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Deeply inspired by her children, Melbourne mumma and maker, Georgina creates whimsical felt nightlights for babies, children and the young at heart

25 September 2020

Designer Spotlight: House Of Indie

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Mother, Dental Technician, and self-taught stitcher, Georgina: ‘Our kiddies are always wanting my products to fill their rooms. Without them, all that surrounds me would not be possible. They truly are my muse and inspiration

Hi my is name Georgina Alvarez and I live and work in a little light-filled room of my home, in Cheltenham Victoria, with my husband, our two children and my Mum. I am the face behind all things ‘House Of Indie’. I design and hand-make children’s nightlights in shapes of Hot Air Balloons, Houses, Kites, Stars, Christmas stockings and my newest designs are ships and boats!

I am honoured to be sharing with you how I’ve come this far in my creative pursuit in life.

A cluster of whimsical hanging felt hot-air balloon nightlights by House Of Indie

I am the youngest of three, by migrant parents, who came to Australia and worked pretty damn hard to not only earn a living, but to provide for their family. For this I am truly grateful. Now being a parent myself, I am even in more debt to them as I can now understand about parenting and what it is to support a growing family.

Deeply inspired by her children, Melbourne mumma and maker, Georgina creates whimsical felt nightlights for babies, children and the young at heart

As long as I can remember I had a love for arts. My first and fondest memory would be watching ‘Young Talent Time’ on a Saturday night. Do I say anymore?! I wanted to dance, sing and create and to share it with the world, just like so many young aspiring dancers. I started dancing at the age of 9 and you couldn’t stop me, I lived and breathed it!

The once-aspiring dancer, Georgina, at her sewing machine with her young son on her lap: ‘I wanted to dance, sing and create, and share it with the world

I was absolutely shattered when I reached an age where the reality hit, that I didn’t fit all the criteria of being a pro dancer. But what I do know now is, how grateful I am that I didn’t take that path because I wouldn’t be where I am now.

A little boy examines a display of felt kite nightlights under a hanging cluster of whimsical felt hot-air balloon nightlights at a weekend market

Growing up in Coburg I was surrounded by such diversity in culture that opened my eyes to accepting one’s differences. And that these differences supported a community (most times). I especially loved experiencing new things visually. There was a lot to see and be inspired by. My favourite memories are visiting craft markets with my mum and sister. This is my first memory of dreaming of having a stall of my own one day.

A smiling Georgina in her light-filled home, holding a hand-written sign saying ‘Just Be Your Self Today’. ‘My favourite memories are visiting craft markets with my mum and sister’

Whilst still in secondary school I worked on holidays in a dental laboratory showing interest in becoming a Dental Technician. Who would have thought that I absolutely loved it!? So as a quiet, passionate 17 year-old I studied dental technology and gained an apprenticeship with a pioneer in the field.

A little overall-clad body on a stool holding a House-of-Indie house nightlight / shelfie

As a dental technician, I learnt to use a variety of materials from plaster, wax, then casting metal (all types gold, alloys and titanium), polishing, to then creating teeth by firing porcelain fused to metal, making crowns. These techniques gave me the inspiration to wax and cast my own designs and in my own time my employer allowed me to create my own designs and encouraged me to experiment with my ideas of jewellery pieces. You know what everyone got for Christmas that year, yes a titanium shell necklace or anklet. Ha ha!!

Georgina’s daughter and House Of Indie namesake holding a mobile of felt clouds, sun, hot air balloon nightlights and mini bunting: ‘I went part time to pursue creative adventures in retail and my ultimate favourite, craft markets.’

I have worked as a dental technician for 12 years and another 8 years on and off between having children. Half-way through my career I still couldn’t help wanting to create, whether it was jewellery, decoupage, drama, dance. So I went part time to pursue creative adventures in retail and my ultimate favourite, craft markets.

My soul needed to follow my heart.

Georgina in her light-filled Melbourne home workspace arranging some of her felt creations on a hanging shelf

I believe being creative isn’t just about painting or drawing or in the traditional forms of what we perceive art to be. I see creativity in all things, like the way someone makes a bed, or in the way you choose to communicate with children, in the way you love someone, gardening, creative ways of thinking, problem-solving, sewing, writing, singing, making people laugh. The way you fold the laundry. Stamp collecting, the way you dress or do your hair…the list goes on. It’s about using the gift you’ve been given, to then create.

