after-hours crafter :: osier
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well if I was a dog I'd definitely be a "bitsa" - a bit of this, a bit of that. In one day I can be an architecture student, a medical receptionist, a swimming teacher and an indie business owner/designer. Same with my fashion sense - it's all over the place, but I love it that way. I have a passion for the new, and presenting the old in new and exciting ways - I think that definitely comes through in all I design.
Can you explain your craft/art and the materials you like to use?
OSIER has been described by others as "eco-friendly fashion that gives things with a past a place in the present" - and I would have to say that's a pretty good catchline. I love using quirky things like retro cupcake toppers, weird old buttons, vintage fabrics and feathers, and then mixing them with the more sedate and modern mediums like lasercut plywood or polymer clay. I really just love to sit there with all my things surrounding me and see what goes with something else, especially when I should be doing something more important - that's when I get my best ideas.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into making handmade goodies?
I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb with either craft scissors, pom-poms, or glue clenched in my tiny little fists (lets hope it wasn't scissors for my Mum's sake). I'd always been the child at school with the report card that said "Your child needs to apply the same enthusiasm she has for art class in other areas" - and by that they meant maths (I still don't know my times tables!). The business/label side of things sort of had a very innocent and natural start - beaded earrings and other pieces of jewellery for kids at high-school and a couple of my teachers, then I stumbled upon craftster.org, and through them onto the largest handmade website in the world! (before madeit was around). Through that the girls at Made on the Left gave me my first market opportunity in July 2008, and I pretty much haven't stopped since - oh, except to volunteer for MOTL duties (I'm now secretary!)
How do you juggle work & crafting/managing your business?
Sometimes not too well, I'll admit. Its not my two casual jobs that cause the most trouble, the main culprit is my other major passion; architecture. I'm halfway though 5 years at uni to be an architect, so during the break times, it's wonderfully easy- I really get to knuckle down on expanding my plans for OSIER, work on new wholesalers, and catch up with market stock levels. Not so great during term though, when you get a rush of orders just when your building plans are due in a week and you're still on concept...
Do you have any advice to other workers who are wanting to start creating handmade goodies?
My best advice is to make sure you're honest with people - if you havn't started something you should have finished, be upfront, honest, and apologetic about it. Lame excuses/fibs don't help anyone. Oh, actually - the best piece of advice would be to reach out to others in your area who are small indie creatives. Some of my best friends are other Perth artists I met at markets and on forums. Plus I think creating is really good for helping conflicting personalities mesh - in fact I think instead of everyone signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, I think they should be made to go to a craft workshop with each other - I'd love to see Kim Jong Il swapping knitting patterns with Barack, wouldn't you?