My Top 5 Do-able DIY Projects

Posted on November 08, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

I love looking at DIY blogs and being amazed by people who not only do DIY creations but manage to keep a beautiful blog up and running too! Even though I very rarely attempt to do any DIY-ing myself ;) I do love fantasizing about how amazing it would be to spend a full day crafting. If you are like me then I think you'll appreciate the prettiness of my top 5 DIY do-able creations that I love. If you are a super crafter and will do any of these DIY's I would love you to tag us in your finished product on Insta!

Be warned..you may spend hours on the following blogs!

1. DIY Tassel Keyring

2. DIY Fruit Magnets

3. DIY No Sew Make- Up Pouch

4. DIY Easy Leather (or Faux!) Laptop Case


5. Easy Clay Votive



Do you have any favourite blogs or DIY tutorials to share? Comment or share them with us on insta.

A Sellers Story - Frock Me Out

Posted on October 11, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

 


Business partners Jen and Donna

 

When and how did it all start?
Frock Me Out started probably like just any other business – through frustration of not being able to find what I wanted out there. Most of the ‘cool dresses’ were either too short, made from horrible synthetic fabric or just simply shapeless and unflattering. So I started making my own and when family, friends and even random women in the streets were asking me to make one for them – Frock Me Out was born.

What challenges have you faced starting your own business?
Working on my own has been the biggest thing I have struggled with. I definitely work better when I have someone else to bounce ideas off and also share the ups and downs. Now that I have a business partner, it’s like all my Christmas’s have come at once! The other big challenge is cash flow. As in, making it flow. In the right direction…

 

What was the first product you ever created?
A dress! Of course…

How have your products developed/changed since then?
In the beginning the dresses I was making were very simple and I had a ‘no zip’ policy, basically because I hated sewing them in. The only way to get into the dresses was by doing an awkward over the head ‘wiggle’. Well, they looked great once they were on!

One of Jen's first dresses

When things started taking off and I decided to make a real go of it, I invested a lot of time into tailoring the design of the original shift dress and well, the inclusion of the zip was a must. Plus, now that I had professional machinists who are much better (and faster…) at sewing (including zips!) than me – the options were (and are) endless. A well-tailored dress looks great on all body shapes. Now we are working on some new dress design options and we’re listening to what women are looking for. It’s great fun – we love it. And so do our wardrobes…

 

We’re both passionate about art and design and our dream is to get to a point where we are designing our own fabrics as well as the clothing.


A recent creation..The 'Pocket Frock'

Tell us something we might not know about you?
I was a scientist in a former life… don’t tell anyone!

What inspires you to create?
I’ve always loved to create. I’m also a part time artist (very part time right now) and I find painting a bit like I imagine meditation to be for some – mind clearing, soul feeding.   I also love crochet – and pretty much anything crafty. It’s how I relax. I find that very inspiring!

What is your workspace like?
Clean and organized. Very nice looking. I can’t work any other way!

What does the rest of 2015 hold for you and your business?
We will be spending a lot of time in the next few months selling and making dresses! Frock weather is coming…   We’re also venturing interstate to The Finders Keepers Market in Melbourne & Brisbane (yay!) and hopefully also Sydney.   We’ll also be travelling to Handmade Canberra. We’re going for it! It’s going to be both exhausting and fun. Bring it on!

A Seller's Story - Tania Aliis

Posted on August 30, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

Tonight on the blog we share a little about one of our talented artist's at Have you met Charlie?
We really love how you can see the growth in Tania's work. It's so important to remember when you are creating that you don't have to start out perfect, just start with something! Sometimes it's too easy to get paralyzed by not knowing where to start. Don't let that stop you! Your style will evolve and develop as you learn. 

When and how did it all start?
I started exhibiting my art in group exhibitions and at the Rundle Street Markets about 10 years ago when I finished school. It was all very daunting- most people I was exhibiting with were very traditional in their paint style with small neatly frame pieces- my bright florals stood out like dogs balls. My dad really encouraged me to be proud and happy with the work I produced and very slowly my confidence grew. It took years before I was comfortable having my first solo exhibition.
 
What challenges have you faced starting your own business?
I decided to cut back full time work (and a guaranteed income) and take the plunge into my own business which at the start was unlikely to produce regular cash flow. With the support of the people around me I’ve been able to forge a business that is more successful than it would have been if I was still working 9-5pm in my old job. The challenges I face now, particularly while still being the sole operator, are not only producing the finished product but also the other side of the business such as marketing, bookwork and accounts.
 
