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An AMAZING Christmas Prize Pack to be won by an I love pretty things subscriber! Fantastic Eat Bake Nurture giveaway Over 60 very pretty gift ideas for your friends and family


www.eatbakenurture.com.au

CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!

Would you like to win this delightful picnic basket + wicker wine cooler + picnic blanket + Bella Cupcake Couture cupcake wrappers? Then all you have to do is head to the Eat Bake Nurture facebook page {click here} and tell Trish what your favourite food for Christmas is. The winner will be drawn randomly on Monday 5th December from all entries received by midnight AEDST Sunday 4th December.

EASY!!


welcome & contents Well hello there and welcome to the 2011 I love pretty things Christmas Gift Guide. I am just a *little* bit excited about all the stuff you’re going to find on the following pages! Firstly we have two brilliant giveaways. The first is from the lovely Trish at Eat Bake Nurture whose gorgeous picnic basket is gracing the cover of this gift guide. You can win one of Eat Bake Nurture’s new season picnic baskets for yourself - just check out the opposite page! Once you turn this page, you will see the amazingly ridiculous Christmas Prize Pack that will be drawn from all those who subscribe to the I love pretty things daily email by midnight, Sunday 4th December 2011. If you’re not a subscriber yet ... well why not! Click here to get a pretty delivery straight to your inbox every weekday and go into the draw to win the subscribers’ prize. I must also take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful businesses who have contributed something to this prize pack - you guys are awesome personified! I’d also like to thank Trish from Eat Bake Nurture for providing the gift baskets for the cover, Kiera from Eufloria for providing all the props and Nat from Dizzy Wizzy Design for styling it all up for me. Legends! So what else will you find on the next 40 odd pages? Well we kick off with two inspiring feature articles about two very talented ladies. The designers out there will be inspired by the gorgeous Belle Bijoux while all of you who have your own business and keep asking me about blogging can look no further than Nikki Parkinson of Styling You fame. A massive thanks to these two ladies for their patience and time in being interviewed for these articles. All the inspiration doesn’t stop there though. Each section features an interview (or two) with a business owner from that category and I know you will love finding out more about the people behind the brands who are showcasing their wares in this gift guide. Finally, we get to the real stars of the show - the products themselves! There are over 60 wonderful gift ideas featured over the coming pages guaranteed to jog even the most disenchanted Christmas shopper out of their buyers block! ENJOY!

INSIDE Page Contents 3

ILPT Christmas Prize Pack

4

Feature article: Belle Bijoux

8

Feature article: Nikki Parkinson

13

Featured business: Tangerine Meg

14 Stationery, Cards and Wraps Gift Guide 18

Featured business: Mokoh Design

20

Featured business: Bibska Bibs

21

Kids and Babies Gift Guide

28

Featured business: Bragbags

29

Bags Gift Guide

31

Featured business: Lulu and I

32

Jewellery & Accessories Gift Guide

36

Featured business: Faith Insignias

37

Featured business: Malini Parker

38

For the home Gift Guide

40

Featured business: Labels to Love

41

Cosmetics & Pampering Gift Guide

42

Featured business: O2 Wear

43

Eco Friendly Gift Guide

46

Featured business: Mum the Photographer

47

Photography Gift Guide

The I love pretty things Christmas Gift Guide is designed, written and produced by Kelly Exeter: E: kelly@kellyexeter.com.au W: kellyexeter.com.au

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Gorgeous Melamine products from Danish brand RICE GET IT FROM

www.splashesofcolour.com.au or www.notinthemalls.com


The I love pretty things MEGA Christmas Prize Pack Sometimes the generosity of people just astonishes me! I put the call out to all the lovely businesses who support I love pretty things to see if they would like to put something into my annual MEGA Christmas Subscriber Prize Pack and look who answered the call! One lucky I love pretty things email subscriber is going to take home ALL of the below when I do the random draw on Monday 5th December. Not an email subscriber yet? Well it’s not too late, just click here and make sure you are subscribed by midnight AWST on Sunday 4th December. If you’re already an email suscriber, then you’re already in the draw! GOOD LUCK!

THE WINNER WILL TAKE HOME: Love you language necklace from Andrina and Him 20 customised Christmas cards (or equivalent) from Beautiful Fairy Photobooks Iconic Shoe Bracelet from Bijoux Belle $50 Gift Voucher from Cornflower Blue Gorgeous baby headband ‘Adorabelle’ in pink from Crazy Teapot Organic cotton t-shirt from eco peko Towelling Head with a Twist from EJ Kids Sterling Silver Charm from Faith Insignias Pack of Christmas Coasters from Fluid Ink Gift Voucher for 20 cards from Hello Baby Design Crochet Headband from Kissy Curls - Hair Treats for Girls Set of Hair Clips from Ladybird Lane Christmas Story Starter Conversation Cards from Leaf Journals KiddyUp Farmyard Apron from Little Miss Hope Zoey E-reader Carry Case from Madam Charli One Day Intensive Beginners Art Workshop from Malini Parker Set of Christmas Tags from Milc Design Set of Christmas Cards from Mokoh Design Sock monkey from Monkey and Me Membership to Online Tutorials from Mum The Photographer 2012 Smile it Forward Calendar from Mummy Smiles Pair of Apple Cheeks Shoes from Not In the Malls White summer camisole from O2 Wear 5 x Christmas Sparkle Ribbon Wands from Pinwheels and Pearls Chiyogami paper and glass pendant from Red Zebra Sleep Secrets Slippers from Sleep Secrets Gorgeous Papercut Brooch from Sue Codee Christmas tie dress with matching headband from Sweet Poppie Lane Mixed Pack of 10 Greeting Cards from Tangerine Meg Pack of eco friendly Christmas cards - including 6 handmade Christmas cards from WRAP

CLICK HERE TO BECOME AN I LOVE PRETTY THINGS SUBSCRIBER!


there's something

about belle With long red hair, a sparkle in her eyes and just a touch of ‘quirk’ in her clothing, you only need one glance to know you want to find out more about this lady. On the surface, she is every bit the uber-designer of highly coveted and luxurious handbags, but dip below and there is much more to Belle Bijoux than meets the eye. WORDS BY KELLY EXETER

When you visit the Belle Bijoux website, the first thing you see is beautiful, clean, crisp imagery that

foreign language and has plans to

cool if I could make a bag just like that”.

pursue this in the near future.

