Hazed spring 2013 final

Page 1



Spring is a time of new beginnings and that definitely rings true over here at Hazel Loves Design, we are on the verge of some exciting evolutions and we just can’t wait to take you on this journey with us. With the help of our supporters Hazed is going to print this Summer, if you haven’t already pop on over to Pledgeme and see how you can become a part of this exciting initiative. Hazed is a social enterprise, the majority of our contributors and stake holders are volunteers. We are on the hunt for a number of new volunteers to take on various roles in the evolution of the magazine, if you could be interested check out the blog to find out what roles are available and meet our team of contributors. To celebrate the launch we will also be hosting a fabulous launch party and a Craft Love Festival market, if you are interested in attending either event please contact us for all of the details, we’d sure love to have you! Stay tuned for more news on ‘Pay It Forward’, by the time the Summer edition arrives this new co-operative store will be in full swing! Love,

Hazel x

Cover Photo: New Zealand pinafore dress from Lulu’s Closet







With home sewing on the rise once

after her initial idea of placing the patterns

again, one Nelson designer is filling

inside a tube fell through when a supplier let

the need for on trend and beautifully

her down.

styled sewing patterns with her online store. Katie Brown of Nelson launched

Of the new design, she says “I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea and sketched

Papercut Patterns in 2010 and since

it in a book that was next to the bed. Then the

then her business has gained strong

next day I started developing it”.

international recognition along with a large customer base in the US.

However, Katie hit further stumbling blocks

When Katie initially left school, she chose

her ideas were unachievable and impossible

to pursue graphic design. However, it was

to do. “It was dead ends everywhere I went

partway through this course that she decided

... nobody thought outside the square. They

to transfer to fashion instead. “My Dad told

just said “oh, no, we don’t do that”. Finally

me not to do it. That there is no money in

I found one print place who was really open

fashion”, she laughs. It’s a good thing she is

minded and he said “Yup, I’ll send it to my die

so determined and decided to do it anyway.

maker and find out”. It took ages, it was so

The next 18 months, though, were intense


when various printing agencies told her that

as Katie juggled full time study and weekend work at a fabric store. “I really loved it. Being

“It was the same with the printing of my

surrounded by creative people all the time, it

patterns”, she continues. “I went into different

was a great environment”.

places and they said “oh, no, we can’t do that”. I just wanted large format printing and I

Katie’s stunning designs don’t just stop at

went to a drafting place that did large format

her patterns. Putting her graphic design

printing and they just said they couldn’t print

skills to good use, she has created functional

on tissue, but I didn’t want to print onto

packaging that also doubles as a hanger for

tissue. I wanted it on paper and they wouldn’t

that work room feel. She developed this look

accept it”, she shrugs. You can’t help but love

her determination and drive. It’s this paired

business is like having another baby”. From a

with her uncompromising vision that has

technical point of view, Katie has opted to use

made Papercut Patterns so unique and

Shopify as the base for her website. “It has a

appealing worldwide.

good back-end. It can be expensive but it’s better than a professional ecommerce site.”

Working by herself from her home-based

She has found that paying a monthly fee is

studio, Katie designs, prints and packages

more achievable than a large up front fee that

all the patterns herself, although she may

you may get from a professionally made site.

occasionally enlist the help of her daughter

It also allows her to make any changes herself

when there is a mountain of folding and

without needing to employ someone further.

packaging to be done. With a strong New Zealand made ethos, Katie also ensures all

With some big plans for the future, I get the

packaging is not only 100% recyclable, but

feeling Katie is only just getting started. An up

made from recycled materials too.

and coming collaboration with other fashion designers means we’ll soon have access to

Within her studio, you’ll find a large printer

some rather enviable patterns. With New

for the patterns which takes up an entire wall.


Katie is about to install a folding machine

Tyson, on board, it’ll be a venture any keen

that attaches onto it, to save her finger

seamstress will want to keep an eye on for

tips from being constantly sanded down

creating that designer look at home.





when folding the patterns. It is the first folding machine of it’s kind in New Zealand and

Katie has an inspiring vision and drive that is

she’s understandably excited about adding it

exciting to see. While already making waves

to her workforce.

internationally, there are plenty of good things ahead for this talented pattern maker.

With interest from the popular UK magazine Glamour,






Papercut Patterns rather than Katie having to


go hunting for it. Although, after dabbling in advertising on blogs, Katie has found that a


featured blog post will have more impact on


sales than a sidebar advertisement will. While


an advertisement does bring in visitors, the sales aren’t necessarily instant, so are harder to gauge. A feature blog post will tend to have a larger more traceable impact on sales. Because it tends to be cold in the studio, most work days will start with a morning of computer


work or printing, followed by an afternoon of studio work doing drafting and packaging before the kids return home and family life

Interviewed by: Katrina of Offsquare

takes over. Although Katie admits “Having a

Photos by: Kate Gaskell



Whether you’re a hobbyist at home

the invoice to them for payment. Once you

or a fully fledged business, accepting

have received the payment, you can proceed

credit card payments for sales may

to send off the goods to the buyer. Although

not be as hard as you first thought.

there is a small fee for the sale, it is one of the cheapest and easiest options for the

When a potential customer chooses to buy

occasional credit card sale. The invoice

something, having multiple payment options

system isn’t instant though and depends on

available to them can make the purchase even

the customer remembering to pay. So if you

more attractive. But we often push aside the

want something more immediate and don’t

idea of accepting credit cards as just being

want to be creating invoices for every sale,

too hard or expensive. Fortunately, times are changing and this service is now more accessible than ever. While there are a number of companies offering various credit card services, it’s worth bearing in mind that people may feel apprehensive using a system they are not familiar with. Here are several reputable options for you to consider. PAYPAL Paypal.com is a popular option for paying and receiving by credit card and rightly so. Even if you only operate from a Facebook page, you can still use Paypal for those one off sales.

you can use “website payments standard” with Paypal. This option requires you to already have a website in place, but will allow you to essentially create your own e-store there. By placing custom generated Paypal buttons on your site next to items for sale, buyers can select items and add them to a shopping cart. Once finished, they will be sent to the Paypal site where the transaction is securely completed, before being transferred back to your website again. Of course, there are some transaction fees involved in Paypal. For

When you sign up for a standard Paypal

domestic sales it’s 3.4% of the total sale plus a

account, you have the option of creating

fixed fee of $0.45. International sales are 3.9%

an invoice within the site, even if the buyer

plus a fixed fee dependent on the currencies

doesn’t have a Paypal account themselves.

being used. There are also withdrawal fees

Simply enter the customers email address

for moving funds from Paypal to your bank

in the buyer section and Paypal will forward

account of $1.00 for anything less than $150.

a flat fee of 2.75% per transaction thereafter

KIWIPAY Found at GetKiwiPay.co.nz, this is a New Zealand





Now we can support NZ made, not only in what we buy, but how we buy it. While they don’t yet have the volume of integrations that established payment tools have, any talented web developer should be able to work this into your existing site. Fees are refreshingly straight

with no monthly fees. The application process is said to be an arduous one, so you may like to utilise the online chat service to help you get through that. Don’t let it put you off though, as the app itself and the service SwipeHQ provide make it all worthwhile. DIRECT WITH YOUR BANK

forward with a startup option of 3.9% per sale.

