Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stallholder profile Nutty Koala

Todays stallholder profile is Nutty Koala

Your name: Gayle Lemmon
Your business name:
Nutty Koala 

The suburb/town you live in now: 
Kewarra Beach, Cairns
What is it that you make and what skills do you use?:
Hand sewn babies & children's wear for both girls and boys from birth to 3 years.  Skirts, various styles of dresses, shorts, button-up shirts, ruffled rompers, playsuits, overalls, baby shoes, and l also create cot size quilts.   I use an embroidery machine and hand make embellishments that adorn some of these garments. The patterns that l use are all my own as l have a certificate in pattern making for children's wear. 

What inspired you to start your business?
My love of sewing which began at a very young age that started with creating dolls clothes, then l had my own children in which l extended my talent into making outfit for my girls. I now  also sew for my 2 grand daughters and occasionally for my 3 grandsons.

How long have you been creating? 
50 years l have been sewing, which has ranged from creating my own clothes, curtains, doona covers, quilts, baby accessories as gifts for family and friends.
Is it a full time/part time hobby or business?: 
I would love this to be a full time business but as l help to run my husbands business, it has to be part time.
Where do you sell your creations?  
I sell through my facebook page and The Handmade Expo and Vintage Market in Cairns.
What makes you so special or different?: 
I like to do things different to other people, l take into consideration of who l am creating for such as little people need simplicity when it comes to clothing, the easier it is to dress a child the happier everyone is. Some times 'Less is More', as too many ruffles, buttons etc.....can be frustrating for a child when learning to dress themselves. l also love making my own embellishments such as bows and fabric flowers that makes my outfits unique.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?: 
Seeing my customers children wearing my outfits, and returning to buy more of my outfits.
What is your favourite product to make?: 
Ruffled rompers, dresses and cute girly outfits.

Do you teach classes or workshops?: 
No, as l barely have enough time to do what l want to do now, but hopefully  one day l will have some time to pass on my creative skills to others.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stallholder Profile Colourful Creations and Designs

Todays stallholder profile is all about Colourful Creations and Designs
Your name:    Yvette Tipo

Your business name : Colourful Creations and Designs

The suburb/town you live in now:  Cairns / Edmonton

What is it that you make and what skills do you use?: 
Abstract painting using acrylic paints, watercolours, textured mediums and resin finishing.  Applying to canvas's and monologue letters to create signs, children's names and paintings to suit the home, office, children's bedrooms etc.

What inspired you to start your business?:  
I wanted a hobby that I can enjoy and if I could earn a little money from my hobby would be a bonus.

How long have you been creating?:  
about 2 months

Is it a full time/part time hobby or business?:  
Hobby with potential to be a business

Where do you sell your creations? 
This is my first so atm its The Handmade Expo Market Cairns.

What makes you so special or different?:  
I think because what I do is handmade every creation is unique therefore you will always have one of a kind.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?:  
To see the end product and receive positive & negative feedback.

What is your favourite product to make?:  
Monologue letters

Do you teach classes or workshops?:  
No I'm still learning by teaching myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stallholder profile Amalia Fernand Leather Designs

Todays stallholder profile is Amalia Fernand Leather Designs

Your name: 
Amalia Celeste Fernand

Your Business name:
Amalia Fernand Leather Designs

The suburb/town you live in now:

What is it that you make and what skills do you use?
I make leather bracelets and earrings out of repurposed scraps from my father’s handmade shoe business. I grew up around leatherwork and use skills that have been ingrained in me since I was a child. Some of the techniques that I use include: tooling, riveting, punching, and braiding. 

What inspired you to start your business?
As a child, I was always creating something beautiful out of scraps on the shoe shop floor. As I got older, and travel became a part of my life, I used this passion to help fund adventures. I teach environmental education classes to local children in developing nations when I travel. I incorporate art as an important way to allow an opportunity for creative expression, and reinforce lesson concepts throughout the community. The money from Amalia Fernand Leather Designs helps to support my Nature Explorers International projects. For more information: and

How long have you been ‘creating’?
For as long as I can remember. When I was 5, I used to sell tooled leather scraps for 25 cents! I have been selling Amalia Fernand Leather Designs in stores and markets since 2000. 

