Some times you accidentally stumble across your passion, well that’s how the incredible journey of Burn Baby Burn Candle Co began.
Two years ago, with new baby boy in tow, Ashleigh Cooper needed a way to pass the time. As soon as she began candle making, there was no way going back to work was an option. Here’s some insight on the success of Burn Baby Burn Candle Co.
Life is crazy, let's admit it, running a growing business from home can be tough but we all do it for a reason and Ashleigh does it because she loves what she does, and she loves what she creates and that is what it's all about!
One of her favourite products would have to be her ‘Mumma’ Typography Candle inspired by her son. Our diffuser bottles also make a great gift!
Burn Baby Burn offers some great services, from wholesale, international shipping, free shipping on large orders and now even afterpay. Candles are all
hand poured to order with natural soy wax only and are available in over 20 delicious fragrances. Ash has Soy Melts, Candles, Diffusers, Burners, Gift Packs, Himalayan Salt Lamps, Homewares, Skincare and exciting Watercolour candles.
Although running a small biz has its ups, Ashleigh has one gripe.
“Personally I think the only downfall is trying to juggle everything at once. Being a mother, running a business, keeping the house clean, trying to stay in touch with loved ones and friends. This can all be difficult when running a business from home, you just do the best you can”.
When the push comes to shove, and times get tough, Ash has thought about giving up, but she’s not a quitter! Her passion for candles is much too strong.
Ash’s advice for being a girl boss: “If you have big ideas and a passion for something don’t wait, jump straight into it and start making, you won’t regret it! Plus you will meet so many amazing new people along the way!”
Check out Ash on instagam @burnbabyburncandleco
and make sure you click the link below!
Cass Jones, an emerging Visual Artist, is super talented, and we are lucky enough to feature her and her incredible art works this Month.
Currently based in Perth, she’s a self-proclaimed workaholic, a bit of a foodie, and a total art-nerd. She is a Mum to a beautiful 11 year old, Jasper, and in her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her loved ones & going to the beach! Here’s a little bit about Cass, and the ins and outs of her day to day life as a busy mum and small biz Girl Boss.
Why did you start Cass Jones Artist, and how long ago?
Upon moving to Melbourne about four years ago I was inspired to get back into creative pursuits again, as it had always been my passion. I began to sell my art at The Rose Street Artist Markets in Fitzroy and soon after, I was lucky enough to be selected by an online gallery, Magnus Collective. Through this I was fortunate enough to get plenty of exposure, guidance, and sell my artworks to many new clients, including a few high-profile people, which was so exciting. My visual arts business has gradually been taking off from there!
How does running your own business affect your day-to-day like? What is a day in the life of You like?
I have a pretty hectic day-to day schedule, but I absolutely love it! Although my Arts Business is my priority, I actually work two other jobs too – in Admin during the day and then at a Cafe in the evenings.
Once I knock off from my ‘normal’ jobs I am always majorly hanging to get into the studio. I’ll then usually do 3-5 hours of painting each evening during the week, and then also spend a lot of time painting over the weekend too.
In between all that, I always squeeze in the time to run the admin side of my Art Business, which involves liaising with clients, quotes, sourcing materials, all that type of stuff! Needless to say, each week flies by – it’s nuts! 2016 has been the fastest year of my life!
What is your favourite product from your store? Why?
Each time I finish creating a new piece of art I think to myself, “That’s my new favourite” – haha! Happens every time. At the moment though, my favourite piece has got to be ‘Best Coast’. It’s full of pastels & neon pops, and mainly pink (my fave colour); it’s very coastal and feminine - and is hanging at Viva La Blonde studio in North Fremantle. I’ve been going through a bit of a pastel & neon phase lately. LOVE.
What are the best and worst things of your own business?
The best thing about running your own business is that you have 100% control over the way things run. The past few years have certainly been a learning curve for me – I used to be too scared to say no to certain things or requests from clients, which I am sure a lot of other emerging creatives may do to begin with. In hindsight I was just putting unnecessary pressure on myself, which took the fun out of it.
