Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Chat with Ashlea

Welcome back to Tuesday chat. This week I am really excited to introduce you to the newest member of the McCarthy Designs and Occasion's team.

Ashlea is our new full time staff member and the person you will most likely be dealing with when you shop with us.

I thought it would be a great opportunity for you all to get to know Ashlea and also to let you all know that we are now open Monday through to Friday from 9am until 5.30pm! Yay!!!

Ashlea has also made great headway into updating our online shop so please make sure you check it out and remember to come back as Ashlea still has lots of goodies to load.

1.       Tell us a bit about you.I am Mum to two beautiful children, Ruby 4 and Lochlan 3. I love to read novels and occasionally write stories.
2.       What does a normal day look like for you? A normal day starts with a crazy morning getting the children up, breakfast and all getting dressed. Next is the half an hour car trip to day care then off to work. Maybe a quick shop on my lunch break and back to work for the afternoon. After work I pick up Ruby and Lochlan and head back home. Ruby and Lockie both love to help cook dinner, especially if it’s homemade pizza night. Then bath and shower time. After the kids go to bed it’s time for an episode of my favourite show Spicks and Specks. A quick clean up, then a couple of chapters of whatever book I’m lost in and finally bedtime.
3.       Most used small appliance in your kitchen?My kettle by far. I love coffee in the mornings and tea before bed.
4.       Do you buy things for your house because they look pretty or because they are functional and serve a purpose?I like to have a mix of both and better yet is when I find something not only pretty but also functional. I find with two small children I tend to go for more functional items.
5.       What is your dream job?My dream job is to be a published author. I would love to write a book one day and have it sold in bookshops internationally.
6.       Do you have a major goal this year and what is it?My major goal this year was to find a full-time position doing something I enjoy and fortunately I have managed to achieve that.
7.       Would you consider yourself to be a creative person?I don’t think I’m overly creative but I would like to be especially with decorating my house.
8.       If yes, Where do you get your inspiration from?My inspiration with to decorate has come from watching too much House Rules.
9.       Are you a homebody or a traveller?I love to travel but coming home is always a good feeling. If I had to choose I would probably say that I’m a traveller.
10.   How do you relax?The best way to relax is to sit in front of the fire with a good book and a cup of tea, something I try to do every night before bed.Thanks Ashlea for taking the time to let us all get to know you a bit better. Please drop in and meet Ashlea in person I am sure she'd love to see you :-)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Chat - Nourish & Nurture

Today's Tuesday Chat is with Tabitha from Nourish & Nurture. If you haven't had a look at Tabitha's page I highly recommend you do, it is just gorgeous!

1.       Tell us a bit about you and what you sell/make?

I am a bit of an all round creative, who started in the textiles and fashion field, then moved onto graphic design and illustration and am now making natural skin care products. I have always loved to create and make and also learn and try new things. I am currently making and selling my own natural skin care/ beauty product line including scrubs, creams, lip balms and baby skin care. My products are made with all natural ingredients, and I design my own packaging.

2.       Why did you start to make and sell your own products?

I had been working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, but when my son came along, I found it challenging to get much work done at the computer, and was mostly one getting some done while he was sleeping, which isn’t much time really.  On the side I had been doing some research into making my own natural cleaning and beauty products, as I had been reading a lot about all the chemicals in regular products, and with a child in the house wanted to reduce the number of chemicals we were using and also save money while I  was at it. After getting into it all and creating some great alternatives to our cleaning and beauty products at home, I realised they were all easy to make with a toddler around, as most was quick to make and done in the kitchen rather than at a desk. So having had previous experience with selling handmade goods in the past, I decided to give it a shot, and start my own natural beauty product line.

