Meet the Characters!

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It’s not long now until DisPLACEd:Episode One (Part Two) is published on our official Wattpad page – https://www.wattpad.com/user/DisPLACEd-story, so to celebrate, we are releasing our character illustrations. Check them out through the link above, or on the official website – displacedstory.wordpress.com.

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Bear Designs – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

One thing that I have found while researching these Australian Hand-Made Businesses, is that their contribution to society is much more personal. Unlike big businesses that are only out to make a profit, these businesses focus on pleasing others. Here is one such independent business.

Bear Designs

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Who doesn’t like dressing up? I don’t know a kid that doesn’t. But with so many superheroes and characters, it can be difficult to keep up with the cost of buying costume after costume. This is where Bear Designs comes in.

Bear Designs was created by Nadine Bear, and stocks capes with a virtually-endless array of designs. Her product size range includes 1/2 years, 3/4 years, 5/6 years, and custom orders are welcome. Products can also include capes for teddies, and props for photography sessions.

Prices are very affordable, and the capes can easily be tucked away for further use.

I spoke with Nadine to hear how she came up with this brilliant idea.

“I came up with the idea as my son loved dress up and I could never find good quality capes with his favourite theme; so I decided to give it a go myself. I hadn’t sewn in years, and was surprised how much I loved making them.” Nadine told me.

“I first started making capes for my kids, and then friends, which then extended into people requesting all types of super capes. I decided to start up a Facebook page (found HERE) and see how it went.”

When talking about her products, Nadine said: “I do a variety of patterns/favourite characters/themes and custom orders. Basically it depends what people are looking for and their child’s favourite theme.”

Not only does she do individual sales, but also collections, for kid’s birthday parties.

As I said before, independent businesses have a closer link with their communities and and Bear Designs is no different.

“I was recently involved in a massive charity event, which I called ‘Capes for Cancer’. It was for a little boy in my son’s pre-primary class.”

“This is the reversible cape I designed with ‘C’ for childhood cancer on yellow being the gold representation and the other side being the super hero fabric. I made 70 capes for all the kids, and 15 for the teachers. It was a massive event/quiz night, to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and I managed to raise over $7000. All the kids looked amazing in their capes. Shawn Redhage from Perth Wildcats also came out on the day and chatted to the kids.”

Nadine’s final words echo those of other independent Australian Hand-Made businesses: “As I’m still a new business with a young family, I haven’t yet ventured out to the market arena, but I’m hoping to as my business grows.”

 

Zobelle Designs – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Zobelle Designs

From the creative and craft-y mind of Charmaine Riccio comes Zobelle Designs.

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With a stock list that includes hats, necklaces, and home decor, you can find everything you will need for gifts, and yourself! When not proudly displayed at local markets, Zobelle Designs is selling through Facebook, making it easy to shop from the convenience of your own home, while ensuring you are getting quality hand-made items.

What’s even better, is that Charmaine also ‘up-cycles’ items.

UP-CYCLE: to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original

But like all other hand-made and independent businesses, there is a story behind it all.

“I come from a family of crafters – Nanna sewed on her Singer treadle machine, teaching me how to make doll clothes; and mum tried every craft imaginable, eventually settling on pottery and now running her own shop in Perth. “

She continues, “Zobelle Designs was an idea a few years in the making. Just over a year ago, when all four of my children were in school full-time, I felt confident enough to give it a go. Up-cycling and re-fashioning my own clothes is something I’ve done since I started sewing with grand plans of being a fashion designer.”

Though the comfort and style of her items is her first priority, she has adapted to the ever-changing market, supplying something for those with an eye for recycling.

“These days, in the current environmental climate, it is more important than ever to try and live a conscious and sustainable lifestyle. Combining my passions – sewing, op-shopping, and a sustainable way of life for my family – into a business and something I can share with others, is the ultimate dream for me.”

You can also find Zobelle Designs on Instagram.

Quilling By Kath – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Quilling By Kath

I’ve told you about Australian hand-made businesses that sell candles, frames, and assorted homewares – all of which I love – but Quilling by Kath’s stock definitely stands out from the crowd.

