Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Artisan: edwardandlilly

Meet this week Saturday Artisan, Rebecca of edwardandlilly. Her shop is full of Embroidery, homewares, soft toys and brooches handmade in Brisbane, Australia. What distinguish her shop from others are the originality and the eco friendly materials she uses.

Read on and learn how to be inspired and good to your environment at the same time.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I've always worked in the arts and a few years ago I decided to replace study with something creative. I always wanted to make my own clothes so started teaching myself to sew. At first I was making little soft toys for my nieces, these eventually led to sales and edward & lilly was born.

My focus now has shifted slightly more toward embroidery but the softies are still around.

I love the handmade community both online and in my home town of Brisbane, I'm a member of the BrisStyle Etsy Street Team and the Brisbane chapter of Brown Owls where I've met some fabulous crafty friends.

Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love it when tiny details turn out even better than first intended, I love the way a little softie develops its own personality as soon as the face is stitched on and I love seeing my little critters transition from pencil and paper to fabric and thread.

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I always have a number of production lines going for each product, I try to work on one a week but it depends on orders, demand etc. My crafty space is pretty tiny so these are usually stored in containers and boxes. They have to be easy to access so I can whip them out at a moment's notice, even if I only have 5 minutes to spare I know there is always something on hand to cut, stitch or pin.

What is your favourite item in your shop?
Right now it's my new zipper pouches although there's always a special place in my heart for the little faces of Cuddly Cats.

What is your best seller?
For a long time it's been embroidered brooches but more recently tissue cosies have been in demand. Lavender Scented Birds are also a popular item with my stockists.

How does your day go in general?
Because I work full-time and have pretty busy weekends I try to make the most of every day. Computer work is done at meal times and on lunch breaks, I walk everywhere so that's my thinking time for ideas, problem solving or new product designs, creative time is usually between 7-11 pm, I like to take product photos in the morning before work when the sun is at its best and any other bit of time I can squeeze in is spent creating, even a spare 5 minutes before heading out the door is valuable. If I feel the need to watch a great show on tv or a movie it's always with a pile of embroidery in my lap. I love being busy, I wouldn't have it any other way ;)

Do you have a favourite Etsy seller?
There's so many it's crazy, I recommend checking out my Etsy favourites and my blog for some great finds. This week I'm loving Little Viking Girl

What inspires you?
My nieces are all animal lovers and are the main inspiration behind my softies, their reaction to them is all that matters because then I know that a little girl walking by a Cuddly Cat at market won't be able to resist pointing it out to her Mum.

The major inspiration for my designs and material choices is nature. I'm constantly inspired by the shape of birds, the patterns on a fish, the delicate nature of flowers, cute little critters and the texture of natural fibres. Sketching these beautiful things is one thing, stitching them gives me a whole new respect for the natural world around me.

What is your goal for 2010? And are you on the right track?
My goal for 2010 is to create more one off embroidery pieces to add to my current product line. I have two series on the go at the moment, one of embroidered Australian fish species and the other is more figurative. I think owning a unique piece that you know no one else will ever have is a very special thing. Being kind to myself, animals and the environment is also high on my list of goals for this year.

What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
My little white plastic embroidery hoop, it stretches fabric perfectly, it's small enough to embroider a scrap of fabric and it fits in my little portable craft-on-the-run container in my bag.

How do you promote your shop?
The obvious ones are my blog, twitter and facebook.

The most important ones are being genuinely involved in the craft community, word of mouth, a high quality product, lovely customer service and all the others things that lead to repeat business.

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
Be true to your creative self. It's the only way to love what you make and to create a product that sets itself apart from the competition.

Saving money is important, tell us one thing that you do to save money?
Buy handmade or second hand as much as you can, and have a go at switching to a plant-based diet, everything else will fall into place.


  1. thats a great feature :)
    Love the little tissue cozies

  2. i think that she can extend the brooches/pins and make buttons or bows with the same design! :D cute shop! :D


  3. lovely items...i wish you had little bags or purses...

  4. I love the embroidery!You should add bags and pouches and maybe embroidered fabric rings to the shop!

  5. Gorgeous little tissue cosies!!

  6. can't wait to see the fish species!!! fabulous interview :)

  7. I like your shop. And your embroidered sausage dog is so adorable. Maybe you could add earrings to your shop. I would love to have a pair of earrings with the sausage dog :)

  8. You're great Rebecca!
    Wish i could leave my job to start an artisan little shop too <3
    Hugs from Italy,

  9. What about some embroidered keychains? Could be lovely for my car keys ^___^

  10. i always love every thing you make!

  11. I really love all your pieces and your embroidery is fantastic (and adorable!) I enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about you through the interview :)