3.       What does a normal day look like for you?

Get woken up by my cheeky toddler, then quickly check emails and notifications on my phone. Get my little man dressed and make us breakfast. After breakfast I do a short workout to help keep fit and give me more energy for the day, than shower and get dressed. My son usually naps around lunch time, so the rest of the morning is spent playing, doing work and cleaning, whatever we can fit in! While he naps, its my time to get on the computer and do some computer work, which includes graphic work, packaging, listing and sorting sales. Then in the afternoons, we often like to go out for a walk (which is a great time to take things in and get inspired), sometimes to the shops or a park or just to the post box to mail off orders. The afternoons fly, as we eat dinner around 5pm, and its bath time at 6:30. Once the little man is in bed around 7, then its back to doing some work for me or relax for a bit!

4.       Where are you most creative/what time of the day are you most creative?

I used to be a late night creative, but since having a child, and the day being so busy (therefore be pretty tired by the evening), my prime time now seems to be mid-afternoon,  once I am really into the swing of the day and can get down to creating.

5.       Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am mostly inspired by the world around me and nature. I love going for walks and taking in all the natural beauty.

6.       Do you buy things for your house because they look pretty or because they are functional and serve a purpose?  

I love buying pretty things. My husband is a bit more of a ‘functional’ person then me, so we do our best to compromise on this, but my office is my little place full of things that have no purpose other than to look at.

7.       What is your dream job? 

Working for myself and making things. I don’t think my ‘dream’ is necessarily specific, I just want to create and design in a flexible environment and work on projects I love.

8.       Do you have a major goal this year and what is it?

Well since I have started this new venture this year, my goal is to really get the new business of the ground and make it successful.

9.       Are you a homebody or a traveller?

I love to travel and see new things, but I think I am a homebody at heart.

10.   How do you relax?

Snuggled up on the couch reading a book or magazine.

 Thank you Tabitha for taking the time to let us get to know a bit more about you, we wish you all the best with Nourish and Nurture!

Make sure you pop back next week for another Tuesday chat. Have a great week! xx

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday Chat - Handcraft Heaven

Today's Tuesday Chat is a bit different again, I thought it would be a great idea to list all of our current suppliers here for you in one place. 

Please take some time to pop over to each one to see what they make you can click on the suppliers logo or name to take you directly to their face book page.

Don't forget you can find products from all of these in our shop at 15 William St, Orange or visit our Facebook page and if you see anything you like contact us, we are happy to arrange postage.


Emay Images

Whimsy Milieu

Nourish and Nurture

These lovely ladies don't have a page to visit at the moment but they create some gorgeous things:

Stitched up With Buttons

Kylie S

and these lovelies are coming soon:

Poppy & O Designs
I call it art by Reynee
Fox and Hedgehog
Jammin Creations

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Chat - Mums in Business

This Tuesday I wanted to share something a little different with you, I often have mums commenting how they would like to start their own business and work from home, so hen I read this article from www.mumsinbusiness.net I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

Are You Looking at Starting Your Own Small Business or Just Started a Home Based Small Business?

