Sewing Machine & Scissors Brooch available at The Crafty Squirrel

It’s one thing to have stands at gift fairs and sell your work wholesale to retailers but it is entirely another thing to actually be on the ‘buying’ or should I say ‘Retailer’ end of the equation.

Of course it was super exciting to actually go ‘shopping’ at the trade shows for the first time in February of this year. Chaperoned by my very experienced pal Allison from Lark – I soon got into the swing of things in terms of minimum orders and how different wholesalers work.

I had already sourced quite a lot of vintage habedashery and domestic textiles like aprons, tablecloths and of course tea towels for The Crafty Squirrel and years of doing craft markets meant I had a pretty good idea of whos work would fit in with my vintage sewing/craft theme and of course my own work….but still there was room for more and I was really on the hunt for those things that stopped me in my tracks and made me take a closer look.

Lovely Bottle o Buttons
The thing with the gift fairs is you really have to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak as there is such a mixed bag of stuff and it can be quite overwhelming! Sometimes the gems are lying innocently amongst a whole pile of averagness and other times you will stumble across a stand that amongst all the cheap imports glows like a glittering beacon.

When I discovered the Dan300 stand I instantly new I was onto a winner…..Dani’s been in business for well over 10 years and clearly has her own distinct style which is super cute! Her scissors and sewing machine brooches have been walking out the door and her bottle o buttons in their coordinated colour combos are just gorgeous.

Thankfully we have a new shipment in – so get in quick to claim a little of these crafty treasures for yourself. Here Daniella (Dani) shares some of her story with us……
What inspired and motivated you to start your business? 
Initially I was studying Fine Arts at UNSW and working in retail, and I really enjoyed retail, but found that I wanted to make things and sell them. So the natural progression was to find something to make. I started to make handmade cards and sold them in the shop I was working for.

How have you developed and defined your signature aesthetic?
Right from the beginning I was all about fabric, paper and pattern. The cards I handmade at the beginning were one of the few cards on the market that had fabric and buttons on them, that was a good 13 years ago now. Later I moved in cushions and baby things and now mostly fashion accessories and once again gift cards.

Where do you gather your inspiration?
Mostly vintage images, fabrics and books/magazines. I’m a big fan of blogs, magazines from around the world and visiting shops around Australia. I found a lot of inspiration when I travelled to the US, particularly with stationary shops.

What does the future hold in store?
More buttons and fabrics and accessories, and our newest range 'Nana's Garage' is back to cards and they have been a huge success. We have just launched button framed artworks and they have gone very well. One of our key distinguishing styles is a covered button and the great thing about them is almost no two items are exactly the same, and all our products are still completely handmade in Surry Hills in Sydney Australia. We are very proud of our commitment to remain a unique handmade product.

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