Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sewing & printing like a machine....

I have been absent for a few days (sad face). I have been working so damn hard on my blog, & focussing on the consistency of writing. I really enjoy it, & it's been a goal to improve it. Like any task in life, if you want to improve that muscle, then use it. Same goes for writing.

As you know I work from home around the kids. That act of juggling is a job within itself. My hours are not regular, & I work in chunks of time, an hour or two here & there, & most of the time at night. The last month my routine has literally been thrashed around left right & centre. It's been a real challenge I am not going to lie. I never sugar coat my life, it is what its is, & I am sure, actually positive it's similar to other mums who work from home.

About 2 years ago I sub contracted my sewing out to another wonderful mum, who also works from home. She is the back bone of my business when it comes to getting it all together for me. She is the angel that comes every Wednesday to drop off & collect. We have become quite the team & have worked together on several different projects o keep generating income for the both of us.

Well my back bone has gone to Canada for a month to visit her family. When she goes there is no good time, some times are worse than others, like Christmas trading, a big no way! In her absence I have been left with all of the sewing. Now she subcontracts to me because I don't have time to do it, I just have my hand in to many pies so to speak. So you can probably imagine how swamped I have felt these last 3 weeks. I have literally printed, prepped & sewn non stop. I have become this well oiled machine that just keeps going. Sounds great, but very little creativity, writing & web work has been happening.

As hard as it's been I just keep thinking of every positive I can. Another thing I have been focusing on lately, when things aren't going your way, look on the bright side! I can definitely say thank goodness I can sew, & sew well for that matter. I would have no idea how I would have coped, or how any customer would have receive an order if I didn't. It's a lovely wake up, & great to remember to where everything I have learnt began. At one stage of my life all I did was sew, making my clothes was heavenly!

I basically wanted to let you know I am here, just running a little behind.
I hope your day, week & month has been a lot more smooth sailing for you xx

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Foxy Designs

I have a couple of new designs to share with you. 
Foxes are still loitering around, so felt the need to create some of my own. I actually really loved drawing these, so much cuteness & fun.
Both are available in my shop.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Words to inspire

Sometimes when we work work work, we forget about the simple things. I am so incredibly guilty of this at time, & the last few months I have really been making a conscious effort to slow down a tad. With the kids increasingly busy schedules, & trying to fit in all the hours of work I do, & do the daily mundane necessities, it can get exhausting & time just flies around you. 

Sometimes it can be the smallest of comments from your kids that literally hit you for six & wake you up. This happened the other day to me. I had got home from school & Hudson asked me, "why don't we play & be silly anymore mummy?" I had to ask him to explain. He said when "we get home from school you're always so busy & we don't play anymore, you are either in the kitchen (cooking), or in your work room, sometimes I wish we could just have fun". Ummmmm hello, my heart ripped open & I was so flooded with mummy guilt. After some explaining to him that life has changed now that he is at school, he won't get to be with me everyday with me like he used to. 

He reminded me that our time together is far more limited than it used to be. Generally after school they have activities on, so even though we are together it's not that quality 'together' time. It's so bloody hard!! As much as he was so spot on, I must be clear though, when we are home he is happy & has a million of things to occupy him, including a sister, but obviously more time with me is what he wants. 

After thinking about this I was wondering how to fix it, as I was feeling awful, & yes the mummy guilt was spreading all over me. I have had to keep it simple as I do not have the time to spend hours playing with him, but absolutely we have the time to on the days we come home straight after school to play. Going outside with him to kick the footy, watch him ride his bike, he loves hides & seek around the house (even though he laughs the whole time so there is no challenge), & he is a big fan of lego, & challenging me on mario cart! 