A hand-stitched red felt heart with beaded detail: ‘My first ever felt piece was a time when something ended – or so I thought – and when everything began

My first ever felt piece was a time when something ended - or so I thought - and when everything began. I was pregnant and nesting at the time, and I came across a beautiful felt shop and I bought some felt having no idea what I was going to do with it, but I knew I had to have it.

A handmade felt cloud and hot-air balloon nightlight held in front of a colourful backdrop

I made a beautiful beaded love heart, something I fumbled around into making for my dying Dad, as it was his last birthday. What could you possibly give? This idea just seemed to flow. It hung from the top of his bed and was with him till his last breath. I still really miss him heaps, but what keeps me full of hope is how everything has unfolded in my life since. Little did I know this is where my felt work journey would begin, or how in the end, new beginnings where unfolding unconsciously before my eyes. For this I am truly grateful.

A hand holds three glowing white felt star nightlights by House Of Indie: ‘I never intended on sewing as I am a self-taught sewer, but my heart strings have led me here

About a year later my Mum asked if I could make something for a family member’s new baby, she suggested perhaps a mobile Air Balloon! This is where and how it started. I never intended on sewing as I am a self-taught sewer, but my heart strings have led me here; House of Indie, named after my daughter.

Bubbles float pas a whimsical felt hot-air balloon nightlight against a backdrop of blue

My Hot Air Balloons have evolved a lot since then. They turned from mobiles into Nightlights, and this was a game changer! My niche was starting to become something original. I was then inspired to create whimsical lights for children, in all different shapes and forms as my own children required nightlights. I absolutely love seeing our customers' faces light up when they see my Nightlights. The response is overwhelming and I feel very taken away with their comments and response! Little kiddies come running to my market stall yelling 'Mum look Balloons!' it's just the cutest. I love colour and lighting people's world up, to especially create dreaming!

Close up of Georgina at work at her sewing machine, stitching together a felt balloon for one of her hot-air balloon nightlights

I use pure woollen felt from an amazing store in Victoria, who even dye their own fabrics, and this adds to the quality to my products.

A felt Christmas stocking night light aglow with red ribbon and silver bauble: ‘With the love of this craft I took my creations to craft markets around Melbourne’

With the love of this craft I took my creations to craft markets around Melbourne and met the most amazing and talented people. I am very appreciative for these events and their organisers, who bring together communities and like-minded people where craft lovers can support each other.

A smiling felt sun peeping out from behind a cloud with a colourful kite nightlight by House Of Indie in the foreground.

I learnt about Madeit through one of my mother’s group friend who we shared a tent at a few craft markets. She (Rhyley Design) recommended this amazing platform for Australian artists to sell. I had a few gentle pushes from customers at markets, my husband and friends, (one who even bought me a photography product session! She is a gem...) who all encouraged me to go online.

Georgina’s light and bright home workspace with a few of her hot-air balloon creations hanging in the window: ‘I had a few gentle pushes from customers at markets, my husband, and friends… who all encouraged me to go online.’

I was a little hesitant at first, it took me a while to get the courage up, plus I was a little busy with my kiddies, but the ease and flow of Madeit, came upon so easy to do. I don’t know what I was so worried about. I have been selling on Madeit for about 6 months and Louise, the hands behind this platform, is just lovely and very passionate about supporting Australian artists.

A collection of felt kites and hot air balloon night lights hang above a colourful ‘Just be yourself today’ framed image: ‘How could I not have been what I am, as I am surrounded by creatives and makers?’

How could I have not been what I am, as I was surrounded by creatives and makers? My Dad was a passionate gardener, almost everything in our garden was edible - I was so lucky! Mum knitted, made clothes, and made the most scrumptious biscuits. My sister became a fashion designer/pattern maker and my brother is making and re-vamping cars!

An ever-smiling Georgina with her curly-haired son in her arms

My family is my centre, my whole world, my everything and my biggest fans. Our kiddies are always wanting my products to fill their rooms. Without them, all that surrounds me would not be possible. They truly are my muse and inspiration. My love for them is unmeasurable.

A white felt house nightlight aglow in a darkened room

My parents always supported my artistic adventures and pursuits and always reminded me that there is room for success; that God will always provide with my faith being my anchor. And divine timing leading me.

I am House Of Indie



Visit House Of Indie to find more whimsical felt nightlights for the young and young at heart: Houseofindie

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