Small biz story: Mac & More – unique handmade macrame design

The weekend is here! And it’s time for another small business feature, I wonder if you guys like this occasional blog post where we talk about the small people doing big things. It’s inspiring to hear what other artisans are doing out there on their own. Making their own passions come to life. They are often disguised in the day as the normal everyday worker. However when you hear their stories and how they arrived at what they are doing…it really astounds you at their drive and energy!

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Today I introduce you to a fellow artisan, Erica who specialises in the art of macrame and knotting and the talent behind Mac and More. You may pass her in the streets of Perth or possibly in a hospital in the future as she is also a mum of two and part-time nurse. I met Erica through the markets in Perth where we both bonded over the craziness of the end of year market season, and from what I know from her work is that she is a passionate about her craft and creating beautiful unique pieces for her clients. She is such a beautiful person who treats her customers like friends.

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Erica Zuccala

Macrame is the art of knotting and weaving, and it was most popular in the 70s…now it is making a resurgence. Erica’s uses different coloured ropes, metals and wooden beads to design contemporary and unique pieces in the form of indoor and outdoor plant hangers, hanging bed heads, curtains, wall art and  even stunning wedding floral arbours like the one you see below.

Contact Mac & More today to discuss your customised piece, the options are endless!

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A Macrame plant hanger in the corner of the room is a subtle and interesting way of bringing greenery into the home. Erica can also provide the pot and plants that can suit your lifestyle. For example if you are just a beginner green thumb, she can choose a low maintenance succulent or cactus to help you decorate your personal space.

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Want to know more about Mac & More? Head over and follow Mac & More at:

Etsy Shop

Facebook Page


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I also interviewed Erica and she was happy to share her experiences of what is is like to run a small business, here are a few things she had to say:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you enjoy doing if you are not creating?

I’m a Mother of two young kids so I am kept pretty busy with them. If I’m not working or playing with my kiddos I love to run, stay healthy, and enjoy the beach. Nature and the great outdoors inspires my work, whether it be the colour, the texture or organic natural form, so getting outdoors not only clears my head, but gives me time to get inspired and come up with new design ideas.

2. What were you doing at the time when you first thought of starting up your own business? 

I was currently on maternity leave after having my second child and had been yearning to get creative. I’ve always loved design and have found myself really drawn to a love of eclectic bohemian interiors. I had been really inspired by some international fiber artists and couldn’t help but get my hands into knotting. Large scale art is my passion. I love creating dramatic textural pieces. My background and training is in Critical Care Nursing so its poles apart from a creative venture, such as textile and fiber art. The change has been refreshing and really enticing. I’ve been hooked since I picked up my first spool of rope.

3. Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

 I have no idea. I didn’t at all expect to be where I am in just the last 6 months.  In 5 years, id love to collaborate with some Perth stylists and interior designers. There’s nothing better than seeing your work featured amongst the talent of local designers.  I’ve been really lucky so far to have been featured in an edition of Home Beautiful Magazine and maybe a tv appearance. So hopefully the next 5 years is even bigger and better. I shall be hosting a local macramé and fiber art workshop in March so if you are in Perth and keen to learn the skill of macrame please come along. More details here.

4. Do you have any business advice for others wanting to start-up?

I’m still learning as I go but definitely do your research. If you believe in your product, work hard, sell yourself and clients will come. Don’t forget about the marketing side. Its not all about the product- the marketing is such a massive part of business.  Make yourself know, make connections and learn from others who are successful. Don’t give up, It’s a huge learning curve, so stay inspired.

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And for my lovely readers… a special discount:

Thanks to Mac and More, you can own your very own piece, a beautiful and carefully designed macrame fibre art with a 30% off discount. This is kindly offered to The Simple Chic readers only.

Head to the online store now and use the code: thesimplechic30

Offer valid till 8/3/15

Have a great weekend lovelies! And may you always be inspired by the beauty around you…






Photos sourced from Mac and More

Small Biz in the Spotlight: Lime Tree Bower

It’s been a crazy month of birthdays, markets and a whole heap of other life moments that have taken me away from my blogging gig. But I am back and ready to go with another Small Biz in the Spotlight post.