By making these little changes I have noticed he is smiling more than normal! Thank goodness Charlotte is happy to join in as I don't know what I will do when she starts with this!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I want to give you 25% off PLUS a free print

I am wanting to ask again a very BIG favour. I am really very excited about the work I am doing behind the scenes here in order to make my online store an even better place to shop.
I am at a point where I need to know more about my customers. What you like about my products? How you use them? Was your purchase everything you expected? Did you buy it for you or as a gift? What would you love to see in the collection.

I am also in the middle of developing a new product & would like you thoughts & if or how you would use them. To get this golden knowledge I need to call you, & would appreciate it if you allowed me to do so. I would take no longer than 5 minutes of your time. That's it....I promise.
As a thank you I am offering a big thank you.

You can help me two ways by emailing me at tigesandweince@gmail.com with your name & phone number. Or you can click on this LINK & fill your details in online.

By doing this for me will give you 25% off your next order, I will give you the code when I speak to you. You will also be able to select any small print kids or adults you would like, valued at $25.00

At this stage I can only offer this to Australian residents.

Thank you so much & I really look forward to chatting with you all very soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Treasures

This weeks Tuesday Treasure are super girlie, cute, aimed at the little girl, around the toddler age to pre-school. It is a very pretty combination & one that I know would make little ladies squeal with delight.

I have chosen my most loved cushion design. I call it the pink classic & it's the very first girls cushion design I ever created, & is still to this day one of my best sellers. I sell it in several colours now, but the design is still the same. I have also added my doorstop & print to coordinate with the other lovely treasures I have found.

Product sources 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Monday, July 28, 2014

A night I will never forget

I have just had a weekend I will never forget. My baby girl did her very first dance cabaret on Saturday night. This was a first for me to as I have never done anything like this myself. I should let you know I never danced when I was younger, only at disco's, at home, with friends at parties, & clubs as I got older. I was very sporty, lots of softball, netball, running & I loved girls cricket. My daughter Charlotte has entered a field so foreign to me, it's almost laughable. Actually my friends who know me well, or who I played those sports with, think its random to.
photo prior to arriving at Saturday nights venue

Anyway a quick background story, I started Charlotte in mummy & me ballet at 2yrs old. At home she always bounced to the music, & there was no much else around for "us" to do together. I couldn't stand Gymbaroo, so this was something we could do together while Hudson was at kinder, she loved it SO much. I eventually pulled her from it to follow her current teacher at the time to start ballet, she was opening her own dance school, & was a professional prima ballerina herself. I must add she was such an adorable person herself. It was such a magical school I adored it, it was very musical theatre based. Can I tell you I ADORE the theatre, & once dreamed of being a costume designer.

Charlotte was quite confident there & she enjoyed it, but a lot of mums still danced with their kids, I had a feeling, call it mothers instinct that she needed to do this alone. So I took her to her now current dance school. I had to stay close to her for a couple of weeks for her to warm up to everyone, & a very new routine, but after that she hasn't looked back. It's great I get to sit & watch her behind a glass wall. She thinks of nothing else but how many times I can take her there in a week, & is always looking up to the older girls.

Some photo's from the night

She has been practising for 6 months for Saturday nights show, she did 6 dances which blew me away. I wasn't sure she would do it, & I felt really nervous for her as she didn't really stop very much, as after each dance there wasn't a huge amount of time to rest. I completely underestimated her & felt a pang of annoyance at myself for thinking it. Charlotte can get stroppy when she is tired & she rehearsed the Friday night before & the Saturday morning. I couldn't get her to nap on Saturday which is why I was worried. But she did it & I couldn't be more proud of her. 

It's been a real learning curve becoming a "dance mum', something I would never have predicted in a million years. I do love it as having a background in fashion I love the costume, hair & make up, I love the creative side of things. The dance side, well I just keep asking questions, thats just me though if I don't get it I ask & ask until I do. I have met some great girls also from students, teachers & mums just like me, but with load more experience. 

