Today we chat with Heather at Arabella Blossoms
Share a little about yourself … what makes you you?
My earliest memories are of being taught to sew, knit, embroider, garden, cook-and the list goes on. In fact, I have always wanted to learn about, and do, anything creative. I have sewed, smocked and tailored outfits for most in my family, from babies to bridal and menswear to millinery. We have lived in several countries and the interior designing of our homes provided a welcome reason to make drapes, cushions and other soft furnishings. I initially studied art, design and tailoring at university before specialising in subjects for my professional career in nutrition, food education and writing. Sewing and creating were my relaxation during those years.
What inspired you to create your business and how long have you been trading for?
I made a tote bag for myself, it was admired by friends, retail assistants and even strangers. I made more as gifts and then friends asked to buy them. I realised there were many who had not been able to learn to sew, design and craft but who appreciated beautiful handmade items. Arabella Blossoms was born.
Why did you choose the name you did for your business?
My label name is a mixture of imagination and reason. Arabella was a name I liked and it fitted my initial concept. My grandfather called me “Blossoms” and gardening is another of my creative pursuits. People seem to recall the name Arabella Blossoms readily and I sometimes I have to politely mention my actual name is Heather (not Arabella)!
What do you sell and what sets them apart from other similar items on the market?
I design and create all sorts of vintage-inspired bags and holders, aprons and accessories. I use mainly vintage fabrics and trims. Feminine, French-style and beautiful are key themes based on the beautiful quality fabrics, colours and designs of eras when beauty and femininity were celebrated in fashion and everyday life. I also make a range of Christmas items and useful gifts for men and children. Quality finishes and correct techniques are important. Fabric trims on zip ends, using interfacings, hand finishing-all those skills we were taught.
If you could achieve anything you could imagine what would your greatest dream for your business be?
My aim is simple. My greatest satisfaction comes from knowing that each Arabella Blossoms item is beautiful and useful-and that every buyer gets as much pleasure from it as I did when I designed and made it. It is important to me that the majority of my fabric and trims are treasured vintage and retro. I give them a use and purpose, and the item finds a new home for years to come. I strive to be environmentally conscious and to achieve customer contentment.
Where do you work on your business, and what platforms are you using to sell from (both online or offline)?
I work from my home studio looking over my garden. I value the flexibility to plan and create while also being able to do many other things.
My Arabella Blossoms Items are available on-line at: ArabellaBlossoms
at a retail outlet: www.incube8r.com.au in.cube8r gallery, 321 Smith Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065
various Markets in Melbourne’s inner east (check my Etsy page or Facebook page for notifications)
If you were starting again now what would you do differently?
This is a hobby label that has grown organically. No experience has been wasted. However, I am grateful for my years of running my own businesses because to design and create is but a small part of having an Etsy shop!
What is the most useful thing you have learned?
I have honed my IT and social media skills. I have also learned how supportive and friendly designers, artists and creatives can be, both on-line and in person.
Apart from your shop, what else inspires you?
Family and friends
People watching with a coffee
Nature-gardens, the beach, cloud formations
Reading (both printed and electronic)-design, décor, craft and fashion
Social media-Facebook, Instagram, Etsy
If you could inspire the world with a quote, what would it be?
“Every day is an opportunity to make a happy ending” -Anonymous
Where can we find out more about your business?