Before she knew it, the perfect company

Right now though, she is happy

became available to make a sample of

screams ‘high fashion’ and evokes

pottering around the house and

her initial design for her - a sample so

thoughts of London, New York, Sydney

imagining she is the perfect housewife

spot on she cried!

and Paris. You will see images of Belle

(although apparently Greg fills this role

Bijoux bags gracing the pages of Grazia,

better than she!). There’s not much

rise of Belle Bijoux has been very

Cosmo, and Marie Claire magazines and

spare time in Belle’s world and what

steady with no “big break” or massive

you will read that earlier this year; Belle

little there is usually involves catching

acceleration anywhere along the line.

was named the winner of the ‘Young

up with family and friends - something

Belle is grateful for this saying “it’s great

Entrepreneur’ category at the Cosmo

she considers key for her sanity. When

when a business grows organically as

Fun and Fearless Female awards.

time permits though, she also enjoys a

it’s easier to manage”. Keeping a lid

good foreign film and of course “a little

on growth also allows Belle to tightly

op-shopping for inspiration”.

manage production as she places great

So it may come as a surprise to find out that Belle Bijoux the brand is born, bred and based in Perth, as is Belle Bijoux the person. Entering the world 32 years ago in Bunbury south of Perth, Belle has lived

So how did Belle Bijoux the brand

Fast forward 12 years and the

importance on ensuring her products

manage to manifest itself into Belle’s

are made ethically. Most of the leather

world?

for her bags and purses comes from

In 1999, while living in a little old

New Zealand with production taking

in the world’s most isolated capital

apricot house in Guildford, Belle started

place in Asia. She personally visits the

her whole life. Now settled in South

making jewellery. Elianah was six

factories where she speaks with the

Fremantle with husband Greg and

months old at the time and Belle says

workers and production team and is

their two children Elianah (12) and

using her hands and her mind kept her

ably assisted by her “fabulous agent, Mr

Evangeline (3), Belle has dreams of

“busy and sane”. Bags first stuck their

Wolf [who] has no time or tolerance for

travelling the world like a gypsy before

head into the picture when Belle picked

anything that isn’t kosher”.

putting down roots in a flower filled

up an “amazing 70’s vintage handbag

countryside - preferably one where the

in an op-shop for a couple of bucks”.

where does inspiration for the actual

locals speak French, Spanish or Italian.

She stared at it for years thinking “I

designs come from?

In fact, Belle would love to speak a

love that bag so much, wouldn’t it be

So with production under control,

“This is a tough question. I can’t


really pinpoint specifically where it

quality production that make for

as it is covetable. It is easy to see the

comes from but it’s from everything

these beautiful images. From a design

‘Evangeline’ bag on a celebrity arm

around me: current fashion trends

perspective, Belle prefers to work

while the ‘Mona’ is sure to appeal to

to vintage finds, art, photography,

alone as “all hell can break loose” if her

busy mums looking for something that

travelling, even beautiful words and

creative flow is interrupted. If she needs

is stylish, practical AND big enough for

songs can give me the inspiration for a

someone to bounce ideas around with

all their kid related paraphernalia!

single bag or a whole collection.”

however, her friend Dave appears to

Belle describes her style as “quirky

Wish Belle Bijoux had more than

be a great asset. Dave also assists with

‘just’ bags and purses to offer? Well

with a vintage spin” but she tries to

graphics for the brand and according

consider your wish granted! Fans will

keep things modern, introducing a few

to Belle, he is “super talented and dares

be pleased to find out that Belle is

key pieces each season. She loves to mix

me to be brave with colour”.

planning a return to where it all began

the old with the new and is a huge fan

by bringing jewellery back into the mix.

of colour!

The pieces will be handmade by the lady

Clearly inspiration and design are not a problem for Belle, but what about the fact that she is trying to grow a high-end brand from the world’s most isolated capital city? Belle concedes there are difficulties: “Getting your items in the press is a toughie unless you have a PR firm with a showroom based on the East

Be brave but also be very clear about what you want to create and achieve

Coast. Stylists collect items from these showrooms, shoot them and bam you

herself who “can’t wait to get in there and make items with [her] hands again!” So the future is clearly bright for the talented Belle yet she is generous with both her time and willingness to inspire others. When asked for some words of advice for aspiring designers she has this to offer: “If I can do it with no design experience whatsoever then so can you!

Well kudos to you Dave because

Be brave but also be very clear about

are in the mags! I have managed to

it is the colour aspect of the recently

what you want to create and achieve.

get quite around this by having great

released “Mister Sun” summer

You have to be prepared to take the

product imagery and by developing

collection that will stop people in their

knocks when they come. Get up and

relationships with all the lovely ladies at

tracks! Inspired by 1960s summers at

soldier on as there will be plenty.”

the magazines and papers.”

Saint Tropez; turquoise, mint and coral

Great product imagery is definitely

Bravery and clarity are present in

feature heavily alongside such staples

spades all through the new “Mister Sun”

a hallmark of the Belle Bijoux brand

as black, white and ‘biscotti’ (tan) to

collection which makes future offerings

but it’s Belle’s gorgeous designs and

make for a range that is as diverse

a mouthwatering proposition indeed!

Creating a better world for our children Belle considers her agent in Bali (Bagus) to be one of the most beautiful people she knows. Bagus helps the young children at the Yayasan Kesayang Ikang Papa Orphanage in Indonesia and a certain percentage of Belle’s production costs go to these children. Belle recently visited the orphanage herself and was heartbroken by some of the disabilities suffered by the children – some were deaf or blind or both. She is committed to increasing her support to the orphanage as her business grows and says Bagus would love to hear from other people wishing to help out. He can be emailed directly at ontarget@dps. centrin.net.id


MISTER SUN COLLECTION | SUMMER 2011/12

www.bellebijouxaustralia.com Pictured are Evangeline in Coral, Mirella in Coral, Mint & Turquoise


When blogging and WORDS BY KELLY EXETER

Nikki Parkinson’s perfect day is one that is “not manic”. One where she isn’t trying to process five different ideas and plans all at the same time. Unfortunately such days are rare for her right now as she juggles motherhood with running a business alongside one of Australia’s most successful blogs, Styling You.


fashion collide, it is a very pretty thing Three years ago it was decision time for Nikki Parkinson. A fashion and beauty editor on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Nikki found herself keen to say goodbye to office politics. This coincided with her husband starting a job that involved a 90 minute daily commute. Nikki desired some flexibility in her day so that if her school aged kids needed her on short notice, she could be there for them. This made the decision to go out on her own as a stylist and start Styling You an easy one. Now she

reality TV show! I’ve been asked to

Businesses should be blogging as it's a way for them to connect with their current and potential customers.

spends her days helping busy women sort out their wardrobe and find their

speak about blogging and digital media by national industry groups. I’ve been interviewed and featured in mainstream media about my blogging awards.” Speaking of awards, there have been a few! In 2011 alone she won the Sydney Writer’s Centre award for “Best Australian Blog” as well as the Jasmine Award (excellence in fragrance journalism) for Best Blog Post in 2011. Winning awards can lead to a perception of “success” but as Nikki says “it depends on what you call

“I love that you can build a direct

success”. She feels she is not quite

connection with your readers. In

“there” yet and where others would be

So how did she also become one of

journalism, we’d often be second-

resting on their laurels, enjoying the

Australia’s most successful bloggers? By

guessing that connection but with

free trips down to Sydney just to have

accident of course!

blogging and other social media

their hair styled, Nikki is still working

personal style.

networks, there’s no guessing – your

very hard (and very long hours) to build

she needed a website to market her

readers tell you their thoughts on topics

her audience and profile and create

business. She also wanted to keep

you blog about and they give you direct

a sustainable income strategy for her

writing but required an online presence

feedback. It’s more of a community.

blog.