What was the first product you ever created?
I used to create these floral canvases. They were 30x30cm blocks in all different colours- they look very 1980’s. There was a period back 10 years ago that all my friends were getting these for their 21st birthdays. I don’t think a single person has them still on their wall now though, they were pretty bad.


 
How have your products developed/changed since then?
I’m definitely a lot more confident with my artwork now- it’s still as colourful and bold but I think I have found my style and medium.


 
Tell us something we might not know about you?
I actually don’t own red paint. I have every other colour possible but no red in sight. I don’t feel very comfortable using it. It’s very strange for an artist. I can’t explain it! Oh, and I have a Labradoodle called Stevie!
 
What inspires you to create?

We are always packing up and heading on a road trip somewhere around Australia. I draw a lot of inspiration from the places we have visited. There was an earlier series of works I did based on the Nullarbor. That was an interesting trip, and still inspires paintings to this day. Good old Peter the station wagon!
 
What is your workspace like?
Messy! (or organised chaos) I have a studio in our old garage that we converted when we first bought our house. To the naked eye it looks hectic out there, but I know where every paint brush and colour pot is! We are in the middle of drafting plans for an extension- which includes a new work room and studio for me which will be very exciting.


What does the rest of 2015 hold for you and your business?
2015 has been a really busy and exciting year so far. I have just finished a huge exhibition at Toop & Toop for SALA Festival and then have the Royal Adelaide Show with HYMC. I’m getting married in October- so taking the rest of the year off after that to travel on our honeymoon! Will be a nice break until Christmas!

 

Come and check out Tania's work in person at Have you met Charlie or at the Royal Adelaide Show which is starting this Friday!

Hobby to Business Part 2 - Social Media and Branding

Posted on June 08, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

Last week I posted tips 1-3 on how to turn your hobby into a business. Read tips 4 and 5 below! 

4. Get active on social media. We have two sellers who I think of when it comes to kicking ass on social media, Chloe Jane Candle Co and Oh Deer Sugar. Chloe from Chloe Jane Candle Co has built up a following of 10,400 in just over a year and Sharni and Nikki from Oh Deer Sugar have a strong fan base all around the world of 13,100 after only operating for 16 months.

I asked Chloe and Sharni to share with us some pearls of wisdom about their social media success.

Photos taken from Chloe Jane Candle Instagram feed 

What do you think the key is to building connection’s with your customers via social media? 

Chloe - I strive to remember that it's SOCIAL media- I'm not just there to advertise, I'm there to connect with my gorgeous customers, and see what goes on in their lives as well as giving them behind the scenes and exclusive goodness that they wouldn't get otherwise- it's all about building a friendship and trust between the people who support you, whether they're down the road or halfway across the world. 

Sharni - We love to get our customers involved by asking questions regarding new products, feedback, etc. Jump on every social media front you can find ie snapchat, facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Instagram. Keep your followers in the loop by updating regularly. You want to be the first thing they see when they open any of their social media apps.

Do you have any tips for those just starting out on instagram with their business?

Chloe - Don't feel like you have to show the world a perfectly polished version of your business- embrace being small batch and local, everyone will love you for showing your uniqueness, happy mess and all. 

Sharni- Instagram is possibly the best social media platform for advertising your business. It allows you to upload photos & videos while reaching a large audience, this all happens by using the magic of hash tagging. Photos should be fresh, colourful and clean. It’s also important to upload photos that relate to your business to keep people interested. The best way to keep your photos looking clean is by using natural light or you can pick up a light box from Office Works / EBay for under $100, this can make all the difference. And lastly, we like to use regular giveaways and competitions as a way to promote new products.

Photos taken from Oh Deer Sugar Instagram feed 

From an outsiders point of view I think a key similarity of both businesses is that they are their brand. YOU are what differentiates you from every other jewellery maker, artist, candle maker etc. Share little bits about yourself and let your audience feel like they can connect with the person behind the product.

5. Branding
Branding is so much more then just a logo. It’s the way you communicate with your customers, the images you use, the colours and the way you use social media plus so much more!

Who are you targeting?
Before you start creating your brand really think about who you are trying to target. Are they young, old, mums, uni students, professionals? I believe it’s really important to have this pretty clear before you start. ‘When you try to please everybody you please no one.‘

Think about what your customers are watching or reading, what hobbies do they have, what do they feel passionate about, what brands do they love, what social media channels do they use most? After doing this you should be able to piece together a really clear picture of your audience and the style they will respond too.

