Stallholder Profile for Kokonut NQ
Your name: Christine Stewart
Your business name and facebook/website name and link: Kokonut NQ
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Kokonut-NQ-624674597679600/
The suburb/town you live in now: Strathpine Qld
What is it that you make and what skills do you use?: I make unique items from coconut shells, driftwood and native seed pods. I am somewhat of a gatherer. Items include Weefolk Houses, candle holders and shelves.
What inspired you to start your business?: Until recently I lived in North Queensland, where we often ate fresh coconut and I made coconut products for my family including coconut milk, yoghurt and butter. Of course this left me with many coconut shells which I started using to make gifts for family and friends. A cousin asked me to make some fairy houses for her daughters, so I started, Weefolk homes for the homeless tiny people.
How long have you been creating?: I have been creating my Kokonut NQ products for almost 3 years but didn't start selling them until March 2016.
Is it a full time/part time hobby or business?: I would like it to become a full time business.
Where do you sell your creations?: I have been selling my wares for 2 years at markets in Townsville including Cotters Market, Renegade Handmade Market, and the Renegade Handmade Shop. I have a Etsy Shop and will have my first stall in SE Qld corner at The Handmade Expo Brisbane Northside in April.
What makes you so special or different?: After visiting many markets between Cairns and Brisbane, I have not found anything like my Kokonut NQ pieces. Every item is created from naturally sourced materials. Each item I create is unique by nature and I let the materials guide my imagination in every piece.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?: The element of surprise and smiles on people's faces when they explore the detail in my tiny houses.
I love spending time at the beach gathering my materials, picking over the high tide mark flopsum, and kayaking to my favourite coconut tree overhanging the Ross River. (Not that I can do that lately). I did bring a very limited supply of NQ coconut shell with me.
If anyone has or knows of a coconut tree could you let me know.
What is your favourite product to make?: Weefolk Houses. There are many homeless Weefolk, needing shelter. My childhood spent around water fuels my inspiration in many of these houses.
Though candle holders were where I started. Sourcing coconuts in SE Queensland is not easy, especially lovely large nuts. My candle holders may not be a regular item on my stall.
Do you teach classes or workshops?: No, I use very sharp and rotating tools, the responsibility and thought of someone else injuring themselves prevents me from doing lessons.