Now that I have a bit of experience and know what works & what doesn’t, it makes it so much easier and ENJOYABLE – and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Doing something you love & enjoy. I absolutely love all elements of running a Visual Arts business – the brainstorming, creating, meeting new people and improving at my craft. It’s so fun!
Have you ever thought of giving up?
The beginning of this year was a pretty turbulent time for me in my personal life and during that time I could not pull myself into the right headspace to begin any new paintings or illustration. It left me wondering how long I would take to get back into it, which was a pretty deflating feeling.
After a few (failed) attempts at creating some new art, I finally got my groove back and slowly began enjoying it again. Creating art can be really therapeutic and meditative; I find I get a real buzz out of making it. It makes me so glad I pushed through the not-so-great time I had!
What is your inspiration?
I am inspired by a whole heap of stuff – things I see going about my day; nature; other art (I love visiting galleries & art installs/ shows whenever I can and I love reading about other artists); and I really love the vibrancy and edginess of street art – especially in Melbourne. The laneways there are just insane.
Do you have your favourite online store? that you constantly check like we do… ha ha
Hehe I have a few – I love Peppa Hart, Mynd Interiors, Ames Collective, Fenton & Fenton, The Perth Collective to name a few – so many good ones out there!
What do you want people to know about you?
I’ve been working super hard this year on perfecting my craft and truly believe that with a positive mindset and hard work you can achieve almost anything.
The next 12 months are set to be pretty large – I have been working with some different materials for a new Collection of work which I’ll release late this year; and have also been working away at a new creative venture, which is set to launch in 2017! SO EXCITING!
Please outline your price range for all of your goodies.
My pieces range from $40 - $800.
Do you have any advice for other beginning girl bosses out there?
Just keep going, even when you have self-doubt - persistence is key and you will thank yourself down the track. Be inquisitive, try new things, don’t be afraid of trial & error – it’s the best way to learn. And most importantly, remain true to yourself – authenticity and uniqueness are such special things!
Do yourself a favour and check out her website and follow Cass on Instagram and Facebook.
Jen is a darl. She always comes by to our Adelaide markets to say hi and now Jen is 6 months into her own creative journey! Pull up a chair, grab your cuppa and learn a little about Jen x
Hi, I'm Jennifer, I started inspirations by jen 6 months ago and have loved every minute of the journey. I am situated in Adelaide and I love attending weekly art classes which I started at the beginning of my journey 6m ago, soaking up the Adelaide culture and lifestyle especially the Fringe and the various art and craft markets Adelaide does so well.
I started inspirations by jen 6 months ago due to looking for a way to explore my creative side. I bought an adult colouring book and enjoyed it so much and it took off from there. I have always loved bright and colourful art and have always been drawn to art that focuses on these colours. I went to my local art shop and discovered what acrylic flow medium and resin is and the rest is history.
I am a start up business so my day to day involves experimenting with new colours and seeing what looks gorgeous together. I love working with acrylic flow and resin so, I enjoy creating with these mediums. At the moment I am looking for a new job that gives me the extra time to further establish my business and continue creating new pieces.
My favourite product from my store is the piece of art/print 'purple waves' which I created with acrylic flow. I am in love with the colours and the effect was created accidentally with acrylic flow medium. It is a piece that could never be copied or I could recreate, therefore it makes it so special.
The best things are the smiles on peoples faces and seeing the joy your art/products can bring and how much I enjoy the process of creating these pieces and working with these amazing colours and products.
The worst thing is probably the fact that I am just starting and would love to be able to share my work with a bigger audience.
My inspiration is colour, colour and more colour!
I am a down to earth girl who loves creating customised pieces and sharing the joy I find in colour with others.
Jen’s goodies are found on her social media streams, and available for purchase through DM, market buys and of course on www.fatmangostore.com. Her prices are very affordable, ranging from $8 - $50.
They say you are, or will become, just like the people you associate with the most. And when you run a small biz with your bestie, your lives basically become one… trust me, I know!
