22 April 2016
Designer Spotlight: Arabella from ARL Designs
visit storeMy name is Arabella and I live with my lovely husband Bruce, just a short walk from the beach in beautiful Hervey Bay in South East Queensland. I immigrated to Australia from England in 2010 after living in Singapore, South Africa and England over the years, so it is great to stop moving and settle down near the beach.
I work full time in real estate and fit my creative time around work, keeping fit by playing squash and cruising around in my 1980 Ford XD panel van which I love.
I make candles and melts using eco soy wax and organic Queensland beeswax. My Vintage & Vanilla range of candles are poured into vintage china teacups and glasses which I have collected and hoarded over the years. I also make a range of bush tin candles using scents from the Australian Bush, which I feel connected to after listening to songs and stories as a child, from my Australian grandfather.
We had our current house built a year ago and it is very modern and clean. I don’t have a workspace for my candle making, and even though Bruce loves and supports me in everything I do, he is not very keen on me using his kitchen as a candle factory. It does make me work efficiently and neatly, but I would love a space of my own, perhaps the laundry? I do have an office where I design and print my own labels and photograph and pack my candles.
I studied Interior and Product Design in London many years ago before I entered the rat race, but have always kept up with the latest trends and designs. I love reading House & Garden magazine every month as it really captures the current colour and styling ideas, and Instagram is an amazing source of information from all over the world. I have not really jumped onto Pinterest yet, I know I should, but I just don’t think I have the time. I am addicted to homewares, so making and selling candles is a way of indulging that passion without cluttering our house.
I started making candles as a hobby and as gifts for friends, but then realised that there was a market for beautiful handmade candles. I started to sell my candles in a local craft shop at the Hervey Bay Marina and things really progressed from there, with great customer feedback and return business. I take part in a few handmade craft fairs during the year and Facebook and Instagram are a great link with the local community.
I live in regional Queensland so the local market here is limited, although I am lucky enough to have a retail outlet. Made It means that I can share and sell my products with the whole of Australia, and meet amazing like-minded and talented makers.
I have been selling on Made It for about 12 months, and started without really thinking too much about the styling and descriptions. I was very lucky to have a tutorial on photographing my products with Made It over the Christmas break and it changed the way I look at and market my products and made my creativity step up a few levels.
The help and support and advice is amazing and I have met some very interesting people along the way. I am proud to have my items on Made It and support other makers by purchasing from their shops too.
I love being part of a creative group of makers, whether that be on Made It, or as part of the Harbour Gift Gallery. Buying local and handmade is important to the community here in Hervey Bay, and the makers are well supported by the local markets and the visitors who come to see the humpback whales every year.
’ I try to use environmentally-friendly products wherever possible, and have resisted the use of plastic packaging for my soy wax melts, instead packaging them in beautiful handmade boxes. I have just arranged to have my packaging handmade locally, which is an exciting new collaboration.
I also make candles to accompany table decorations for weddings and events. It is a wonderfully creative process and working direct with a client is inspiring, especially as it is the most celebrated day of her life.
The process of making is as important as the final piece, and it is just as interesting and rewarding.
Visit Arabella’s Store to find beautiful scented melts and candles for every occasion: ARLDESIGNS