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Anna Marie

visit store madeit designer spotlight annamarie

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Anna (Anna Marie’ as my mother always insisted) I was born in the Barossa Valley of American parents. Life with my family has always been one ‘on the move’ - living in various places in SA, Qld, NSW, Vic and even the USA for a short time. Home for now is Adelaide SA.

I married young, and Avito is still the love of my life who gives me the encouragement and support to follow my passion. We have 3 incredible adult children. Work has been as varied as the moves - from receptionist in a publishing company to working in a School Art Department. Presently I have the joy of teaching sewing skills to new migrants.

Creating & making things has been the one constant for me amongst all the transition & moves. My greatest delight is making the ‘one off’ custom items. I enjoy the hunt for finding just the right fabric, and making it in just the right size for customers.

madeit designer spotlight annamarie

Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use?

Most of my items seem to have some kind of organisation in mind! Fabric Storage Baskets PVC Tote Bags,Tea Bag Wallets & Memo Boards for all those little notes & photos. Fabrics, threads & trims - particular ric rac - are my favourites.

Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process?

Many items have come from my own need to personalise my ‘new space or place of abode’, or I’ve wanted to make a gift for a friend. Customers spark off loads of inspiration with requests to adapt something I’ve made to their particular situation - maybe a different size, a different material. I have a large pile of ‘prototypes’ which are testimony to my experimenting, and many notebooks of scribbled drawings of ‘want to do’ ideas.

How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art?

It’s taken various forms over the years from Painting, Embroidery, Card & Jewellery making … and now to sewing. It really has been something that I’ve always enjoyed doing.

How did you come up with your business name?

After tossing up many ideas I decided to just keep it simple and use my name Anna Marie. What I create and the many ideas I have over the year means that my products are always changing and evolving. I wanted a name that people could identify with a range of different products.

What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?

I must admit that too many hours are spent browsing the internet. I love visiting art galleries and local markets, but I also spend a lot of time on pinterest and online craft stores that contain a plethora of ideas. I’m inspired by others creativity … not to copy … but to take a thread of an idea and make it into something of my own.

I’m not great at following a long list of written instructions. I’m a visual learner so YouTube has been a fantastic tool- whether it be ‘tips for putting in a zip’ or ‘learning to crochet’!

Magazines and online platforms are always a great inspiration, but nothing beats spending time in fabric stores where I can begin to visualise my ideas coming to life.e

What's your best advice for someone starting up?

Begin. Your first idea may not be your greatest, or necessarily end up being your niche but it starts the creative process and your ideas will evolve and develop in their own natural direction.

Go above and beyond for your customers. Buying handmade is about having something personal.

It is also important to have a variety of prices for your items, this way hopefully there will be something affordable for everyone!

Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?

The best advertisements are positive customer reviews and word of mouth. Happy customers are likely to recommend you to their friends and families and before you know it your business has grown 10 fold.

Social media - Facebook/Instagram - although I’m still learning how to use these to their greatest potential.

I think, if possible, it is also important to get your products to markets, community stores and boutiques where people have the opportunity to touch and feel. Take opportunities to hold stalls at local markets and stores that may be willing to stock your items - or sell on consignment.

Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to quality and design and so sometimes it takes me a long time to promote my new ideas and products because I want them to be perfect, so maybe a few lost opportunities.

What do you like to do besides creating?

I like to go on road trips with my husband and family - getting off the highways and driving the roads less traveled, taking opportunities to stop and walk the streets and really experience the places we visit. I’m always surprised by what Australia has to offer.

What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website, phone app?

TV - I’m a bit of a fan of renovating programs, ’Australian Story’ and the series “Love Child”
Music - Chris Isaak, Eva Cassidy, Eric Clapton, ABBA - now that reveals my age!
Movies: The Imitation Game, The Sapphires, A Beautiful Mind, Catch Me If You Can, The Intouchables
Books: More of a magazine browser than a book reader.

What would be your perfect day?

Having all the family home, enjoying a long lunch on the back verandah. It would also need to include cheesecake and good coffee.

Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?

Stalley - Understated handprinted Australian designs on natural fabrics - purses, tea towels & cards.

annamarie visit store

27 October 2015

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