There are many reasons why mum's want to start a home based small business – flexibility of working around the children, working from home, potential to earn more money and being able to create a better lifestyle. A home based small business gives you options that you wouldn’t normal get if you were employed. It can be a great win-win situation!
In this day and age there are plenty of good business ideas available. Coming up with ideas for a business is usually easy. But how do you turn an idea into a profitable business?
Well you just need to follow the right business steps. It is a well known fact that a high proportion of businesses fail within the first few years and for business mums it can be a little more challenging; trying to juggle the children, the business and the finances but with the right research, planning and help (Mums in Business has been established especially to assist you) it can be a lot of FUN and very REWARDING. You can have a very successful business.
Five key points for mums starting up a new business
So before starting your own small business you should consider your situation and your business idea. Mums in Business has put together five key points for you to consider before starting your small home business:
  1. Is this for you? Running a business can be challenging and demanding and is not for everyone so before taking the next steps to set up a business it is important to see if it is for you. You need to consider your personality, skills and circumstances. Ask yourself why you want to start a home based business and if you are really suited to running a business or are you just looking for some extra cash.
  2. Are you ready? Consider the following:
    • Are you able to work at home? At least you will need a computer and an Internet connection. It is also advisable to have a designated place where you can work from that is away from distractions around the house.
    • Are you disciplined? When working from home it is easy to get distracted by housework, errands, Facebook or personal emails. So do you have the discipline without procrastinating to assign time (a few hours each day or a few days a week) to focus on your business.
    • Are you committed and motivated? You will need to learn new skills and try things you have never done before. You will need to motivate yourself on an ongoing basis by setting goals. Are you are up for the challenge? 
    • What changes will you make? How much time are you prepared to spend on your business and what are you going to give up to achieve that, less time watching TV, less time with the family etc. If you have children at home, who will look after them whilst you are working on your business and how will you pay for that - one less takeaway maybe!
  3. Need ideas for a business?There are lots of ways to make money online - here are some good business ideas for you to consider.
    • Affiliate marketing. This is where you become an affiliate of someone else's product and sell it for a percentage of the sale. This is an easy method as they deal with everything else – stock, payments, shipping etc. There are sites like Clickbank.com and PayDotDom.com that have thousands of affiliate products at up to 70% commission for you to promote. 
    • Digital/Online products. Creating your own digital products, eBooks, Audio, Videos, e-courses, subscriptions and memberships etc to sell is a great business. The key is to find a niche market (people with mutual interests) and bring them together into one place. You will need to create information that people cannot get anywhere else. The beauty is you can sell them over and over again once to your niche market it is set up because people download the products straight from your site automatically. 
    • Sell a service (your skills). You can sell just about anything if there is a need for it. Think about what you are good at – event planning, teaching people to use Facebook etc and then create a package of your services to sell on a simple website. Now a day’s location isn’t a restriction with most service businesses as you can use Teleseminars, conferences, Skype, Videos, Audio etc. 
    • Physical products/Ecommerce sites. This method will require you to invest a little more time and money to set it up that the other methods as you have to source products and get those products online. You will also require capital to purchase these products (some companies will allow products on consignment).
    For more details on what kind of resources are available to assist you start a business, just click here
    If you are still looking for more specific ideas for a business, visit the Ideas for a Business section on this website www.mumsinbusiness.net/ideas-for-a-business.html
  4. Is there a DEMAND for your product?Far too often business mums start a business, but fail to consider if there is a DEMAND for their business before spending time and money on developing it. It’s as simple as Supply and Demand. You need to supply products to meet the demand. If there is no demand no amount of marketing or money will help you sell your products. You can find out if there is a demand by doing some keyword research. If the research shows that there are buyers searching for your product, then you know there is a demand.
  5. How are you going to finance your business? The good news is that a lot of work at home businesses can be started on a small amount of money but you will need some start up money to fund your business; the amount will depend on the type of business you start. You need to consider what you will spend it on, like on a website, office equipment, stationery, marketing etc. Also you should have funds available to cover costs whilst you are trying to make sales.
    A word of caution - Don’t spend any money until you have investigated all avenues. Many times I talk to business women who have spent $3,000 on a magazine ad, or are just about to pay up to $5,000 for a website - there is no way a website needs to cost anything like this.

    So before you spend anything substantial, research the market and suppliers. I can tell you now; there are always other options I am teach you to get you started, like using a free blog instead of a website or using free traffic methods to promote your business. You can always upgrade your website or pay for advertising once you start making money.
For more useful information visit www.mumsinbusiness.net

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Chat - Brie's Boo Teek

It's that time again, welcome to Tuesday Chat.

Today we are meeting Karina who is the founder of 

Tell us a bit about you and what you sell/make?
I'm a mother of two, son 5 and daughter 2. I do alterations and ironing from home, accounts for a company and sew for my online, facebook and now in-store baby items. I make bibs, teethers, burp cloths, dummy clips, pram clips, nappy wallets, custom outfits and so much more. 

Why did you start to make and sell your own products?
I started sewing in 2013 when my daughter was born, she was my inspiration. People loved what I was making and asked to buy, it started from there.

What does a normal day look like for you?
Most creative in the morning, I'm a morning person.