I like to share the things from small businesses I come across. The creative owners behind them and the amazing things these guys do to change the world for the better, making it a more interesting place to live. Buying something handmade is like buying a piece of that person’s heart/life/dream. Isn’t that something to ponder about…

Today in the Small Biz Spotlight is Helen from Helarious who is also the creator behind Lime Tree Bower. Helen is a blogger like myself, however unlike me…she is gifted with an enviable talent of growing plants! Helen is quite the ‘green thumb’ artiste, often displaying beautiful photos of her bountiful harvest from her urban apartment balcony garden. Please read on to see what inspires Helen’s start-up:


1. Why did you choose your business name?

I wanted something that was simple, flora-inspired, but with a touch of wanderlust. That’s what my creations are all about and I needed a name that reflected that aesthetic. My boyfriend came up with ‘Lime Tree Bower’, which is the name of a poem by Coleridge. We both felt it fit the bill perfectly.


2. Tell us how you came up with this idea?

Is there a special story behind it? I’ve loved making things with my hands since I was a young kid. It’s a part of me and I haven’t stopped! Last year, I was undecided between trying out a new hobby: terrarium making or woodworking? So my friend put it to an online vote for me… the terrariums came out on top, so that’s how I started. I became obsessed and no wonder – it combines my passions for creating things, design and plants all in one!


3. What were you doing at the time when you first thought of starting up your own business?

I was (and still am) working full time, and I was considering starting something but was a little afraid. Thankfully, a colleague of mine urged me to do it – why not, he said? Encouraged by his feedback, I began first by just putting some photos of the creations on my personal Facebook. I was surprised when friends started asking me to buy some. That helped my confidence and within a few months, I finally opened up shop on Etsy!

4. What do you do in your business?

Everything, Lime Tree Bower is just me! I do everything ranging from growing the succulents in my balcony garden, designing the logo, packaging design, product photography etc. The whole shebang!

5. Do you have a website or online shop?




6. Where can we buy your products?

Online, on my Etsy store.

7. Where are you located?


8. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you enjoy doing if you are not creating?

I’m an avid balcony gardener – that’s where I source my succulents from that feature in my terrariums! I also run Helarious (, a DIY lifestyle and creative ideas blog – this is where I let my passions run free and I get to play amateurphotographer too! Oh, and I love my sports and #goswans!

9. Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

Oh gosh. I would LOVE to have my products stocked in at least a few stores – either online or brick/mortar, and have my creations featured in store fronts, cafes, some collaborations with other brands… That would be a dream!


10. Do you have any business advice for others wanting to start-up?

Just do it, it’s as easy as that.

Creating something and having it on show to the public is always going to be daunting and make you nervous – but really, what’s the worst that can happen? If you fail, you learn from your mistakes, and it allows you to do better next time!


One of the items I cherish from Lime Tree Bower is  my mini marimo moss ball. It now has a home on my office desk and gets lots of visitors questioning ‘What is that??’



You could be a lucky of new owner of one of these Mini Minimalist Marimo Terranium Orb too! To be in the running, all you have to do is:

1) Like The Simple Chic Facebook Page

2) Like Lime Tree Bower Facebook Page

3) Like Helarious & The Simple Chic on Instagram

4) Leave a comment on this blog post – where would you keep your new marimo terranium?

5) And leave your facebook and instagram name in the comment (so I know who to pick as the winner!)

Competition closes 31st August 2014. Winner will be chosen, they must complete the above and for having the most creative answer. The winner will be contacted on the 1st September, however if they do not respond within 24 hours, the prize will be forfeited and another entry will be chosen. Sorry, open to Australian residents only!

Helen has also agreed to give all Simple Chic readers 10% off at her online shop. Just use the promo code  ‘EVON10′ at the checkout.It will be valid till 31st October 2014. So please check out her store and happy shopping!

Hope you enjoyed reading this ‘Small Biz in the Spotlight’ post. Till next time where another gorgeous handmade biz will be featured. If you have a small business or know someone who does and would like to be in the spotlight please get in touch with me.

