Today we have Anna Laura Blandford of Melbourne, Australia. She sells felt lady badges and accessories like clutches, bags and pouches with hand screen printed fabric. Her lady badges are unique and adorable- they each come with their own story- a little blurb about "who they are". I have seen her work around Etsy and loved it so much I had to ask her to join us here.
What is your real life like?
I work on my business full time, but did work as a secondary school multimedia teacher until December last year so it pretty much is my whole life. I work from home in a spare room and listen to the radio all day. I feel like the presenters are my friends. I think I need to get into talking books again, they are great for working alone. On Saturday I do a market in Melbourne called Rose Street. I think this keeps me sane as the other people at the market are really great fun. We go to the pub afterwards so they are like my co-workers. I think that is something I really miss from teaching, my co-workers.
What is your process?
I screen-print a lot of my fabric from stencils that are either hand painted or cut from paper. I sew all my bags myself in my home studio. I'm pretty hands on with things that I do, if I don't know how to do something I learn or work out a different way of doing things.
Business Goals and Vision...
Short term is to survive the lead up to Christmas and make the most of that period. After that I want to try and expand my label and get my products into more shops. I want to be able to step away from the production and just design the products and the prints so I can concentrate on other things more.
How do you market your business?
I use Flickr, Myspace and my Blog for a lot of my marketing.
Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I subscribe to a lot of blogs including design blogs such as Design Sponge, Poppytalk, Modish, Decor8 and they are a great source or inspiration.
What inspires you?
Primary colours together is something I really love. I designed a new range in muted tones, so greys, olive green and brown and red. I did a print in yellow as a test and now yellow seems to be the main player and I don't want the browns, greys and olive greens anymore. I love two tones fabrics with the two colours of thread running in the different directions. I love clean design and lines, but I like things that are messy. I love drawing although the last few weeks I've been bad and not drawn much at all. Although I always have paper in front of me at the computer for sketching down ideas.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
I really like Something Is Not Right With Me by Coldwar Kids
and for Australian Music, Little Red is pretty darn cool.
What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
This little felt badge, Danica, is one of my favourites. I love the stitching on this one because to me it is perfect, the yellow and pale pink colour combo in the hair is also one of my favourites and she has such a cute face:(first picture)
I know I shouldn't play favourites with my badges, but I do!
The other is an artwork I did called People and Love:
It was a monoprint on an old book and has ink painted over it. When I painted the ink it left a fine line around the letters that kind of glowed.
It looked really lovely.
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