Where are you most creative/what time of the day are you most creative?
Most creative in the morning, I'm a morning person.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from what my kids need, Pinterest, Google searches and from other crafty people.

Do you buy things for your house because they look pretty or because they are functional and serve a purpose?
A bit of both.

What is your dream job?
I’m doing it

Do you have a major goal this year and what is it?
I would love to get my business onto a website, etsy and just re-brand.

Are you a homebody or a traveller?
I’m a homebody

How do you relax?
I relax by having a glass of wine, watching my fave shows or reading a good book.

 Thank you Karina for your time and letting us get to know you a bit better. 

Join us again next week for Tuesday Chat as we meet another talented entrepreneur.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Chat with Lullaby Lane

Welcome to Tuesday Chat, this is going to be a regular spot were I'll introduce you to our designers and suppliers as well as catch up with creative people who inspire others.

Our first guest is Kerry Rodwell who is the talented lady behind Lullaby Lane, grab a cuppa, sit down and enjoy getting to know Kerry.

1. Tell us a bit about you and what you sell/make?

I am a wife and a mum of 3 boys, I am also a banker.
I make and sell a variety of things including kids and ladies clothing, blankets, pillows, library bags, baby gifts (bibs, burp cloths, nappy wallets & Taggy's, pram liners and covers.

2. Why did you start to make and sell your own products?

I started making these things after a morning tea catch-up with a girlfriend who had a play mat/pram cover that she had just purchased but she still had to peg or tie it onto the pram and the comment was made "I am sure you could make that" so I did with a modification that allowed you to clip the cover onto the pram so it didn't blow off in the wind and it just morphed from there with my friends giving me ideas of what would be handy for them.

3. What does a normal day look like for you?

A normal day for me is getting the kids up and ready for school as well as getting myself ready for work as a banker 4 days a week, finishing work and trying to fit in a workout at the gym followed by dinner, homework and the bedtime routine, after which I will then either plan the next sewing project or do some sewing.

4. Where are you most creative/what time of the day are you most creative?

I am most creative at home in the evenings depending on how frantic it has been for the day but mainly on the weekends in the afternoon after the kids have finished sport and are having some quiet time.
 5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from my family and friends and their thoughts on what products they would like that are not out there in the market and what patterns and colours they want in fabric. As well as this I love just looking through all the fabrics in store and online.  When you see a fabric you can most of the time think "yes that would look awesome in a particular pattern"  but the majority is from customer input.

6. Do you buy things for your house because they look pretty or because they are functional and serve a purpose?

It is a bit of both for me, practical use is always at the forefront of my mind though as I like to be organised but I do like pretty things too that can dress the place up.

7. What is your dream job?

My dream job would be owning a fabric/craft store and sewing all the time.

8. Do you have a major goal this year and what is it?

My major goal this year would be a purchasing a new wiz bang sewing machine and taking the family on a much needed family fun holiday.

9. Are you a homebody or a traveller?

I am more of a homebody than a traveller but I am also a dreamer.

10. How do you relax?

Funny enough I relax by sewing and love a puzzle book, although when I buy a new puzzle book I say that I will only do a couple of them at a time and end up finishing the book in a couple of days which many would say is not relaxing as the mind is still working.  I do also like a bit of brain dead mindless TV.

You can find a gorgeous range of items from Lullaby Lane in store at McCarthy Designs and Occasions, we are located at 15 William St, Orange NSW 2800
or browse through our FB page, we are happy to post anything you see. Just contact us for more details.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Market Day - Saturday 9th May 2015

This Saturday will be our first Market Day!!!
(we’ll be opening every 2nd Saturday of the month, visit the Orange Farmers Markets as well as us)
Please make sure if you are local or visiting Orange pop in between 9am and 1pm and have a look at the great range of handcrafted goodies we are stocking. We have so many local suppliers on board now and we have so many unique products that will make fabulous gifts (and don't forget Sunday is Mother's Day).

Our current suppliers are:

Stitched up with Buttons
Kylie S Designs

Coming soon are:

Pop over to our facebook page to find out more.