Is it a full time/ part time/hobby or business?
A part time job that supports my passion for environmental education projects. I recently spent a year in Borneo working with orangutan and sea turtle conservation. Selling bracelets along the way helped to support educational volunteer projects. 

Where do you sell your creations? 
The Handmade Expo, Cleveland Markets, and Etsy:

What makes what you do special or different?
Every bracelet can be customised on location to give customers a truly unique accessory or gift. I can add names, dates, initials, quotes, designs, etc. This is a perfect opportunity to make a bracelet that really means something to yourself or loved one. For example, I make “Mother’s Bracelets” that have childen’s names and birthstones in a leather bracelet. Because I use scraps, every piece is different, and handcrafted to what best fits the individual. These leather bracelets are also different because they directly support a good cause, Nature Explorers International. 

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I love to see someone wearing a well-loved bracelet that I had made them many years earlier. I enjoy finding the right fit for each customer and adding a special custom touch. 

What is your favourite product that you make?
The double wrap bracelet with a spiral is currently my favourite! 

Do you teach classes or workshops?
Yes, I teach workshops for both kids and adults at schools and art centres. These leather working classes introduce students to the basic tools and skills involved with using leather as a medium. ​

Friday, March 11, 2016

To Market to Market !

Recently I read an article on Facebook that was singing the praises of a new platform for small businesses/SAHM /creatives/farmers on which all of these people could make an income.
 The article inferred that having a market stall, be that a handmade, a farmer’s market, a trash and treasure, a craft fair or even one where you can sell a car boot, was a new idea, one that was going to be the saving grace to all those with something to sell.
It got me thinking about how the market scene has changed over that last 8-10 years in particular and most importantly how people’s perception of markets has changed.
My, how the market scene differs to the one I started out in so many years ago.
Oh yes, didn’t you know markets have been around since Jesus was a lad, which was well before my time. No longer do farmers bring their crops and livestock to the village market to sell to make an income for their family…oh hang on yes they a slightly different manner…we call those Farmers markets.
You see selling your goods at market is not a new idea, however the style and venue of markets has changed dramatically which may have been what the author of the article had mistaken for a completely new idea.
The thought of visiting a market on the weekend no longer brings up visions of Trash and Treasure markets (where often there was a lot more trash than treasure and it was more akin to a massive garage sale). Nor are visions of the humble street stall run by the local CWA, P&C or local church, the first thing that springs to mind.
These sorts are ‘markets’ on a Saturday morning were usually a big bake up of sorts with delicious treats made by the best cooks in the town in seemed, as they always seem to me to be new to my palette and just plain delicious. You might also be able to get a potted plant or a bit of knitting, all of which raised funds for the group holding the stalls.
Over the last decade, hundreds of new markets have sprung up, all with a new take on the humble street stall or Trash and Treasure. The venues have been varied, the local school, halls, sports centres, carparks, event centres and any available piece of land that can fit a few gazebos on.
Unfortunately, many of these markets were short lived and quickly replaced by another new entrepreneur, eager to run a successful market and rake in all those stall fees.
As with every newcomer, new ideas are plentiful at the start of their market career and with all our new social networks, it is easy to make the market sound attractive and groundbreaking and one of its kind, just by having a pretty Facebook page.
However, without true passion to create events that are as good in reality as they are on our screens, these markets often falter at the first hurdle.
Insurances, venue hire, advertising, signage and the sheer volume of man/woman hours needed to bring a market to life, often pushes the price of stall fees beyond affordability and if the stall site prices are too low then often something is lacking in one of those areas.
Being a new stallholder in a new market that promises the world is hard work. Whilst your product might be fantastic and your sales on social media very promising, it takes more than just one market event for you to become well known on the market circuit. Unfortunately, that also means that your sales may be woeful for the first few markets until people get to know you and your product.
They also have to get to know about the new market, so it becomes difficult as a new stallholder on two counts.
I think it is fair to say that if you are venturing out into the market world as a new stall holder, you need to do your groundwork first, visit markets both in real life and on screen, what is the theme of the market and does your product fit in? Perhaps if you have a product that is already available at a particular market that you would really like to attend, how can you make your product differ?
Once you decide on a market you wish to attend as a stallholder you have to treat yourself as a new business. Just like any new retailer you have to look at your prices and your overheads and the reality that it might take a while to make a profit.
Many, many stallholders do make a small income to enable them to be able to supplement their family income and perhaps stay at home, create and be a SAHM (or dad) and I admire them.  They have done the hard yards though, been patient and built up their little stall over the years.  There have been many failed products along the way until they find their own niche within their niche market, but they are creative people who don’t let a few bad days define their business.
There are many whos work is so professional that in theory and on paper they could probably give up their day jobs and make a handsome living but the security of that weekly pay check holds them back. They are the envy of many a  hobbyist who attends a market as a stallholder.
So whilst markets are not a brand new shiny way of making money, they might be new to you and your business or product and I wish you luck.
Good word of mouth and self-promotion are awesome tools to possess and if you find a market that gives you feel good vibes and encourages you, you are well on your way to being successful.

