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 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...

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