Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Interview - Miss Genki

Interview with the lovely Tanaz of Miss Genki!

Q. Please tell us a little about your self and Miss Genki:/Q. What made you start making jewellery?

My name is Tanaz and my life has always lacked creative energy. I have been learning jewellery making and always know trends. I just Love it. It just never occurred to me to actually start my own Jewellery so I did. I just think you should follow your heart and just do what makes you happy. OK here is a little more about me: I lived half my life in Iran, the other half in Cardiff Wales. Then one day I realised how I needed more and I should experience one other culture. I have always had a love for Japan. But I was too scared to go alone, in the end I believe Japan chose me as the job as an English teacher came my way and before I knew it I was in training and getting ready. The second I got on the plane it hit me I was going to Japan and it was scary, but mostly exciting. It was the best think i ever did. Took the chance to the pursuit of happiness and I know myself much more because of it. It was there that I discovered my love for Japanese fashion and there the seed of the idea for Miss Genki was planted.

Miss Genki is based on the wacky, fun, cute and uniqueness of Japanese fashion. It was so inspiring to see people dress in what made them happy and it was all so much fun. I felt free. So I wanted to share that with others. As well as wanting my ideas and my creativity to be seen. For the first time in my life I was doing things based on what made ME happy and not all the things I was always meant to be. I feel free and happy when I am buying new items looking for new idea and just everything to do with Miss Genki. This is why I named it Miss Genki, which reflects all this. Genki means happy, joyful, being OK and the word Genki itself is the exact way I felt. I truly know what Genki means now and before Japan I was never truly happy. So you could say I have finally found myself and let myself feel the good things in life. Life is too short and what counts is how happy you are and seeing all the good you are blessed with not concentrating on the bad or things you are not give.

Q. Where in the world are you based?
I live in Cardiff, Wales.

Q. What are your favourite pieces to make?
My favourite pieces at the moment are Owls and recently have elephant necklaces too. I don't know why but absolutely love Owls, they are just so pretty. I also love "Love" necklaces and earrings. Anything that's romantic based, even red lips (which I have recently got). Oh the romantic stuff does not at all reflect my own life. I just think Loving yourself first before anyone else is most important. There are a lot I don't like about myself, but think as women we are too quick to judge ourselves. I do it all the time myself mainly how i have gained weight or how i want to be back to my smaller size. I just like to have something that reminds me of who I am and that I like myself regardless of all the other things I think I should be. Its a nice feeling.

Q. What are your best sellers?
I think the owl necklaces have been most popular and the camera. I guess because they are different and they are things you can't find most places. Most of my items are quite popular as they are all quite unique.

Q. Do you wear your jewellery yourself?
Yes. I buy what I like. My favourite pieces at the moment are Owl and elephants. I absolutely love owls not sure why as they do seem creepy, but in jewellery I like their roundness and big eyes.
I have this one owl that I adore and don't wanna part with it. I know the whole idea is to sell it but I just love most things so always have an extra for myself because once I don't I remember how pretty it was and wish I had one for me, lol.

Q. Who or what is your inspiration?
My main inspiration is Tokyo's fashion scene. I just notice everyday things and as I buy from all kinds of places, I just go through pictures and buy what I like. I just think what would I like to wear to make me happy or put a smile on my face. I love pearls, but also like anything funky and fun. I just think fashion should be fun. As we grow up we just seem to forget how to have fun, so we have to do so in most things we do. In what we wear (I don't mean looking silly, just to dress for ourselves), what we do and surround ourselves with good vibes.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?
This is more of of a fantasy, but my big dream would be for Miss Genki to be a brand and to sell in big shops under my own name. Then as my biggest inspiration has been Tokyo would like to have a little boutique either in Harajuku (which has the funkiest boutiques) or in the most famous department store in Shibuya called 109. These were places I would shop at and I think if I ever make it that far, I know I have done something very right. As for me I see myself in 5years making/selling jewellery as a full-time career and being more creative with my life. Hopefully also have time to take breaks and not be how I am now which is work full time and Miss Genki in all the free time I get.