I heard about Katherine Wigraft through a Facebook group for Australian Hand-made and Local Products (HALP), and thought I would check out what she had to offer.

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Look close enough, and you will see that what makes up her designs are small, carefully folded, pieces of paper. Called ‘quilling’ Kath gives her customers unique and beautiful wall-art pieces.

Having never heard of the term ‘quilling’ before, I spoke with Kath to hear more about it, and about the story behind the business.

“I’ve always been a bit arty farty,”she said in good humour, “and have done lots of different crafts over the years. I’ve done jewellery making, mosaics, and then I found paper quilling.”

She continued. “I absolutely love it. It is my outlet; my time when I just switch off from everything and go into a zone.”

Her business started like many others before her, making pieces for family and friends. Before she knew it, she was getting requests from everywhere.

“I mainly do it at night (after my 4 1/2 year old daughter is in bed) and a lot on the weekends.”

Just looking on her Facebook page, I couldn’t believe the designs that could be made. Kath felt the same, saying: “You can do pretty much anything with paper quilling, from simple designs to very intricate ones.” I, personally, found even the simple ones to be incredibly beautiful.

“All of my work is made to order, so that the customer gets exactly what they want. I’m based in Croydon North Victoria, and have posted a lot of pieces all over Australia, with some customers then sending pieces overseas for gifts.”

If you would like to check out Quilling by Kath, you can find her Facebook page HERE.

Renaye’s Keepsakes – Hand-Made Items

Welcome to my second review/article showcasing Australian hand-made hobby/businesses (first found here). Today I’m looking at Renaye Cowell’s store Renaye’s Keepsakes.

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Renaye’s Keepsakes

From the moment I saw the range of stock available at Renaye’s Keepsakes, I was entranced. There are greetings cards, wooden self-standing signs, frames, and so much more! Advertised at cheap prices, you can order products customised with your choice of name and design.

Unlike big businesses, Renaye makes sure to stay connected with her loyal customers on her Facebook page (here), creating a relationship with every one. She also sells on MadeIt (here), where she writes about how she got started in her love for scrapbooking and subsequent business.

“In 2003, I started to do some scrapbooking in my spare time. Hubby liked to play computer games, so I started scrappin’ next to him.” What started as a way to spend time with her husband and release her daily stress, surprisingly became a future career choice. “One day I picked up a little chest-shaped music box that was a gift for a friend about to have a baby. I looked at the box and thought that needs something on it to make it a little more ‘gifty’. I got out some pretty pink and white striped paper…and some double-sided tape, and recovered the box. I added some embellishments to the top and front, and voila, a little keepsake baby box was created.”

From gifts for friends and family, to stock in her own online store, Renaye’s Keepsakes has all it takes to be yet another successful Australian business.

Hand-Made by Mena – Hand-Made Items

In a time when everyone is more concerned with their spending, paying a little more for hand-made items may seem strange. But when asked why, the overwhelming majority answer: “It’s the story behind the product”.

As a fan of creative pieces (my favourites are knitted and iron-beads), I have decided to write some articles about a few Australian hand-made stores.

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Hand-Made by Mena

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Gifts, accessories, home decor. These are only a few words that describe the range of stock designed by owner Philomena (Mena) Baumann.

With fabric, a sewing machine, and talent, she turns mere materials into scarves, pencil cases, cushion covers and cross-stitches.

Though she has not been operating long, she has already garnered attention from her good work.

But, as I said, behind every hand-made hobby business is a story, and Hand-Made by Mena is no different.

“I’ve been sewing since I was 7 years old.” Mena told me. “I’m a 3rd generation seamstress. My great-grandmother taught my grandmother, my grandmother passed it on to my mother, my mother taught me, and I’ve been teaching my daughter.”

What started as an off-and-on hobby, became a therapeutic outlet. “Passion then turned into a small business opportunity, with friends wanting what they saw me making for myself.”

And that’s how we have Hand-Made By Mena. Wanting to stand out from the sewing crowd, and make practical items not easily find in stores, Mena now sells her wonderful wares at local markets, online via her Facebook page (here), or her Etsy page (here).