can't build up a following without more regular content.  But I really need to just get on it.

Anything else to add? 

Thank you for the platform to share my work, Emma!

You can find Jennifer on as Crochet to Play on Etsy and Ravelry