As we have found over the last 6 months of interviewing Girlbosses, small businesses do not mean small work loads. It really is hard yakka, especially when you work another full time job or have little kiddies running around. Your brain is constantly on, you’re always doing something to build your brand. So why not do it with your bestie? Share the stress and work load, but more importantly, bounce ideas off of one another and really motivate each other to build the best brand you can.
Just like Em & I, Bec and Mel have decided to take the leap in building their business with their besties. Readers beware, spend this much time together, and you will not only share a business, but your brains mesh into one (which our partners hate!).
Here’s Mel + Bec’s story.
Our names are Bec + Mel and we are the co-founders + designers of our little business, based in Albury/Wodonga. We are two besties who share a passion for homewares, home decor + creating - not to mention a shared shopping obsession!
To our family + friends it's no secret that we L.O.V.E beautiful things. It was only natural that our passion evolved into something bigger - and with that, The Collective by Mia + Eve was born October 2015.
Between the two of us we juggle full time jobs + families with our small business. Luckily for us our drive + love of what we are creating outweighs the late nights and road trips to and from markets. Our secret weapon? Spotify as loud as possible + chocolate - Mel throws in a few dance moves too!
I think this changes for both of us daily. With every new idea + creation results in a new favourite - we cannot simply choose. At the moment, our ceramic wares are giving us chills!
We are two girls who love a good snooze, so giving up those is difficult however all worth it! The best part is the markets we attend. We love interacting with our customers, and feel our personalities are the icing on the cake to our pieces.
Have you ever thought of giving up?
No way! At the end of the day as long as we still love and are passionate about what we do, our business will continue to grow. We are a team who bounce off + support each no matter what.
We would both love for this to become a full time job for us; whether that be wholesaling or opening a boutique store with our wares - that has and continues to be our inspiration.
We are driven women who are proud of what we create. There is a real sense of pride every time we package up our creations. We also love meeting other small business owners, whether they be similar to ours or completely different. Surrounding ourselves with like minded women who are encouraging, supportive + respectful of each other + there work is what we are ALL ABOUT! #sisterhood
Our prices are from $6.00 - $45.00 and are targeted at women aged 14-60 - that being said we definitely have many men buying our wares - what can we say, they have GREAT taste ;)
Checkout the girl’s website, www.thecollectivebymiaandeve.com.au, for a bunch of their goodies (I accidently splurged on their candles a few months ago, AMAZING) (and maybe their ceramic wears too…. Oops)
As I create these blogs each month, I always find a new thing to stop and think about. This month, Bec + Mel have reminded me that this instagram revolution (maybe I made that term up… but I’m running with it), is creating a sisterhood full of confidence. We start these side projects, not even knowing if they’ll work out. We take a leap of faith, hoping that one day we can do it full time. We set goals, achieve them quickly, and then set them again. We are confident girlbosses who support each other’s small businesses. We really are ruling the world. Thanks Beyoncé for that pep talk a few years ago, cause it seems to be working. I can’t wait to see what crazy ideas our future daughters think up, because with the confidence the instagram world has given us, ain’t nothing gonna stop them from succueeding in their creative passions.
We are on the hunt for more girlbosses, so apply now!
I’m Maggi – an artist, surface designer & mum of one human child & one furry child based in Sydney. I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa but moved to Australia 13 years ago after meeting my husband while on a working holiday in London. I like creating, hanging out with my 7 year old & spending time with friends and family.
I started Maggi McDonald Art & Design in mid 2015 while studying my Diploma in Surface Design at ISCD in North Sydney. I completed my Cert IV in Design the previous year and had rediscovered my love of painting. I started playing around with acrylics and sold my first painting to a friend and my business evolved from there. It’s been a big year for my little business with my range of prints going live on The Block Shop this week. I am also working on my first surface design collection & working on art commissions.
I love running my own business. I have always wanted to do my own thing and I love the feeling of being in control of all aspects of decision making. I have a background in department store management as well as virtual administration which have helped me a great deal.
I usually start my day after school drop off and try to pack as much into my day before school pick up – sometimes we do the post office run after school and my son earns some pocket money being my studio assistant which he loves!