It's been such a magical ride & I have enjoyed every moment, there is so much for her to still learn, I forget how tiny she is sometimes, she only turned 4 in May this year. It really feel like she has been doing this forever. I am not sure how long this dancing will last, I will never push her, just encourage her & tap her along, but as long as she is loving it so will I.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How I put together my product collections - Step 6

Yay you have made it to the final step. I am assuming you're feeling proud, excited, pumped and so incredibly eager to share your work with the world.

If you have several collections within your online shop, it would be a great idea to now categorise them into their collections. For example if it's called "summer Lagoon", group it together. I love the brand Mozi, & they do this really well, have a look at how they group their collections together.
It isn't essential to do that if it doesn't work for your brand. I personally just categorise each of my different products together under one shop category within my store. So all of my personalised cushions  are together, door stops, heat bags are together and so on. You can have a look at how they are placed just below.

Although I have categorised them like this, if you look within each area of my products they have been given product name that will automatically identify them as their own mini collections. For example my new Sweet Fawn collection, is called Sweet Fawn personalised cushion, sweet fawn door stop, sweet fawn clock & so on. So they are still together as a mini collection but just separated for cataloging reasons.

It really is important that the consistency previously discussed in the past steps is followed. It's always going to keep your collection tight look and looking sharp in your shop, which is really important when current & new potential customers visit your store. The goal is to make coordinating and shopping as easy as possible.

You have worked really hard on your collection and it's really important that everything looks professional an that customers will take your shop seriously. Be very clear in your product area so customer can easily navigate from item to item, making it clear and simple. that last thing you'd want is confusion, as lets me honest they will leave very quickly.

Putting collections is one of the most exciting things I love to do. It really is like creating a baby, from the initial ideal to growing it carefully with care & attention to detail. Once it's born, enjoy every moment of it, maintain it and proudly show your passion to everyone.

I hope you have enjoyed this series. It's been a thrill writing it.

If you would like to re read any of the steps you can start again right here.

If you love what you've read please share this information to anybody you feel  would appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lavender & rice filled heat bags just for your Dad

It s damn freezing in Melbourne at the moment, so I thought I'd release my Father's Day heat bag designs.

It's a brand new design, with a take on the very popular & so loved chevron pattern. I have added some extra colours to it as I just can't help myself. It also have a wonderful collection of words that are perfect for every super Dad or Grandfather.

Two colours available. The first (above), Latte which has lovely charcoal, tones of aqua & a lovely warm latter colour through out it. The second ( below), Blue, is bold & in superhero bright colours. Blue, grey, olive & pops of red.

A bonus this Father's day is the heat bag is now double sided. That means the print wraps seamlessly all the way around. On the back side in the middle will be left blank for you to add your very special message. On my heat bag I have a message from the kids to my husband. You don't have to write these words you can add anything you like. Also the front of the heat bag can also be personalised, if you don't want Dad & would rather Poppy or Granddad, thats fine just let me know.

A large size of approximately 27x18cm is filled with rice & Australian grown lavender. It is really important the lavender is Australian grown, well it's actually from Victorian where I am from. I know it's chemical free & is grown in a genuine lavender farm & nowhere else. Why rice? Well it's keeps just as warm as wheat, but without any oder. 

On the above image are some very coordinated tags on how to use instructions, attached with bakers twine, so no need to worry about what to do.

Cut off orders for personalised Father's Day products are 25th August 2014 for guaranteed delivery. 
Please visit my shop for more details.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Treasures

This week the lovely treasures I have found are all themed towards the rocket ship. A great colour palette of blues, grey & strong pops of red & orange. I love these colours together, they are bright strong & vivid. Also a great colour palette as a base & can easily be transferred to a big boys room.
I have chosen my rocket personalised cushion & blue rocket door stop to coordinate with all of the other gorgeous finds I have made.

Products sources 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yikes......Father's Day is sneaking up

Where is this year going? It seems to be just flying by way too fast. It's only dawned on me that Father's day is relative close (in Australia is on September 7th). I never forget this day, but I always have those feelings of "oh my gosh" when it's just around the corner. This usually means as it's fast & busy period for me from a working perspective.

