Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Sophie Hill and I’m in my 24th year of sharing oxygen with you all. I live in the beautiful state of Tasmania; my home is in Launceston which I share with my parents and younger sister. Our backyard is buzzing with native Australian flora and fauna – the inspiration behind That Vintage.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? My pieces spawn from drawings and illustrations from my obsession with feathery friends and other sweet creatures. I think simplicity, shape and line are important aspects of That Vintage – something striking is obviously, more memorable. My wood of choice is the warmly coloured Tasmanian Myrtle; rather fitting, coming from Tasmania and all.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? The land behind our house is a bit of inner-city bush and my mother continued this through out our garden – kangaroo paw, bottle brush and other native plants – the type that draw in all those sweet tweetin’ little feathery friends. The view from my window, is a garden bed with a mix of the aforementioned plants, this is where I first saw the Common Sparrow flitting around with a little Blue Wren friend.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I remember when I was little, pinching rose petals off bushes and cinnamon sticks from the spice cupboard – placing them together in an old jar and trying to sell it off as pot puri – so in a sense, I have been creating since I was a child. I have never been a maths or science buff; hanging up the calculator as soon as possible, and choosing a paintbrush or freshly sharpened drawing pencil to help map out my future. I dabbled in many aspects of art through school, ending my final year of schooling on a rather grunge/stencil type of art – I guess it all evolves into something bigger and better, because a lot of the techniques I was using back then to achieve the grunge/stencil look, are similar to what I’m using now with my designs. I’m truly comfortable with the evolution of my art, and incredibly excited to see what happens next!
How did you come up with your business name? I attempted to brain storm names – I only came up with one. I slept on it, woke up and it was the first thing I thought of… I’d like to think that That Vintage will one day be of that vintage from this time, in a sense – I would like people to still have a piece of my jewellery for when it can be slotted into the category of “Vintage” era.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I have dabbled in a bit of post Grade 12 education in the line of Art, but did not feel that I was getting what I wanted from the classes – so I decided to keep working in retail and play with it all on the side… I have found that the internet can be your archnemis at times – oh so inspiring, yet an incredibly distracting tool! I have a few favourite blogs that I love to read; fashion blogs featuring trends, photography blogs get me excited because photography is something that I am not strong at… and I owe a lot of inspiration to the amazing artists who I have met and become friends with over the time – art is such a buzz. Words can not begin to describe how much in love I am with art!
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Three P’s – patience, persistence and pride. Patience: it takes a long time to get your talent recognised by people – sticking it out, researching trends and challenging yourself all the time, will help you to stay fresh, new and infront! Persistence: stick to your guns and believe in what you create. Pride: once you believe in what you create, take pride in it and never talk yourself down in order to attain attention.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Make the most of social networking, after all it is free… but becareful not to be too over the top with your postings; there is nothing worse than someone flooding a website like Facebook with 2 minute updates on what you have for sale!
Research your desired name for your label – this will save you heartache in the end; you don’t want your label to be confused with someone else’s, right?
Celebrate your label’s milestones every now and then by having “Free Postage” for a month or giving away a freebie with a purchase over a certain dollar value – change it up a bit, stagnant stores will remain… stagnant!
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? Do not undersell your product. Do some serious research into the type of products that you are creating, take into account the time in which you take to create each item and be realistic. If you under price yourself, not only is there the possibility that you may turn away customers (with the thoughts of “wow that is cheap, must be something wrong or dodgy about it”) but stockists whom you may stock to, will more than likely be offended or potential stockists may be confused by your pricing, in relation to your wholesale prices.
What do you like to do besides creating? I like to drink a lot of tea – brew of choice, Monk Pear by T2… although Madagascan Vanilla is creeping up the rankings! I love cooking and being creative in the kitchen – musical discovery is also another favourite of mine; finding music artists who are new and amazing and inspiring really gets the creative juices flowing! And of course, traveling – whether it be a few hours in a bus to a different city, or overseas – I love packing my bag and escaping!
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website? Music (in no particular order) – Bat For Lashes, Lykke Li, Paramore, Santogold, Florence & The Machine – but of course, it changes all the time! TV – I really don’t have a favourite… but recently fell in love with The Gourmet Farmer. Film – I could watch “Amelie” over and over and over… Book – currently reading “The Mastery Of Love” – I’m going to master love, apparently! Website – I am addicted to Bleubird Vintage
What would be your perfect day?
Three pots of Monk Pear tea, rain and wind, slightly cool but not freezing, my cat purring on my bed, Florence & The Machine playing on iTunes, pistachios being consumed and staying cosy – definitely a homebody!
Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words? Under The Shade Of A Bonsai Tree – a fellow Tasmanian, lovely lady and gorgeous Lucite jewellery!