I have a studio at home which helps because I can close the door & step away from the “office” when needed – working from home is hard – I found myself constantly noticing things that need cleaning or just putting another load of washing on! I now have dedicated days for cleaning and washing just as I would have had if I worked out of home, which works wonders for my productivity.
I have a super supportive husband who is always there to help out whether it’s cooking dinner, sound boarding ideas, or working out costs – he’s a gem!
My favourite product in my range is The La Habana print – it was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba & is reminiscent of the beautiful old buildings painted in bright colours everywhere in Havana. It’s such an amazing place, a must visit.
The sense of accomplishment I get when I sign and number one of my limited edition prints is so rewarding – it’s the best feeling in the world to send something you have created to go live with someone else and make them happy.
The worst about my own business is the numbers side of things – not something I’m very good at! Lucky I have a lovely mother in law who is a bookkeeper & helps out with that side of things.
I’ve had some tough days, like I’m sure everyone has, but on those days I try to step away from the business side of things and I will often spend the day painting or creating to remind myself why I started this in the first place. It’s hard running your own business, there are a lot of ups and downs, but when it all comes together it amazing and makes it all worth it.
I am inspired by everything around me. People, places, colours, nature, travel. My mum inspires me. My 7 year old inspires me. I am inspired to be the best version of myself I can be & through being creative I have learnt to let go of my insecurities and embrace who I am.
I want people to know that with hard work and determination dreams do come true. If you have a passion for something go for it. Make it happen.
GIRL BOSSES: Just have a go – you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start , just learn as you go along. And say yes to opportunities – the amount of times I said yes without any idea of what I was doing and just figured it out! There are so many amazing supportive girlbosses out there which creates a real community of women supporting women.
To checkout Maggi's work, head over to her website www.maggimcdonald.com
Limited Edition prints range from $55 - $200 with $9.95 flat rate shipping Australia Wide. Original
art ranges from $350 - $1000. Commissions are welcome.
If you're a Girl Boss like Maggi, and would to be featured for the month of August, send us an email!
There are so many great reasons why jazminbell® cold/heat packs are quickly becoming Australia's favourite choice. They are handmade using natural and organic supplies including 100% cotton fabrics and Australian-grown rice, and are designed to meet the guidelines provided by the ACCC. There are no scented oils added to the product during or after manufacture, making them oil-free and a safer alternative.
Hi, my name is Jasmin and I am from Canberra, Australia. I have been passionate about the creative and performing arts since I first took to the stage at the age of two. Since then it has been an amazing journey through performance, stage and costume design until I landed at the Australian National University to complete my Bachelor of Design Arts. During this time I started to work on making my own products and formed the Jazminbell® Brand.
It has now been five years since graduating from my degree and the entrepreneurial journey has been such an amazing experience. It took me a couple of years to find my 'niche' and settle on a particular product that I would pursue. This time last year I decided to take the courageous leap into developing an exclusive range of handmade cold/heat packs and have not looked back.
My favourite product from my store would be the eye pillow cold/heat pack. They are light-weight, simple and so easy to use. I keep two in my freezer and two in the cupboard so they are ready to use at any-time. They are able to help calm migraines or headaches, burns or even great for my daughter when she has a bump or bruise. An eye pillow is simply so handy to have in every home!
The key to organising my day-to-day life is to prioritise. It can take time to work out what are the most important priorities for you and your business. I am currently a single mother and completing a Masters of Accounting. Life can be very busy most days but if I can manage my tasks in a list of priorities and work on it for 5 minutes or an hour at a time then most of the work gets completed. I am most productive after my daughter has gone to bed in the evenings.
It is so amazing to have found my place within the industry. My brand is developing recognition for it's quality handmade products and it is amazing. I am so proud to have worked on each part of the business including branding and the website. Not only have I learnt so much but I am in complete control of how my brand is represented (especially online) and I have not had to spend a huge amount on professional services.
The worst part of running my own business is the lack of man power. Currently, I work on my business through each stage of design and manufacturing, marketing and promotion, and then sales and distribution. This entire process can become extremely overwhelming and exhausting.
