Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi there......my name is Kylie & I am the designer & creator behind my business "Tiges and Weince". I live in Melbourne with my husband of 11yrs, my son Hudson 3yrs and daughter Charlotte 16mths.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? I love to draw on the computer, Adobe Illustrator to be precise. I have enjoyed it for as long as I can remember. Once I have an idea explosion, I am on a mission to get that idea drawn and coloured up using as many colours and patterns as possible. Without my drawings my business would not exist. Once that is completed I then translate the illustration in different products to make a child's bedroom as beautiful as possible. It all started with my cushions which are petite soft & perfectly personalised. The same design or a variation is then translated into doorstops, heat bags, prints, buntings & soft ornaments. It's all about creating a happy space.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? Inspiration comes from everywhere. It could be when I am reading the kids a book, a cartoon, a toy, art/illustration books, and of course home decorating magazines, blogs and whatever I can search and find for inspiration on Google. Generally I am captivated by bright colours, and I love mixing patterns together.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I haven't come from a super creative family at all, my mum can't sew on a button, my nanna knitted & taught me a bit of that, but that was it. My grandmother was a seamstress, but unfortunately I never got to know her long enough to be taught anything, however her old pattern books, sewing notes and machine kept me very inspired & interested in clothing. I let craft go when I did my VCE to get into uni with ambitions of a psychology career, but I never loved it. One day I decided to try & sew a skirt, (when I should have been in a tutorial), I bought a pattern & fabric & a zip & amazingly I did it without too many problems. It was then I quit uni, & decided to follow a career in fashion, so 3 years later after completing my degree I was working n the rag trade with aspirations of becoming a designer. I learnt to pattern make, sew, draw, & run production lines. It was an awesome career including buying trips to London, Paris, L.A & China. The skills I learnt on the job have basically allowed me to follow my dreams & create what I make today. My job is all about what I love.
How did you come up with your business name? A common question asked about my business. They are my nicknames my parents call me, yes I still get them today. Dad calls me Tiges, I don't know why & he can't remember either, he just does. Mum calls me Weince (pronounced Weence, I didn't like this spelling LOL!), as she thought I was so tiny weincy as a baby. That's it, I wish it was more exciting, but they are names that resonate well with me & have a special meaning to me.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
Most of my resources are tools I have learnt while working in the fashion industry like using sewing, patternmaking, Illustrator, & photoshop. However if I need to learn how to do anything crafty like learning to appliqué, or looking for a particular supply, blogs & free tutorials have been a great source. My biggest resources have also been the friends I have made from markets & on facebook as everyone is so approachable. If I can't do something all I have to do is ask & there is someone with the answer or a link to a site pointing me in the right directions. People power has been my biggest resource!
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Have a go. You never want to live with the "what if" syndrome, I know this sounds dramatic but living like that would kill me on the inside. Better to have had a go, & if you fail or hate it at least you'll never wonder. If you love it brilliant, that love is what you need to start your business, I believe in doing what you love as it makes everything so much easier.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
This is a hard one & not one that I believe I am qualified to advise in as I am still learning every day. The way I promote my business is very simple, get out there! No point sitting behind a computer & waiting for people to find you. Markets are wonderful for this, as it puts a face to your brand. It gives you opportunity to talk to your customers as well as potential ones. Smile and be friendly, trust me you will be remembered. Hand out your business cards to your madeit store and bring traffic to you. I was always taught YOU are the face of your brand & people will remember it by how your portray yourself. I also have a blog that I update as regularly as I can. A newsletter to advise customers of new products & promotions. I also have a face book page, to date I don't focus all of my sales to be made on face book, instead I use it as a tool to promote & direct traffic back to my madeit store.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? Yes be consistent it's so important. This is the hardest lesson I eventually taught myself, I now understand how consistency is the key. I used to work hard for a month but when I only got 1 or 2 orders I would be disheartened & back off from the pace for a few days until I was over it & then start again. Little did I realise I was starting all over again every time I did this. Consistent orders don't happen overnight, without constantly developing new ideas, consistently promoting your work on your blog or FB, keeping in touch with current & new customers, doing at least a market a month, & doing it everyday things won't change. One of the best books I have read that's taught me this is by the awesome Justin Herald, "Nothing changes, if nothing changes".
What do you like to do besides creating? I love to shop, go to cafes, travel (not so much now with the kids), spend time with my children, read, & I love the movies.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website?
MUSIC – Varies on my mood - I love Alicia Keys & Christina, then I love my high school music Garbage, The Cranberries, Guns n Roses.
TV – True Blood, Big bang Theory, Sex in the City, The Tudors, 2 half men
FILM – Annie, Amelie, The Note Book, Romeo & Juliet (Baz Lurman), The Italian Job
BOOK – True Blood series, Harry Potter, Twilight, Maeve Binchy, any craft books
WEBSITE – madeit, anthropologie, prinpattern, decor8
What would be your perfect day?
Sleeping in & waking when I want to, going out for a family day somewhere, coming home to have a cat nap myself, read a book or watch a movie, & have someone cook something yummy for me, followed by some chocolate that no one will ask for. When you are very busy & life is hectic I appreciate such simple pleasure more than I ever thought I would!
Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
That's not fair just one....I love so many but one that I have just discovered that my me squeal when I saw the clothing was Charlie Bird Clothing so sweet and functional.
I also LOVE Sweet William, the artwork is dreamy & original.