You can find Miss. Genki on Facebook
And http://www.missgenki.com/ will be coming soon!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Interview - Kokokelli

Dotted with hearts interview Kelly of Kokokelli :-)

Q. Please tell us a little about yourself and Kokokelli

My name is Kelly 'Womble' Johnson and I'm 29 years old. Kokokelli is my crafting name and I started making handmade jewellery & greeting cards in January 2010.

Q. Where in the world are you based?

I'm from Oldbury in the West Midlands (not far from Birmingham/Dudley/West Bromwich/Smethwick)

Q. What made you get into jewellery and card making?

I've always been very arty farty and praised highly for my creative talents. I saw some jewellery that a friend had made at a jewellery workshop run at the Birmingham Bead Shop (http://www.thebirminghambeadshop.co.uk/) and just thought to myself "yeah I could do that!" so I bought a small starter kit with the tools and findings off eBay and it went from there really. I used my best friend as a kind of guinea pig as it was her birthday the end of January lol so I made her a handmade birthday card and made her a necklace, bracelet & earring set which she absolutely loved!!

Q. What are your most popular items?

I don't really have any 'best sellers' so to speak but I seem to sell more bracelets more than anything at the moment as they are reasonably priced and different from those you see in the shops (as is everything else I make)

Q.What do you enjoy making the most?

I absolutely love making custom orders for people as each one is unique and one of a kind! It's also a challenge and I love a good challenge! Especially when there's certain things you need to find for a certain piece. I've done some lovely jewellery sets, badge bracelets and a beautiful wedding card which was just a masterpiece in my eyes! lol

Q. Who or what is your inspiration?

I get asked this question quite a bit lol I get my inspiration from many things I guess, stuff I like, stuff I've grown up with, people I've known, I even run ideas past my mom sometimes lol. They'll be days when something will just pop in my head or I'll be out and about and I'll see something and it'll just trigger off a huge light bulb in my head lol.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?

I would love nothing more than to have my own proper business from home doing what I do best and making lots of money from it lol (who wouldn't) plus that way I'd be able to start the family I've always wanted and still work at the same time.

Q. What are you doing for Halloween?

To be honest I don't really do the whole Halloween thing anymore. We went trick or treating a couple of times as kids but that's about it. It's not really the same as it used to be now especially round here, sometimes you're scared to answer the door when you've got masked hoodies banging who are only after your money anyway! It may change when I have kids and it would be nice to take them trick or treating while they're young so they can have some fun, we'll just have to wait and see lol.

Kokokelli Shop - http://www.folksy.com/shops/Kokokelli

Friday, 24 September 2010

Sutton Vintage Fair

Sutton Vintage fair will be held on Sunday the 17th of October at Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.
This fair is aiming to offer a great mix of Vintage, reworked homewares whilst highlighting local Brummy based Crafters & Artists.

For more info on what you will find there you can visit the Sutton Vintage Fair page on Facebook, just click HERE.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Interview - Funki Munki Badges

Dotted With Hearts interviewed Leah
of Funki Muki Badges

Q. Please tell us a little about your self and Funki Munki Badges

Hi, I'm Leah, I'm 36 and I created Funki Munki badges in 2008 along with my fella James. It came about because I needed a creative outlet after having to give up work in early 2008 due to an as-yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease.

Q. Where in the world are you based?

Hastings in East Sussex. I love living here. There's a vibrant alternative scene and I love living by the sea.

Q. What made you start making your own badges?
I've always loved dinky badges and I always had slogan or picture badges on various different bags, and being a typical woman, I have a lot of bags! After I became ill I had the idea of buying ready-made badges in bulk to sell on eBay, but I soon had customers asking me for custom badges. After a quick discussion between ourselves, we decided to start up making our own. It's been a real progression of trial and error, various different printers and a constantly evolving overall standard, so all in all we're very excited about the future.