The first few years are tough. There is not a single day that passes where I don't question myself. So many negative thoughts can leave you in an unproductive and unmotivated mood and it becomes a manner of working out how to control this toxic thought process.
Only recently I have started to realise my business as a separate identity to myself. My business used to be all about me 'the maker' and rely very strongly on promoting my skills, services, qualifications and experience. This meant that I was personally attached to the business and found it very difficult to handle complaints, questions or sly remarks from the general public. Since making the change to focus on my business as a separate identity I have been able to take a step back and handle situations in the best manner possible. Also, since making this change I have not felt like giving up because I feel like the business controls it's own destiny without my direct influence. I made this change after giving up 18 months ago and relaunching with a new mindset 12 months ago.
The biggest inspiration for me is one which may not be very common. It is also one that is not from an external source, but an internal one. My inspiration is driven by my motivation to break from the cycle of poverty and create a better understanding of the world and life for myself. My life, especially as an adolescent has consisted of great barriers in all forms of financial, physical and emotional. Being able to generate my own understanding of business and develop relationships within this industry has given me the opportunity to create my own sense of direction and break from this cycle. I know that there is still so much out there for me to learn but I hope that I can pass this knowledge onto future generations and others who may be in a similar situation too where I have been.
The type of person I want to be is approachable and helpful. I love making connections with people who are either successful in running their own business, would like to start their own business or even in the same situation as me. I want people to know that I am here to connect or help them at anytime.
Two of my mos favourite online stores include Jar Body (jarbody.com.au/) and Miss Pots (misspots.com.au/). I love watching how their websites change over time along with the developments of their businesses.
Never stop learning. If you feel like you can't make it work out what you learn more about and focus on that. Make connections and find your niche. Be unique, be different and stand out from the crowd. Let you inner 'quirky' self shine and remember to scrap any negative or 'toxic' thoughts and instead focus your energy towards the positive power. If you need a little positive boost, call on your family, friends or connections to help you out. I keep a little diary of all the great things people say to me that make me smile or feel great about myself.
To checkout Jasmin's range, head on over to her website at http://www.jazminbell.com AND if you spend over $70, you receive FREE shipping! Whooo!
Her price range starts from $15 (AUD) and moves up to $100 (AUD). Very rarely with you see any of her products above this range as she aims to be an affordable brand!
To apply to be the feature maker for JULY (wait, what... it's July already?!) send us an email!
What comes to mind after talking to Naomi, is how, in the big world of Instagram and social media, there is a massive bunch of girls (maybe boys too, who knows) supporting each other. We inspire each other, we help each other and we share our successes and challenges.
Naomi is possibly the sweetest maker that we have featured, she has such great intentions with her business, and it all stems from love. Love for her product, love for making people happy and love for her family. Here is her story so far.
Naomi is a 27-year-old family gal with a Fiancé named Simon and an almost two-year-old cutie named Tyla. Her happy place is at home on the sunny Gold Coast where she likes baking, creating, fresh flowers and spending time with her family.
Naomi has been making candles for around 3 years where she started out making candles for the favours at her sister’s wedding, actually not even knowing how to make them! After friends and family testing out her goodies, she realised that she LOVED making candles and everyone was so impressed.
And so, Me and Mae was born in August 2015. Having a young daughter at home led Naomi to feel like she didn’t want to waste a moment of Tyla growing up and so creating a small business was a fantastic compromise to make rather than returning to work and sending her daughter to day care. This way, she didn’t have to miss a thing!
The daily routine of a stay at home, slash work at home mum can be a crazy one, but routine seems to keep Naomi onto it. With Tyla Mae number 1 in the priority list, Me and Mae can work around her routine. When the baby sleeps, Naomi gets to work pouring orders or catching up on admin. After bedtime it’s packaging and relaxing with hubby. In-between is taking care of her gorgeous little girl.
Naomi really loves the feeling of being her own boss. She loves the confidence you get when you know you’re killing it, as well as seeing when people love the products, a feeling that makes it all worth it, for the hard yards makers put into their product. Naomi also loves how people comment on being able to see the love that goes into her products, she loves that anything is possible.
