Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi. My name is Bianca. I live on the coast in Southern Victoria with my very patient and helpful hubby and 8 year old son, Xavier. Prior to owning Coco and Moose I worked in the café of a beautiful café/home wares shop.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use?
I make children’s clothing and accessories. My range of wear is designed to be practical, yet stylish. I use a lot of designer and quirky cotton fabrics. I have just recently started introducing jersey fabrics and screen printing into my range. After wanting to learn to screen print for a long time, I just recently completed a short, screen printing course and I have found I have a new love affair! I have started screen printing up my own fabrics and on the front of tees that are fully made by myself using my other new found love, jersey fabrics. As you can tell, I am having a lot of fun at the moment with my new range!!
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process?
I actually find inspiration all around me. Sometimes flicking through a magazine can bring it on, or relaxing with my family on a Sunday can clear my mind and make way for inspiration and new ideas. Then to follow through, if it is a screen print or applique design I draw up the designs I would like, and if it is a new pattern that I am making I source the appropriate fabrics and supplies. Sourcing the fabrics is the fun… I just love seeing all the fun and different fabrics that are out there. Sometimes it may take weeks of searching but when you see the right piece that feeling is indescribable! That feeling of I must add it to cart this instant!!
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art?
I have been creating for as long as I can remember. I come from a very crafty family. My mum taught me to knit and embroider as a child. And in later years I dabbled in scrapbooking and taught myself a little crochet. While pregnant with my son my sister encouraged me to make him a cot quilt. Since then I have never looked back with sewing, I just love it.
How did you come up with your business name?
I love the name Coco for a girl and Moose came about from my obsession with antlers. So it was natural that I put the two together. I also feel the name represents that I make clothing for both girls and boys.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I use Google, You Tube and the internet in general for tutorials. I read blogs like ‘Create and Thrive’ and ‘The Business Bakery’. Being in a Facebook sellers group has also helped me immensely and if I can I also like to take a class, there is nothing quite as good as being able to pick the brains of a teacher.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Find your own style and stay true to yourself. Find something that you are passionate about and not just what everyone else is doing. Finding your own style also includes finding your own photography style and description writing style.
Read! Read all the helpful hints and tips that are out there on running a business.
And finally focus on your brand. On what you want your shop to look like. I feel branding is very important, it is what will make you stand out to the customer. Strive to have the customer instantly recognise a piece of work as yours.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Keep your social media posts mixed and interesting for your customer. Use Facebook, Instagram or any other form of social media you may want to use to your businesses advantage.
Purchase some magnetic strips from your local $2 shop and turn some business cards into magnets or order some from your business card supplier, then pop one in with each parcel you send out.
And advertise! I know that I don’t do this enough. But it is highly important for your business to advertise, so set aside a budget for it.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way?
I don’t think I have learnt this the hard way but after reviewing my books for the financial year I am fully aware that I need to spend more on advertising. I am going to make it a goal this financial year to advertise more. What’s that saying? “You have to spend money to make money”
What do you like to do besides creating?
Entertaining. I love having people over to share a meal with. I like to slip out to a funky coffee shop and grabbing a good coffee, relaxing in the hammock in the warm sun and going to the beach all year round with my boys. Simple things really…oh and holidays, I like going on holidays.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website?
MUSIC: John Butler, Chet Faker, Janis Joplin, Thelma Plum
TELEVISION SHOW: I don’t watch much TV but I do like ‘The Block’ and ‘Grand Designs’.
FILM: Chocolat, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Austin Powers, Fifth Element and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
BOOKS: Ok well here I need to confess…I am not a book person! Give me a good house magazine any day.
WEBSITES: A Beautiful Mess, Madeit and Pinterest
What would be your perfect day?
Heading out to a café for a big brekkie while someone cleans my house for me. Taking a walk along the beach after breakfast then returning home and sitting in the hanging chair reading a good house magazine while someone prepared gourmet food for me to share with my family and friends on the deck on a balmy evening.
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
Red Punch Buggy - Professional service and I love her stuff.
Coco and Moose visit store
22 July 2014