When starting out, Nikki knew

that didn’t need someone else to load

Businesses should be blogging as

the content in for her. Happily, her web

it’s a way for them to connect with

developer recommended a blog.

their current and potential customers.

In aid of this, Nikki already has a little trip booked for next year. When you are passionate about

By opening the conversation and

blogging and your “day job” is fashion,

100,000 page views a month and

“talking” regularly they can build

hearing there will be a blogging

helps to generate income for Nikki

strong ambassadors for their product or

conference in New York must surely be

both directly through advertising

service.”

a dream come true. That’s exactly the

Today stylingyou.com.au gets over

The benefits of blogging are not

scenario that has presented itself and

her expertise. The latter leads to

just limited to better engagement with

next year Nikki is heading to BlogHer

bookings for styling and social media

customers. Nikki has found it has

2012. BlogHer is a massive annual

consultations and Nikki is quick to

opened the door to many opportunities

conference where female bloggers from

emphasise that this is the real purpose

that would have been otherwise

all over the world come together to

of the website and blog.

unavailable to her:

“learn, inspire and connect.” The New

and indirectly through showcasing

Witnessing the power of her own

“I’ve got to meet online and in real

York trip won’t be all blogging though;

blog has made Nikki a passionate

life some incredibly talented women

it is also a chance to immerse herself in

advocate when it comes to blogging for

around the globe [and] I have gained

the beating heart of one of the world’s

business:

a national profile without being on a

biggest fashion capitals.


Has Nikki always had an interest in

she admires much more than any

1. Have a good hard look and a clear

fashion? “YES! I’m not sure if it came

celebrity: “Each is incredibly authentic

out of your wardrobe first. So many

from having limited access to it as a

to themselves – what works for them

trends now carry over from the

child or whether it is just something I’ve

and what makes them feel good. This

season before. Have a look and see

always been obsessed with. From the

means they’re always brimming with

what’s in there that you can work

time I first earned my own money, I was

confidence.”

with first and what just needs an easy

always buying new clothes.” It appears

This is the part of her work that

update. 2. Make a shopping list from the gaps

an obsession with clothes doesn’t make

Nikki loves the most. Every single

you immune from fashion disasters

female has bits of her body that she

you find in the wardrobe and stick to

though and Nikki cites the 80s as a

does and doesn’t like and Nikki loves

it!

particularly bad period: “I’ve seen and

teaching her clients to dress in a way

3. Subscribe and join loyalty programs

done them all, from perms to fluoro

that shows off their assets. Watching

for your favourite stores. Sales are

lycra g-string aerobic leotards!”

the huge boost in confidence her clients

so frequent these days that if you

get from knowing they look great is a

do this you can plan any shopping

Nowadays Nikki describes her personal style as “evolved”. Having

daily highlight.

around a price reduction. 4. Do check out the new fashion ranges

ditched the office, her wardrobe is now

Each is incredibly authentic to themselves with regard to what works for them and what makes them feel good. This means they're always brimming with confidence.

a mix of classic, relaxed casual wear that can be dressed up and dressed down according to her day. As for what she considers the biggest influence on her personal style, you might be surprised to hear she says “My shape! I’m an average height size 14. I’ve learned what flatters and I don’t stray too far from that.” In fact one of the most popular topics on her blog is on called “The model and me” where Nikki shows a model wearing an outfit or piece of clothing, and then shows herself in the same

at Coles and Big W – great styles at bargain prices. As for her favourite trends this coming summer season? That would be “the maxi dress, nude shoes and colour blocking (who’d have thought – I love my black!)” Finally, what about Christmas Day? December 25 in Australia can often be a bit of a stinker. What if one wants to be cool and relaxed on the day, but still look like a style queen? Nikki suggests: “Make sure Christmas is somewhere with a pool or on the beach. Do not serve hot food. Do serve plenty of

outfit. It is a wonderful way to illustrate that just because we all don’t look like

Not all of us can afford a personal

chilled wine. And keep it simple with

models doesn’t mean we can’t still look

stylist though so what are Nikki’s

what you wear: a kaftan over your

as great as them. In Nikki’s world, there

tips for tackling this summer in style

swimsuit, some tinted moisturiser, big

is no group that embodies this concept

without blowing the credit card to

sunnies and a statement lip colour.”

better than her girlfriends whose style

smithereens?

nikki's top 5 summer style tips 1

Embrace colour – there’s so much choice out there this season, find a colour that makes you sing and incorporate it into your wardrobe.

a maxi dress that suits you and makes you feel 2 Find fabulous. in a statement necklace to revamp something 3 Invest you already have in your wardrobe. at least one pair of nude shoes. They’re instant 4 legBuylengtheners. Wear a bold lipstick. Go on, try it. It will amaze you the 5 difference it makes to your mood.


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stationery, cards & wrap : featured business Tangerine Meg, Bold Art for Bold Souls offers vibrant one-of-a-kind watercolours and joyful limited edition lino prints, as well as countless pretty things featuring bold art images including: greeting cards, digital fine art prints, tshirts and calendars. There is even a calendar completely devoted to cat art! Want to find out more about Tangerine Meg’s creator Margie Goodchild? Well read on! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business? I have been making and developing my art for many years. Now that my sons are independent (and one has even moved out on his own) I am able to spend more time to learn and implement the technical side of constructing a website to share my artwork.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you? I make bright, joyful art, domestic in theme and vivid in colour. I specialise in quite close up views of things, frequently of cats and my favourite flower, nasturtiums. This artwork supports vibrant individuals to live the colour of their lives, bringing more sanity, joy and individuality into the world.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers? Some of my favourite comments include: “Oh so rich and beautiful” - Robyn, Canberra “Amazing how simple things and memories make one smile” - Gill, Adelaide “.... the cards you buy for people you like instead of the people you just sorta have to buy cards for.” - Naomi, Canada “…I just spent some time looking at your artwork and it just makes my heart SING! Must. Have. Kitten. Art.” Sandi, USA I love it when I’m doing a stall at an Art Market and a bold soul wearing coloured glasses is drawn in, by the vibrancy of the colours probably. They pause in front of one of my paintings, give a heartfelt sigh, and say, “This makes me SO happy! I LOVE the bright colours!” I feel as though I’ve changed the colour of their day and that’s a privilege and a joy.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? So many ideas, so little time! My main problem is I have a lot of ideas, ideas for artwork, ideas for useful ways to make it available to people and other ideas that would just be ‘good to do’. The challenge is making time to bring more of them into reality!

