What is the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
I wrote a children’s book for a uni project back in 1994, and I named the fictional publisher of the book, Whimsical Productions. When making my cards and drawings for my shop I remembered the name, and thought it would go well with my artwork for magical, dreamlike stories.
How old is your shop?
New-born! The official launch was on Saturday, August 1, 2009. After all the planning and making over the last few months, it was exciting to actually see the gallery for my shop at the side of my blog!
What inspired you?
My husband’s Aunty, cousin and her children saw a production of Alice in Wonderland , and the photos of the play on their blogs were so vibrant that I thought the colours and characters would look effective on a quilt (which Aunty Ann is making at the moment!). Then I had an idea to draw the characters. It surprised me that I could draw because I thought I had lost the skill over the years.
Around this time, I was admiring my friend Kirsteen’s handmade cards and this lead me to thinking I could also make handmade cards inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The cards represent the colours, characters and settings from the Alice in Wonderland Disney film, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, The Mad Hatter’s Tea-Party and Alice in the Long Hall.
I always have some sort of project going on in my head (usually for my work as a Kindergarten/Pre-Primary teacher), and I had been in awe of people with blogs having their own etsy shops that can reach a worldwide audience. Once I had made a few cards and drawn all the characters from Alice in Wonderland, I thought, what better place to sell them but etsy, which is a very low-risk business venture.
Where do you create most of the items in your shop?
I have an antique writing desk on which to make my cards and other craft projects, although I made the Wizard of Oz cards on our large dining table to enable me to create en masse! I tend to create my drawings on my lap in front of the TV, or when I’m a passenger in the car!
What was the toughest challenge so far?
The trickiest thing so far was to find a supplier for card blanks, envelopes and resealable plastic bags.
How did you get over it?
Glued myself to the internet , and googled different tags until I found the suppliers I needed, Castle Cards and Desk Top Papers.
The things you do when not in your shop?
2. Teaching and caring for Kindergarten/Pre-primary children
3. Watching Foxtel
4. Spending quality time with family and friends
Stuff inside your bag you won’t leave home without.
My purse, and my miessence lipstick and lipbalm. I have a post on my blog about what is in my bag, but these are the absolute ESSENTIAL items.
What are your favourite shops?
I could write a book about this! I’ll stick to internet shops. My favourites are the black apple (must be everyone’s favourite I think!), Georgia Mars (stunning paintings of mushrooms), Sadie Olive (vintage goods, pretty stationery items), Patchwork Harmony (pretty, vintage and shabby chic decor items), Little Byrd Vintage (vintage goods), Teresa K Sheeley (French chic tea towels and pillow cases).
I haven’t bought from most of these shops yet, but I certainly think about it! The place I spend the most money is our miessence shop (you can reach it from our blog, www. sicefamily.blogspot.com). I have a real ‘thing’ about using organic skin care products, and these products are beautiful.
What are your top three favourite picks from your shop?
There are only four items in the Whimsical Works shop at the moment, so I love them all equally! Actually, it’s not in the shop yet, but keep an eye out for my drawing of the Queen of Hearts. I am probably most attached to her because she was the first drawing I did to get me started on my Whimsical Works adventure. Plus, she made me obsessed with hearts, and crowns!
What tips do you have for home-based business entrepreneurs like you?
I’m not exactly the guru on this, but things I have realised are:
- Believe in yourself and your products.
- Only sell an item if it’s difficult for you to part with it!
- Try to find all your suppliers on the internet, so you don’t have to drive all over the city all the time!
Any messages to those who support you?
Thank you to the shop owners mentioned above for inspiring me to have the confidence to give this a go. Also thank you to my blog readers, and the bloggers on my blog roll, for your comments and well wishes. And, of course, thank you to my hubby and son, for putting up with my blogging and crafting obsessions!
And now for my personal picks:
I really LOVE the Mat Hatter’s Tea Party cards collection.
Congratulations Wendy and Best Wishes to Whimsical Works!