Have a fab week!


Small Biz in the spotlight: Madrock Jewels

Happy Chinese New Year to my readers who celebrate! Sorry for the hiatus, but I have been so caught up with the celebration of the Year of the Horse! It is a very auspicious year, so wishing all of you lots of happiness, love, good luck and success.

And since it is ‘New Year’ all over again…my latest post is to inspire you to kick-start your creative plans in 2014. ‘Small Biz in the spotlight’ will become a regular spot in The Simple Chic blog roll. My aim is to help showcase small business owners that are doing what they love and building their brand across the interwebs…and just spreading the love about handmade products.

I like to share things that motivate me and supporting small biz is one of them. These are the faces who are passionate about what their making and hope to one day do it for a living. 

So today, I have the lovely Mandi from Madrock Jewels sharing her story with us…hope she inspires you to rock out!

  1. Why did you choose your business name?

Funnily enough during a local rock climbing session with friends my bestie nicknamed me Madrock, and it stuck. So when I started my new business venture I couldn’t imagine naming it anything but Madrock Jewels.

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Mandi creator of Madrock Jewels

  1. Tell us how you came up with this idea? Is there a special story behind it?

My passion is designing creative, unique designs and expressing them through handmade jewellery. Every bead and every piece is made by my own 2 hands, and cooked in my home studio. It’s grown so fast and everyday I get closer and closer to ‘the bigger picture’ of what I’m hoping it will one day become.

  1. What were you doing at the time when you first thought of starting up your own business?

I actually work full time at Bendigo Bank as an Assistant Manager. This became a creative outlet for me after hours once I got home… with a glass of wine in hand of course.

  1. What do you do in your business?

Madrock Jewels create original and one of a kind polymer clay jewellery pieces. With each bead crafted carefully by hand, no two beads are the same!



Polymer clay is robust and should last a lifetime with proper care. It is stronger than ceramic jewellery but still needs to be treated with care as with any other piece of jewellery. Beads can be dusted and wiped with a damp cloth which will be enough to keep them looking beautiful.
When not being worn, jewellery should be stored out of direct sunlight and extreme heat. Colours may start to fade over a period of time if left out on a window sill for instance.
If you wear perfume, deodorant or hairspray, it is best to apply it before you put on your jewellery. Direct contact from aerosols and perfume may discolour the jewellery

  1. Do you have a website or online shop?

WEBSITE IS COMING! is currently in construction! Watch this space!

  1. Where can we buy your products?

I currently take orders via Facebook, Instagram, and through email. But I can be found at local markets on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

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  1. Where are you located?

Mornington Peninsula, VICTORIA

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you enjoy doing if you are not creating?

Adventurer. Traveller. Lover. Sister. Dreamer.

When I’m not working I’m spending time with my man, my friends & family! I love the sun & the beach and I’m always up for a bit of an adventure… whether it’s overseas to Africa for 2 months or just to the family holiday house in Rye… I’m happy go lucky and love my life!

  1. Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

This little idea has grown so fast and everyday I get closer and closer to what I’m hoping it will one day become. Australian wide!

But maybe in a few more than 5 years I can already see myself sitting back in a hammock at my beachside villa somewhere warm sipping mojitos…

  1.  Do you have any business advice for others wanting to start-up?

You’ve got to love what you do for work otherwise everyday will become a chore! I love waking up and making my jewellery for the special person that takes it home!

Thanks Mandi for agreeing to be featured here and inspiring us all! I hope you guys will go and check out her Facebook Page here and the handmade collection of Madrock Jewels jewellery and accessories.

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Contact Madrock Jewels

Here are some of the pretty little things I pick up from Madrock Jewels…

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I’m loving them so much, that I have started wearing them to work, to the shops, well pretty much all Summer! And my kids tell me ‘Mum your earrings look like lollies!’, they really do stand out and look so cute too. It is a very minimalist style, which suits my personal taste.

May your week be full of possibilities and plenty of smiling moments!