28 July 2013

Im not sure I will ever feature in the Hand-made Australia blog so I thought Id put my thoughts here on MY blog.  It was actually a great exercise to think about the how and why.  Still scarey.... still committed.

What inspired you to start your business?

I had just finished a memory quilt made out of competition t-shirts.  The panels were flapping in the breeze on the clothes line out in the sunshine and I thought it would be nice to see kids running through the quilted pieces, touching and interacting with them.  My partner and I were walking through a shopping center and saw some canvas room dividers.  I commented that it would be a dreamy idea to make dress screens and cover them with quilts.  To my surprise he said that wouldnt be a problem as he used to make dress screen frames!

What is your handmade business all about?

My handmade business is all about choice and value for money.  YOU get to choose the dimensions of the screen and also the fabric and design that decorates it.  This gives you great choice in affordably redecorating your space.  The screen panels are washable.  The dress screens are made out of great products like oak dowel and allergy resistant bamboo wadding.  We keep a record of all the screens we make and you can order a new set of screen covers at a very reasonable price.  This makes our dress screens an investment rather than being a "throw away" item.  New ideas are coming in all the time.  We are working on bridal screens as well as puppet theatres and castle walls for children.

What do you enjoy most about your business?

Planning the design of the screens.  We live on the Mornington Peninsula two blocks from the beach and I have three children ranging from 19 to 7 years of age.  That is quite a lot of inspiration.  Then there are the wonderful designers who make fabrics these days.  Just amazing variety and colour.

What is your favourite product to make?

To be honest any quilt will do.

How did you learn your craft?

Ive sewn since I was a teenager but I really got into quilts about 12 years ago.  My mother taught me to sew clothes but in quilts I am self taught.

What handy hints do you have for people who are starting up a hand-made business?

Ive recently joined "The business bakery", a small business interactive website.  It is great support network.  Not only great advice.  Just as importantly, interaction with other small business people who understand the fatigue and isolation and stresses that sometimes weigh down on small business people.

What plans do you have for your business in the next year?

I plan to load up the van with my screens and go from markets to shops, from wedding venues to charity auctions, spreading the news that dress screens are back in style, in YOUR style.

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