What are the best things about running your own business? I adore playing a part in making people happy, and it’s fun to connect with people through art both in person and over the internet. There’s nothing like a delighted kindred spirit to make my day :)

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? On a business level I like the idea of making things easy for people with their dreaded gift list! On a personal level, the idea of making a difference by shopping for as many items as possible from independent businesses and artisans is quite liberating – and fun! I know I’m not going to be giving the same gift as anyone else!

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stationery, cards & wrap : gift guide

Personalised Christmas Cards from Beautiful Fairy Photobooks Starting at $30.00 for 10 cards at www.beautifulfairy.com.au Sticky Gel Mat from Sticky Gel Mat www.stickygelmat.com.au $11 for small, $16.50 for large at Howards Storage World, Bargain Boat Bit Stores Christmas Story Starter Conversation Cards from Leaf Paper and Journals $19.95 at www.leafjournals.com and Mathildas Market {Caulfield}, Upwey Grassroots Market 2012 Desk Calendar from Dizzy Wizzy Design $14.95 from www.dizzywizzydesign.com.au PAGE

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stationery, cards & wrap : gift guide

2012 Smile It Forward Calendar from Mummy Smiles $19.95 at www.mummysmiles.com & The Mummy Tree Markets Sanctuary Cove Polli Eco Deco kits from presse-papiers $23.95 NZD at www.presse.co.nz

Personalised 2011 Christmas Cards from helloBABY Designs Priced from $48 for a pack of 20 (includes, FREE magnets & envelopes) at www.hellobabydesigns.com.au Pink Bling Multimedia Keyboard USB from Madam Charli $50.00 at www.madamcharli.com.au

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stationery, cards & wrap : gift guide

Mokoh Australian Advent Calendar from Mokoh Design $24.95 at www.mokoh.com Family Christmas cards from Milc Design $20 for printable file or $1.60-$2 each (printed and delivered) at www.milcdesign.com.au or www.facebook.com/milcdesign Serendipity Mixed Pack of Bold Art Greeting Cards from Tangerine Meg Bold Art for Bold Souls $40 from www.tangerinemeg.com and Goodwood Alive Christmas Festival

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stationery, cards & wrap : gift guide

Christmas Stationery from W.R.A.P Wrapping, Ribbons & Paper, priced from $1.90 for standard gift cards at www.wrappingribbonsandpaper.com.au Custom Photo Christmas Keepsake Cards from Mini Ink, priced from $3.30 at www.miniink.com.au Bling Hot Pink Purse Key Chain USB Flash Drive from Madam Charli, priced from $25.00 at www.madamcharli.com.au Christmas cards from Almond Tree $29.95 (pack of 12) from www.almondtreeframes.com.au and the Melbourne Design Market

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stationery, cards & wrap : featured business Mokoh Design is a stationery and gift manufacturer based in Perth, Western Australia. All products are design, made and manufactured in WA and the talented designer behind Mokoh Design is Trudy Baker. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business From an early age I had a passion to create. As a youngster I lived in the country in the UK and making things from toilet rolls and old cereal packets kept me occupied and became my craft. I’m sure this is what led me to pursuing a BA Hons Degree in fine art sculpture. I met my gorgeous husband Andy at University (he was studying illustration at the time). After Uni we both started our lives as struggling artists. I managed a gallery and Andy worked as a greeting card designer. When I left the gallery and became a mother to our son Koh I would make cards while he slept. I sold them to local gift stores and it saved my sanity from the solitude of motherhood. In 2004 we moved to Perth with Koh and our daughter Molly who was 10 months old at the time - the name Mokoh is from their names of course. I continued making cards for new shops in and around Perth selling them from shoeboxes on the back of Molly’s pram. The orders began piling up and the table where I worked at the end of our bed got too small. Andy at this time started a new job with a printer and the obvious connection to start designing and printing our cards started. This is where Mokoh really took off. We established an ongoing local market with shops in WA and found a distributor in Melbourne who still sells our work internationally. Starting to sell at local markets led to the production of new products and now we are very proud to have over 240 designs and 16 different products in the Mokoh range.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you Most of our designs are born out of our love for Australia and our passion to travel this beautiful country so they really come from the heart. The success of Mokoh comes from mine and Andy’s different strengths: he as the computer magic man (or mac monkey as I often call him) and my retail/business/design background combine beautifully with the love of design we both have. We launch new designs every 6 months and have an ongoing desire to apply our designs to more and more products.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers When we do Markets and sell direct to the public we always hear, ‘this is perfect for sending to our friend and relatives overseas’. Another thing we hear regulary is ‘we love it because it isn’t tacky’. Our wholesalers love the fact we continue to design and create what they ask for and what they want. Many of our customers also love that we design and make all our products here in Australia.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? It’s definitely got to be running the business from home and also working with you life partner. We are extremely fortunate and realise how lucky we are but it does have its struggles. The edges of family and work life are very blurred. We recently took steps to overcome this by buying a camper trailer. Only when we camp can our family unit really reconnect and we try and escape as often as we can. Andy and myself still talk shop all the time and do design a lot when we travel. It’s the creative side of both of us. If we aren’t talking Mokoh we are creating a part of our house somewhere or making a sculpture for the garden.

What are the best things about running your own business? The freedom that I can have friends for coffee while I work and I can go to the kids’ school activities and meet them after school and hear about their day. Nothing is like being your own boss. There is a very magic buzz that comes from someone liking and buying your work.

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? Christmas is just a crazy time of year and the whole retail year leads up to it. This year I had designs finished in April for Christmas trade fairs in Melbourne and Sydney but I can never predict what is going to happen in the months leading up to December. On a personal level I really love Christmas in Australia. It is so simple and the fact the long school holidays follow it makes it more magic. As a family we love the romance of going to the beach in the morning and eating mince pies and drinking champagne with friends. Beng away

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from friends and family in the UK and Ireland is the really tough part and we always raise a glass to our absent loved ones!


• Looking for something a little different this Christmas? • Looking to support local creative talent? Then shop at Story Boutique in Floreat, a unique and inspiring collection of handmade and Australian designed gifts for all ages. We have a little something for everyone including the perfect outfit for your little ones or that something special for you.

