01 July 2016
Designer Spotlight: Kylie from birdynumnum Design Co
visit storeI’m Kylie; Owner and designer/maker of all things birdynumnumDesignCo! I live in a beautiful coastal village where I work from out of my home studio. I am wife to Shane, a keen surfer and fisherman. He’s very handy and very patient! If it were not for his complete support and continuing encouragement I wouldn’t be able to do what I love which is being a full-time creative. We have two small boys Jasper 6 and Flynn 9. They are beautiful, cuddly, energetic and funny, and they keep us well and truly on our toes with their antics! Polly, our 5 year-old rescue dog completes our little family.
We love to DIY, and are continually working on our ‘fixer upper’ which is an amazing 60’s beach house we re-located and rebuilt here about 14 years ago. We love to tinker about with upcycled materials and learn new skills as we go. It’s challenging, messy and loads of fun, as well as being very rewarding!
We are also very much into self-sufficiency, so our home is completely solar powered. We also have a veggie garden, fruit trees, water tanks, composting worm farm and we re-use and recycle as much as possible. It’s a good feeling to save things from waste and give things a new purpose. We have a beautiful home which is unique and full of character, with a whole lot of our personal touches, and we love it.
My workspace is my favourite place in the house! I have a beautiful sunny studio which is full of SO much fabric, it’s a bit ridiculous actually! I’m a hoarder of textiles and I’m not sorry! Working from home means when friends pop over they are very happy sitting in the sunshine with a cuppa on my bright yellow sofa. We chat whilst I work and it’s all very lovely :)
Being surrounded by all this colour inspires me and I need to have all my materials close at hand so I can do what I do best. I found it essential to have a space where I can walk in and out as I please without having to pack everything away. It can get quite messy, but I can find whatever I need because it’s my beautiful mess!
I’m inspired by just about everything! Being creative means that I am forever being inspired by what I see. It never actually switches off, (any creatives reading this will be nodding in agreement!) I often see some fabric or a piece of timber and an idea will come directly from the material itself. Other times I will be inspired by an image, a song, magazines, fashion and even my garden. I find the more I create the more creative ideas will flow. If I’m ever having a creative ‘slump,’ which is rare, I will just go into my studio to do a tidy up and often going through my materials is enough to get things going again.
It’s a very familiar story about how I started birdynumnumDesignCo, but it really all started well before that. I’ve just always been creative; I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t. So I’ve just always made things and when my firstborn arrived, I did what I always have: I made things for him! Friends and family encouraged me to pursue the idea of selling my creations and finally one day I just thought ‘why not?’ So I brainstormed business names, registered the name and went from there.
That was six years ago. I initially planned to do the rounds of the local homewares stores and do some consignment, but online selling just took off so I never actually did make it into those stores! Now, remember, just 6 years ago, online shopping was still fairly new and fairly unchartered territory so there wasn’t the level of competition that there is now. But consumers are much more comfortable shopping online these days so that has been very good for micro businesses like mine.
I believe consumers are becoming more interested in the story of how something is made and what it is made with. There is also more of an awareness of how supporting local producers has a positive impact on communities and families. I think people are craving handcrafted goods in response to the clinical impersonal nature of technology and automation.
Handmade has a quality and warmth that people absolutely love. Having said that, it is kind of ironic that the online handmade sector is growing! The technology aspect of selling online brings together people from all over the world. I love that I can discover others who I would never have been able to access if it were not for social media and the internet. As I often say, let’s all take a moment to say “thank you internet”
Made It has given me a national platform to reach more Australian customers. I love this aspect and the discoveries of so many Aussie makers has been amazing too! We are a country full of talent and this platform encourages others to put themselves out there and be part of the adventure that is online selling.
I love so many things about handmade! For me it is just part of who I am and I am so grateful and happy that I can share my creativity with others. I can’t imagine my life without creativity.
Visit Kylie’s Store to find beautifully made mobiles, prints and more: birdynumumdesign