Managing your time between working at home and being at home with your family can have its downers though. You can never get away from it all, which means your brain never shuts off from the business world. When times are tough, and Naomi has a lot of work to do, juggling parenting and work can be a really hard struggle. Giving time to your orders, but also time to you daughter can be tough. “Sometimes I get a little too excited about new things and then get overwhelmed with a lot of work. Although I absolutely love what I do, I just need to say to myself 'keep going', and I know everything will come together.”
Being relatively new in the world of making, giving up hasn’t really crossed her mind. She LOVES what she’s doing and where her business is heading. Excitement is much greater than doubt.
Since starting out, Naomi hasn’t really had much time to stalk instagram to the max. But, she admires Hazel Baby’s style (don’t we all!) and has really enjoyed working with Sarah from Kasoobi on making her packaging (Sarah is such a babe, we loved working with her too back in the coffee scrub days!) Naomi recognises that there are soooo many talented people out there that she is yet to say hello to!
At the moment, my favourite product from the store is our Classic Quilted Glass Candles. They burn really nicely and look so pretty. Our favourite and most popular scent is Mint Mojito, and we haven't seen any other business use this fragrance (let's hope it stays this way!).
My daughter, Tyla Mae (is my inspiration). I know it's such a cliché, but I really do believe I was born to be a Mum. Being a Mum has made me happier than ever and I'm so thankful I get to be Tyla's Mum. She's the reason I'm doing this and how lucky am I to be able to spend every day with her while doing what I love at the same time?
I want people to know the kind of person I am and how much happiness I've received from creating Me and Mae. I want everyone to know that each product is made with a lot of love and I try my hardest to make a product that you are proud to have in your home.
Advice to other Girl Bosses:
Just keep going. There will be days where you hate everything and nothing is going your way, but please don't give up if it's what you love. Everything will work out in the end.
It seems to me, after blog number 5 for the year all I can notice is this:
We are all so similar, yet so very different.
We are also so inspired by others, yet on our guard about being original.
We are all challenged by the demands of owning a small business, which has products that are made with love, and not mass produced at a cheaper cost.
We are all so passionate, and kicking ass in a world where #girlbosses rule.
We think Naomi is killin’ it in the Instagram world, and wish her all the best with her Girl Boss journey!
Check out Naomi's Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/MeandMae?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Clare is a 28 year old absolute BABE of a mum from Brissy. She likes unnecessary amounts of cake, rainy days, floppy dog ears and her son's 9-tooth grin. But don’t we all! Clare highlights two major stresses for makers: we spend half our day trying to post three decent instagram pics, and that admin is the DEVIL.
Four features down, and our Fat Mango features have all shared the same success: managing a full time instacareer (and successful online biz) instead of the 9-5 routine of life! Maybe one day Fat Mango will take the brave leap our other maker friends have taken, leave our full time teaching careers and take over the insta world… but until then, heres another 9pm blog post!
Clare, April 2016
I started Bon Maxie officially in September last year (2015). I have always been a drawer and painter and have painted commissions for quite some time. I'd become quite busy with my job and stopped painting. When I had my son (he's now almost a year old), I was at home feeling out of my depth and just plain lost. I picked up my paintbrushes again and did a few portraits here and there. Then work picked up. I started feeling like I was regaining a bit of myself back again as I got busier and realised that I could probably make a business out of my art. So with 6 weeks left of maternity leave, I gave myself a deadline to open an online store!
My day is usually all over the place - I have good intentions to lead a scheduled life, but that just never happens! I try to clean the house first up in the morning during my son's nap, then admin work. Then when he's awake, we're playing and I sometimes work on some orders for a little bit if Max is content on the floor. Then lunch and errands/shopping/post office run - then back home for more naps and admin work (why is there so much admin?) - then 4-7pm is walking, bath time, dinner and bedtime, then I get into hardcore painting and packing! I try to avoid the computer at night as it tires me out but I'm often up past midnight in the zone. I've gotten a lot better at just stopping and going to bed recently though as I'm a grumpy lady the next day with lack of sleep.