All major banks have merchant services

No fixed fee per transaction like the competitors

available to anyone wanting to receive credit

enforce and both Visa and MasterCard are

card payments. A chat with any of the staff

accepted. KiwiPay will allow you to settle funds

there can get the ball rolling for you, but it will

with all New Zealand banks and have a number

cost a monthly fee as well as a per transaction

of references online so we can see what the

fee. While a costly option for the small

early adopters have to say about it. If you are

business, this could be useful if you process

doing lots of monthly transactions, you could

large quantities of credit card payments.

opt to pay a monthly fee and receive a reduced

Another benefit to this is the ability to receive

sales fee in return. Of course, in true Kiwi spirit,

payments at markets (or anywhere, really) by

they also offer 0% fees for selected charitable

manually taking an imprint of someone’s credit

events and appeals. Now that’s a business

card and having the customer sign for it. No

after our own hearts.

internet, wi-fi or even electricity needed. It’s very old-school and obviously the transaction


isn’t instant, but it does offer some flexibility.

With an app for your phone, SwipeHQ.com


allow you to receive credit card payments almost anywhere. While they do have plans

Finally, if you want to receive credit cards on

to bring out a card reader for your phone very

your existing website, you may need to chat

shortly, you can currently process a credit

with the IT professional who help you set it

card transaction by manually entering the

up. The platform they used may have some

card details (called a MOTO transaction) into

limitations as to what plug-ins are available

the app. An extra nice touch is the electronic

and these changes will often require expert

receipt it generates and emails directly to

assistance. They can also advise on which

the customer for their records. SwipeHQ will

option would suit your needs best and make

charge a one off setup fee of $99 and then

sure you are well taken care of. Whatever option you choose, it’s important that both you and your customer have complete confidence in using that service. The less hurdles to purchasing, the better it is for everyone and your customers will certainly appreciate it once they discover your beautifully crafted wares. Written by Katrina of Offsquare

Imogen Wilson | www.imogenwilson.co.nz

Paper Bird Society | www.thepaperbirdsociety.bigcartel.com

Erupt Prints | www.eruptprints.com

Red Flax | www.redflax.blogspot.co.nz



Carrot Pate and Hummus easily my


two favorite dips and they only take

• 1 clove crushed garlic

moments to make! Great on crackers

• 2 carrots peeled and chopped

or just chuck a wrap under the grill

• 1 cup raw unsalted cashews

until it blisters and cut into squares

• 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil.

for a healthy cracker alternative.

How to make Carrot Pate

These dips are great added as spreads


on your sandwiches or as tasty side

grapeseed because it has such a mild

dishes with roasted veggies. Yummy.

taste. Combine cashews and carrots








in a food processor and mix until well

To serve sprinkle with cumin seeds and a dash

grounnd. Add crushed garlic and oil

of virgin olive oil

and mix again. You can keep it chunky or mix until it’s really smooth, it’s up to

How to Make Hummus

you. And that’s it! The cashews make

Combine chickpeas and crushed garlic in

this raw dip rich and creamy, while

food processor and blend until well combined.

the carrots add colour, vitamins and

Add cumin, tahini and blend again. Add in oil


and lemon juice, salt and pepper. You are ready to serve.

HUMMUS • 2 cups chickpeas • 1 large clove of garlic crushed • 2 teaspoons cumin • 2 teaspoons tahini

You can buy chickpeas in a can already cooked just drain, rinse and they are ready to use. Or you can buy chickpeas raw (they are so cheap) all you need to do is cover with water and leave to soak over night in fridge.

• 1/2 cusp of grapeseed oil • juice of one large lemon

Drain then pop into pot with boiling water to

• salt and pepper to taste

cover and let them gently boil away until soft. This can take about 30/40 minutes. Drain and rinse and they are ready to use.

Recipe and words by: Adele from Borrowed Earth

W IfN ip ect d

on per d e a h T t he ook s u J l bow to Faceb over o enter t

a Win y! cop n o r e Entebook Fac

pinterestpower JASON MILES & KAREN LACEY

Most of us have whittled away many

and how to sign up for an account, the first



few chapters may seem tedious and overly

With its visual appeal and ease of

basic to someone already familiar with the



use, Pinterest has made light work of gaining inspiration and tips on almost anything in life. Yet, as with other social media sites, there is the

site. But if you can look past this along with the wildly enthusiastic writing style, there are some handy tips and tricks to be learnt about harnessing its marketing prowess.

opportunity here for a bit of business

With useful and practical advice scattered

marketing too.

throughout, it is worth pressing through the first few chapters to find the gold nuggets

Pinterest Power, by Jason Miles and Karen

within. Pinterest Power is an interesting and

Lacey, looks at how you can increase website

valuable read for anyone looking to improve

traffic and sales through Pinterest. Starting

the visibility of their website and build up their

with the basics such as what Pinterest is

marketing using social media outlets. Reviewed by Katrina of Offsquare




garden in Aotearoa, New Zealand”. And

operation, so I design, illustrate, sew

how everything your produce is in tonal

and print all my items from scratch. I

harmony. Was this conscious? And do you






mostly make prints and paper goods, but also make screen printed fabric, soft toys and accessories like scarves and brooches. I have a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration but I

have any tips for others trying to define their brand? Though it is definitely a conscious decision to ensure everything is in harmony and that there is a definite branded identity, I think a lot of it comes intuitively to me as well. I try to have

don’t get to utilise these skills so much

fun exploring what exactly makes up my style

in my other job, so In My Backyard is a

and brand and am constantly defining and

great creative outlet for me.

redefining it. I find it helps to often take a step back and look at a collection of your products

I’ve been making things for as long as I

and marketing materials - whether set up as

remember, but have been creating and selling

a market stall or looking at your online shop

things as In My Backyard on and off since

- and see if anything jumps out as just not

about 2007.

fitting and try and find out why that is.