Think Big
Try not to restrict yourself by being too specific with your name. You might create earrings right now but in two years time you might also be designing homewares. I’d recommend when trying deciding on a name, searching it in google. If you use a common name there will be 1000’s of hits, which means your website will get lost. Get onto http://tinyurl.com/n9vsqjm and check to make sure any names you are thinking of aren’t already registered. You will also want to check that the domain name isn’t taken.


Examples of minimalistic logo designs. 

Keep it simple

Try not to use complex imagery in your logo. Think about what it will look like in black and white, is it legible from a distance and will it work on your promotional material (business card, flyers, signage). Go back to who your audience is. Test it out with them and see whether they can identify with it.

I hope this may have helped some of you!

Hobby to Successful Business in Five Steps

Posted on May 31, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

So you want to take your hobby to the world?

I started writing and couldn't stop so I have split this article into two parts :)

1. Just get started!
If you are looking introduce your products into the big wide world then there is no better way to do it then by setting yourself a deadline. Book into a local market and get making. Don’t let the thought that your product isn’t ‘perfect’ stop you. (Hot tip – you’ll never think your product is perfect!) A market is a fantastic learning opportunity as you will talk directly to your customer and be able to observe what it is that grabs their attention. Look at the way they pick up your product, what do they look for first, what got the most attention on the day, what questions did they ask, what comments did they make about your prices? All this information can be used to refine your product and display at your next market.

 
Pics from left to right: Frock Me Out and Mintcloud market displays. Pic bottom right is me at my very first market. I had no idea what I was doing! 

2. Know your pricing
Have a look at what other people are selling similar products for. Don’t try to undercut their pricing, as you’ll end up selling yourself short. There are plenty of people who will think your product isn’t up to scratch if the price is too low. You will also start to get resentful if you are selling your products for less then it’s worth. You might also like to think about whether you'd like to wholesale your products in the future. If so retail stores will generally work on a 100% mark up so if your RRP is $14 then you'd look at wholesaling for $7.
A really good article on pricing your products can be found here http://tinyurl.com/q7r2fkl

3. Know your audience
This will come from trialing your product at markets. You’ll see who’s drawn in straight away. Really take note of who is buying from you. What age are they? What else have they bought? What is their style like? Once you understand who is buying from you it will help immensely with your pricing, communication and branding and eventually approaching the right stores to sell in!

Next week read tips 4-5 which includes some fantastic social media insights from our stockist Chloe Jane from Chloe Jane Candle Co. Chloe has an impressive instagram following of 10.4k after only being in business for just over a year!


Pics: Taken from Chloe Jane Candle Co's instagram feed. Bottom left pic by Emily Jayne Photography

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you have any tips to share or any questions?

Our sellers share what made them follow their passion

Posted on March 08, 2015 by Bec Platt | 0 Comments

In recognition of International Women’s Day we thought we’d celebrate a few of our sellers and share with you what inspired them to start their business. From talking with lots of small business owners it appears there is often a large life event that occurs which makes them reassess what path they follow in life.
Most of us have a dream of what we’d really like to be doing but don’t often follow through with it so I wanted to ask our sellers (Lauren and I also share what got us started) what event made them take the plunge and start their business.

For those of you who have an idea or a product you haven’t put out in to the world yet then hopefully these answers will motivate you!

What life event made you start following your passion/start your business?

Tania (Tania Aliis Art)
I hated my job at the time so much, so I resigned and then had more time to focus on what I love doing.


Brownwyn (Vintage Fox)
I was sick of competing in the fashion friendship circle and found a love for vintage and expressing myself through my wardrobe. I also suffered pnd so my vintage parties were my girly outlet.

   

 

Lynley (Yellow Bird) My daughter asked me to make her a clutch purse. I love creating and this request awoke my passion for fabrics and I now have 13 stockists and a growing business thanks to my families support.

 

Lauren (Mintcloud & Have you met Charlie?) A stressful, unfulfilling corporate career, not being able to be creative due to no time, which is something I have always loved. Leaving and exploring my creative side more was the best thing I could have ever done.

 

Bec (Coloured Pears & Have you met Charlie?) Having my first bub and then suffering with PND I needed a creative outlet and I missed working so I started Coloured Pears!

Lisa (Luna & Luxe) I got made redundant whilst on maternity leave so decided to try something new. I, too, suffered from PND and really needed a creative outlet and a big change!