I really love painting custom portraits - they're so personal and there's always a special story behind the photo. It's also really cool knowing I'm on the only one who can make that product in that particular style!
Best and worst things of being a girlboss:
I feel like I spend about 5 hours a day trying to post 3 Instagram photos - and I haven't even properly tackled Facebook yet! I constantly have about 15 things I want to get done RIGHT NOW, so I never quite feel relaxed or on top of running my business. There are always 20 more product ideas in my head, and I get really impatient that I can't launch them then and there. And self doubt. That's a downer. On the flipside, I love the sense of achievement when I walk into the post office with my orders and most of all, I love happy customers - online shopping means you don't often see the face of your customers, but it's so amazing when I receive a happy email after they've received their order.
Thoughts of giving up?
Nope. I'm only in the early stages of Bon Maxie and I've got too many ideas to give up! Although sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I have lots of orders due, I know exactly what I need to do to get through them, so I just take the next logical steps to do so, and I'm back on track to feeling in control.
Instagram has really opened my eyes to the amazing stores and creators out there - my inspiration is all of them. There's a huge community of Australian artists and business owners who've started from the ground up, and seeing them pursue their passion makes me feel like I'm absolutely on the right track to treading my own path.
I do stalk a lot of stores' Instagram pages - I really love what Lecky does (fluoro acrylic frames), I think the Interior Motives poster hanger is genius!
I really truly absolutely love every single one of my customers. Honestly. That and I sometimes post gobbledigook comments on people's pages, but it's because I'm falling asleep - if you've received one, that's why!
There are a lot of different types of products in my store, and they start from $8 and go up to $165 - custom portraits start at $60 depending on size and material and are priced depending on how many people are in the picture.
Make sure you check out Clare's website, http://bonmaxie.bigcartel.com/, especially to read her 10 things about her... hilarious!
If you think you've got what it takes to be the Fat Mango MAY Feature, flick us an email!
Resin is one of the most on trend things in the Instagram world right now, and Rachel Bainbridge has got it going on! Her use of colours and technique sets her apart from the rest, making her pieces irresistible. You can find beautiful pieces for your wall, table and now even your bathroom with the freshly released ‘little resin cup’ soon to hit the virtual shelves. What makes us love Rachel’s story is, just like us, and many other Insta makers, Rachel is a teacher. AND she shares the same love of hand made as we do. Competing against the big guys who mass produce goodies at dirty cheap prices is a tricky thing, but making one off, one of a kind, amazing pieces sets her store apart! Here’s Rachel’s story.
My name is Rachel. I am 31, wife, mum to 3 incredible little children aged almost 5, 2 ½ + 1. I am a qualified art + classroom teacher and emerging artist. I am from Melbourne and love weekend family time and being creative.
I love art. Drawing, painting, getting messy and exploring materials. This passion led me to teaching art and when I started maternity leave in 2011, I began painting at home. What started as a hobby, turned into a few custom artworks for family and friends and has grown into a business which I am very excited about. Art is personal and subjective and I find it incredible that my art is out there in people’s homes across Australia.
Like most of us, it’s always busy. There is always something to do, be that household chores, kinder duties, toilet training toddlers, cooking, cleaning the list goes on and starts all over again the next day! I wouldn’t have it any other way though. The years at home with my children are already flying and it is so important that I am clever with my time and super organised to make sure that I don’t get mummy guilt when I have orders to fill and artworks to create.
My ‘little resin cup’ (is my favourite product from my store). This has been in the works for over 6 months and I am beyond excited to finally release them. They are durable, multifunctional and completely original. Put them in the bathroom with your makeup brushes, use them as a vase, pot a succulent, the list goes on and I am looking forward to seeing how people use and style these little beauties up! It has been a long road and many, many stuff ups along the way but I am so proud to have taken this idea and created a new, original product that I hope everyone will love as much as I do.
