Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Gillian Hamilton, I live in Port Macquarie NSW with my Husband and 3 children. I have always had a passion for creating and am blessed to be able to create when the mood strikes me which is almost every day
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? I am a mixed media artist, as I not only make jewellery but also a variety of mixed media pieces. I have been published in many paper craft magazines here in Australia and Overseas. My Madeit shop, is where I share my jewellery creations and my paper art is shared on my Blog www.gillianhamilton.blogspot.com. I am planning on including some of my paper art in my Madeit shop very soon.
My jewellery is for those who have a love of Nostalgic Whimsy. The materials I generally use are solid brass sometimes sterling silver embellished with vintage crystals, Czech Glass Beads & Rhinestones. I love to combine many elements which add to the eclectic look of my pieces.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? My designs are rarely planned, I take inspiration from the colours and textures of the pieces I have gathered. I usually start with a focal piece and play with all of the other supplies I have gathered, layering, stacking, threading and sometimes pulling apart and starting over…this is all part of my creative process. Sometimes I wish I was the type who sketched their designs first, but alas that’s not for me.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? Like most craftspeople, I started as a child. I was so blessed to be surrounded by many talented women in my family who took the time to sit beside me and share their skills, and they taught me so much. One of my happiest memories is of my Nan teaching me to sew on her old treadle sewing machine. It gave me such a sense of achievement and pride.
In my early twenties I managed an Art & Craft Shop in my home town of Inverell NSW, where I taught classes, dabbled freely with many different arts & crafts and learnt much of my retail knowledge. After my eldest son was born, I carried on creating from home and selling my handmade craft items to shops on consignment and selling at markets, along with making personal items for my family and friends.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making or creating something, and I have tried most crafts over the years, settling finally (for now anyway) with my love for Paper Art & Jewellery Making.
How did you come up with your business name? My creating style is very Eclectic and I wanted my name to sound romantic and nostalgic…. I came up with Eclectic Moi as my blog was already named Eclectic Me. I thought they worked perfectly together.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
When I can I follow some wonderful blogs, they inspire me so much.
I’m not so good in the class room environment. Too much time spent teaching craft to be a student I think! And I don’t really work well with a lot of noise around me; most of my creating is done in silence. But I do love to sit with my daughter who is 8 and creating with her inspires me tremendously; we often sit side by side creating together.
What's your best advice for someone starting up? Be unique while still keeping an eye on trends
Take time to enjoy what you do, have some times when you create just for the sake of creating so your art stays fresh and unique.
Be organised. This has been key in helping my business run smoothly – Organise everything, your supplies, your photo’s, your accounts, your inventory, your packaging – everything!
Have a system worked out for when you receive your orders, because some days you may receive only one order but there will be days when you receive multiple orders and some may require customisation. I personally work with little plastic baskets. Each order is given a basket and I print all of my paperwork out and put in the basket along with the items ordered, notes about customisations, business card, post pack, packaging etc… ready for daily packing and posting.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful? I am quite passive really when it comes to promotion. I find it ‘off putting’ to have people constantly promoting their shops to me. I don’t want to ruin the lovely feel of my blog or my shop by constantly promoting, so I take the gentle approach and it seems to work for me. I have links on my blog for my shop, I use twitter when I list new items, and I also visit & chat in the Madeit Forum.
Most importantly - My customers are truly my best advertisement; if you treat your customers how you would like to be treated they will eagerly return and recommend you.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? Make yourself a business plan. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate one, just outline the goals you want to achieve and write down the direction you’d like your business to take. Without any plan your business will just wander aimlessly. Oh you may sell a lot of things, but you won’t achieve all you hope too.
What do you like to do besides creating? Family Picnics ~ I love to pack a picnic, hop in the car with my family and drive till we find somewhere gorgeous. Everyone hops out of the car, we eat, we laugh and we love being with each other. What could be more perfect.
Going to Church ~ We have a wonderful church family, who we love to catch up with weekly, & the kids love Sunday School and Youth group.
I love vintage and antique shops, and popping into the odd charity shop for a lookie also. I’m an avid collector of vintage things and love hunting for the perfect piece.
What would be your perfect day?
Taking that Family picnic I mentioned above, Achieving something on my ‘todo’ list, Going for a walk with my family along the beach, ending the day with an easy meal and watching a movie together.
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words? MulberryMuse – Completely original and delightful creations