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

Celebrating 10 Interviews!

Best of ST&Co.

It’s Friday!

Click though to find the best bits of the week;

BUY: ByCharlie - stunning laser cut homewares and jewelery made in Melbourne

BUY: ByCharlie – stunning laser cut homewares and jewelery made in Melbourne

When I Grow Up I Want To Be... via Talina Edwards Architecture

READ | When I Grow Up I Want To Be… via Talina Edwards Architecture

How to Make Hard Choices : Ruth Chang  via TED.com

WATCH | How to Make Hard Choices : Ruth Chang via TED.com (video)

MAKE: DIY Ladder Wardrobe - by A Pair and A Spare  (aka major blog crush)

MAKE: DIY Ladder Wardrobe – by A Pair and A Spare DIY
(aka major blog crush)

And just in case you missed last week’s interview, catch up below ~

DEVOUR: Zoe Lea is a sock designer

 

Thanks to all my new followers and likers, Looking forward to bringing you an exciting interview next week!

 

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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Katie Boyle is a florist

Katie surrounded by her creations

 

Katie Boyle is the award winning owner/operator of Pollen and Patina Florist in Sale, Victoria. Katie describes the store as like no other florist in Gippsland, boasting Sale’s largest selection of fresh blooms, from classic roses and lillies to more unusual tropical’s and seasonal selections. Pollen and Patina has gained a reputation for beautiful styling and decor, with an old-meets-new twist. Katie’s fresh take on floristry is inspired by her journey across Europe, working with some of the world’s best designers and has taken Gippsland by storm. Small Talk & Co. was recently honored to learn from the very energetic Katie what makes her business tick.

 

Fast facts

Business:  Pollen and Patina, Florist  

Owner: Katie Boyle

Location: Sale, Victoria

 

What you do?

I’m a florist, with further studies in Visual Arts. I worked my butt off as an apprentice and managed to win seven awards and a $10000 international study tour in floristry through Box Hill Institute. Being a super independent gal, I found myself setting up Pollen and Patina to offer Gippslander’s a new way of thinking about floristry, educating them about my trade and skill and keeping myself sane after returning from three months overseas studying floristry.

The shop combines my two loves, flowers (pollen) and old vintage furniture (Patina) – look that word up in the dictionary, most people think my name is Patina! I’ve recently won more national awards and look forward to achieving new and greater things soon both within my personal career and growing Pollen and Patina as a business.

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Barbara Chung is a designer

Barbara in action

 

NannaB.x Concept Store is the creation of graduate architect and maker of things, Barbara Chung. A self confessed paradoxical ‘sleepy insomniac’, Barbara’s day job is at small architecture firm allows her to spend late nights working with polymer clay, timber and leather to create eye catching jewelery pieces. The NannaB.x concept store is evolving from its genesis in polymer clay necklaces to provide an outlet for various ‘handmade experiments’, testing and refining material possibilities.

 

Fast facts
Business:  NannaB.x
| Location:  Online – Melbourne, Victoria

 

What is NannaB.x to you?

NannaB.x began as a hobby, a way of testing creative ideas. I started with fashion accessories because they are of a small scale that tests very easily.

At the moment it is evolving as a platform, because I really enjoy making things, creating and sharing ideas beyond polymer clay. I love having the freedom of just doing whatever you want creatively, the flexibility of testing and rejecting or refining new ideas.

I started NannaB.x working in with my personality, I’m a bit of a homebody, I have a large amount of small creative ideas, and I created NannaB.x as an outlet for all those random ideas that keep me up at night!

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Jenni & Caitlyn Murphy are retailers

Mumma Goose’s front window, great VM!

Mumma Goose is a small retail store in Stratford, Victoria, run by mother and daughter duo Jenni and Caitlyn Murphy. Mumma Goose stocks a unique selection of giftware, homewares and art pieces, proudly supporting a range of local and interstate artisans and makers.

Both lovely ladies took the time to chat to Small Talk and Co. recently and impressed with their enthusiasm and wise words on business and following your gut!

 

Fast facts |  Business:  Mumma Goose, Retail Store    Location: Stratford, Victoria

Target Market: Anyone with a love of art and design looking for a unique pressie or some affordable artwork for their walls!

 

What lead you to create Mumma Goose ? What did you study, what other experiences lead to what you do today?

C: Mumma Goose had been in the pipeline for a couple of years (although we didn’t have a name worked out.) We finally got serious in the middle of last year and started looking at different premises. Mum’s always had a bit of a flair for retail and we were constantly talking about different ideas and imagining what it would be like to own and run our own store. We love Australian design and were getting sick of having to travel long distances to buy work from our favourite brands and artists. We felt like we were missing out. So we wanted to expose our own country town to the beautifully crafted products we often find at Craft Fairs and markets, as not everyone can afford to travel down to Melbourne all the time to experience it for themselves.

In the initial stages of Mumma Goose we did have trouble pinpointing a direction. We jumped from shoes to clothes to a possible café. But we finally decided on a giftware store that covered all bases, that way I could also sell some of my artwork. It was perfect timing really. I had just finished my Fine Arts degree and was unsure of where to go next and mum was looking for an exciting new challenge. So we jumped in and here we are!

J: Caity’s only ever worked in retail and I’ve held some different positions but found that I’m happiest when working in retail. I really enjoyed playing with fashion everyday and dealing with the public. I’m a big people person. So we both have the relevant job experience. Caity’s study also comes into play with her paintings and her creative window displays.

One of the reasons we opened the shop in the first place was that we felt Stratford was a little lacking when it came to great sources of art, design and inspiration in products that were unique, fresh and high quality. Of course they also had to be affordable. So we tried to bring a little bit of Melbourne to our Stratford store and hopefully we’ve succeeded.

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Launching soon…

 

Small Talk & Co. is

a collection of conversations

a snapshot of entrepreneurial minds

an innovative new platform supporting passionate small businesses

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Small Talk  &  Co. profiles those individuals whose ambition goes beyond <blank> titles. In the era of the slashie, what does it take to be an entrepreneur?

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A big hearted, small business blog. I am not a journalist. I do not have an MBA.I am a graduate, inspired to promote and share the thoughts of innovative small business operators.

Conversations are interviews conducted by me, about your business passions and shared here at SmallTalk&Co.

Each conversation profile includes: Name, Business, Location, Contact details; 5 short insightful questions about your business, some snazzy images and a pop quiz! Dont worry, nothing like school quizzes

Contact me if you are a passionate small business owner or entrepreneur who would like to be profiled as part of the launch.

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