Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I Heart Handmade: So Little Time Co.

I'm starting a new series called "I Heart Handmade" featuring products and people I love from Etsy. Today I am featuring So Little Time Co., makers of beautiful handmade wooden "wearables". Take it away Kirsty!

^^ Kirsty and Josh, the brains behind So Little Time Co.^^

1. When did you first start creating your "wearables"? When did you start selling your goods on Etsy?
I first started selling my wearables in November 2010. The ideas for it all started at the beginning of that same year, when I found myself in a job that didn't allow much creative freedom. I spent many hours researching, developing concepts and ideas and then finally I started selling them at local craft markets. It was around this time that I started up my Etsy shop, but I didn't really become serious about it until later the following year.

2. Describe the creating process a little bit, what (basic!) steps does it take from conception to the final product?
It always starts with a bit of inspiration. I find myself inspired by colour combinations or textures and I get plenty of inspiration from all the wonderful creative people in my life. Other things like a paint aisle, chats over coffee with friends as we throw ideas around, that kind of stuff. Once I've got an idea, I'll start drawing the concept and then I'll move it into Illustrator so that I can transform it into line work, and send it off to my laser cutter. Once I get a nice big sheet full of cute earrings and brooches back, I spent a bit of time popping it all out, painting it by hand (so thankful for Posca Pens), assembling the earrings, necklaces or brooches and it's ready to be sent out!

3. Do you take custom orders? (I know I'd love for you to make a VW Kombi Van for me!)
I do sometimes, but it's more like colour modifications to products rather than new products. I get so many suggestions all the time, which is great because it's also a source of ideas for me, but it gives me great insight into what my customers want. I tend not to take custom one-off orders, unless it's something that I am going to replicate, mostly due to the logistics of laser cutting (big orders required, for one offs sometimes it doesn't work). If I have a cut coming up and someone asks at the right time though, who knows *wink wink*

4. Which of your wearables is your fave?
Ooooh you can't ask that. It's like asking a parent which child is their favourite. I really like some of the character brooches; the dish and spoon and narwhal are definitely two I'm proud of. I also love the locket necklaces, mostly because I've never really seen anything like that before. 

5. How has owning an Etsy shop changed your creative process?
Etsy has liberated so many people across the world. It opens your creativity and desire to make things for people to the world - they bring an audience you would not have had access to otherwise. I wouldn't say it's changed my creative process, but it has definitely promoted it, mostly because Etsy is where I sell a large portion of my products, (I also wholesale) and so I just keep on creating as the demand rises. Because of this, Etsy is the only place that I sell online.

6. What has been the hardest part of getting to where you are in your Etsy shop?
Patience. I think that time is never on your side when it comes to starting a business. You start out being really excited and ready to share your creativity with the world, but no one knows who you are or what you do. Building an audience and repeat customers is so important, but it definitely takes time. Putting myself out there, approaching shops to sell my items, immersing myself in social media and the creative community in Melbourne and attending and exhibiting at craft markets throughout the years are just some of the things that have worked for me. I've been doing these thing for nearly 3 years now and it only really all started to pay off a year ago. It's so rewarding meeting people at craft markets who say "Hey, I bought this from Etsy from your shop, I love it" - there is nothing like meeting your customer face-to-face. Honestly, if you put the time into networking (and beyond that, in person), I have found that Etsy sales follow your hard work. 

7. What is your favourite thing about handmade goods? 
The love that has gone into it. Despite the fact that I have a range of products which I replicate, each piece holds a bit of love; a bit of me. I love buying something that I know was hand made and using it or wearing it, knowing that someone else was so excited and passionate about that product or idea that they spent hours coming up with how to make it, or paint it or shape it. I think the dedication behind handmade goods is inspiring. Maybe it's easier for me to relate to. 

Kirsty and Josh  has been kind enough to offer all Seductive Mania readers free shipping until September 1st with the code: FREESHIPPING13

If you want to read more or buy one of her awesome wearables check her out:
Travel Blog: http://www.somuchtosee.com.au/ (this one's a bit irrelevant but totally awesome!)

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If you're interested in being featured in a I Heart Handmade feature, feel free to contact me. 

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