The Perfect Storm

Wow, just wow. There is just too much awesome on in Melbourne this weekend, with no less than 4 (!) top class design showcases catering to every taste and budget.

Did you hear that thunder? This perfect storm of indie Christmas preparation rolled into town yesterday with the opening of The Design Files Open House, (@ 12 Smith St Collingwood, 10.00am – 5pm, Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th Nov)

The Design Files Open House "represents ‘the ultimate Australian home’ -– a bustling, colourful space furnished with our favourite locally designed furniture, homewares and lighting, with artwork by talented Australian artists, books by local authors and much more. As always, each and every item can be purchased on the spot!"

The Design Files Open House “represents ‘the ultimate Australian home’ -– a bustling, colourful space furnished with our favourite locally designed furniture, homewares and lighting, with artwork by talented Australian artists, books by local authors and much more. As always, each and every item can be purchased on the spot!”

 

When TDFOH closes at 5pm, have no fear, The Big Design Market is here! Open until 9pm tonight and all weekend in the always stunning (and huge) Royal Exhibition Building, the Big Design Market never fails to deliver goodness (@ Carlton Gardens, 10.00am – 9.00pm Friday, 10am – 7.00pm Saturday and 10.00am – 5.00 pm Sunday)

“The Big Design Market is the biggest market of its kind in Australia, bringing together the best of independent Australian and international design for 3 huge days of shopping! The iconic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne provides a stunning backdrop for fashion and accessories, homewares and textiles, lifestyle and kids’ products, stationery and books. “

 

 

 

I should note at this point, it’s important to pace yourself this weekend, as the earlier risers and south side brunch aficionados will romp home the rewards of a good nights sleep by hitting the Dumbo Feather Christmas Fete early on Saturday morning. Kicking off at 8am and running til 1, this extraordinary magazine is hosting a plethora of great Australian designers, artisans and makers across food, books, clothing and accessories. ( @ 11  Princes St St Kilda, 8.00am – 1.00pm Saturday only)

"The Dumbo Feather Christmas Fête is about engaging with our community and getting to know our neighbours. We have got together a great bunch of people, who we love, to sell you their wares and to generally have a really great celebration of the festive season. Entry to the fête is by gold coin donation and all proceeds will be going to charity."

“The Dumbo Feather Christmas Fête is about engaging with our community and getting to know our neighbours. We have got together a great bunch of people, who we love, to sell you their wares and to generally have a really great celebration of the festive season. Entry to the fête is by gold coin donation and all proceeds will be going to charity.”

 

 

Whatever you do, make your Allpress coffee at DFCF a double and head north to the home of Allpress in Collingwood, where you can indulge the XY chromosones on your gift list with something luxe from the Menske design showcase ( @ 84 Rupert St Collingwood, 11.00am – 6.00pm Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th).

 

"Menske is a series of curated events designed to showcase australian designers of men's luxury items. Menske provides a beautifully considered space for men to shop and engage with high end, locally designed products."

“Menske is a series of curated events designed to showcase australian designers of men’s luxury items. Menske provides a beautifully considered space for men to shop and engage with high end, locally designed products.”

And Sunday night? Sunday night is for sleeping (and sneaky gift wrapping)! zzz zzz

A Murder of Ravens

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Rodney and Banjo the donkeys

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Quinton the mouse

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Albert the donkey

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Chester the cheeky llama

Meet English-expat-cum-Melbournite Katie Wakefield and her friend Chester, the cheeky llama .
Chester likes eating socks and collecting watches, Katie likes collage, textile design and taxidermy.

What bought these two buddies together?  A Murder of Ravens – Katie’s new homewares and design label.

Katie studied fashion and textile design, spending two years travelling the world before she fell in love with Melbourne and decided to stay awhile. She soon found herself in country Victoria, living her dream of learning taxidermy with from Gippsland local David Luxford.

Katie’s whimsical and intensely detailed cushions, tea towels and illustrations are surely the prettiest incarnation of taxidermy I’ve ever seen. Each animal character featured has a unique story,  set amongst a world of colour, sparkles and quirkiness. All creations are hand stitched, illustrated, embellished and embroided by Katie.

Katie has just launched her online emporium and Etsy store, with more local markets on the calendar soon.