From a personal perspective I love Father's day because not only to I have my own special day with my dad, but my kids go nuts for it. They love spoiling their dad. I love the handmade cards that are created by the kids. This year will be Charlotte's first official Father's day event, & my husband will have an evening with her at kinder. Hudson will have his first chance to buy his own gift at his school stall for his dad, & I look forward to seeing what he brings home.

The other positive about Father's day is that Winter will be officially over by then, & spring is in the air which means summer will be coming. Excitement!

Back to Fathers Day...... From a retail perspective that is a window of about 6 weeks, actually maybe less. I have been very good this year & working well in advance, so I pretty much have my new fathers day products ready to share with the world. Besides a few little tweaks here & there it's ready to go.

I have added 2 new products into the father's day mix this year. Personalised tea towels & aprons. I always find the creation of Father's day gifts a little more challenging, as men seem to prefer practical gifts. Gifts that are simple & useful. Creating for grandfather's is a different ball game, as they are wanting personalised gifts from their grand kids, anything that connects that loving bond is treasured & loved forever. I write this with my own experiences, I know my dad has always has such a smile on his face when my kids have created something for him. It really is such a beautiful thing to see. I will also have my heat bags, as they not only smell divine but top of the list for practicality.

I will be officially announcing when the collection is ready for release in my next newsletter, which you can sign up for on the right hand side of this page. Did you know as a subscriber you're now able to receive 15% off your first order!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Words to Inspire - Creative Intelligence

I adore quotes, especially ones that trigger feelings & emotions. The below from Albert Einstein is definitely one that did just this. I am also a huge believe that sometimes these find you just when you need them, it's such a magical feeling when you're busy being busy & then you read something & it's like....Oh yeah!

Lately I feel like I have been so busy with being busy, my work was beginning to feel like a chore, you know the blah feeling? No love is lost, I adore what I do, but I haven't been bouncing of the walls with endless inspiration either. I'm only human & I go through high peaks & dips of inspiration.

Then this quote found me, on pinterest of course! I had that aha moment, & found myself nodding. Yep. Yes. Yay. It completely redefined how I was thinking with the"chore" mindset, that had been floating around in my head.

When I'm busy drawing, printing, writing, packing & shipping, I am now thinking about these task so differently. Creative is intelligence having fun. We are all so intelligent & unique, & we should be creating as much fun as we can with it. OK the packing & shipping may not be considered creative, but I can make it more creative by thinking about the creativity work being sent away to someone very special.

The biggest lesson from these words are the reminders that I am very fortunate that I get to use my creativity, combined with intelligence to do the job I love.

How did you interpret this message?

Friday, July 18, 2014

How I put together my product collections - Step 5

You have reached a point where you brand has definitely been defined now. You have your hero piece, your coordinates together, and it's looking sensational.

Other points to consider here are season add on's, as I like to call them. They are 3 areas that need to be actioned to grow sales and your collection as a strong brand.

Within your main collection have you looked at your price points? If you are unsure how to price your work there are so many resources. I learnt how to cost while working full time, but there is so much information out there, you are bound to find the right information for you. I learnt heaps of tips and tricks Etsy community via the incredibly informative sellers handbook.

In my business I have a 3 tiered pricing structure. These are all important as they create the ad on's I was talking about.

The first being products that are at the lower end of your pricing structure in your collection. These are generally products that do not have a lot of labour involved when creating, or even small items. They always end up being your best sellers I have learnt.
Middle range items which are, exactly that middle.
Larger items which are either large, more intricate, really labour intensive, or even heavier which naturally cost the most.

Seasonal items which are my favourite times of year to create. I always create a very mini collection for these areas, usually only 3 or 4 items. I am going to contradict everything I have talked about, but I don't always coordinate everything. I do this so I can hope to market to as many people as possible. Short season are literally get in there, captures as many sales as you can, and then it's over.
I always create for Valentine's day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas.