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EVENT Thursday 17th November from 6-8pm Lots of fabulous prizes to be won Meet the local designers

Shop No 80a Floreat Forum Shopping Centre, Howtree Place Floreat Outside the main entrance opposite Delish Cafe & Collins


for kids and babies : featured business Bibska Bibs offers handmade bibs, burp clothes, dummy savers and gift sets that are all designed and made by Belinda Long. Their products can be found in 3 different countries at aprox 100 different stores! Today we find out a bit more about Belinda! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business? My name is Belinda and I am married to a great guy, with three children to keep us busy. My business idea came about when I was living in small town New Zealand with no shops handy so I had to come up with an idea to keep my very dribbly son’s clothes dry. After many failed attempts I perfected the pattern and found the best combination of fabrics to use. It was great to hear how people thought they were cute when we were out and about. When my daughter came along I pulled the bibs out and again people would comment on them, some not realizing that they were even bibs - they just thought she was wearing a little scarf to match her outfit. Wanting to stay at home with my kids for as long as possible I thought my bib pattern might just allow me to do this if I started to sell them! I had a dream to build a brand that mums could trust while filling a hole in the market for an Australian made baby bib with a high quality finish. My bibs appeal to parents and grandparents that care about style and want their children to look great even while being all dribbly from teething and feeding.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you? All Bibska Bib designs are tested by mums (including me) before they hit the stores. I am my worst critic and want to made sure every aspect of the bibs not only do the job but do it well. A lot of thought has gone into the design with a neckline that fits properly around the baby’s neck and does not bunch up uncomfortably. The extra folds of material fall where they are needed, at the front. Fabrics are chosen that will look great, work well and be comfortable while keeping baby’s clothes protected and skin dry while hiding the spills and stains.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers? I love hearing feedback from customers telling me how they much they like the design and how they really work: that the spills are caught and their babies’ clothes stay clean and dry.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? My biggest struggle is time management. I know I should keep to some sort of office hours and separate them from family hours but it never seems to work out like that. I just have to squeeze extra time into the business when the kids are asleep or on weekends when dad is home. I knew the first few years wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t expect it to be this difficult either. Every day is really a struggle and I’m sure most working mums know exactly what I’m talking about.

What are the best things about running your own business? The best things about running my own business is knowing that I can fit work around just about anything. I can go to school outings, take the kids to the park on a whim, dance around the workshop with my kids (with nobody staring at me oddly) and I can get sidetracked when I’m being shown a bug by my son and it turns into a backyard adventure. My life isn’t stopping because I have to ‘go’ to work my work is stopping when I have to do the important things!

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? I love the Christmas buzz both personal and business wise. I love the build up, the mad rush.. it’s like running a furious race where you know there will be something great waiting at the finish line! I always use Christmas as a time to stop and be with family. Take a step back and leave the computer and the machines and focus on doing as little as possible. I love to make Christmas all about the kids I want them to have happy memories of the holidays every year.

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for kids and babies: gift guide

Adele baby headband from Crazy Teapot $25 from www.crazyteapot.com and Made it Myself Markets - Mackay Baby slings from aka Pipik $90 at www.pipik.com.au BIG Kids Magazine Subscription $35, Single $12.95 (plus p&h) at www.bigkidsmagazine.com Christmas dribble bib from Bibska Bibs $12.95 at www.babiesfavouritethings.com.au

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for kids and babies : gift guide

Boon Interlocking plate/bowl/cutlery set from Itty Bitty Greenie $24.95 at www.ittybittygreenie.com.au Comfy Kids Cushions from diddums designs $30.00 from www.diddums.com.au Girls organic halter neck dress from eco peko $69.95 at www.ecopeko.com and Perth Upmarket Pillow Pal / Pyjama Bags from Karimu $39.95 at www.karimu.com.au

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for kids and babies: gift guide

nic-nac balloon ball from nic-nac nappywrap $14.95 at www.nic-nac.com.au, The Mummy Tree Market and The Butterfly Tree Market Button Up Crochet Headbands from Kissy Curls - Hair Treats for Girls $8.95 each at www.facebook.com/KissyCurls ‘How Now Cow’ Blanket with Faux Fur from Little Miss Hope $64.95 at www.littlemisshope.com.au nic-nac nappywrap from nic-nac nappywrap $84.95 at www.nic-nac.com.au, The Mummy Tree Market and The Butterfly Tree Market

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for kids and babies: gift guide

Blue Owl Christmas Stocking from Tiges and Weince, priced at $20.00 inc post from www.tigesandweince.com and Mathildas Market Melbourne Ribbon Wands from Pinwheels and Pearls From $8.45 at www.pinwheelsandpearls.com.au Merry Christmas Tie Dress from Sweet Poppie Lane priced from $35.00 at www.sweetpoppielane.com, Market Girl Melville and Perth Upmarket I Scream for IceCream Ponytail Holder from Please Eloise priced at $7.50 at www.pleaseeloise.com and Mathilda’s Market, Sydney and Handmade Market, Canberra PAGE

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for kids and babies: gift guide

Charlie the Sock Monkey from Monkey and Me $38 at www.monkeyandme.com.au Bukowski Sweden Soft Toys from Teddy Treasures From $23.95 at www.teddytreasures.com.au Shaun the Sheep (Pencil Pouch) from Teddy Treasures $24.95 at www.teddytreasures.com.au PAGE

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for kids and babies: gift guide

St Nick the Sock Monkey from Monkey and Me, priced at $47 from www.monkeyandme.com.au Gorgeous Frilly Rompers from MillaRuby $45 at www.millarubydesigns.com.au and Aster and Ruby Handmade, Mandurah {see ad opposite} Towelling Head Wrap with a Twist from EJ Kids, priced at $15.95 at www.ejkids.com.au and Flemington Craft Market - Melbourne

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h a n d m a d e Market Stall 16 Dolphin Quay, 4 Zephyr Mews Mandurah Ocean Marina, Mandurah WA 6210 PHONE 0434 142 838

A gorgeous little handmade shop filled with vintage inspired clothing and accessories for women & children


bags : featured business bragbags australia’s product range is developed in close conjunction with their customers. The goal is to ensure that everything bragbags offers can help their customers in some way, every day. This means their range covers everything from a handbag that cheers them up to one that helps them travel in style. Or it can be something to help with their busy lives, keeping accessories organised and in a place where they are easy to find. This is a pretty unique approach and Jenny Spring is the person behind it read on for more about her! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business. I had been living in the US for 12 years, and when we moved our family back to Perth, I wanted a change from corporate IT. The thought of running my own business and being my own boss was enticing. I never knew I was going to have an accessory business - that was a bit of a funny coincidence. I was introduced to Vietnam and its talented artisans through an acquaintance, and it has blossomed from there. Today, I think I have the best job! I design bags, travel to Vietnam and have weird and hilarious experiences on the back of motor cycles hunting for silks and ribbons and so on. I get to eat absolutely the best food in the world, spend time with kind, funny people, and then get to talk about it with my customers. What is not to love?

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you? We respect our customers, we appreciate feedback good and bad, and we want to always be surprising them with product solutions to their everyday needs. This is one of my favourite emails from a customer: Thank you for allowing ME to be a part of your business. It is because of HOW you interact that I am a repeat customer and also one that talks ... I celebrate the businesses that I love very vocally and yours is one of them. Ange, Tasmania.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers How about we let them speak: The bags are of lovely quality - I will spread the word amongst my friends! Jill W, Sydney I am thrilled with my insert. It went straight into my bag. Nola, Bayswater, Vic.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? I get distracted too easily, with lots of new ideas. It can be hard to stay on track and stay focussed.

