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:

www.macandmore.net.au

Etsy Shop

Facebook Page

Instagram

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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…

E-von

 

 

 

 

Photos sourced from Mac and More

Interior inspiration: Blue blues and yellow hues

Yippee! The first days of Spring are here!! A little sprinkling of rain and sun peeking through the clouds, plus the nice warm overcast of dotted clouds…I’m feeling all giddy about the thought of Spring & Summer 2014. Aren’t you?

 

When I think of sunshine and blue skies, I find interior design inspiration in these primary/contemporary colours because they also so much fun to play around with. Electric yellows and peaceful blues to decorate interiors and outdoor settings, adds a little bit of joy to the atmosphere. And if you are not a fan of the bold bright colours, it is quite ok to just subtly add them around your existing furniture.

 

For example the macrame wall hanging in the picture below has a yellow strip that contrasts from the white. And can brighten up a dull spot in the home. Macrame is the art of knotting rather than weaving or knitting. If you ask your mum she may be able to explain it to you because Macrame is making a retro comeback! It was popular in the 70s sold as wall hangings, plant hangings, table clothes and even clothing.

 

This particularly wall hanging can be found at Mac and More, a handmade biz run by Erica, a creative soul from Perth. Erica is currently have a special Spring Sale at her Etsy store, where you can get 30% off all items. Just use the promo code: SPRINGSALE at the checkout.

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Baby blues remind me of clouds and clear skies, plus it is such a relaxing and calming colour that I love to have around my home. There is something about a light shade of blue that makes a home ‘homely’. The Zanui Ava Aqua shelf is quite in fashion at the moment, with the ladder-style bookcase becoming a popular and versatile piece of furniture that is quite useful in small living spaces. It would sit nicely in the corner of an apartment or can bring some contrast to a white study room.

 

The Graphique Hexagon mugs by Maxwell Williams has a little flower or sunshine pattern on them, so it just screams out ‘Spring’ time! And who doesn’t like a little bit of a designer touch in the garden this Spring, what a great place to plant beautiful flowers than in a Pantone pot!

 

All these items can be found at Zanui.com

 

I’m now tossing up whether I should go for the aqua or blue book shelf…maybe both? Lol!

 

Do you like to update your space with seasonal colours? Or do you have a colour palette that is personal to you?

E-von

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:

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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.

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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!

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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?

Yes! https://www.limetreebower.com

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6. Where can we buy your products?

Online, on my Etsy store.

7. Where are you located?

Sydney

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 (www.helario.us), 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!

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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!


 WANT TO WIN A MARIMO MOSS BALL IN AN ORB?

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??’

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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!

E-von

Designer in the spotlight: Karen Walker

Fashion world meets homewares is always an interesting and exciting mix. I came across the delightful collection of Karen Walker home only last month at my local Myer department store. It can seem rather unusual of me to step into a department stores these days, seeing as I am on ‘mummy’ income and most of the time seen trawling through the kids wear racks and hanging around the toy department. You will hardly spot me hanging around beautiful, shiny and delicate homewares…for obvious reasons.

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Designer in the spotlight: Karen Walker

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Karen Walker is an international fashion brand name, she is especially known for her understated cool and bold shaped sunglasses. Not only does she open pop-up shops called the ‘Candy Store’ around the world and sell awesome sunglasses but she also has an equally awesome range of apparel, jewellery, accessories and shoes which makes her website so drool-worthy. You can drool over it over here.  Karen Walker is a New Zealand born designer who is widely recognised for her classic, quirky and minimalist style.

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After doing my research, I found out that the homewares line was actually launched two years ago in 2012 and sells in Myers store nationwide. So please excuse my immediate excitement, as I have been a pretty much living in my domestic bliss bubble. Which could be so much more improved with Karen Walker wares I am sure…

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I dream of pedalling in polkadots

Seeing this gorgeous range, I just want to decorate my house completely with Karen Walker! The homewares range looks simple, uncomplicated and would be easy to incorporate into anyone’s home.

What do you think of the Karen Walker homewares range?

E-von