One off's or limited editions are exactly that.
One off creations may be something you have been experimenting with and it looks amazing, but you don't want to produce again.
Limited editions are brilliant when you get your hands on rare fabrics, accessories, metals or paper, because you can only make 6-10 of something and that is it. I love them especially when a creative burst hits and you just want to make it because you felt like it, but only in small numbers.
Both options are brilliant ways to draw in customers.

If you have been enjoying this series I would love to know, or even better please share with friends.

Missed the other steps? Find them here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FRESS SHIPPING for only 48hrs

Nothing is more exciting than sharing new products that I have created with you. I have had lots in the pipeline of late , drawing, drawing, drawing & I have been so excited to finally share them. From initial sketches to deciding what illustrations will go on what decor pieces, & to finally see it being printed, makes me jump & squeal with excitement. It really does!! I have released a fair portion of them all, but I still have a few to photograph & get organised.

Now that school holidays are over I can focus & get cracking on the rest.

Here is a taste of whats new & you will be able to find them all here. Lots of new cushions, door stops, & clocks to make your child's room the brightest & happy place in their little world!

Until tomorrow night at midnight (18.07.14), I am offering free shipping on everything in store, all you have to do is write the code FREE SHIPPING & thats it. It's that easy :)

Stay in touch x

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Treasures

Ooooh how I love rainbows of colour, nothing makes me happier. All of that colour sets such a bright & cheery mood & the vivid colours I adore as they explode everywhere. I have used my rainbow hearts pillowcase & clock this week to be coordinated with such other lovelies beauties.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
(images clock wise)

Enjoy & stay in touch xx

Friday, July 11, 2014

FLASH BACK - Looking back at my first blog post & looking at where it's growing.

FLASH BACK!! It's lovely to look back of old blog posts you have written. For those of you that write a blog have you ever taken the time to look back at your very first blog post? I have been blogging since 2008, not always as frequently as I would like, but I have had some written with some kind of consistency. My blog as far as I am concerned is still not where I would like it to be, but I am OK with that. I do what I can do, and I do it best I can do, but life as a mama can get in the way. Kiddies always come first. But it's been a journey of love & finding my creative style, so I have to be grateful for that. Yes I cringe as some of the photos & the way I have presented things, but I believe every post I have written has been an improvement on the one before.

So here it is my first blog post  called "The Beginning", & her is the photo that I put in it. I can't say I dislike them as it's of my beautiful, & very round baby boy Hudson. I say very round because he was, it's so funny as he is a bean pole now!

I want to write more & have so for a long time, the next 6 months I have decided to focus a little more on this craft. Have a real go at it, it's always been something I have aspired to do but never gave it a real go, making too many excuses.

Blogging is changing I have seen & becoming more of a go to for information. With all of my experience on putting together fashion ranges, illustration, sewing, working in the handmade community, & lots of business advise that I have learnt along the way, I feel I have so much more to share.

Stay in touch I do love to hear from you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How I put together my product collections - Step 4

Your collection is really coming together now, congratulations.

You have your ideas, materials, and have your hero piece. It's time to start considering how many additional pieces you would like in your collections. Is it a large collection? Or super tight?

Personally I would keep numbers of pieces in your collection, no higher than 8 pieces and no less than 3. Some of my mini collections only have 3 pieces which is very small and tight, an some have 6 which is as large as I extend my products. But thats OK, there is no correct answer every business is different. Some fashion ranges can have as many as 12 items per collection, it really depends on what you are creating, again there are no set rules.

Looking back at my fashion days, I always started my collection with a print in mind. For example I had a floral print that I knew I wanted to create into a skirt, dress, and; shirt. This opened up additional garment opportunities for a plain casual tea, pants, shirts and light jacket to work back with the prints.