I’m really impressed with your brand, I

I love your product range, I love that

love the way your introduction on your

despite covering a multitude of disciplines

website links back to your business

your range feels inter-linked and well

name, “Welcome to my backyard! Patches

curated. This is something that many

and pins, pendants and scarves, magnets

indies struggle with (many not realising

and gocco prints, and lovely things, all

so). How did you decide what to make,

handmade in a little old house with a big

what colours to use and what focus area

you wanted to influence your range? I guess I think of my In My Backyard work as creating my own little world! All of my toy patterns and fabric designs originate from my own illustrations so that naturally lends a coherence to my work. I’m constantly trying to define my style and tend to use colours and textures that I am naturally drawn to. The overall themes and motifs that reappear in my work originate from my love of the outdoors and the natural word and again are what I am drawn to and focus on. Of your






piece? Which


is your

favourite thing to make? And which is your ‘best seller’? At the moment my favorite piece would be my Three Trees print - I love the colours and simplicity of it, and for me personally it marks the direction I want to go with my illustration style. I love the process of screen printing so my fabric pieces are the most fun to make. I love the hands-on aspect of printing each piece, seeing my designs appear before my eyes and I love seeing them all hanging up to dry! My best seller would have to be my Little Bird Pins - I started making these way back at the beginning of In My Backyard in 2007 and they have remained a popular seller ever since. I think that they appeal to a wide range of ages and tastes, they are reasonably priced and, if I may say so really, really cute! Each bird is hand-painted so every one is an original and has it’s own character. What direction do you see your product range developing into in the future? Oh my gosh, I have so many products I want to make! At the moment my focus is on the

illustrative work and applying that in a cohesive way to other products as well as the archival prints. Some things that are definitely in the pipeline are a new range of screen printed scarves, some more prints and some greeting cards. And hopefully I’ll be making more screen printed textile designs if I can find the time!! I love that you are one of the few kiwi indies designing your own fabric to sell, do you ever see your fabric made into things? I love seeing my fabric being used - I’ve seen it made into purses, wall hangings, baby shoes, brooches and as detailing on clothing. One of my favorite uses is the quilted purse kits made by Piece as I love how they encourage people to create a little something for themselves.

How do you sell your products? I sell through Felt, Etsy, a few shops around the country and at local craft markets. I find the markets to be the most fun and the most successful - I think people like to meet the face behind the work and also pick up and

to keep them interested. A happy smiling face always helps - stand up and say hello to the people looking at your stall. What is the best piece of creative advice you have ever been given?

touch the actual object. I’ve noticed that in

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; draw, draw,

the weeks after a market my sales online often

draw and then draw some more; and always

rise, people come and have a look in person

carry a sketchbook!

and then feel more comfortable buying online.

What does the term ‘Indie Design’ mean

What is your secret for a successful

to you?

market stall?

To me the term Indie Design encapsulates all

I try really hard to make at least one new

those makers who are doing it themselves,

product for each market, as lots of the same

creating wonderful and unique things for the

people come to each market so I want them

love of designing.

Interviewed by Hazel Schreiner Photos by Jen of Utterly in Love

SEEMORE ONLINE STORE www.inmybackyard.co.nz BLOG inmybackyard.blogspot.co.nz FELT inmybackyard.felt.co.nz ETSY inmybackyard.etsy.com



DEODORANT - Ingredients • 1/4 cup coconut oil • 5 drops lavender essential oil • 5 drops tea tree essential oil • 6 tablespoons baking soda • 6 tablespoons corn flour

Commercial deodorants contain many harmful ingredients which are easily absorbed through your skin. Even some deodorants that are labelled as natural contain




titanium dioxide and aluminum. With a few kitchen ingredients you

How to Make Deodorant Mix coconut oil with a fork until it softens, add other ingredients and mix well. To get every thing mixed in properly you may need to use your hands. You will end up with a big ball which you can either keep covered in fridge, bring out when needed and wipe under your arms. Or keep in a jar in the bathroom and just

can make your own natural deodorant

pick off a little bit and rub under your arms.

that is good for you.

Both ways work well.

Just like deodorant commercial toothpaste has a bunch of toxic ingredients in it as well. Just check the labels next time you go out shopping. Sodium fluoride, sodium laurel sulfate to name a few and again you’ll even find these in the ‘natural’ brands. TOOTHPASTE - Ingredients

COCONUT BODY OIL - Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil

• 1 cup of coconut oil and essential oils

• 2 tablespoons baking soda

You can use any combination of essential oils

• 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

you like. I used 16 drops of Rose Geranium,

How to make Toothpaste

10 drops of Jasmine and 8 drops of Vanilla

Mix baking soda and coconut oil with a fork

How to make Body Oil

until it forms a paste add peppermint and mix again. Store in jar. Now this has no sweetener in it so it is a little bitter but does make your mouth feel really fresh.

Put everything into a large mixing bowl - don’t melt the coconut oil because if you do it will never whip up! Mix with an electric mixer until you have a fluffy consistency, it looks like vanilla

To use just dip your toothbrush into your

icing! Will take about 3 -5 min of mixing and

mixture and brush like normal.

that’s it. Store in jar and use all over your body. Recipe and words by: Adele from Borrowed Earth

a boo is d m a B Go base d n a l a e rd N e w Z ff e r i n g a w a e, any o adabl r g comp e d g bio ay winnin everyd , e l b na s u s t a i s m a d e f ro m ct p ro d u oo. bamb






It’s strange in a fun way. We communicate with others all the time – but how often do we really try to communicate with ourselves? There is a power in the written word. Along with repetition, that is what makes positive affirmations so powerful. We understand language at a primal level – beyond the ways our conscious mind grasps concepts. Recently I was watching ‘The Secret’… which is essentially a motivational video about the Law of Attraction. I was folding washing at the time, minding my own business, when I had that familiar urge to write. Anything, it didn’t matter. I had the inspiration, and I had to use it! So what follows is a letter written by me, to me. The reason I put it that way is because it felt like the words were coming from beyond me. Perhaps right there, in my sunny lounge room, doing housework and watching TV, I connected with my higher self. Who needs Tarot cards, when you have house work? Obviously not me. Written by Nicole of Paganesque

Dear Nicole, I have been with you since before time, in one

them, how would you know goodness?

form of energy or another. I am proud of you,

How would you know love? How could you

and I love you. You are destined for greatness,

appreciate what you really have?

sometimes you don’t believe it, but it is true. Everything that has happened to you in your

And you found it. You are on the precipice of

lives, this one, the last one, and the next one,

understanding - this is the journey that you

has brought you to now, and you are on the

were born to take - this is the journey you will

precipice of greatness.

take your children on. They are pure images

Don’t define yourself by your story; you are so much more than that. You have many stories,

of love, images of me, of the Universe. They are your gifts to the world and you are here to

which you love to share, and they are all part

guide them. The best way you can do that is

of you - but your book is unwritten. Don’t let

to find peace within yourself. Meditate. Run.

fear stop you from using your potential. Don’t

Write. Learn. Love.

let life get in the way, and if it does, don’t forget to come back to your Source. Close

You have the power to have the life you have

your eyes, envision yourself in that pink loving

dreamed of. You have seen your dreams and

circle. Know that you have guides, angels and

synchronicity and the Universe in action - you

the energy of the universe within and around

know this to be true. Now is the time for you

you - all you have to do is open yourself up to

to remember. Now is the time for you to reach

the messages we send.

to me, to love and trust.