What are the best things about running your own business? My customers. They are so helpful, have lots of good ideas and are forgiving when I mess up. I can’t believe how fast our website has grown with over 1500 customers in only 18 months and from all over Australia.

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? Holidays in NZ. Woohoo! I’m the travel agent in our family and I’m loving chatting to my NZ friends about where to go and what to see. Manbag and my two teenagers love to travel and we make it a priority. On a business level, of course still on the travel theme, I’m really pleased to see how well our travel range is selling!

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bags: gift guide

Siam Snakeskin Clutch from Not In The Malls $300 at www.notinthemalls.com Berlinski Clutch from Lulu and I $99.00 at www.luluandi.com The 4 in 1 Tote from bragbags $95 at www.bragbags.com.au (includes organiser) Leather shoulder bag/clutch with 2 straps from bragbags $99 at www.bragbags.com.au {also fits iPad 2}

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CHRISTMAS 2011 www.dizzywizzydesign.com.au


jewellery & accessories: featured business LuluAndI.com is an online retailer of stunning jewellery and accessories for women with style. They sell via their online store but also have a gorgeous showroom in Alexandria in Sydney. This showroom is open by appointment only and is a decadent and indulgent private shopping experience. Lulu and I is also a proud corporate supporter of Make-A-Wish Australia and a portion of every single sale made at Lulu and I is donated to this very worthy cause. Whew! I think we need to hear a bit more about Fleur from Lulu and I, don’t you?! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business I was born to incredibly entrepreneurial parents. Neither my mother nor father have worked for anyone in their married life and together they have owned and managed many successful enterprises. I joined one of the family companies whilst still studying a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at UNSW and whilst I started in administration, over a period of 12 years, I worked up to National Sales and Marketing Manager. I guess wanting to run my own business was always in my blood but it wasn’t until 2005 that I purchased my first company in the Import and Wholesale/ Gift and Homewares industry. That company was successfully sold three years later and I moved to Hong Kong. After an incredible two years in one of the world’s most incredible cities, I moved home to be closer to my family and started Lulu and I. Before leaving HK, I sat down with a notepad and a pen and marked down all of my strengths and the things I most liked to do; I love travelling, I love marketing, I love business, I love beautiful things, I love accessorising and very simple dressing and I just adore the style icons of the 1950’s; their grace and their flair…..really, there was no other option for me to pursue than an online business specialising in “beautiful things” and thus my company; Lulu and I and it’s byline; Dream of Beautiful Things was born.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you The business is a true reflection of my dreams and my passions which I guess is about as unique as one can possibly be. If I had to say one thing, it would be the combination of strengths that come from over 20 years of business experience that moulded together, create the business that is Lulu and I. I just love what I do and can honestly say I love going to work every day.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers Our customers just love the unique pieces and the simplicity of both the product and the website. We have worked very hard to source unique, interesting and individual products. There is nothing on our site that is sold by anyone else in Australia. Our customers also love the free shipping and the presentation of their purchases – every package is beautifully wrapped in bespoke tissue, presented in a Lulu and I box and is accompanied by a gorgeous gift card. We truly believe that it is the detail that counts!

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? Like all start up businesses, the most challenging thing is exposure and promotion. The support of friends, family and like minded business networks such as lovely people like you, Kelly, can never be underestimated! [Ed: *Blushing* thank you!]

What are the best things about running your own business? I think I would have to say the sense of achievement – every single step, sale and milestone is, in itself an incredible achievement! There are so many challenges along the way but the little things that make you smile are worth all of the effort.

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? On a business level, I am excited by all of the Christmas promotion and having the showroom open daily instead of by appointment only – I just love meeting new people and showing people “my home”: the Lulu and I showroom. On a personal level – I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS – I have the most beautiful family in the world and Christmas time is a very special time for us all – it is all about champagne, fresh seafood, little children and just spending time together – I just can’t wait!!

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jewellery & accessories: gift guide

Cross Stitch Jewellery from Osmosis Designs $25 - $42 or DIY kits and blanks for $10-$28 at www.osmosisdesigns.blogspot.com and Perth Upmarket and Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar Vintage Love You Language bronze necklace from Andrina & Him $20.00 at www.andrinaandhim.com.au Iconic Shoe Bracelet from Bijoux Belle $20 at www.bijouxbelle.bigcartel.com and Treasured Craft Creations 18th - 20th Nov

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jewellery & accessories: gift guide

Vintage Lucite Flower Earrings from Fiona Melville Designs $32.95 at www.fionamelville.com.au Precious Daughter from Faith Insignias Inspirational Jewellery $119 at www.faithinsignias.com and Mona Vale Xmas Market, Hillsong City Christmas Spectacular, Central Coast Christmas Fair, Southern Highlands Christmas Fair, Hillsong Christmas Spectacular Audrey Clip from Crazy Teapot $65 at www.crazyteapot.com and Made it Myself Markets - Mackay

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jewellery & accessories: gift guide

Steampunk Cufflinks from Red Zebra Designs $65 at www.redzebradesigns.com.au 3 Flower Swarovski Barette from Lulu and I.com $89.95 at www.luluandi.com Freshwater Pearl Bracelet from Lulu and I.com $99.95 at www.luluandi.com

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jewellery & accessories: gift guide

Sophie necklace from Robin Gage Designs $35.00 at www.downthatlittlelane.com.au/sellers/robin-gage-designs/products and Perth Upmarket Pacific from Tamara Harrison Design $38 at www.tamaraharrison.com.au and Perth Upmarket and Subi Upmarket This Papercut Life jewellery from This Papercut Life $40 at www.thispapercutlife.blogspot.com and Fremantle Art Centre Bazaar

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jewellery & accessories: featured business Faith Insignias Inspirational Jewellery sell sterling and steel pendants along with versatile sterling charms that clip onto earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Common to all these gorgeous pieces of jewellery is that they give the message of Hope. Roslyna is the lady behind the business and you can find out more about her below! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business I’ve always had a natural talent for design, and I used to make beaded pieces of jewellery for friends. After university I ended up teaching in a high school for a few years before deciding that I wanted to follow my dream, and I started a bridal jewellery business. After about 3 years of doing that I decided that I wanted to use my gift for a greater purpose – to make people happy for longer than a day! In 2008 I lost 3 friends to cancer within a year and that made me realise that my jewellery could do even more. Since then we have become official fundraising partners of the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, helping fundraise for cancer research through our Circles of Life range.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you? Faith Insignias is about transcendence – I don’t desire to just design jewellery that looks good, or just has a happy quote here or there. It has to change people on the inside, to make them stronger, to remind them of the strength they have access to, that they are loved, and that they can have hope in times of adversity. For example the Circle of Life piece “Be the One that beats the Odds” has resonated with men and women in the most amazing way – we have had people from cancer survivors to young kids wearing it and gaining strength from it. People literally tell me that the jewellery I design changes their life and outlook.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers? We get the comments “I have never seen anything like this before” or “This is by far the best jewellery collection I’ve ever seen” all the time. It is such a privilege to get comments like this, and reminds me that I am on the right track every time, to continue designing from my heart. The other thing customers tell us is that everywhere they go they are called upon to explain their jewellery because it does look so unusual, and they end up connecting with strangers about their life story – it’s just amazing.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? Balance! When you run your own business there just isn’t any off switch off moment! We have 8 sales staff (jewellery representatives) and I try to be available to them when I can, which is often on the weekends when they are at events or running their own jewellery presentations. And with my business being all about creativity also, there are many ideas that I see, or come into my head at odd times, in my dreams even, so there just isn’t any switching off from it! The way I find balance is through giving myself permission to not think about business for a day. And intentionally giving my children all of my focus, even if it’s just for half an hour a day. Running a home business as a mum can be very hard, but I believe it is possible.

