Shop of the Week: Lovely Sweet William

After a very busy week filled with work, it feels nice to put together a Q&A feature for a lovely shop. As the shop is so aptly named, Sweet William is owned by sisters-Shelley, Paula and Jeanine and I’m so glad that they have accepted to do this interview.

The shop offers a variety of delightful goodies for everyone. From beautiful art prints for the wall, to dolls, bunting, cushion, brooches and assorted paper packs inspired by illustrations that will surely make you smile.

I love the lightness and charm of everything in their shop. Anyone who needs a little cheering up will surely feel a lot better opening a package from the Sweet William shop. And so, without much further ado, let’s get to know more about this lovely online store.

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

Sweet William is made up of sisters, Shelley(New Zealand), Paula and Jeanine (Melbourne, Australia). We are all passionate about being creative and making things.

Sweet William was a big, orange, Persian cat Shelley and Paula had as a pet while growing up, the flower Sweet William represents friendship too, so we felt the name had both meaning and a sense nostalgia.

How old is your shop?

It started about this time last year.

The lovely Sweet William table filled with lots and lots of goodies

What inspired you to start your own home business?

A series of events set Sweet William in motion. We had all moved out of South Africa and relocated in New Zealand and Melbourne within a few months of each other. Changing countries gives one a new opportunity to start new projects.

Shelley started craft selling and Paula started illustrating, so it was not long before we collaborated on a project together. It was such fun that we decided to turn it into a partnership. Jeanine came on board at this point, bringing her architects eye and thrift shop prowess and Sweet William was born.

We were inspired by each other mainly. We are all three are creative in our own ways, so this is a perfect outlet for that, and its also an opportunity to connect with each other despite the distance.

Paula & Jeanine on market day

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Initially, this was started to save for a plane ticket to see each other, so it was a bit fun and facetious {still is}. However, its grown past that, and even though we are really pleased with the growth, it does bring challenges – the biggest being the Juggling Act. Time, creative energy, customer service, family priorities – all the very grown up stuff of a

The girls busy with their table

How did you get over it?

We think we can overcome these challenges because we are passionate and inspired. We come from an African culture where hand work can literally be somebody’s bread and butter, so we truly value Handmade.

It is part culture, part lifestyle, but we are determined to make it work, not just for our own success, but to contribute to the success of the handmade community as a whole.

Please Name. . .

the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop

We tease each other because we say if we weren’t doing this we would have to do the laundry. There are 9 kids between us!

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:

Shelley: I have a little notebook that a fellow crafter made me – in it I write down everything, to do lists, shopping, phone numbers and websites.

Paula: lip balm and wool fingerless gloves


“her handbag contained her life” print

your favorite shops:

Etsy, Etsy, Etsy – we love it so – please have a look at our favourites to see who we love – there are such great makers out there. is an online selling place for New Zealand crafters, {but some offer international shipping too}

Otherwise our best shop is a good thrift shop – one you can have a really good rummage through to find fantastic old bits for our mad collecting.

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:

tiny Camille doll in her house

the mixed paper packs

vintage Alphabet print

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

If you make a new item, make sure you really love it, because if it does well, be prepared to make it over and over and over. Etsy Virtual labs ROCKS!

All of the items are eye-candies for me. Browsing around their Etsy store and Paula’s flickr page is truly a delight. If you haven’t been to their blog, drop by for a visit today and give the girls a warm hi:) Sweet William can also be found at Made – another handmade buy & sell site for Australian sellers. Thank you Shelley, Paula and Jeanine for being part of this.
Now for my personal favorites from their shop:)
sweet and lovely prints to inspire you
Align Centeradorable gift tags
the handbag print in pink
“little girl” purse ; zippies
mother and child cushion ; “Adapt” print


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