Trust that everything will be ok. Have faith

morbid thoughts, self-doubt, fear, hate, anger,

in the Universe. I love that your favourite

resentment.... they don’t belong here. They have no place within your heart and you must remove them from your mind. Whenever you feel swept away by them, you need to hang on, stop. Wait for the wind to die down, turn around and take a step in another direction.

poem is Desiderata. YOU ARE a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. I love you. I will always

The more you do this, the less they will

love you. You need to forgive those who have

come, they will leave you alone. Inside you

trespassed against you, and forgive yourself

is a suitcase full of yuck that you have been

for the human things you have done. Keep

carrying around for so long. Open it, clean it

your thoughts positive. Manifest that beautiful

and throw it away.

destiny. Believe.

Write these things on a piece of paper and

Go and be Serendipitous, my Darling Girl.

burn it - release them back into the universe. I’m sorry you felt these things, but without





to experiment and make stuff. With hours

designer at Hello Lovely. I’m wife to

spent surfing the internet I soon discovered a

Todd; mum to Liam (5) and Dylan (2);

plethora of tutorials, and the wonderful world





and now Policy Analyst & Criminologist turned unlikely-jewellery designer. I’d like to tell you that I’ve always been a creative person who wanted nothing more than to run her own indie business making jewellery, but to be

of Etsy where there are supplies to make almost anything your heart desires. I bought a few bits and pieces, and through trial, error and the help of my talented and resourceful Aunty I taught myself how to make jewellery and other crafty wee things.

completely honest, that isn’t really

At this time I began to think about what I was

the case.

going to do work wise; I decided that it was time to make my own opportunities and carve

Up until a few years ago I was pretty staunch on the whole idea of reaching great heights in the Public Service & playing an integral role in the overhaul of our corrections system. All that changed with the birth of my children, our move back down to my hometown of Christchurch, and the onset of serious postnatal depression (PND) in early 2011.

a new career path that would work around being a Mum. I decided that I’d use some money my lovely Nana had left me when she passed away, buy in some supplies, make some more stuff, and try to sell it at markets. I attended my first market, the Woodend Market & Spring Flower Show, in August 2011; sold my first $100 worth of crafts; and haven’t

During the initial stages of treatment for PND

looked back since! From these beginnings

I suddenly had this strong desire to indulge

Hello Lovely has evolved into a thriving and

the more creative side of my brain; I wanted

successful business.

We love your current product range, you

up with novel ways to use componentry; to

have a fabulous variety of well made

introduce new materials into the collections;

pieces in your range. How do you think

and to keep learning, experimenting with, and

your range has evolved since you first

implementing new techniques.

started out? When I first started, my range of products was pretty hap-hazard . I found pretty designs and

Where do you find the inspiration for so many great pieces?

papers I liked the look of and made them into

I’m inspired a lot by colour, and usually

jewellery without any real thought of creating

begin designing a new Hello Lovely release

a cohesive range or of putting my own real

with a colour palette in mind. From there I

stamp on what I was making. I guess at the

find inspiration lurking everywhere – on the

very beginning I was still working out what I

television, online, in the landscapes that

wanted Hello Lovely to be. Over time, and with

surround me, flicking through magazines and

the explosion of other crafters making ‘glass

newspapers, thrifting through second-hand

dome’ jewellery, the Hello Lovely range has

shops, from music I’m listening to at the time,

become much more thoughtful and planned

even at the mall or supermarket! I think it’s fair

- I really try to bring something unique and

to say I’m never short of inspiration for new

different to the table even though I am using

collections and often find it in unlikely places.

similar materials to others.

For example, the idea to make wee caravan

I now digitally design or paint all the imagery

earrings came about one day as I was thinking

used in the Hello Lovely signature collections.

about a pair of Minx boots I really wanted while

My ethos for Hello Lovely is to continue coming

I reading an article in a waiting room about

great kiwi holidays. This got me to thinking

brainstorm and sketch for a couple of weeks

about the gorgeous wee retro caravan that

and then sit down and work through my ideas,

Minx had at the Martinborough Fair, which

make myself an inspiration board (or two) on

got me to thinking about being there selling

Pinterest, and decide on the direction of the

earrings and all of a sudden I was thinking

collection. This helps me to keep on track

tiny retro caravan earrings, yup gotta figure

and make sure the pieces I’m working on are

out how to make me some of those – random

cohesive and work together.

really! At the moment I’m working on the Hello Lovely Spring/Summer release. I’m a little obsessed with colour-blocking bright tonal colours and fusing that idea with floral and geometric patterns. I’ve also been listening to a bit too much synth-pop/indie-pop lately, which to me translates to bright, bold and slightly quirky designs; so there’s a bit of that influencing this collection too!

The old saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ often applies to businesses who offer a broad range of pieces, but that doesn’t really apply to you, you have mastered all of your techniques really well. How do you manage this? Have you professionally trained? Are you self taught? That’s a really nice thing to say – thanks! I have no formal training in design. I did

I do get easily carried away and tend to

complete both the introductory and advanced

want to make anything and everything. To

classes offered by the Silversmiths Guild

try and produce a good collection though, I

here in Christchurch, but other than that I’m

completely self-taught. Practice, practice,

Tell us a secret, which of your pieces

practice is key and experimentation goes a

would be your favourite at the moment?

long way!

Hmmmm, it’d have to be the new Neptune

I do have an enquiring mind and like to think outside the box – to that end I’ve always been interested in finding out how things work, how to make things work better, and how to put ideas in to practice. I guess in

Geometry pendant from the Luxe range – love, love, love the deep rich metallic blue hues. My most worn piece though is definitely the Turquoise Bird pendant – that baby seems to go with every item of clothing I own!

the past I’ve applied this type of thinking in

I find it thrilling that you often go further afield

my work as a Policy Analyst, and now apply

to attend the larger markets and events. What

the same logic and thought processes to

would you say to others that are considering

jewellery-making. I’m constantly squirrelling

doing the same? And what do you love

away in the background with new techniques

most about taking these trips? Going further

and materials – working out how to do this

afield to attend larger markets and fetes is

and that, finding out what does and doesn’t

so worthwhile from a marketing perspective

work from a practical perspective, and then

– meeting new customers and potential

testing out prototypes. I’m very conscious

stockists who don’t otherwise get a chance

of balancing aesthetics with practicality and

to view Hello Lovely jewellery in person is

wear ability.

fantastic. Most of my business is done online,

but I know there are a lot of people who like

owned by Maureen Taane & Yuri Bacas-

to touch and see things before they buy them.