August is Victorian Small Business Month ~ there are a bunch of free workshops (in Melbourne, regional centres and online) and events. Find out more here
 
If you like what you see, keep in touch with Small Talk & Co. updates by liking us on facebook here
Machine and hand stitched details

Machine and hand stitched details

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Meet the flock

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Tea towel

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The Raven

Excitement | Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program

Rockford Etsy Team Captain Kari McDonald, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Mayor Larry Morrissey, and Rockford Housing Authority CEO Ron Clewer join forces.

Rockford Etsy Team Captain Kari McDonald, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Mayor Larry Morrissey, and Rockford Housing Authority CEO Ron Clewer join forces – image via Etsy.com

Bill, 66, has been a woodworker in Rockford for most of his life - image via Etsy.com

Bill, 66, has been a woodworker in Rockford for most of his life. Click through to check out Bill’s creations. – image via Etsy.com

I’m super excited to share the news that Etsy’s Craft Entrepreneurship program has now gone global! Turning the tables to a focus on innovation through diversification, enabling new communities to unlock the potential of their craft and artisan manufacturing skills in a supportive environment.

I’ve long been a big fan of Etsy’s pioneering spirit in creating a marketplace for independent artists and designers to test the marketability of creative ideas. Unfortunately the flip side is that like many other creative industries, this consumer driven model creates a mass of swirling creativity, whereby the majority clusters in the centre, following a certain ‘fashion’ or trend, whilst the outliers spark brave new ideas on the edges of what is considered marketable or tasteful. In an effort to counteract this the Etsy blog has long taken a heartwarming, ‘behind the scenes’ approach to uncovering the processes of entrepreneurial minds, by asking each featured seller to write their own interviews. By the nature of a consumer market, those featured tend to be creatives whose brilliant idea often sets these trends for the time to come. This ‘chicken and egg’ cycle of trend maker / trend driver can lead to stagnation, if not for the odd outlier whose idea smashes through collective consciousness to reinvent the future of craft entrepreneurship.

The program is taught in six modules, by an experienced local Etsy seller over the course of two to six weeks, ensuring ensures information shared is both locally and globally relevant. Perhaps the program’s most brilliant aspect is the way the local and global elements work together to create a supportive environment for to break down of barriers to online success, such as hands on practice at running a .com shop and strategies for sucess over multiple platforms. As well as a local ‘teacher’/leader, each program is linked in with a local Etsy team, immediately creating a supportive network of familiar faces for feedback and advice after the program itself ends.

The Craft Entrepreneurship program is now running pilot programs in six cities in the US and UK, with inquiries open for educational programming and entrepreneurship training providers worldwide to join in the fun (get behind it Australia!).

The good news for all of us is that Etsy is staying true to it’s open source foundations, with all curriculum content and learnings from the pilot programs to be shared online with the world!

Hanako Kajiya is lucky

Hanako at work!

Hanako at work in her studio

In her own words, Hanako K puts her successes down to luck. But Hanako.K is more than just lucky. Because luck implies her successes are devoid of effort or responsibility. Hanako.K is a hard worker, a self-made (wo)man, who has an almost unbelievable string of work and life experiences have lead her current mix of occupations; founder of her own accessories label, shop girl extraordinaire, small business enthusiast, community radio stalwart and all-round style icon. And you know the best bit? In Hanako’s own words, ‘I sleep in most days’.

Small Talk & Co. sat down with Hanako recently to chat craft, community and what it means to be a ‘designer’. This post runs a little longer than Small Talk & Co.’s usual, but believe me it’s worth it!

 

Fast facts 

Business:  Hanako.K
| Location:  Etsy.com and Lady Petrova , Melbourne, Victoria

 

What do you do/how did you get there?

I started crafting when I was 14, really young – from memory my grandma’s were really crafty, so that influenced me and I started knitting, sewing and learning from them what was possible. I taught myself how to crochet in primary school, I think I was just bored!

I was born in Japan and came here to Melbourne when I was about nine, so language was an obvious barrier at first –  I didn’t get out too much, stayed home and kept myself busy with craft projects. That’s how I taught myself how to crochet, I started doing Nuigurumi, the Japanese soft toys, which was really good practice and actually ended up being my label’s first product.

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