I also love creating artwork - working on large scale to create statement pieces that add impact to a room. I am learning more and more everyday about interior design and styling and I can see this coming through as my style is continuously evolving. Oh and the coasters, they are like little pieces of art that are affordable, make a great gift and add colour and a personal touch to any coffee table.
The best thing about having my own business is the adrenalin that consumes me when I am creating an artwork is the best. I am totally myself and in that moment being creative. No washing, nappies, chores, just me and the canvas. I let go of everything. Second best is the goosebumps when someone sees one of my pieces, especially if it is a private commission. That connection they make that cannot be put into words. That is pretty wonderful. Third best is the prospect of this little business becoming my livelihood - flexible work house that enable me to stay at home with my children and the feeling that I am creating a business that enables me to do what I love every day is amazing.
Worst things: I am arty – not business-y so this aspect is all very new and I am definitely learning on the run. Balance is key, and having a husband who is brilliant with a spreadsheet has made things much easier! As with most small businesses, you are constantly striving to keep it viable and competing with mass produced products that can be turned over quickly and cheaply. Don’t get me wrong I love a good Kmart splurge, but there is an appreciation for local, handmade, original products and that is where the true value lies.
Honestly sometimes (I’ve felt like giving up), but only for a split second. It’s challenging, especially learning the hard way and being burnt by the business world. I am also my own worst enemy sometimes – typical perfectionist and control freak. I have had some incredible opportunities come my way and I find it challenging to meet the expectations I place on myself. It’s just me, working solo. I test out colour schemes, create the artwork, hand sand every coaster, wrap, package and send off every order. If you are emailing me I am the one responding. Allowing time to work closely with clients when creating custom art is so important to me – they are investing in a piece that will be in their home and I pride myself in my ability to listen, interpret and create an artwork they fall in love with. All this can get a bit much sometimes, especially in those weeks when little ones are teething, toilet training, waking overnight or have colds. It’s hard. It’s busy. There is never enough time but that’s life isn’t it! If I were to take the art out of my life though I know I would be letting myself down so giving up isn’t an option. Instead I stop, breath, reorganise to get back on track.
Watching my children grow and learn has made me appreciate the little things. Making sure I am present and take it all in – remembering how they talk, play and interact with each other as they are changing so much so quickly. They are energetic, inquisitive and naive to the stresses of the adult world. I aim to capture this in my artwork – the spirit and intrigue, not the stress! For people to look at one of my pieces and for that brief moment, think of nothing else but what they see in front of them. The layers, detail and colour. It is an escape for me when I am making art and I want people to escape when they are viewing it.
Making art makes me happy. I encourage anyone who has that inkling for something more to just go for it. I did and honestly haven’t looked back. I am a negative nelly sometimes and never felt ‘good’ enough but having children and wanting to be the best person I can and set a positive example for them has helped me to let go of so many insecurities. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to take risks. I’m not afraid anymore, of rejection, criticism, they are only words and opinions, and this is especially true in the art world. It is hard to break out and be noticed, but I know that if I stay true to myself, that passion is reflected in what I create. I have had amazing support and nothing but positive responses so far and I am excited for what lies ahead for Rachel Bainbridge Art.
Artworks are all originals and one offs, prices ranging from $95 - $1200+. Coasters are available in sets of 4 ($35) and 6 ($50) and available in a range of colours. My ‘Little resin cup’ is an original design, hand crafted and so far available in 5 colours. RRP $29.95ea. Artwork and homewares are available to purchase from my online store, with free Australia wide shipping on all homewares. Commission artworks and custom homewares are also available so please get in touch via www.rachelbainbridge.com.au
Girl bosses, just like Rachel, we want to hear from you! Email us if you are rockin’ the insta world!
Deb's colourful artwork first came onto our radar in December 2015. As I scrolled through her Insta feed, I was hooked. All of her pictures are cropped to the same size with a small white border (OCD dream!), and the colouring screams summer vibes. I NEEDED to purchase a Deb McNaughton piece, so I bought Em two cushions for Christmas! We love Deb’s handmade journey, and cannot wait to see her business skyrocket over the Instagram world! Here’s a bit about Deb.