Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Michelle Vella I live in Sth Morang Victoria. My partners name is Bruno and we have 6 sons, Rhys 20, Leigh 18, Alex 15, Ben 14, Samuel, 11 and Max 10. I work at Spoltight Sth Morang, I managed the craft Department there for two years but stepped down as it was way to much for me (Hours) although I am a work freak. I now organise all events at Spolight including all craft workshops..I love it. I love to spend time with my family and I love to go for a swim and also enjoy walking.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use?
I make bags, wallets, pouches, iPhone covers and Laptop sleeves. I am working on introducing more products to my store. I love FABRICS!!!! Most of the fabrics I use I have sourced from Japan. I love to use alot of the Disney products. The fabric from Japan is also very good quality.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process?
Ohhh when I see beautiful fabrics it inspires me to make things . I also get alot of inspiration from magazines and fashion. I normally source my fabric first then work out what I will make out of it. I just wish I had alot more time. I have so many ideas and sketches of bags that I just cant wait to put together.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art?
I have always been heavily involved in Craft. Scrapbooking was my main hobby until my bag and purse making took over. I so loved scrapbooking and had alot of my work published in Scrapbooking Memories and Scrapbooking Creations. I have always had a passion for sewing but until 14 months ago had never really given it ago. I actually have taught myself how to sew with a little help from computer tutorials... Sewing is now my passion, I wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas, it's just crazy.
How did you come up with your business name?
My business name comes from the girls at work calling me Mish then one day one of the girls called me Mishmash and I thought ok that is a great name for my business.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
Places like madeit are great inspiration. There is so much to see on the internet. As I said earlier I work at Spotlight so I am surrounded by creativeness all day. I run alot of workshops at Spotlight in Knitting, Patchwork, Sewing etc, these workshops are great way to gain knowledge.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
My best adive to starting up would be to stay positive, things don't happen over night. Take your time in taking photos and listing your items. I am very focussed on customer support so always answer emails as soon as possible. List new items regulary.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Twitter is a great place to promote your items in your store - twitter.com/mishmashdesigns. Also having a blog is a great idea - mishmashdesigns.blogspot.com. Blogs are great for free giveaways. I think Business cards are great to have as well. Also remebering that family and friends are a great way to get you name out there.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way?
I can remember when I first started I put the incorrect email down as my paypal. I was so excited when I received my first sale that I didn't even notice that I hadn't been paid for days. So now I always make sure to take my time through listing and enter correct information. Also a good lesson is communication. If you are running late with an order it's always best to be honest and communicate with your customer. Normally people are very understanding but just like to know what is going on.
What do you like to do besides creating?
Look after my boys...cook clean you know all that boring stuff :)
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website?
I loved the Twilight Books and Movies. I have just recently put a TV in my studio, I am now enjoying Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. I Love the internet - madeit being one of my favorite websites. I love to search for Japanese Craft and also love reading blogs.
What would be your perfect day?
Perfect day would be to have a full day of creating without trying to juggle housework and cooking....mmmmm a maid would be great.
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
Oddsnblobs - love her work - love the fabrics that Jess chooses.
Mishmash Designs visit store
21 February 2010