In my Tiges and Weince range I have my main illustration which will be created into a print, cushion, door stop, bunting, clock,  and heat bag. Not necessarily all of those pieces in one mini collection.

I always make sure they flow and can be sold together, as well as individually. Ideally selling more than one piece at a time is the goal. This can take some juggling around, thinking stepping away, and coming back to it with fresh eyes. Each of my pieces are useful for the bedroom and would never really be sitting along side of each other.  As you can see above in my farm mini collection, the cushion would sit on a bed, the door stop at the base of the bedroom door, and the wall clock & print would be hung on different walls.

The way each piece of decor is laid out in a bedroom is only my assumption, and how I personally would want it arranged. I believe when you design a range you must make it very obvious as to how you would want it purchased, this will help customers make choices, and educates them to make the best choices. It's also wonderful when someone buys something from me and uses it completely different, it's wonderful to be taught new arrangements.

This is such a fund and creative stage of this process, one of my favourites, but one I could over analyse so be careful !!

Missed the other steps? Find them here.

If you are loving this series please share this information, thank you x

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday Treasures

I was looking for pink sweetness this week, so I selected my Elephant & Hot Air balloon personalised cushion & doorstop. So I went on a treasure hunt to find what would would completely enhance them. Different shades of pink that blend beautifully together, I couldn't think of anything sweeter. 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
(images from left to right)

Stay in touch x

Monday, July 7, 2014

New mini collection called Pretty Kitty

I have just released today my new mini collection called Pretty Kitty. Each piece has such pretty & playful feel to it. With the kitty cat coloured in a soft grey I had to surround her in lots of pink as the colours look beautiful together. I can't help but draw flowers, it's one of those pretty additions I add to so many pieces of my artwork. What can I say flowers make me smile. I created this collection for little girls who love their kitty cats.

Buy adding any of the items, or all of them for that matter will make your little girl bedroom feel sweet & so very pretty. There is nothing like loveliness in a bedroom.

As you can see the cushion & clock are personalised, but if you don't want a name thats fine jut write none in the box. The wall prints ca be purchased individually or as a gorgeous collection.

Email me with any queries, I'd love to hear from you...Stay in touch.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How I put together my product collections - Step 3

This could be the one design you have created and fallen in love with. It could be the most amazing illustration you have created, or an unbelievable piece of jewellery you have made. It could be that amazing image you have found that has sparked a tonne of ideas. It could have been the breath taking colour palette you spotted while flicking through a magazine, or on a butterfly you saw while visiting the zoo. This is the piece that is used as you "main attraction", you could call it. Regardless you just know you're selling this piece, and building a whole collection around it..

It's the focal point of your whole collection.  For me it's almost like the back bone of where a great collection starts.

The main focus of all my work are my illustrations, which always end up on a cushion. My business really started there. When I started selling my illustrations as prints and not much was happening sales wise, I then popped them onto a cushion and BAM,  I started receiving more orders than I ever dreamed of and it snow balled from there. This was when I knew I could start developing my own collection, of decor items.

Once I have decided what direction I am going as I have taken inspiration from my mood board, and I know what fabric I am using, I know what path I am on and my hero piece is established. An example of one of my hero pieces is the 'Summer Garden' design (above), that I created a couple of years ago. Which I just have to add still sells over and over :)

Once I have this established, it's time to create other pieces around that hero piece to compliment it. In my case, I have a cushion, coordinating print, doorstop, clock, bunting. You can see them in all of my items below. The are completely different products, all have the same design base (hero piece), but are developed a little differently with each product.

It is really important that you create products that compliment, and are not necessarily are repeated. To have the same design over and over again but in a different shapes, could potentially look over done. Each one of my pieces above are certainly all very similar, but each have been tweaked enough so they can be created on another item.

Obviously this will differ for everyone, especially if you're designing fashion or jewellery. But the principles are all the same, and I can not see how you can not go wrong.

Missed the other steps? Find them here.

If you are loving this series please share this information, thank you x