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.”

 

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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.