Thursday, November 11, 2010

Zines we ♥ - *bespoke*

Tell us a little bit about your zine?

*bespoke* is a brand-new Aussie zine all about handmade, vintage, photography, craft, art, micro-business and much, much more. It is edited and published by Jessica Van Den of - herself a crafty businesswoman and handmade advocate. And, unlike many of the new e-zine's popping up, *bespoke* is a lovely tactile A5 package - yep, printed in full colour!

Full of interviews, stories, art and photography features, micro-biz advice, tutorials and product features, *bespoke* aims to inspire, nourish, and support the handmade community.

When/Why did you start your zine?
I had the idea for *bespoke* one evening while trying to sleep - like the shower, always a place when good ideas arise! I already had a daily blog all about handmade, but I really thought there was a place in our community for a new print zine - so, I went for it! When I asked my friends via twitter, facebook and forums, they were all really excited by the idea, and the handmade community as a whole has been 100% behind *bespoke* right from the beginning. It really is by the handmade community, for the handmade community, and I couldn't have made it a reality without the hundreds of people who have contributed to Issue 1 in some way or another!

What is the favourite part about running your zine?
Gosh, I'd have to say the response I get when someone reads it! Since Issue 1 has gone out I have had such an overwhelming amount of awesome feedback from people - and that is what it's really all about! Creating something that people can sit down with on a rainy day, with a cup of tea and coffee, and be inspired by!

The process of actually putting it all together has been an amazing learning curve, too, as I have no experience or background in publishing. I had the fabulous Mikaela Danvers come on board as the graphic designer for Issue 1, and she took all the stories, interviews and photos I collected and turned them into something really beautiful!

Why do you love handmade so much?
I love handmade for so many reasons. I think because it introduced me to the joy of making - I had worked in education before this, and never 'made' anything tangible. When I started crafting I discovered that I loved working with my hands to create something beautiful - it opened up a whole new world, and I've kept that respect and wonder at the process of making and creating ever since.

I also love the incredibly warm, sharing handmade community - a place full of people who also understand the joy of creation, and who love to share that joy with each other!

I see so many others who - like myself - dream of making a living from their craft. I am so keen to support those who choose this path, because I really believe in the value of handmade goods. Not only do I prefer to give my money directly to the maker of the goods at a personal level, but I also believe it's important from an economic standpoint to support micro and small business.

Name 5 feelings that your customers will feel after they finish reading your zine.
inspired, nourished, supported, creative, heartening

You can purchase the zine on here


  1. yaaay for bespoke! i love love love this sweet little zine xxx

  2. I received my copy of bespoke today amd it is fabulous! Such a beautiful zine - Well done Jess! Can't wait for the next one ;0)

  3. fantastic - i have a copy too and its awesome!!! great little zine!

  4. I ♥ *bespoke* too! I had fun reading through my copy last week. :)

  5. I loved reading the mag and I especially loved the cute little freebie inside!

  6. I am very glad that I bought a copy. Great zine - congratulations, Jess!
    ~ Laura (Moags)


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