Tag Archives: gifts

spotlights

Spotlight: Heidi Crawford of HMC Designs

I first became familiar with HMC Designs during an Etsy search for all things teddy bear [for my post, “Please Bear with Me“].  It was hard not to fall in love with the adorable designs of Australian Artist, Heidi Crawford.

hmc

The product list includes gift cards, badges [buttons], magnets, colorful plushies, hair bobbles, and baby bibs – all hand crafted and some are even customizable!  HMC Designs started in 2005 and quickly grew from selling at local market stands to a booming retail and online business.  With the recent birth of her daughter, I just had to find out how Heidi finds the time to do it all [because there are days I can hardly find the time to shower!].  I also wanted to know more about her business and motivation …. here’s the Q & A:

How do you balance being a new mom and running your business?

“I try to find a good balance between looking after my daughter, my home and finally my business! I do a lot of my design work when she is napping during the day and after she has gone to bed at night.  I am very lucky to have a wonderful partner and a close knit family who are always available any time I need help or someone to baby sit  for a few hours when I need to fill an order or spend time at a market.
I think the key to running my business successfully is making sure that I am really organized and set achievable goals. This means lots of  “To Do” lists!  There’s nothing better than ticking the “Done” box after you have successfully completed something.”

What is your best selling item?

“My best selling item would have to be my Wedding and Graduation cards.   weddinggrad

I have found that people really love the option to customize the faces so they look like the recipient. This feature makes the card that little bit more special when compared to the generic wedding card you may find in your local store.”

Where do you get the inspiration for all of the cute little characters?


“Currently, I am finding a lot of inspiration in children’s picture books, but I have always been fascinated with imagery from Japanese Pop culture.  As a child I practised my drawing by copying Sanrio characters and cute illustrations found in Japanese magazines.  From here I became interested in Anime and Pop Art in general.  For a few years now I have been collecting lots of colourful and interesting images, figurines and treasures.  All of these provide me with endless amounts of inspiration to continue designing and creating.”

Any plans to bring the products to US stores?

“Up until quite recently I have only been selling my products online and at local art markets.  I have just started approaching stores here and so far I have been getting a really positive response.  So once I have tackled the Australian market I hope to venture overseas to the US.  Having said that, if any overseas wholesaling opportunities pop up in the meantime I will definitely consider them.”

What makes you laugh?

“I love this super cute comic strip called “Patchesâ” –  It never fails to make me laugh.”

What is your favorite home decor item?
roca
“My partner and I purchased some amazing outdoor “Roca” chairs from a fellow stallholder [Carey Potter] at an Artists’ Market here in Melbourne.  They have a really grungy, weathered feel – they don’t look it, but they are really comfortable!
When I have a spare moment, I love to sit out in my backyard on my Roca and relax.”

[Heidi, I just might have to come to Melbourne to get one of these chairs!  I LOVE THEM!!]

Have you been selling the baby bibs [they are adorable!] for awhile or was this something that came about when you found out you were going to be a mom?

bub

“I started making the baby bibs after my daughter was born. I had a lot of trouble finding good quality cotton bibs that not only did its job but also looked good too.  I gave a few as gifts to friends who had recently had babies and after receiving a lot of positive feedback from them and after my own extensive testing with my own baby, I decided that they would definitely become part of my product range.”

Thank you, Heidi!!!  Can’t wait to see your stuff in the shops, but for now I am content with buying from your Etsy store!

fashion

Beautiful Fair Trade Heart Pendant Necklace

I was smitten with this necklace the moment Tammy Wilson from Earthlover sent me a sneak peek.  Crafted by hand using imfibinga seeds (awesome), this pendant hangs from a 24″ hand knitted cotton string.

imfibinga2

This necklace is part of the Be Sweet product line, working with villagers in South African tribes  – their mission is to “bring socially and environmentally friendly products to fashionable consumers that evoke an individual style and help support community development around the world.”  A portion of their proceeds are donated to a school in the Eastern Cape, where many of the artisans’ children attend classes.  What makes a better gift than a gift that gives back? Nothing.  This necklace is available at Earthlover for $21.00 … and if the necklace isn’t for you, there is a gorgeous heart shaped pin!

creativity

Alternative Wrapping Paper Ideas

I’ve been buying gifts like crazy online today, trying to get my orders shipped so they arrive before the big day.  Pretty soon, the boxes will start piling up and I’m going to need to bust out the tape and ribbons and rolls of – WAIT!  NO!  There’s got to be a better way.  I can’t see all that paper getting shoved into trash bags and tossed in the garbage this year without feeling guilty.  [Thanks to an article I read on Earth 911 informing me that most wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to dyes, additives, the tape, etc. and that around 4 million TONS of wrapping paper and shopping bag waste is produced during the holiday season.  This is definitely going to lead to a post on ways to reuse wrapping paper.]

Know someone that loves to sew?  Wrap their gift in old sewing patterns!  Even if they don’t sew, the idea is still really cool – I’m stealing this one for sure!  Read the full tutorial by Rikkianne at Creature Comforts.

rikkianne

This idea is similar to the one above, but with a masculine touch.  Recycled architecture plans [via re-nest]!  Now, where can I get my hands on some of those?  [Andy Taylor, are you reading this?  lol]

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These wrapping alternatives are even better than the traditional wrap if you ask me … so much more personal and creative.  I love the idea of wrapping up wine bottles with tea towels – two gifts in one!  These lovely designs are from Studiopatro in San Fransisco.

teatowelstudiopatro

A burlap sack?  Yes, a burlap sack.  It never looked so good thanks to Faded Plains [there are some other great wrapping ideas to check out there as well!].

burlap

So what have we learned?  Traditional wrapping paper usage is wasteful.  Tea towels, burlap sacks, old sewing patterns or blueprints, newspaper, wallpaper scraps, old book pages, magazines pages, shopping bags … geez – almost anything is a better alternative.  Take a look around your house and wrap up something unique.  Then send me a picture. XO!

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decor

The Gift of Time – Wall Clocks!

The other day I came to the realization that I am surrounded by time, yet I never have enough of it.  The microwave, the coffee maker, the stove, the computer, the alarm clock, the cable box, the stereo, and my cell phone constantly remind me how very little time I actually have.  I swear I have aged like 10 years since I gave birth.  I don’t know where it goes, but time really does fly. Anyway, the point is that I have all of these digital clocks all over the place and not one wall clock – which is ridiculous.  The wall clock is a staple of the home and we can’t let that quiet tick-tock be silenced by an LCD display.  So, give someone the gift of time this holiday season … or give it to yourself – you deserve it.

This MDF and bamboo creation is the work of Keith Moore of PILOTdesign in Minneapolis.  I love his color combinations!  Be sure to check out the rest of his modern clock pieces and his lighting designs – very cool.  Splat White-on-Green Clock $59.00.

whitegreenbamboo

This little owl clock is soooo cute!  Made from laser cut bamboo and fitted with a silent motor [making it perfect for baby’s room!].  Made by Maiko Kuzunishi of Decoylab in Kansas City, MO.  $48.00.

babyowl

These beautiful china clocks are the works of Jenilyn of Faire Houre.  The clock on the left is made with a porcelain plate from PiP Studio and on the right, some gorgeous lacey looking repurposed china.  ON SALE – $39.00 / $33.00

piplaceclock

Such a simple design and a totally modern feel.  I love this Pendolo Clock by husband and wife team Vincent and Jessie of uncommon.  Available in a wide range of colors.  $59.00. You should also check out some of the amazing furniture pieces handcrafted by Vincent at Dust Furniture.

pendolo

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