What are the best things about running your own business? Flexibility to go after my dream. I love knowing the fact that I’m building my own business from the ground up, there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’re not working for someone else, that you are creating your own destiny.

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? I love Christmas time, it is the time when we hear lots of positive feedback from customers about how much their gifts are appreciated, and how much better and precious the jewellery is than a conventional gift. The number of times people have said that their friend or loved ones end up being in tears when they open their gift, it’s so rewarding. Christmas is such a precious time for us personally too, its a time we connect with family and just stop for a few days to marvel at the gift of a personal relationship with God through His gift to the world, that makes all the difference for us.

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for the home: featured business Malini Parker ‘the business’ has two main facets: Part A is her art - she is a visual artist and paints abstract and semi abstract work. Part B is her One Day Intensive Art Workshops where she empowers beginners with skills and techniques to create beautiful, textured paintings. Alll this in just one day, even if they have never done any art before! The beautiful thing about Malini is that her passion infuses both aspects of her work which might explain why her classes are usually booked out months in advance. Here’s a bit more about this lovely lady! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business My massage therapist was responsible for starting me on Part B – the workshops for beginners! We had recently relocated to Perth from Albany. My family (husband, teenage daughter and myself) had to move to Perth on very short notice and it was a difficult time so I couldn’t leave the house easily due to family concerns. So I had a massage therapist come in once a week to give me an hour of stress relief. Noticing all the art in the house, she would often ask me when I would run a class. After months of this, I finally gave in, and said, “bring some mates and I’ll teach you lot how to paint, just give me a day!”. She took up the challenge, I had a BALL, and that’s where it all began. For how I started Part A, making art and exhibiting my work – you’ll have to read my blog!

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you Well, there are thousands of people that paint, but the wonderful thing about art, is only you can paint like you. So every piece I make is unique, and that is just such a great thought! And again, thousands of people teach art, but only I teach my seven step process, because it’s my own. My workshops are delivered in a content-rich, intensive day, and I love that no minute is wasted - I share as much as I can in the time I have. I believe that the workshop evolved this way because I am so time poor, being my husband’s carer, I cannot teach art the way it is usually taught – weekly, over long periods, because it’s simply not an option for me. So the super intensive content is unique, the process is unique and I don’t know if anyone loves teaching as much as I do – maybe that crazy love is also unique!

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers I am honoured that my work has been received so warmly in the few short years since my first solo show in 2005. My customers often describe the feelings they have while looking at my paintings: a sense of “peacefulness, tranquillity, equilibrium”, while others have found my work to be “soulful, balanced, harmonious”. I find this intriguing as I have always aspired to have these qualities myself, always found them so FAR out of reach, and have never attempted to imbue my work with them, as I wouldn’t know how! The feedback I receive for my workshops is generous and a little overwhelming at times. When people who have never accessed their creative side are given the structure and skills to be able to do it – and they find that they can - their enthusiasm is extraordinary. Just today, I got some wonderful feedback from a beautiful young woman that touched my heart, “What your work shop has given my mind and my soul is truly amazing... I have never felt so free and happy...I feel like a fresh soul and I have you to thank.”

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? The days are very long AND I never switch off.

What are the best things about running your own business? It feels like I’m using my creativity in ways I never dreamed of. As an artist, with a special interest in helping others to access their creativity, this is especially lovely for me. And I get to make ALL the rules. I get to work whenever I can or want to. My husband has a serious illness, and I’m his carer, so this is REALLY handy. I’m in a state of constant surprise that I have a successful, growing business. And best of all, it’s part of my job to meet fantastic new people all the time and share a creative adventure with them!

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? As Baha’i, I don’t celebrate Christmas – but I do enjoy the general festive air :)

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for the home: gift guide

A Manifesto for Kids from The Smile Collective Starting from $20 for 8x10 print at www.thesmilecollective.com.au Lie in the Sun Original Artwork from Malini Parker $925 at www.maliniparker.com Set of 6 Christmas Quiz Coasters from Fluid Ink $10.00 at www.fluidink.com.au and Christmas Perth Upmarket Cool Retro Cupcake/Jewellery Stand from Red Zebra Designs $27 at www.redzebradesigns.com.au PAGE

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for the home: gift guide

Sweet Love Framed Papercut from Almond Tree Frames $189.00 at www.almondtreeframes.com.au Jute Bag from Ravissant $35 at www.facebook.com.au/ravissantpaperart and The Mummy Tree Markets Brisbane Return to Love Original Artwork from Malini Parker $925 at www.maliniparker.com A Manifesto for Mums from The Smile Collective Starting from $20 for 8x10 print at www.thesmilecollective.com.au

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cosmetics & pampering feature LabelstoLove.com.au is a new online emporium of beautiful boutique wares for women. They offer a one-of-a-kind and compelling shopping experience by handpicking products you wouldn’t usually find in department or chain stores. Each item is chosen for its unique style, quality and originality and everything is sent directly from the designer-maker, to the buyer. Alexandra Seitam is the entrepreneur behind Labels to Love - look right for a bit more about her!

For Christmas Alexandra recommends: The Bon Bon Soap It is a slice of heaven – delicious to smell and gorgeous looking! $48 (for a set of 4), get it from www.labelstolove.com.au

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cosmetics & pampering feature Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business I created Labels to Love after becoming frustrated with the lack of original and quality products on offer in Australia. Before starting my business, I worked for five years as an international model. When travelling, I’d often stumble across cool, quirky – often handmade labels in tucked-away boutiques or urban markets but had difficulty finding them online. The site was created with small artisan businesses in mind and gives design hunters the ability to purchase from a variety of these different stores in one simple transaction.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you My main focus is to give an online shopping experience that exceeds people’s expectations. This is evident in both our product selection and the exceptional customer service. While so many other online retailers stock common products and then try to undercut each other on price in a bid to attract customers, I maintain a tightly curated selection of products that you won’t easily find anywhere else. Labels to Love products are less trend based and instead have more of a timeless aesthetic for women who want to feel beautiful and stylish but perhaps a little ecclectic.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers It’s so lovely when customers take the time to write a little note thanking you for their purchase because it was better than they could have hoped for. I think most people are still quite apprehensive when buying online, so it’s nice to hear somebody’s excitement from receiving your products in the mail.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? Definitely the hardest thing is trying to do everything yourself. I have a team of contractors who look after tasks such as web development, graphic design, illustration, copywriting and social media but mostly it’s just me. Also, being a home-based business owner, you have to be self-disciplined and learn to separate your work and personal life.