 

Pennie (Hummingpea) I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and couldn't work or do anything really. I started making jewellery as a way to keep my heart and hands busy.


 

Shannon (Shannon O'Neill Original) I have always painted and drawn, but never had the confidence to exhibit my art in public but after encouragement from a number of different people including Bec Platt I put it out there, started selling them and my business has grown from there.


What advice would you give someone who’s hesitant to start their own business?

Tania Go for it- make sure you have a good support network. An encouraging partner, family and friends help so much!

Bronwyn Definitely just go for it & do it because you love it. Don't go in with too high expectations, let things gradually build up.

Lynley Believe in yourself, listen to those around you and be a sponge. Experience in invaluable.

Lauren Start small, start with a few things you are confident with and build up. If you are nervous about doing your first market, find a friend that would come along with you to support you and help you. The confidence will grow as will your products and range.

Bec Just jump in! Set realistic goals and start small by booking into a market and take it from there. Nothing has to be perfect, the only way to learn is to put yourself out there and learn along the way.

Lisa Make sure the market isn't saturated with identical products. If you are inspired by other brands/products out there, put your own spin on it to make it yours and something you are proud of. And never charge too little!

Pennie Believe in yourself and your product. Be confident, but not cocky. Set yourself up properly from the start, even if that means that you need to take things a little slower!

Shannon Believe in yourself and ignore the haters.

 

 

Top 5 Markets in Adelaide

Posted on February 08, 2015 by Bec Platt | 4 Comments

In Adelaide we are so lucky to have a wide range of choice when it comes to markets. I've shopped and sold at many so I've put together a little list of my top 5 (in no particular order) that might help you to decide which ones to check out!

1 - Bowerbird

A biannual market that has grown immensely since it's beginning in 2009. It's the go to market in Adelaide and the quality of products is the best of the best from Interstate and South Australia. You'll find a wide range of makers/designers here that you will struggle to find elsewhere in Adelaide. It's really worthwhile going and being able to see the work in person of a designer you've admired online. I love to go to this one kid free and wander around for a couple of hours to take it all in. To avoid the large crowds I'd suggest heading in Friday night or Sunday afternoon.

The next market will be held 1-3 May at Wayville Showgrounds



2 - Gilles Street Market

This is the market to go to for a bit of a bargain hunt as well to discover some new designers and makers. You'll find a heap of girls selling their wardrobes (most of which has never been worn) to pay off their credit cards ;) plus vintage clothing (our fav is our Bron from Vintage Fox who is one of Charlies angles) and a select group of homewares, candles and bits and bobs. Take the time to really look around here as I think you could easily pick up a brand new wardrobe for a crazy cheap price. Emerging designers will often test their products at Gilles Street so it's a great opportunity to pick up a piece before they make it big!

The next market will be held Feb 15th and Gilles Street Primary School

3 - Goodwood Arthouse Marketplace

I really love the feel of this market. Held at Goodwood Primary School it's a lovely shady environment with a playground and heaps of room for the kids to run around as well as a big oval to sit and eat your lunch on. A real mix of stallholders here. You'll find some new, upcoming designers as well as some established designers who very rarely do SA markets. With a fashion show and art exhibition (the cool kind) it's easy to spend a few hours here without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

Keep an eye on their facebook page for the next one! I think this one is run once a year close to Christmas.

4 - Wattle Street Market

Held in the stunning front garden of a beautiful Wattle Street home this little market has gained quite the following! Shoppers and stall holders rave about this market and I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) that you'll find any other markets of this quality in the eastern suburbs. You'll find products here you won't see everywhere, including many of our sellers, Mintcloud, Vintage Fox, Luna and Luxe, Frock Me Out, Ettie Ink, Coloured Pears, Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez, Shannon O'Neill and Collecte. It's a small space so it gets busy! If you want to avoid the crowd then head in early.

The next market will be held March 28th at 77 Wattle Street, Fullarton

 

5 - That Dapper Market

As a seller and a shopper, this is definitely my favourite of all the markets. Lauren and Matt from Littlest Vintage do such an amazing job setting up Dapper. Lauren has a great knack for styling and always creates a funky, hipster retreat which has a way of making you want to hang out for hours. With the live music, cider/beer and amazing food it's easy to stay. Dapper Market is held when the timing works out right, which I love! You just have to keep an eye on their facebook page to see when the next one will be popping up.

 

Which markets do you love? Any secret gems? I'd love to hear about them!