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Brisbane mother and card-maker, Kelly Bates has made a full time career of papercrafts after discovering her creative passions in her late 20’s.

14 May 2020

Designer Spotlight: Kelly Bates

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Sports-lover turned full-time creative, Kelly: ‘I love making 3D and interactive cards that bring a smile to people’s faces’

Hi everyone! My name is Kelly and I’m a card maker living just north of Brisbane, Australia. I live with my fiancé Adam, our daughter (known as Squish to most people) and our recently adopted 2 year old Calico cat named Millie.

Brisbane mother and card-maker, Kelly Bates has made a full time career of papercrafts after discovering her creative passions in her late 20’s.

I’ve been around the handmade scene for over a decade now, previously having sold typography prints, personalised event stationery and cake toppers. I’ve been on Madeit for just over 18 months this time around but have previously sold on the platform under my previous business as well.

Kelly at work in her home studio, drawing a floral design to add to one of her handmade greating cards

This is my full-time business; I make cards, I teach a cardmaking class each month at one of the local Brisbane papercraft studios, I’m on the Design Team for one of the Australian stamps and die companies, and you’ll find me selling at markets across Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast each weekend.

Cutting designer papers on a guillotine; ‘This is my full-time business; I make cards, I teach a cardmaking class each month’

I specialise in fun, bright and modern designs and I love making 3D and interactive cards that bring a smile to people’s faces. I adore being a card maker, it’s certainly taken me a long time to find the career that was the right fit for me, but now I can’t imagine being anything else.

A completed ‘Thank You’ card featuring Kelly’s boldly coloured modern floral design

The joy, comfort or love a card can convey to someone can’t be replicated.. every person is different and so that’s why every one of my cards is unique, some may look similar on the surface, but each has their own little touch of something that no other card does.

A bright pink and purple friendship card with filigree detail and wooden butterfly embellishment; ‘The joy, comfort or love a card can convey to someone can’t be replicated’

My creative space is the spare bedroom of our home. It’s been a work in progress over the last few months to get it set up the way that works best for me, but I think I’ve finally got there!

Kelly Bates in her Queensland home studio; ‘I wasn’t the crafty kid when I was younger… much preferring to play sports’

I am one of those papercrafters who seems to have collated quite the paper collection over the last few years, so my current work is to get that rather large pile down to a more manageable size. Let’s be honest though, I doubt I’ll ever get through it all.

A bright blue and green sponged-ink background being applied to cardstock to form the basis of a new greeting card

I wasn’t the crafty kid when I was younger, I dabbled here and there but I never really settled on anything for too long, much preferring to play sports… I was a really into my netball, volleyball and in my senior school years I played vigoro (it’s a cross between cricket and tennis).

Hand cutting tiny paper embellishments for a greeting card design; ‘It took until my late 20s to find that I had a love for typography and photography’

It took until my late 20’s to find that I had a love for typography and photography, and so they became some of the things I enjoyed doing.

A bright green dinosaur handmade birthday card by Kelly Bates’

Paper-crafting snuck in a few years ago. I did a few classes local to me and enjoyed it but never really thought more of it. Then I injured myself, which lead to discovering a couple of health issues and I had to take 6 months off working and it became my solace.

Since then, I have grown to love the industry and the people in it so much both here in Australia and overseas and have made many friendships along the way.

Handmade thank you card featuring Australian gum leaf and golden wattle motifs by Kelly Bates’

Being back on Madeit has been such a wonderful experience for me, I’ve met some fantastic customers who I’ve had the pleasure of working with several times now, and I’ve been lucky to meet a few more at markets who have recognised my name from here. I love that we have an Australian marketplace all of our own where we can connect with local makers and better still, support people in their creative endeavours.

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Visit Kelly Bates to find fun, modern greeting cards handmade for every occasion: KellyBates

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