Monday, April 8, 2013

The Whole Story - Warts & All

There are two questions that I often get asked - 1.  How I got started in the Craft Industry and 2.  Why don't you do markets anymore.  So, I thought I would try to answer both questions in a blog! Be warned it's a long story so I might have to do it in Chapters ;) It could be a 2 - 3 cups of tea story too so settle in for a bit of a long story. :)

I cannot remember a time when I haven't been creative.  I think it is in my blood.  My Great grandmother was a painter, I am so, so lucky to have a few of her master pieces - my favourite takes pride of place in our hallway - painted in 1909 it is amazing - but that is a whole other story! 
My maternal Nanna was an all round crafter, she knitted, she made chocolates and she created the most exquisite tapestries.  Her work was so perfect that she almost got disqualified from the Maitland Show when she entered the first tapestry she'd done because they thought it had been done by a machine! My maternal Poppa was a brilliant pianist and my Mum an amazing cook.  My Dad has plenty of talent in his side of the family too, my Nanna Dossy taught me to embroider & she knitted also. Being creative seeps in to every aspect of my life & I have passed it on to my boys - they amaze me with what they come up with!
I inherited my love of telling a story or two from my Dad so you thank him later ;) ;) ;)

I look back at my childhood & think how lucky I was that I was encouraged to be so creative.  Whether it was cooking, sewing, beading or knitting, I was always encouraged to have a go. 

Some have been a flash in the pan - like paper tolle & decoupage.  Maybe that's telling me something - avoid paper crafts?? ;) 

My poor parents, they money they must've spent on craft supplies for me! 

Beading, I always loved and it was something I always came back to.  I feel so ancient when I say this (I hope I'm not ancient just yet though, I'm only 33!!!) but it was so different when I started out.  I used to go to Adelaide once a week and buy my beads from a little bead shop in Central Markets called 'Kabeadle' or 'The Bead Hive' on Pultney Street.  The only other option was to 'mail order' a catalogue using a form from a beading magazine - the catalogues cost about $20 but oh my goodness - how I loved those catalogues! It seems like such a long time ago, but in reality it was only in the late 90's - it really is amazing how much has changed in 15 years! 

If any of you can remember Kabeadle, it was magic! It was always such a little hive of activity & I loved coming away with my little paper bag full of goodies, dreaming about what I could make! 

I started making jewellery for myself, my Mum & my sisters and before long people were asking "Where did you get that" and wanting to order one for themselves and thus K-Lou Jewels was born.
I made jewellery on and off over the years - it was always more of a hobby but it was nice to have a little bit of pocket money to spend on more supplies. Life got in the way of crafting though and I packed up the beads for a few years! 

When I met Brett I started beading again - I needed something to help keep me entertained for the hours I spent sitting on the beach watching Brett surf :) I can tell you that sand + seed beads isn't always a story that has a happy ending! 

Little markets had started to pop up in my area so I stocked up & started my market journey.  By this time I had given my 'business' a makeover and my name was Jewels by Kathryn.  I used mainly mother of pearl at this stage, which then evolved into glass jewellery.  There is something about beads - their colours, the texture - especially the glass ones - it's like each one has it's own little story to tell! 

I started having a stall at the Maitland Art & Craft Fair held in June & November and as my confidence grew I started blogging & a facebook page.  What a great way to meet people! It's been a lot of fun :) 

It is great to look back at old photos & see the changes I've made along the way and see the old favourites that make it in to every collection ! 

In 2009 I had out grown 'Jewels by Kathryn' and started on the journey that has been amazing, exhausting, exciting and has taught me a lot about myself, about the people around me, and about what really matters. 

I brainstormed for months until I came up with the name Pink Apple. I found the notebook that I used when brainstorming the other day & had a giggle at some of the other names I had on the list - competely different to Pink Apple.  

Pink Apple was the one I chose because I new I had to have pink in the name somewhere {I do love a bit of pink ;) } and I wanted it to be fresh.  What's more fresh than an apple? And so Pink Apple was born.

It has been such a rollercoaster and at times I've felt like I am flying by the seat of my pants, but most of the time it has been a lot of fun. I have met some AMAZING people.  I get the warm & fuzzies when I think about some of the people I've met - we really do have some of the most talented, inspiring and amazing people in South Australia and I am lucky enough to have shared some fabulous times with them.  

I think that is enough for tonight -

I could promise that I'll finish it tomorrow night but we all know that sometimes I like to have a couple of weeks between posts ;) 

Thanks for reading and I'll see you back here soon xx

*SPOILER ALERT - the next instalment will be full of these amazing people I talk about, how I've tried (& sometimes failed miserably) to juggle a home based business/motherhood/home life and how I've managed to overcome some of the bumps in the road!

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