What are the best things about running your own business? The freedom to make your own decisions. You don’t always get it right but it’s most rewarding when you do!

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? I’m looking forward to offering shoppers something different to put under their trees this year. People are often searching for something memorable and perhaps something a little different to give their friends or family. Everything you find on Labels to Love has a beautifully personal quality about it – be it handprinted gift wrapping or a handwritten note from the maker. On a personal note, I’m most excited about festive dinner parties and my grandma’s {or ‘Mama’s} caramel tarts! They’re delicious!!

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eco friendly: featured business Anna Malovka is the lovely lady behind O2wear (as in oxygen wear) and sells women’s basics with a focus on bodywear/under layers made from environmentally friendly bamboo fibre and organic cotton. Ooh, sounds a bit cool! Let’s hear a bit more about Anna!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be running your business The business officially started just a few months ago, but running a business has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It took me a while to narrow down exactly what it would be and what form it should take, but I was very keen on an internet based business. My husband and I were living in Shanghai at the time while I was studying Chinese and I knew I wanted to take advantage of that, so naturally something based on manufacturing there made sense. I was able to visit factories directly to make sure I knew what I was getting and was happy with the product. Now we have returned to Australia and are based in Perth.

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you O2wear specialises in women’s basics made from bamboo fibre. Bamboo clothing is becoming increasingly popular overseas due to its great feel and eco-credentials and is appearing in all sorts of products, however in Australia it’s still relatively unknown. My range is focused solely on women’s basics made from bamboo fibre and organic cotton which I think in itself makes my business unique. In addition, I try to keep my prices competitive and provide excellent customer service. We provide free shipping Australia wide and offer all the standard services like hassle-free returns and exchanges.

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers Lots of people comment on the product itself, how soft it is and how nice it feels against the skin, this is probably the main thing that drew me to the fabric when I was looking at options to start the business.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? Probably keeping the momentum going, you have to keep looking for new opportunities and not let slow weeks dampen your spirits.

What are the best things about running your own business? Its really satisfying! Creating a business and seeing it turn from an idea in to reality is unbelievably cool!

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level? More products! I’m hoping to have placed an order for a new range of bodywear/basics to expand my range which will hopefully be online in late January. Personally, I am looking forward to returning to Adelaide (where I’m originally from) to catch up with family and friends. I have spent the last two Christmases in China so I’m hoping for a real Christmas with hot weather and no snow in sight!

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eco friendly: gift guide

Bluebelle Frilly Knicker Set from cornflowerblue $24.95 at www.cornflowerblue.com.au Bamboo Camisole from O2wear $29.95 at www.o2wear.com Charlie Bears “Little Organics” from Teddy Treasures From $39.95 at www.teddytreasures.com.au

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eco friendly: gift guide

Bamboo kimono wrap from Sleep Secrets $73.95 at www.sleep-secrets.com.au Green Toys Fire Truck from Itty Bitty Greenie $49.95 at www.ittybittygreenie.com.au PAGE

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photography feature LIANA

Mum the Photographer is a fantastic new online photography program which gives parents unlimited access to tips, tricks and tutorials to help improve the photos that they take of their own children. You don’t need an expensive camera or lots of time on your hands. It’s a fun and easy to use program that any parent can access when and where they want. Written with busy parents in mind, the program is module based allowing parents to learn at their own pace. Today we’re talking to Liana and Janet, the two lovely ladies behind this very cool program!

Normally retailing for only USD$69.95 - I love pretty things readers can get 20% off in December {see ad on previous page} What a great gift idea! PAGE

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photography feature Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves and how you came to be running your business? We both melt over photos of our own children and there is a real sense of pride in being able to capture these special little people in our lives as they grow and change. When we started out photographing our children, “great photos” seemed a distant dream, but it quickly became apparent to us that it is not hard to improve your photographs dramatically with just a little bit of knowledge and thought. We both quickly progressed from “blurry and boring” to “great photos” in a matter of months. We are passionate about sharing this knowledge with other parents as there’s nothing more satisfying than creating a beautiful record of your own kids’ childhood. A bit about us: Janet has two beautiful boys and is currently living the expat life in India. Liana has three children (the youngest has just arrived!) and runs a photography business in Brisbane. Not that she’s not taking many new bookings at the moment with a newborn in the house!

What is unique about your business – something no one else does as well as you? There are a lot of sites that are aimed at serious amateurs and professional photographers but a lot of what they talk about is quite technical. Mum the Photographer is aimed at any parent with any camera and teaches you how to apply simple concepts to achieve great results in your photographs. No jargon!! That’s the key! We share lots of our tips and tricks on our blog and facebook page so come visit us!

What is some feedback you often hear from clients or customers? The feedback that we hear (and makes us so happy) is that Mum the Photographer is easy to understand because of our layout and breakdown into “quick tips” followed through with more in depth information. It is real and achievable for anyone. A few of our clients have contacted us over the moon that they can finally capture brilliant photos of their children - photos that really look like them and capture their childhood. That type of feedback is beautiful to hear, as it’s what we are all about.

What are some of the hard things about running your own business? We are both mums so time is our biggest chellenge. It is about finding the right balance between our children, great husbands and trying to squeeze in a little me time too!

What are the best things about running your own business? The sense of pride in sharing something we are both passionate about with other parents. It’s also lovely to be able to fit work in around other commitments.

Coming into Christmas, what are you most excited about on both a business and personal level?! Coming into Christmas we’ve already had quite a few members tell us that they are going to give Mum the Photographer memberships to their family and friends as gifts this Christmas … that is so wonderful to hear! We’re also really excited about a Christmas photoshoot that we have planned (watch the blog, it’s going to be fun!). And then there is 2012 … there is always something exciting about what a new year will hold! On a personal basis … family is what excites us the most. 2011 has been a year of massive highs and deep lows and we look forward to laughing, crying and hugging over these memories and new beginnings with the hope that 2012 will be a lot calmer and a year of healing. It’ll be an extra special time for us this year as we will all be back together in our favourite family oasis with two new additions to the family!!

JANET

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As another year comes to a close, I’d just like to take this opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to all of you who have supported I love pretty things in 2011. Thank you for reading Thank you for offering give aways for my readers Thank you for sharing the site with your friends Thank you for the lovely words of feedback And most of all, thank you for the lovely words of support during a couple of tough times for me personally this year

This is such a wonderful little community and I have personally made so many wonderful new friends because of it. I am truly blessed. Bring on 2012!

I love pretty things 2011 Christmas Gift Guide  

A selection of unique and VERY pretty gifts

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