As the title suggests the last couple of years have been anything but small! (Well my waistline has been smaller, but I'll blame that on the impending PaperBabe due in about three weeks time!)
My name is Kate, for those of you who may just be new around these parts, and my husband and I are expecting our first baby (soonish)... we do also have a little fur baby called Bruce and he's 5 years old now. (He comes from South Korea, where we lived for a few years teaching English.) And, I work at my biz PaperKrane full time.
I launched PaperKrane - online - about a year and a half ago, and have had this website running for almost a year now. In that time I've worked hard to create an image for my brand, by working hard to perfect my bootie designs, creating new designs that aren't seen anywhere else, and taking pictures all along the way in the same style. And, after a year, it was just yesterday (at my last market before baby) that I heard someone come to my stall and say to her friend... "Someone was telling me about this brand the other day." Well, let me tell you... That just tickled my fancy! (And almost sent me into an early labour, ha ha.)
Because, as I'm sure some of you other crafty peeps know, that's what you work for, to get your brand and product out there and recognised and remembered by people. It was like the icing on the cake for me to hear someone say that.
God knows, I didn't invent the bootie, but I do draw and create all of my own patterns and packaging from scratch, and add my own style, love and passion into each pair. And this breeds a certain type of protectiveness, as if these creations were my babies, or family. Along the way there have been a few people pop up with very similar 'creations' of their own, perhaps you even like their Facebook page as well? All I can do is back myself, ideas and workmanship, and not pay much attention to the copycats. (Tad harsh, but it's business!)
A couple of exciting things also happened this year. PaperKrane booties appeared in The May edition of Practical Parenting Magazine. And the new winter hi-tops appeared in the latest LittleONE Baby mag! That's huge! My origami mobiles can also be seen in the online version of Tickle The Imagination's Interiors issue. Pretty proud of that. :)
I've also got a few items (booties and mobiles) in a new crafty pop up shop in Yarraville called Kooky Kraft Klub. Opening this week! They have some beautiful items from other artists/designers from Melbourne's west. Ceramics, knitted goodies, decor, and unique craft supplies. They will also run craft workshops for adults and after school programs for kids. I think that's pretty cool as I remember going to something like that when I was in primary school, and there's not enough of that kind of thing available these days!
Obviously with the PaperBabe on the way, I'm taking a step back from markets for a while, so the focus will be (on the babe primarily) online and other little projects like the pop up shop and getting into some more magazines! I'm surprised I made it to my last market three weeks out from D-Day! But my energy has actually been pretty good up until this last week where my body is most definitely telling me to slow down and get some rest in prep for the big PUSH! I still have a little more sewing to do to keep the stock up for the online store over the next week or two but there won't be the same urgency to get large loads done to fill the stall. I have no idea what I'll be able to get done when there's another little person around to keep me busy, so I think it's a good idea for me to stay a little busy now and get as much done as I can!
I really can't wait for what the next months-years bring, it's all a new journey. I hope you'll continue to be there along the way with me, and see how PaperKrane grows. AND FINALLY I get to use my own creations on my own creation! The nursery is ready to go, complete with origami mobile. And I'm sure this babe will have just as many funky shoes as their mum does!