Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, I’m Kelli. I live in Camden on the rural cusp of Sydney, with my husband Mark and three gorgeous and very fast growing boys, Sam (14), Jack (11) & Nicolas (8). We both grew up here and our families have long been connected to the area, it is nice to have a history with a place. We are a busy and active family, most days you will find us running back and forth to training, swimming, athletics or softball – so time management is a big deal for me.
My background is in Preschool teaching, but I have always dabbled in some type of craft and have spent the past few years at home being Mum and creating for Inndigogirl, with the occasional day relief teaching (just because I love it and miss it!). Many that know me think it is quite amusing that I sew pretty, girly things when I have a house full of boys – I’m sure I was meant to have a daughter!
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use?
I make clothing and accessories for little girls. My aim in designing my range is to be individual, and I try to put retro/inndigogirl flair into each piece I make. I have a love affair with 50’s glamour and simplicity and I hope that many of my designs reflect this. I love simple lines and you won’t find too many frills in my store. Sateen is my favourite fabric to work with; it feels lovely and wears well. Many of my recent pieces are embellished with pom poms, just because they are fun and whimsical and they remind me of things my Mum wore in her teens. Every piece I make is made with love and care; I really take pride in the quality finishes of each of my pieces. I do think that a brand evolves over time though and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for my designs.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process?
My Goddaughter Bella-Rose was my inspiration initially to venture into making the Inndigogirl range of clothing; I usually make her a pretty “birthday dress” each year as a gift which always receives many compliments. Inspiration usually comes to me at odd moments, like driving in the car. Once I have an idea I have to run with it – immediately! I’m very impatient. I have a fabric obsession and I am a very visual person, so sometimes I will buy a fabric first and it will inspire me to try something new. I spend way too much time on my iPad, cruising the web looking a fashion pages and trying to fit the ideas I find into my vision for Inndigogirl.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art?
I have been creating as long as I can remember. My Nanna was always knitting, sewing and crocheting and I think she taught us to crochet before we could read. My Mum was also a sewer and knitter and made many of our clothes and things around the house. She bought us an antique sewing machine when I was young and let us go to town on that machine; my favourite things to make at that stage were Barbie tube skirts from remnants of our clothes fabrics. Later, as a young teenager I began to make my own clothes, which in the 80’s consisted of bubble skirts, playsuits and even a fully boned strapless taffeta formal dress. I studied art and textiles at high school, but put that on the backburner when I went on to study teaching. In my early 20’s the impulse to create returned and I started a market business, making framed fabric appliques, following this I enjoyed photography and dabbled in mixed media. But alas I have returned to my first love ... textiles.
How did you come up with your business name?
The word Indigo was one that resonated with me after a spiritual journey that began with reading a book by Doreen Virtue “Indigo children”, I also love the colour so voila… Inndigogirl was born.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I can’t say that there is any specific place that I go to for help, although the lovely ladies at my local sewing store are always good for technical advice. Business advice usually comes from my eldest sister, who has been very successfully self-employed in the “craft industry” for the last 30 years. It was my sister that encouraged me to join her in my first foray into craft markets 20 years ago, well before the internet and online shopping had come into our homes. There are also some great blogs around to offer advice to online sellers, like “create and thrive”. And of course the other lovely sellers on Madeit are so helpful and generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Don’t expect to sell out the first week; it takes time and a lot of persistence to build a customer base. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen overnight, keep plugging away. Be prepared to find your place in the market and to create that place for yourself by being individual. Branding is important, across all platforms (Madeit, Facebook, Business cards and stationery, Advertising) it makes you instantly recognisable to your customers and presents a professional image. I strongly advise all new Madeit sellers to join the Facebook sellers group, you will learn a lot there. Network with other small businesses, they will be great supporters of you and you can help each other learn as you go.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Social Media is great for exposure, Facebook especially as it allows you to showcase your items and connect with customers. Online selling is mostly visual, customers can’t touch and feel the product so it is important to have beautiful pictures, which allow the customer to fully appreciate your product. Support other small businesses and they will support you.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way?
Learning is lifelong and therefore I am still learning as I go, but a lesson I learned early on is not to undersell yourself. Factor in all costs, including costs associated with selling (i.e. PayPal fees) when you calculate your prices. If you are seeing little reward for all of your hard work, it will be hard to stay motivated in the long term.
What do you like to do besides creating?
I love to spend time with my family, and like a lot of Mums with children - I spend a lot of time cheering from the sidelines of sport matches, the swimming pool and athletic meets. When I get a minute to myself I enjoy reading and squeezing in exercise, because it clears the cobwebs from your brain and gets the endorphins pumping. I love Photography, and will one day learn to use all of the manual settings on my Canon DSLR and head off into the sunset to take gorgeous architectural photos. I like crochet, and tend to pull that out when the weather cools down, nothing better than snuggling on the lounge in winter with a hot cuppa and a ball of wool!
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website?
Music- Depends on my mood, but I do love to belt out a bit of Pink, Nickelback or U2… and being a child of the 70’s I love a sing-a-long in the car to Stevie Nicks or Cold Chisel.
Books – I have embarked on ‘The Game of Thrones” series … it is a bit daunting and may take me the next decade to finish the series!
Film –Chick flicks and comedy/drama are a good escape, some faves: P.S I Love You, Sweet Home Alabama, Failure To Launch, 50 First Dates.
Tv - The only show that I ever make any effort to watch is offspring, TV isn’t high on my list of priorities really… I’d rather be sewing!
Website: Madeit of course! (Closely followed by Pinterest)
What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day would involve being outside in the sunshine, chilling out with my family. The beach, a picnic or a bbq in the backyard – I’m easily pleased. I love watching the kids enjoy a day at the beach, dragging them home with salt spray hair, sandy toes and sun kissed skin …bliss
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
The Silver Forge - Divine silver and gemstone jewellery. Unique and classic designs.
Inndigogirl visit store
2 December 2013