Category: Handmade Goodness

Oh My! Gift Guide: Creative

Oh My! Gift Guide 2014

This holiday season, we’ve asked some of our favourite creatives, bloggers, makers and OMHG members to join us in rounding up great gift ideas. First up, great gifts for creative people.

pinloomMichelle’s Pick – Pin Loom Coaster Kit from Purl Soho

“I’m a huge fan of DIY kits, especially if they include top notch materials and a beautifully designed finished product.  That’s why these Pin Loom Coaster Kits from Purl Soho are so fantastic.  They’re useful, simple, elegant and a great intro to basic weaving. They also have a handy tutorial for the project with images on their blog, The Purl Bee. ” – Michelle is a printmaker and the owner of Kiriki Press.  She makes embroidered doll kits and other handcrafted goods, which you can see at www.kirikipress.com

cupcake ringDanielle’s Pick – Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Made in Lowell

The sweetest gift for your favourite stitcher. “I have one and I love it because it’s cute, fun and effective and bonus it fits in my thread box!” – Danielle is the owner and chief boss lady at The Merriweather Council – a small business that specializes in custom hand embroidery. Danielle enjoys coffee and boy bands and currently resides in Virginia.

carve a stamp kitMarisa’s Pick Year of Holidays Carve-A-Stamp Kit from yellow owl workshop

“Who doesn’t love stamps? I’m always impressed by hand carved stamps and would love to give it a try myself. This fantastic kit includes 36 templates plus all the tools you need to create stamps all year long. Perfect for crafty friends and stationery lovers!” – Marisa Edghill is a Canadian craft designer, author and washi tape aficionado. She shares craft projects and DIY inspiration on her blog Omiyage Blogs.

Embroidery Clock

Jessika’s PickDIY Embroidered Clock from CuriousDoodles 

Make every hour a crafty one! “I love creative gifts that combine materials or techniques in unexpected ways like these DIY embroidery kits-with their modern designs & brilliant packaging this is definitely not your grandmother’s needlework!” -Jessika is a cheerful activist, community maker, and chief-unicorn-wrangler at Oh My! Handmade.

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Bonus PickMaker Mail

Handcrafted gifts lovingly packaged and shipped right from the makers to your front door – give a gift subscription, share with friends or treat yourself! Sign-up by November 10th.

For more Creative Gift ideas, join us on Pinterest or our new OMHG Etsy page


Follow OMIYAGE – Marisa’s board Creative Gifts on Pinterest.

Have a great gift idea for Creative People? Share a link in the comments & we’ll add the best ones on Pinterest & our Etsy page.

Philadelphia’s Art Star Craft Bazaar

Megan Brewster graduated from Tyler School of Art in 2000 with a BFA in ceramics. She started the Art Star Craft Bazaar in 2003 with fellow Tyler grad Erin Waxman. In 2004 the duo opened up their Brick n' Mortar shop called Art Star, which sells a wide range of handmade goods by artists from across the US. She knits a line of accessories under the name Scout Handknits. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two cuddly cats.

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Getting To Know – Ros Lee of Polkaros

Polkaros Pop Up Shop

The Getting To Know series features interviews with makers, artists, designers and small business owners at all different stages of their careers. I’m always interested in how other adventurers in the world of creative entrepreneurship run their businesses, get inspired and how they got started in the first place.

Ros Lee is the Singapore-born, Tokyo-based designer and consultant behind the Polkaros brand. Polkaros is known for quirky and colourful lifestyle goods aka zakka. I’m particularly smitten with the personality-filled ceramic pots… and pretty much everything else too! Let’s get to know Ros:

Ros Lee Polkaros

Hi Ros. To start with, I’d love to know a little bit about you and your business.

Polkaros is a small lifestyle product design company based in Tokyo, Japan. We also provide design consulting, surface design and lifestyle product design services.

What inspired you to start Polkaros?

I’ve always wanted to make art for the living environment; things that can be enjoyed in our daily lives. I visited Japan 14 years ago and that was when I first stepped into a ‘lifestyle goods’ store. That inspired me to pursue my path in designing lifestyle products.

polkaros work

Why did you choose the name “Polkaros”? What does it mean to you?

I chose the name Polkaros because I hoped that the products I create would carry the same characteristics as the polkadot pattern – happy, cute, classic, timeless and simple. It always amazes me how you can find polkadots everywhere and in many different eras. This may be a bit overly ambitious but I wish that our products would add a bit of childlike fun in every household and last for decades.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from old toys, folk art and ethnic cultures. I love to look at the motifs and colors from the past as they tell a story about a certain time and a different way of life.

Polkaros Workspace

What does your typical work day look like

Currently the majority of my day is dedicated to my consulting work – replying to emails, liaising with clients and negotiating with suppliers. Consulting is a full-time job on its own, which means I end up putting in some long hours to further develop the Polkaros brand. My nights and weekends are dedicated to designing Polkaros products, but this is a labor of love so it really doesn’t feel like “work”. There are a few ongoing projects. One is our handmade pots that we are producing at a local pottery studio. Another upcoming project is a series of bag items made with our Polkaros textile designs. We are constantly experimenting with new methods of making products with our hands.

Polkaros Pots

Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?    

I have started making a lot of new ceramic pieces in recent years. I think one of my current favorites is the Fuji-san pot that comes in pink and blue.

Besides designing your own line of products, you also work as a design consultant. How did you get started as a consultant and what does it entail?

I was working in an Interior lifestyle product design company in Japan for about four years when I was offered the role as a design consultant for a global cosmetic brand. I think it was my experience with the Japanese consumer market, working with suppliers in China and language ability that got me the job. I’m in charge of designing gift premiums for all the markets within the Asia Pacific region. The work entails market research, communicating with markets, liaising with suppliers and working closely with the headquarters in New York.

work-in-progress2

What do you love about running your own business?

I love the flexibility, the ability to plan my days freely. Also for the Polkaros brand, I love the freedom to create what I want rather than what my boss wants.

What do you find the hardest?

Not being able to switch off. When I first started, I used to work till midnight and sometimes until the sun came up. I would be replying to work emails, planning my next pop-up store or new products in the middle of the night. Now I have learned to stop at a decent hour but I am still thinking of new ideas when I am in bed.

work-in-progress3

Do you have any secrets to balancing business, social life and self-care?

I think allocating time for every aspect of your life, be it play or work is important. Creating a schedule/routine is a good way to balance business, social life and self-care. However, I enjoy my work so much that I am guilty of spending the biggest percentage of my time working.

How do you spend your free time?

During my free time I like to play the Ukulele, go to the gym, do some simple craft projects, blog, read, take photos around Tokyo. Recently, I’ve been camping with some friends and it’s lovely to be close to nature.

brooch

What’s your favourite social media platform?  

Instagram! I am actually a person of few words and it’s so much easier for me to express myself visually through pictures, drawings or my works. It also allows me to practice and experiment with some photo shoot ideas I may have for my products. I am very thankful that there is a platform like Instagram!

polkaros wrapping paper

If you could give someone just starting out on their creative business journey one piece of advice, what would it be?

Stick with it. I think perseverance is the most important thing when starting your own creative business. There will be a lot of hardship but if you are keen to learn from mistakes and keep doing it, you’ll eventually succeed.

Thanks Ros!

Treat yourself – buy a Polkaros Piece

Polkaros Shop

Connect with Ros

Blog – Polkaros

Instagram – @polkaros

Facebook – Polkaros

Twitter – @polkaros