Hosaka. Maureen & Yuri have both been

My advice is to definitely give it a go, but don’t

really supportive of my work, which has given

go with an immediate sales focus; go with

me confidence in the wholesale side of my

expanding your customer base and meeting

business. It’s now a real privilege to have my

new people in mind. Personally, I love meeting

work stocked in a number of fantastic stores;

my online customers and Facebook likers in

many of which are full of incredible handmade

real life – I get a real thrill when they’ve made

pieces. I find this really provides impetus to

the effort to come along and say hi! It’s also

make sure my work is top-notch.

nice to have a wee break away from the chaos of home; I attended Craft 2.0 in Wellington earlier in the year and ended up making it a

I owe a lot of Hello Lovely’s ‘following’ to other great indie designers who have pointed

girls’ weekend away with a few friends – it

people in my direction and championed my

was the best business trip away yet!

work. The ‘craft scene’ here in New Zealand is really supportive and convivial – I think

Your brand has such a strong presence

without this community, Hello Lovely would

on Facebook and in the street scape

not be anywhere near what it is today. I also

of Canterbury. Do you have a business

belong to ‘New Zealand Handmade’; quite

mentor or somebody that has supported

apart being a fantastic resource this is also a

you to grow and develop ‘Hello Lovely’

great group of people who have an incredible

into the business that it is?

wealth and depth of knowledge to share when

I don’t have a formal business mentor as

it comes to turning your craft into a business.

such, though my husband is pretty clued up on the financial and business side of things.

What would be your top ‘business tip’ for

Making some key relationships has certainly

growing a developing business?

helped Hello Lovely’s presence grow. About

Develop good relationships with the right

18 months ago, I was lucky enough to have

people, accept offers of help, be open to

Hello Lovely stocked at HAPA in Re:Start,

advice, do your research, keep the financial

side of things in order, have a plan, have some goals, act with integrity… I’m not really sure! There are so many things that go into making your business successful. I think as a starting point you need to set some goals and be prepared to put in the hard yards – growing a business is time-consuming & challenging in so many different ways – there are certainly a lot of very different hats that you need to be prepared to wear!! As a busy Mum, how do you ‘juggle’ it all? What systems do you have in place to make the juggling easier? Juggling is still something I’m learning to do successfully – some days it’s really tricky trying to balance priorities, deadlines, needs

working in any other job it’s something I would

and wants! My most successful approach this

have had to do anyway and with a lot less

far has been setting some ‘work hours’ when

flexibility than I have now. As things continue

my boys are at school and day care. Trying

to take off with Hello Lovely, I have to be much

to work and look after the boys at the same

more organised in my approach to work – I

time was a disaster, nothing was getting the

have systems for managing both my web and

attention it really needed. I had pretty bad

wholesale orders, stock lists, and try to keep

‘Mummy-guilts’ sending the boys to day care

everything neat and tidy so there’s no mucking

for three days a week so that I could work at

around looking for this or that. At the moment,

home; however, in the end I figured if I was

I’m trying to schedule ahead for the Christmas rush – making sure I have the supplies I’ll need, setting things up so they’re ready to go, and working out when I need to have stock ready for the big fetes and markets I’ll be selling Hello Lovely at in the lead up to Christmas. When my kids are around, being a Mum is my top priority and Hello Lovely things get done when my boys don’t need my full attention – packing orders while I supervise breakfast, sending a quick round of emails while they’re busy playing and doing their own thing – there’s no such thing as sitting down for five minutes to do nothing during the day around here. I’m also incredibly lucky to have a very supportive family – they all help me to make Hello Lovely successful.

Interviewed by Hazel Schreiner and some photos by Jen of Utterly in Love

SEEMORE ONLINE STORE www.hellolovely.co.nz FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/hellolovelynz INSTAGRAM @hellolovelyjewellery

creativex100 WITH FLEUR WOODS

It’s Friday, day 50 of my 100 days project.

a permanent option. Public art, flowers…you

Half way, hallelujah! Today’s song, is,

could get pretty creative.

quite aptly I think – 50 Ways to Leave your Love, Paul Simon. This image is part illustration part digital mash up & represents bitter/sweet ways to leave

The 100 days project in New Zealand is run by Emma Rogan & the principal is simple, participants like myself (I think there’s over 700 of us!) choose one creative project & repeat it daily for 100 days.

your lover. The suitcase could be filled with belongings or … the lover…blood oozes onto

My project is to listen to a song daily and

an envelope from the war office, that’s possibly

respond creatively. Most of the songs have Listen to Paul Simon

been suggested by friends, family & Fleur Woods Art facebook friends, it’s always interesting & sometimes wonderful to open my Spotify list each day & encounter new music. This creative journey has been amazing thus far. Firstly to be ‘forced’ to create daily is becoming a discipline that feels incredible and is rather addictive, there are days when I’d really rather not (like moving house day, or kids with chicken pox day) but the reality of dealing with life and still be creative is something that as an artist I am learning to embrace. The project is definitely helping me to find my ‘style’ and the feedback from posting entries online daily is so incredible. Paranoid Android | Inspired by Radio Head Listen here

La Caravane | Inspired by Caravan Palace | Listen here

Fantastically I have a few fellow creative close by who are also doing their own 100 days projects & we’re celebrating our halfway milestone with lunch at a winery on Monday! I’d recommend this experience to anyone creative. Check out my entire project (so far) and this years participants at: 100 days Project | 100daysproject.co.nz There will be an exhibition at the end too, so keep an eye on the site for more details.

SEEMORE FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/fleurwoodsart BLOG fleurwoodsart.wordpress.com LISTEN TO THE MUSIC THAT HAS BEEN INFLUENCING FLEUR’S WORK HERE!



Whether you have been selling at markets or

start - setting up online takes time and is not

online through Etsy and Felt there might come

something you want to do twice (I learnt this

a time that you decide you want your own

the hard way). Only you know the specific

website. Starting your own website can be an

quirks of your business, your budget and

intimidating and expensive step and most of

what you want a website to be able to do: for

us don’t have the time, money or expertise to

one person an integrated blog might be vital,

build our own website. This is when you might

for another it will be the ability to add multiple

start looking at hosted ecommerce platforms.

product options such as size and colour to

A what? Hosted platform you might be thinking - to be honest I probably would have had the same look on my face a few weeks ago but if someone had mentioned Shopify or BigCartel

a product, another might be more concerned with which will provide the best value for the least amount of money. Unfortunately we don’t all have the time to try different ecommerce

I would have felt more comfortable. Both are

providers, even if they have a trial period, so

different examples of hosted ecommerce

we have to rely on boring, heavily American

platforms, businesses designed to help you

focused reviews: luckily I did trial a few

get online and sell; they do all the hard work

different providers and while I can’t guarantee

like developing the software (or skeleton)

this won’t be dull it will compare two well

on which you build your shop, making sure

known providers, Shopify and BigCartel,

your shop is actually online (web hosting) and

and two providers specifically targeting New

keeping payment information secure.

