Hi, My name is Natasha (Tash) and I am the brain and brawn behind One Spotty Dog. I live in Ellenbrook, WA with my 10 and 6yr old sons, We have a French bulldog Duke, and the most loving, black Burmese-cross cat, Henry.
I grew up in Central North Island, NZ to very hard-working and business-focused parents. Both my Father and Step Father can turn nothing into something in their workshops and I believe this is where I got my love of creating/making and experimenting with mixed media. I love to paint and make things using wood and other materials.
One Spotty Dog came from this love and passion and the need for a bit of extra cash while I was studying Nursing and Midwifery at Uni. I opened my Madeit store in 2009 and to start with, I hand-painted play mats and created colouring-in play mats.
I chose Madeit as my selling platform because it was Australian owned and operated. It was a woman and fellow creator who owned it, and put her heart and soul into it. It is a place where other like-minded creators sell and that gives it a real sense of community.
I love that Madeit sellers support each other with handy tips and advice, on selling and store presentation; great friendships have been forged and product swaps and sales have happened between stores to support each other and to help each other grow.
I took a break for a while after having my first son in Jan 2013 and I really wanted to get a scroll saw and make a rainbow for my son. This drove me to get into wooden products and I sold my first handmade wooden rainbow in my Madeit store in April 2015. I have not looked back, and now wooden stackers are my main product, with many different designs in my range, and I love to design and make new designs. Over the years, one product has inspired ideas for the next.
One Spotty Dog is currently my main job, other than being a mum. I graduated uni as a Registered Nurse in 2014 but due to my husband working the fly in fly out life and having small children, I never worked as a nurse. One Spotty Dog was once a hobby but is now a business because you never know where something is going to take you. I wanted to have all my options open.
I originally started my business in my garage, set up as my workshop and creative space. One side was my workbench with all my tools, saws, and sanders and the other was my paints and sewing machine.
I had a large dining-sized table in the middle that, 99% of the time, you could not see or use, which was a little frustrating! I blame the creative mind that decides to start something new when there is already something being created there! For this reason, and so that I could watch TV while I painted, I used my coffee table in my living room to paint and wax, mostly in the evenings.
It didn’t take long for me to outgrow that space and luckily we had the space and in 2019 we build a 6x6m shed in the backyard. I can honestly say that the table hasn’t got any better. More space, unfortunately, didn’t equal more organised for me. But the space has been amazing, allowing for more storage and room for more machines. I still to this day bring work inside to paint in front of a tv show or movie.
Inspiration comes from many things for me: the outside world, shapes and colours of everyday objects and things I see at different places we go; and my children when I watch them play and problem-solve – it is amazing how a child’s mind can think totally outside the box and do things with a rainbow.
Having a creative mind gives you the ability to see how something will look finished before you have created it. We can be anywhere and a thought or idea will just pop into my head from something I have seen and I think yes I can do that, or I can make one of those, but if I do it this way it will be even better. Then I will go home and either grab a piece of paper or a piece of plywood, draw it up and cut it. Many times this is how something has been created; trial and error straight on the wood.
I also love Google Images. I will think of something that I would like to create and I will 'Google Image' it to see what is already out there and how I can do it differently or better.
I love that when buying handmade you aren't buying just a product you are buying someone’s talent, ideas, and hard work! I love that they have created you something beautiful with a piece of their heart, a few tears, and a lot of time, energy, and passion. Because trust me, a lot of all 5 go into every piece that a hand-maker makes!!
There is something quite magical about the handmade community, it is like an unspoken 'I get it, I know how hard you have worked to design and create this piece, and I applaud you!’ Especially in the mummy handmaiden world . . . Everyone gets that being a mum is hard enough at times without throwing in a creative business, but they all band together and promote, praise, and lift each other.