Q. How do you come up with ideas for your slogans and images?
Everything in life inspires me. It might be a colour I see, a shape, or something a friend says that makes my mind ping off on a tangent. It's like word association, or a never-ending brain-storming session. I have little writing pads everywhere as I never know when an idea will strike. A lot of times I'm in bed and my brain will spew out a few ideas, so I jot them down in my phone so I don't wake James up with my restless tossing and turning. I've always been an 'ideas person' and I'm really glad I found an outlet or else I think I'd go barmy.

Q. What are your most popular designs?
Our Pac Man and Ghost badges sell like hotcakes, as do a lot of the ruder or cheekier slogan badges. My favourite time of the year by far is Halloween, and we sell a lot more badges in this quarter of the year because of Halloween and Christmas. I'm a big kid over Halloween and Christmas so I absolutely LOVE making these badges even more than usual. It's genuinely a labour of love for me, and I credit my sanity to it.

Q. Who or what is your inspiration?
In life I'm inspired by strong women. I come from a family of women who are as tough as old boots because they've had to be yet manage to still have a kind word for everyone and a twinkle in their eye. Maya Angelou and Tairrie B from My Ruin are a couple of my sheroes... and there we go, I think I've just unintentionally come up with another slogan! (You're my shero!) I have such a love for strong women that I have a couple of large tattoos of women - a half-sleeve, bio-mechanical Giger-esque woman on my left arm, and a manga style Lady Luck on my back.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I'd like to see us expand to making all sizes of badges, as well as mouse mats, mugs, key rings, magnets, bottle openers, you name it! I also want to get together with other local craftsters to perhaps share a small local space, and support the hand made industry as a whole, by buying handmade as much as possible myself, and publicising the crafts of others. On a personal level I hope to beat this illness, or at least manage it enough for me to become a mum.

Twitter is @funkimunkibadge

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Interview - Crafty Chics

Dotted with Hearts got to interview the lovely Charlie of Crafty Chics.

Q. Please tell us a little about yourself and Crafty Chics

My name is Charlie I’m married to Mr Smith and have 3 quite fabulous kids, Tyler, Macy Mai, and our latest Big Ron … Pre children I studied fashion promotion and graphic design and have always had a passion for fashion and accessories. Being a Mummy meant I could give up full time work and concentrate on making a lovely home and lovely things. My most favoured treasures in the world are my family and friends, and my LV bag. I love vintage lace and Sunday morning car booting followed by lunch at Nana's.

Crafty Chics was created out of the love of all things vintage, I hope you will find a unique selection of accessories made from some gorgeous new materials as well as some very unique vintage pieces. Some beautiful flowery Headbands, Tiaras, Hair Combs and Bobby Pins perfect for any occasion, from everyday wear through to Mother of the bride.
Plus some beautifully handmade Shoulder Pads, perfect to dress up any outfit, some fantastic shoe clips to vamp up a pair of shoes or flip flops, and some very individual rings and brooches. I work alot on individual customers requirements.

Q. Where in the world are you based?

I am based in Leigh On Sea in Essex, it is a beautiful area of the world to live.

Q. What made you get into crafting?

In my teens I started making jewellery for myself and friends, mainly through the desire to have items that were individual. Probably like many other crafters and designers I have dabbled in lots of crafts including card making and home wares over the years. But my heart has always been in accessories.

Q. What your most favourite things to make?

That's a hard one I love making the shoulder accessories, I love the time I spend making them and that each one is unique in its own way. But give me a piece of lace and some ribbon and I'll happily make anything.

Q. What are your most popular items?

I would say the elasticated headbands are very popular, whether it be with a single ribbon flower or a headband with a cluster of lace flowers. They are so versatile and different flowers and colouring can change them from something to throw on with jeans and a shirt to something to wear for a night out.

Q. Who or what is your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from all manor of places. I love looking out for new trends from the catwalk, but I also take inspiration from my surroundings and nature. Sometimes just looking at a pile of ribbon and lace together on my table can be enough to come up with a new design.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?