Zealanders, MYOB Atlas and Small Fish.

There is a huge range of different hosted

Vague disclaimer – I’m not a computer expert



but I did try all four platforms, I also trawled

so it pays to do a little research before you

the community forums of each to see if there




MYOB were any consistent problems and asked a

While relatively easy to set up, ongoing use

few long term users for their opinions.

of MYOB Atlas quickly becomes frustrating

The first thing many people look at when setting up online is price; with prices ranging from nil to US$179/month it could be a significant or minor part of your income used up. If your budget is tight or you are just starting out you might think that a free website such as MYOB Atlas is all you need, after all what’s better then free.

due to its limitations: one image per product, product description character limits and lack of product options (whether or not you can add sizes/colours etc to a basic product description). Being successful online requires your customers or potential customers to be able to find you and unfortunately, despite claiming to be partnered with Google, MYOB Atlas has very poor search engine optimisation

MYOB ATLAS is a collaboration between

(SEO) and it is difficult to rank highly in

Westpac and MYOB, an accounting software

Google using it – the lack of colour options

firm, designed to help get New Zealand

and themes also means that if someone does

businesses online. It is free to use for the first

find you, chances are your website won’t be

year with plans after that ranging between

the most inspiring and it may turn people off

$5-$29/month. It charges no success fees

rather than generate sales. Another problem

and appears to have no limit on the number

customers might have with the website is its

of products you can add to your shop. While

awkward contact form and the inability to

this sounds good you do need to look further

search for products.

then price – there is no point in a website if it doesn’t do what you or your customers want

MYOB Atlas does allow you to manage orders

or if you can’t be found and unfortunately

relatively easily and you can get decent store

beyond price MYOB Atlas doesn’t have much

statistics, such as best sellers and average

to recommend it.

cart value, but it fails to go the extra steps other

ecommerce platforms provide: promotions

free plan does have some limitations, such



as only one image per product and limited

shipping options (single option limiting you to

store statistics, it is a great way to test the

NZ sales), full mobile optimisation (allowing

water. It also has the ability to grow with your

people to shop from their smart phones etc)

business with the first paid option costing just

and perhaps most importantly to those that

US$9.99/month for 25 products or less. Even

lack confidence setting up an online store a

with very little computer knowledge BigCartel

good support network.

allows you to design a great looking site with




three free themes at the gold level and more So if MYOB Atlas is one you should stay away

customisation available on paid plans - you

from, what other options are there? Designed

can even buy complete themes.

specifically for artists and designers Big Cartel has four different plans; the most basic, gold,

Among the downsides to BigCartel is the

allows you to list up to five products for free

fact it only accepts PayPal, this means every

- if you are looking at getting online and only

sale you make will be subject to PayPal

have a very small range of goods BigCartel is

transactions fees and you may lose customers

a far superior choice to MYOB Atlas.

who would prefer to make a payment by other means such as direct credit. Other areas

BIGCARTEL is easy to set up and maintain;

where BigCartel could be improved is SEO

customisation, integrating most forms of

(how customers find you on Google), shipping

social media, and managing orders is easy

options (you can only set a per country rate

and intuitive and it is much more attractive

for each item making it difficult to charge rural

and versatile then MYOB Atlas. While there

or Saturday delivery fees), and e-marketing

are a few areas BigCartel could improve it

(capturing email addresses so you can send

is one of the few platforms that specifically

newsletters etc directly to your customers).








originally designed by a musician wanting to

Another platform aimed specifically at small

get his band merchandise online. The fact

businesses, but this time specifically New

it claims to have over 200,000 artists using

Zealand businesses is SMALLFISH. Based

it suggests it meets their needs. While the

in Wellington at $39/month for up to 150


products SmallFish may initially sound more

One area that will quickly become frustrating

expensive than some of the other options

for some is how product options are set up:

however this is a consistent fee not reliant on

in BigCartel and the next platform we look at,

the exchange rate which may appeal to those

SHOPIFY, product options are added as the

that like to plan their monthly outgoings. It has

product is listed, SmallFish manages product

several improvements over BigCartel however

options in a separate tab. Once you become

there are still some let downs.

use to this it is relatively easy to use however if you delete a product it is easy to forget to

SmallFish is easy to use with a series of walk

remove the corresponding product option

through steps and default settings that allows

and end up with an unmanageable range

you to develop a consistent look without a lot

of product options. SmallFish does provide

of hard work or prior experience. Unlike a lot

strong support to its users with businesses

of e-commerce platforms SmallFish doesn’t

promoted via Facebook and its marketplace,

have a range of themes you can pick from,

regular improvements, and prompt, helpful

instead it has multiple options such as tab

responses to email support questions.

style, colour, image size, font etc, while this does allow for some versatility most shops

Out of all the platforms I tested Shopify is

end up looking similar which is probably its

the one with the most bells and whistles and

biggest downside especially considering it is

ranked the highest in all the categories tested

pricing itself towards the higher end of the

although this does come at a cost: plans cost

fully customizable BigCartel plans.

between US$14-$179/month with up to a 2% transaction fee on all sales.Â

Adding different shipping options, promotions (discounts,




Like BigCartel, in Shopify you can fully

discounts etc), and integrating social media is

customize the look of your store; in fact you

all easy to set up and maintain in SmallFish as

might be surprised at just who uses Shopify.

is managing orders and improving your SEO.

If you know coding you can fully customize



the look of your shop yourself or if you don’t

I did strike a few problems when trying to set

have the confidence or know how you can

up direct credit as a payment option however

still easily modify one of its many free themes,


purchase different themes or get someone to

community forums, and help sections I think

design your store for you.

this was more user error than anything else.

Shopify supports over 70 different payment

While Shopify is a fantastic platform it can

platforms and is the easiest to integrate all

quickly become one of the most expensive

forms of social media, including a blog. Set

once you take in your monthly fee, transaction

up, adding products and product options is a

fees (and if someone pays by PayPal you will

breeze, although because of all the options it

get two lots of fees) and any apps you decide

is easy to get distracted and prolong your set

to add on. Out of the four reviewed the only

up. Additional apps can be purchased to help

platform I would strongly advise you to stay

either your customer e.g. A wish list app, or to

away from is MYOB Atlas. Otherwise look

help improve the behind the scenes functions.

at what you need from a platform, what you

Managing orders is made easy with all the

want, and what you can afford. Don’t jump

usual search, filter and process functions

in too quickly either, while most platforms

and the added ability to partially full an order

offer a free set up period and are contract

(perfect if you have a multipart order but need

free, setting up in the wrong platform and

to make one element), record your tracking

then having to change over to another will be

numbers and send notification of shipping

a frustrating and time consuming process - I

from within the programme.

learnt this the hard way.