If this article has your creative juices flowing and you are considering a stall at a niche handmade market with a proven track record and a national award winning resume,  then please google Handmade Markets Queensland to find The Handmade Expo in the top google rankings, page after page. 
The owners will welcome your application with open arms and will nurture your creativity and offer a long term relationship with great customer service and respect.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stall holder profile - Positively Organic Skincare

Todays post is profiling Positively Organic Skincare

Your name: Julie Boundy

Your Business name:
Positively Organic Skincare 

The suburb/town you live in: Highfields

What is it that you make and what skills do you use?  
I formulate and make organic skincare using certified organic ingredients ,working out of my solar powered studio.

What inspired you to start your business?
I was inspired to start my business after always suffering with sensitive skin issues myself and trying endless products only to discover that they didn't help my skin. My skin was always red and it  reacted from so called 'organic' and 'natural' products. While travelling around Australia for 3 years with my husband and 2 children,my skin would react with the changes in climates and water. I desperately tried dozens of products,but it wasn't until after researching the ingredients that  I realised that even the so called organic and natural products still had a percentage of synthetic ingredients in them.I came to the realisation that I would have to produce my own skincare so that I knew exactly what was going into the product which I was putting on my skin.

How long have you been ‘creating’? 
I have been selling Positively Organic Skincare for almost 3 years now (2 years before that spent formulating until I was happy with the end products) and we sell worldwide,we have a loyal customer base in the UK,United States,France and still building our overseas market. We have a big customer base Australia wide with loyal customers that have been buying our products since we first started. 

Is it a full time/ part time/hobby or business? 
Full time business

Where do you sell your creations? 
Our online store, Etsy shop -,Queens Park Markets-Toowoomba, Markets at the Manor-Highfields, The Twilight Markets-Highfields, Cabarlah Markets-Cabarlah, 
The Handmade Expo-Toowoomba,  Childers Festival-Childers. You will find a list of markets and expos that we will be attending in 2016 on our website under the link Pop- Up Shop.

What makes what you do special or different?
I use Indigenous  Australian Native extracts which makes our products unique as well as the highest quality organic plant oils and 100% pure essential oils. We have just released our new Ultra-Sensitive Range which doesn't contain any essential oils for people that are highly sensitive and for pregnant women.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do? 
I absolutely love what I do and my passion is driven my emails that I receive from people that say our products have made a noticeable difference to their skin and that they have been receiving compliments about how great their skin looks.

What is your favourite product that you make? 
I don't have a 'favourite'...I love just being in my studio making each and every product. 

Do you teach classes or workshops?
No,I really don't have time in my business at this stage.