Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi there! I'm Cass and I live in Adelaide with my husband and two gorgeous
sons. I began my working life as a registered nurse, but after the opportunity
to try my luck as a full time visual artist, I never looked back. Then came
the most important role of my life - motherhood. With a busy life as a stay
at home mum, I struggled to get back into my artwork, but still desperately
needing a creative outlet, I soon rediscovered my love of fabric and sewing.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? The craft is sewing - predominately wraparound skirts, but I also enjoy
creating ruffle skirts,shirts and dresses. I utilise any kind of fabric
I can get my hands on, whether it be new, old or recycled, and love experimenting with different colours and textures.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? I'm inspired by colours, people, music, art and the weather, rain or shine.
In other words, I get my inspiration from just about everything around me.
With my sewing, the creative process begins with the fabric itself. I am
inspired by the colours and patterns found on fabric, and really enjoy
searching through many different shops to discover unique pieces of old,
new and recycled fabric. I love recycling and get great satisfaction as I
put unwanted goods to good use.
Once I have a nice stack of inspirational fabric, I then move on to the process
of cutting, sorting, combining and finally stitching. I like to go with
the flow and never know the final colour combinations until I'm literally
sewing them together. The fabric is usually in very limited supply so each
piece is a one of a kind, which allows me to continue with new ideas.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I have been creating wrap skirts for a few years now, but first took to
sewing as a young girl. During some school holidays, I spent some time with
a talented seamstress Aunty who helped me make a 'ra ra skirt' - obviously
the 80's! She essentially taught me the basics of sewing which gave me the
confidence to experiment on my own. This led to many sewing disasters, but
with them came a few successful pieces which led to lessons learned.
I have always loved wrap skirts, but developed a passion for them during
and after my first pregnancy. As my body expanded and it felt as though I
had nothing to wear, I could always count on my wrap skirt to wrap around
my changing figure with comfort and style. Following childbirth I found
myself in a similar predicament - even though I felt 'normal' again, still
nothing fit quite right - except my wrap skirt which still wrapped perfectly
around my then shrinking waist! With that in mind I realised that a wrap
skirt could last a lifetime as a womans shape may or may not change over
the years. This inspired me to take the wrap to the masses and try my luck
with online selling.
How did you come up with your business name? I am not as creative with words, so my wordsmith husband came up with it
for me. There were no other names in contention, it just worked....I don't
know how he does it!!
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
Well I consider myself very lucky. I enjoy what I do so much that I need
very little help to keep me inspired and creating. I do like to stay in
touch and look on websites like madeit - it's inspiring to see how many creative
people are out there, and just what they're creating. I also enjoy looking
in any kind of magazine - an abundance of colours and ideas awaiting!!
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Firstly I'd suggest not to rush it - take your time to make a quality product
you are proud of. When you are satisfied with the product, then take the
time to present it well with nice pictures and a detailed description. People
generally want to know more, not less!! It's also a good idea to do your
research to see what similar items are selling for, that way you won't price
yourself out of the market.
Be patient - it may take some time for your first sale so hang in there!
I would also suggest posting new items regularly to keep it fresh for the
buyers, and for yourself!
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
I'm not sure if anything can beat a satisfied customer who raves over your
wonderful product!!! With happy buyers, the word will spread and your business will build in time, however there are other ways of getting your name out there. I have a facebook page that is currently in the very early stages,
and I must admit I don't spend too much time on it, but it keeps fans informed
of what you're creating. Other people thrive amongst the blogging and twittering
world, I'm not quite there yet....
Business cards are a must - have some on you at all times as there will always
be people who are wondering what it is you do, or 'what's your shop called
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? When I was first sewing, I rarely (if ever) used a pattern, and rushed into
sewing ideas with little thought - 'bull in a china shop' I think the saying
goes. I just knew what I wanted to do, but simply could not get it finished
fast enough. Well as you can imagine, mistakes were inevitable, as was the
unpicking....not one of my favourite pastimes. I think it took me quite
a while to learn, but eventually I slowed down and took my time to do things
right... I'll leave it with you my fellow 'bulls'.
What do you like to do besides creating? I have two very energetic boys, so I love spending time with them, which
usually involves some kind of physical activity. We enjoy family bike rides
along the river track, tennis, backyard cricket, going to the beach, camping,
and soccer. I love to socialise with family and friends, and when I get
the chance, I enjoy going out see see a live band.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website Music - I love music - any kind - it's soothing to the soul. Rock'n'roll, reggae,
old ska, world, jazz, as long as it's good! TV - I don't think there's much worth watching on television... however I still
seem to find myself zoning out to it now and then. I'm a bit of a flickerer...
constantly changing channels in search of something enlightening... if there's
a movie on I'll give it a go! Movies - I love films - anything from 'Pulp Fiction' to 'Flashdance' Books - I don't read a lot, but at the moment I'm reading a great book of short stories called 'Delicate Edible Birds" by Lauren Groff. Websites - I love websites like madeit.com.au and the endless search for handmade goodies, youtube.com in search for new music, and ultimate-guitar.com for finding a fewguitar chords to strum.
What would be your perfect day?
I don't believe in perfection... but to be surrounded by family and friends,
with the smell of the barby cooking, the sound of childrens laughter over
the groovy tunes playing on the stereo, as I enjoy the taste of delicious
Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words? Spoon Savvy – simply unique and stunning.