Researched and written by Vicki of Quirky Fox |



If you’ve ever been to an op-shop, you’ll know there are way too many ugly clothes out there. Muu-muu anyone? But if you can see past a garment’s frumpy shape or dated look, you may discover there is a gem deep within. If the fabric is in good condition and

from readers and their fellow competitors. Being a sewing and refashioning blogger myself, I readily jumped in and applied. Beth and I had been following each others blogs for a while and something like this is a great way to challenge myself while having some fun and discovering other like-minded people.

with a print you like, a little magic

Run over four weeks, the competitors had to

can often be worked to create an item

complete one refashion each week that fit a

you’d be proud to wear.

particular theme.

There are a swag of blogs around that regularly

The first week it was stripes, followed by denim,

feature their refashions with dramatic before

copycat of a catalogue item and finishing the

and after photos. Most of them will openly

last week with a summer dress. All garments

inspire readers with tutorials and tips on how

had to be self-made and constructed using

each one was achieved as well, so you can

second-hand finds.At the end of each week

replicate the look yourself. Refashion Runway was an online competition hosted by one such blogger, US based Beth at Renegade Seamstress. Designed to be a friendly sewing competition, eight contestants were selected in a show down of sewing and design skills as hideous second-hand garments were redesigned into something beautiful.

there was a showcase of before and after photos for the themed refashion of that week. Voting on those entries then took place throughout a week, before a winner was announced and another competitor eliminated from the competition. When the first refashions were posted after the first week, we all quickly realised how stiff the competition was. One little aspect gone wrong

The idea was inspired by TV shows such as

could decide the voting results such as the

Project Runway and Great British Sewing

final fit, styling, workmanship or presentation,

Bee, so in like style, one or two competitors

so the pressure was really on for us to get

were eliminated each week based on votes

it perfect.





Needless to say, after that first week I started to panic and ended up working on, not one, but three different options for the denim challenge. Now starting to second-guess all my designs, I was hoping for some back up options, just in case the first choice was a disaster. But by the time that denim deadline approached, I found myself in a better, calmer place and had settled on more confidence in those design choices. My first design option was still submitted in the end. With each consecutive week my designing and sewing skills were pushed and tested as I worked to meet the cut off dates. The healthy competition was good motivation and it highlighted some areas that I could develop more when it comes to sewing and design. In the end, I made it through to the third week before I was eliminated from the competition. While it was disappointing not to get through to the final week, I gained so

much from the whole experience and I don’t

lot more. I remember many years back, when

regret a thing. I’ve meet some talented

my cousin made a pair of trousers out of an

seamstresses, pushed my limits and had a

old bedspread and I thought “Really? You

blast doing it all.

can actually make clothes out of other things like that?”. The thought had never occurred

I adore the blogging community for the

to me before, but it opened up a new way

way they support and encourage everyone

of thinking. The fact it’s so budget friendly is

so openly and Refashion Runway was no

definitely an added bonus too.Refashioning

different. There’s no jealousy or rivalry and I

isn’t just for the experienced sewer either.

think that makes for a very warm environment.

Revamping old clothes is a great way to gain

It’s a great place to share ideas and creativity.

some confidence while you’re learning to sew.

There’s also something beautiful about the correlation between refashioning and life. That

With all the construction work of button holes,

beauty and value can come from something

sleeves and zips already done, you can utilise

otherwise rejected or discarded. How a new

those and work on simple changes until your

lease on life can be found when you nurture

skill level grows more. By shortening a skirt,

the potential within.

taking in the sides of a dress or even dying a garment a nicer colour you can make a

Often we can hit a season in life where we

heinous outfit into a new wardrobe staple.

might feel a bit lost and in need of fresh perspective and direction. It’s a great time

I hope to continue refashioning and sewing for

to try looking at things from a different angle

many more years and can’t wait to teach my

and dream of other possibilities. I do find

kids to sew too. It’s such a valuable skill and

refashioning to be a great creative outlet and

there’s nothing like wearing something you

since having kids I’ve really gotten into it a

created yourself. It’s very rewarding.


springresolutions WITH ANA OF AMI ANA

Despite the things we do to buoy

Here is where I have a little confession of my

ourselves up over the Winter months,

own to make. It may seem initially off topic,

we still inevitably have our dull and

but bear with me – it ties in. The second

even demoralising moments.

drawer from the top in my chest of drawers has accumulated contents to an honestly

The cold is an expert quasher of many

ridiculous state. At a glance it contains a

plans – it encourages us to make excuses

generous mix of either underwear that I pretty

for ourselves, it convinces us to put things

much perpetually mend and seem incapable of

off and is just generally a key factor when it

conceding should be thrown out and replaced

comes to lagging motivation. The best laid

or underwear that I refuse to acknowledge no

plans to keep ourselves motivated, happy and

longer fits me –stuffed in there vainly awaiting

living balanced lives fall by the wayside, easily

that fairytale day when I will once again fit them.

set aside by reason of something as simple

In addition to this is a completely unjustifiable

as off weather. And just as dampness and

bra graveyard. And also an assorted pile of

chills creep into the crevices of our homes

leggings, stockings, nylons and fishnets that

we can allow this often quiet time of year to

I delude myself I must keep – especially my

dampen our resolve and enthusiasm, leading

favourites – until that glorious day when they

us to second guess ourselves, the goals or

will reappear in stores, allowing me to throw

projects we had lined up to achieve and our

those raggedy pairs out. They are all essential

confidence to wane.

reference pairs.

But with Spring comes new life, beauty,

Craziness! So to sum up – this drawer is in

renewal, hope and opportunities if we will

dire need of a clean up! I know it is. Have

recognise and take hold of them!

I done it? No. Am I getting around to doing

it? I tell myself that I am. Then as this secret

fade away. I would in essence be throwing all

messy drawer weighed on my mind the other

that work away. Now what Spring promises

day it struck me how it is not unlike our lives

us is the hope of new life and new beginnings

and our plans over the Winter – accumulating

and the motivation to not only clean out our

discarded plans to the point of ridiculousness!

individual metaphorical messy drawers and

And as with my embarrassing drawer – it’s

reorganise both our work and personal lives,

time we had a good clear out! Spring is our

but also to not let the opportunities available

opportunity to do just that.

to us go to waste.

