Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! My name is Nadine. I live in Point Cook in Melbourne's outer suburbs. I am married and we have 2 gorgeous girls. The oldest is five and is starting her second year of school this year, and our youngest is 6 months old. My husband works for a charity that helps disadvantaged children in fundraising and previously was a graphic designer. I'm a full time mum spending my days at home looking after our baby and creating while miss 5 is at school.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? We design and create jewellery and a range of accessories for men and women of all ages. Every product is made to order in our home studio. We use a variety of materials wood, silver, glass, resin, metal and paper.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? Inspiration comes from everywhere – the children, environment, and just day to day things that I see or hear. We also have many customer driven designs as I am often approached by people asking for certain things on pendants.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I've always been crafty. My Nanna was a seamstress when she was younger and I remember sitting on her floor when I was a little girl making barbie doll clothes out of her fabric scraps while she sewed. I started making Scrabble Pendants in 2008. We were catching up with some close friends who were selling amazing hand crafted jewellery online, and they introduced me to a whole new world of crafts. I was a stay at home mum at the time with a 2 year daughter and I was looking for something to do from home. We looked at different types of products and decided on scrabble tile game pendants as they were something my husband could help me with – his graphic design background came in very handy.
How did you come up with your business name? I wish we could share with you a really inspiring story about how the name iszle came about...not so! Our original business name 'The Pendant Factory' was limiting and we wanted a single word that was a brand rather than describing our current products. That way we could expand our range beyond pendants. From a marketing perspective we also wanted our business name to be available as a .com website address. So iszle was born thanks to my husband punching interesting words that he had dreamed up into a domain search website.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
Forums such as the Made It one are helpful, as is talking to other crafters, and using Facebook to talk to customers.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Be patient. Don't expect to be an instant overnight success and don't be discouraged if you don't get a sale straight away. It takes time. Ask friends and family for their input and advice.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Great photos and clear descriptions are a must for online selling, and Facebook can be useful tool to drive people to your site. Always send a business card/thank you card with every order that has your website clearly listed – I send a handwritten thank you on the back of a business card with every order. Give the best possible customer service you can – communicate with your buyers...this is one I have been working really hard on improving as it is so important!
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? Try not to follow the pack and trust your instincts.
What do you like to do besides creating? I would have to say spending time with family and friends. 2011 was our most successful year and spending time with friends proved difficult. When I wasn't sleeping or looking after the girls I was up late at night processing orders! I even convinced my mother in law to spend a few weeks with us in the lead up to Christmas to help with orders.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website Music – Nickelback, Katy Perry, The Pretty Reckless, Dead Letter Circus T.V. – I love trashy reality shows, True Blood, and Sons of Anarchy. Films – Faceoff, Twilight, The Beach, The Notebook Books – Don't really have a favourite...I enjoy reading true crime when I have the time. Website – My husband has decided to answer this one for me...facebook! I think I am a little addicted and I've just joined Pinterest which has some really amazing things to look at.
What would be your perfect day?
Sleeping in and waking on my time, breakfast in bed and spending the day on the beach with a good book.
Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words? Sharmeil – I have just discovered this page and she makes the most amazing baby shoes!