Crafty Chics is still very new and I am keen to let it grow naturally, and have fun along the way. I have recently started selling through boutiques locally here in Leigh On Sea, so I am keen to expand on that. Probably every designers dream is to own their own boutique which I would obviously love. I would say though in five years times I would just like to see myself happily creating accessories with happy customer x
You can find Crafty Chicks on Facebook www.facebook.com/craftychics or you can visit the website at http://www.craftychics.weebly.com/

Photos by Bump Baby and Beyond Photgraphy http://www.facebook.com/bumpbabybeyondphotography

Monday, 20 September 2010

Dotted With Hearts Website

Dotted With Hearts now has a website
Please leave a comment on our main page telling us what you think of our blog :)
Plus if you have been featured already please e-mail me your website/store banners and I will add them to the links page :-)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Interview - CandyDoll Couture

Dotted with Hearts got to interview the very talented Emma of
Candy Doll Couture!

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and CandyDoll Couture

Hi! I'm Emma, owner of CandyDoll Couture. I am 23 years old and love anything Kawaii! I have always had an interest in arts and crafts ever since I was a little girl and decided to study Art and Design at college. I then went onto studying Textiles which is where I found my love for sewing and print! When I was 17 I started buying in band t-shirts and reconstructing them into cute dresses and tops with contrasting fabrics. I then moved onto Jewellery making. I found out about Fimo (Polymer clay) and discovered all the amazing things you could do with it which is where I began to come up with quirky, colourful charms and pendants.
I started CandyDoll Couture officially in 2008 on Etsy.com. I felt there was a gap in the market in the UK for Kawaii and Lolita jewellery and decided to come up with pieces that were inspired from childhood characters such as Hello Kitty and Barbie. I then started sourcing charms from Japan and China, mixing these with kitsch and handmade charms made by me. In 2009 I decided to leave Etsy and set up my dot com. Etsy is a great place to showcase your creations and find unique items but I felt that I wanted to take my business further and be in complete control of my website.

Q. Where in the world are you based?

I live in the North East of England, dreaming of one day moving to New York!

Q. What made you get into crafting?

My grandmother is a knitter and seamstress so I was brought up with the crafts. I used to sit with her and make plush toys and miniature clothes for my Barbies. I also loved drawing and would constantly make cards for my family members! Then, when I was at college I had the best Art tutor. She always encouraged me to push the boundaries and try new things. She really helped me to discover what it was I really wanted to do.

Q. What are your favourite items to make? Do you make custom pieces?

My favourite items to make are the fimo food such as the Marshmallow charm bracelet and glittery Cupcake bracelets. I also love making little purses, which I have recently started adding to the site! I plan to make some make-up bags and Ipod cases also.

Q. What are your most popular items?

The rainbow and clouds kawaii felt brooch is very popular, along with the dead bunny phone charm. My cute greetings cards are also popular at craft fairs!

Q. Do you wear your pieces yourself?

I do. I tend to make things and then decide I must keep this one, and that one, as I love them so much! I normally wear my hair clips and bracelets.

Q. Who or what is your inspiration?

Japanese street fashion is my main inspiration. I love all the different styles such as Decora, Lolita, Visual Kei etc. I love the FRUiTS books by Shoichi Aoki and also the Gothic and Lolita Bibles. My favourite designers are Betsey Johnson and Tarina Tarantino. I also love Doe Deere (aka LimeCrime) and Shrinkle too!

Q. Do you have any advice or tips for anyone else thinking about selling there own crafts?

All I would say is just to follow your heart and do what you love. The best thing to do as well if you are selling your crafts online is to build up a network and promote, promote, promote your wares! Carry your business cards with you everywhere, you never know who you might meet!

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?

I would love to eventually sell my screen printed fabric and t-shirts, stock my items in various boutiques and open my own bricks and mortar shop!

You can find Candy Doll Couture on the following sites...