First things first – we need to recognise and

Spring is the optimum time for having

acknowledge that we are in dire need of a

a thorough clear out – it is our time

clean out. We do this by making ourselves

to act! Trees are blossoming, daffodil

accountable – but not in a brow beating way, in a positive way. We build ourselves up by looking at all that we have achieved, all that we planned to do that we have achieved. Once we have done this we will be able to consider what we weren’t able to do from a stronger position and without beating ourselves up over it.

buds are peeking out, cute baby animals abound – it’s hard for that sense of optimism, happiness and new beginnings not to be infectious! It’s time for us to shake off the doldrums of Winter and remember all that we can do!

From that stand point we can begin to reassess where we are at, to re-evaluate and reprioritise. We’ll be able to determine with a clear head which goals from our mental to do list are keepers and which to discard sans self-imposed guilt and whispering doubts of failure, which can be repurposed and merely need our renewed commitment, and which are just that little bit trickier and require initiative on our part. There’s a phrase in Japanese that I just love and which pretty much sums up my general attitude towards life “mottainai” – basically it means “wasted opportunities”. For instance, for me to live in Japan, learn the language and learn to speak, read and write it fluently it would “mottainai” or be a tremendous waste for me to not put those skills to good use or to not make efforts to improve on those skills once I returned to New Zealand, but to instead let my skills in that area waste and




Where do you find your inspiration?

Your all time favourite quote?

I find inspiration in animals, people and

“All small beasts should have bows in their


tails” - Tove Jansson

What are your daily ‘must visit’ websites?

Best kept secret...

My favourite websites are often from far-off

Edgeware Village. What a place! Really good

cities I hope to visit one day. They are homely and full of art and life. Annaemilia, Is a Finnish blog by artist Anna Emilia. She describes her blog as a “weather diary of colours, wind speed and sounds under feet in my illustrated life.” The space she has created is beautiful, quiet and intimate. Mieke Willems, This blog is by a photographer living in Belgium and features photos of places, people, art, objects, collections, plants and animals. She

Thai, Indian and Japanese restaurants. Your ‘Must Have’ Indie Design piece... A terrarium! My friend has just started making these and selling at markets. They are wonderful. What does Indie Design mean to you? A freedom to make whatever you want.

makes the everyday - like banana stickers

Right now I have gone on holiday to look for

- whimsical and delightful and shares really

otters on the Orkney Islands and eat chocolate

beautiful art. And a local blog, Hungry and

in Belgium so my Etsy shop is currently closed.

Frozen, A food blog by sassy, cute Wellington self-confessed food perve. Love her recipes

In the meantime you can still find my cards

and her attitude. Rad girl.

online and in store at:

What is the best piece of creative advice

• Bread and Butter Letter (Auckland)

you have ever been given?

• Hapa (Christchurch)

This is really difficult to answer, but ultimately

• Kapa (Queenstown)

I think I’ve learnt to do what makes you happy

Follow me on Facebook to keep up to date

and do it as much as you can.

with my new designs!.




We’d love to introduce to you our newest contributor the fabulous Vicki of Quirky Fox, who runs the coolest indie design store in Hawera, she even has a couple of top notch nominations

already taking a massive risk - the economy wasn’t strong, I was leaving a reasonably paid job, Taranaki doesn’t have

big handmade

markets like some of the bigger centres so I were going solely off Internet pictures and descriptions a lot of the time,

and I didn’t

in local business awards to prove it.

have a partner that could help me pay the

What do you do when you find yourself banging

mortgage if things went wrong.’

your head against the brick wall doing a day

Vicki initially made the decision to open the

job that makes you unhappy, in an economy

store as a mixture of handmade and more

that doesn’t offer a lot of job prospects? You

produced things but six months in realised

take a risk, and open a boutique. Well at least

that what gave the store it’s point of difference

that is what Vicki Fox decided to do last July,

and what she found herself pulled to the most

and she hasn’t looked back. ‘To be honest I don’t know if I had a clear vision about what I wanted to achieve when I opened Quirky Fox and if I did it has certainly evolved since then’.

was the same - working with independent designers. Certainly not the easier of the two markets, working with mass produced means working with one or two wholesalers,

Armed with a business plan and a lot of

working with designers takes a lot more time

research, Vicki put a lot of hard work and

to nurture, you need to build your reputation

effort into creating the store you see today.’I

and get designers to trust you. But it is a

looked at a lot of products, made both locally

challenge that Vicki appreciates. ‘I really

and internationally, and noticed the products

value the relationships I am building with my

that drew me were handmade pieces on Etsy

designers and it give me a challenge that

and Felt etc but I didn’t have the confidence

just selecting out of a catalogue doesn’t. It

to go just handmade initially. All the shops

is a harder business model to work then a

I looked at online supporting independent

traditional gift shop as often the profit margins

artists seemed to be very highend which I

aren’t great and you still have to pay all your

certainly didn’t have the budget for and I was

overheads but I think long term it is worth it.’

Vicki’s belief system when it comes to

by supporting independent designers you

independent designers links to what we

know the product comes from an ethical

believe here at Hazel Loves Design, ‘There are

source not sweatshop conditions which are

a few reasons it is important to me to support

often overlooked until a tragedy such as the

independent design, some more shallow

Bangledesh factory collapse earlier this year

then others. On the shallow end it is about

occurs. From an environmental perspective,

supporting individualism as each handmade

the toll is often much lower for handmade

item, even if another similar item is made, has

pieces too. I also like supporting independent

little quirks or flaws that make it unique.


I personally don’t want to give someone a gift that 100 other people might own nor







handmade doesn’t have to mean either kitsch or an exorbitant prices.’

would I want to walk down the street and see

Being a one-woman business isn’t always

someone wearing the exact same outfit. I feel

easy, this sees Vicki doing everything from the

knowing who made something and where it

cleaning, the book work, selecting the artists

comes from adds value to both the product

right through to the gift wrapping. Vicki has

and the purchase and helps encourage a

made a number of conscious decisions in

more sustainable and ethical business model

her store, including making the choice to not

- supporting independent designers means

over-stuff the store, using the white space as

you are directly helping someone to feed their

an advantage, and spending time focussing

family, pay their mortgage/rent etc. Likewise

on the individual designers.

When you purchase an item from her online store, not only do you receive a fabulous item in your mail box, you also receive a biography telling you more about the designer behind the piece. I don’t know about you, but an item automatically becomes more precious to me when it has a story to tell. The long term dream is to have a store stocking predominately independent artists and designers incorporating a gallery and also holding occasional workshops. Sounds like a damn fine dream to me! I can’t wait to watch in come to fruition. Next time you are in the Central North, you must pop on in and say Gidday, or better yet, peruse her online store, packed to the rim with art, ceramics, jewellery, homewares, linen and textiles as well as so much more. You may even be able to spy some pieces hand crafted by the shop keeper herself. Interviewed by Hazel Schreiner

SEEMORE FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/quirkyfox ONLINE STORE www.quirkyfox.co.nz EMAIL quirkyfox@xtra.co.nz

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