Behind the Scenes with Miyo from Oishi-m

Happy new release day! The Spring 16 collection from Torquay label Oishi-m has just dropped (right now… shop here!), and in celebration, we’ve invited Miyo Fallshaw, the business brains behind this amazing Australian label, to drop in and share a little peek inside her creative mind. Miyo is a mum of two who invests her heart and soul in to producing the beautiful garments that adorn our cheerful children (with the help of her amazing team).

Every season there’s something new to admire and adore, with limited edition loveliness that has inspired online fan groups and buy, sell, swap communities, and can also be seen on one of our favourite Australian TV shows (stylishing outfitting Nina’s daughter Zoe on Offspring). Happy reading!

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

My earliest memory of the Oishi-m brand is…

Fiona started Oishi-m just over 10 years ago upon the arrival of her daughter, Mila. I remember visiting Fi over at her house for cups of tea and seeing little Mila dressed in some of the early prototypes of Oishi-m. A short while later, my husband Andy’s best mate had a baby, so I encouraged him to head down to the local baby shop in Torquay (‘Melon Baby’) to get some of Fi’s beautiful creations for this new baby. He came home with a whole outfit. “I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I bought both the Shrug and the Skinny Jeans”.

There was something in this quirky little brand, Oishi-m. How does a 20-something male come back from being overwhelmed by how cute all the garments were, and buy more than what is just necessary to get a pressie? Soon after I joined forces with Fi to build and develop Oishi-m.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release, Miyo Fallshaw

The next chapter for Oishi-m means…

Since our early beginnings, things have evolved so much! We moved from off our dining room tables and into a shared office before we embarked on our retail store which now adjoins our office. The last few years have been a huge learning experience on running a business, managing growth, and the fine balance of work/life/family.

Fi moved on from Oishi-m earlier in the year and her last range designed is Summer 16. Whilst it was an end of an era, it has been an opportunity to reflect on the direction of the brand and business.The next chapter has us developing a bunch of new initiatives in the product side of things as well as a constant refinement on our delivery and brand. We really value balance in our life and the boutique, intimate experience of Oishi-m, so growing whilst maintaining the magic.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

Three things that make Oishi-m unique are…

  1. Our quirky styling – Our sometimes unconventional fusion of fabrics and colour combo’s are thrown together in a way that is somehow classic and independent of trends at the same time. Our styling doesn’t compromise comfort for look or practicality. The mix and match nature of our playful designs gives an air of boldness that children can totally pull off.

  2. The Limited Edition-ness – Our garments have been known to sell out within minutes and fetch crazy resell prices on the secondhand market. But once it’s gone, it’s gone. Our customers can know that they’re wearing a special little something that is fortunate enough to be shared with a handful of others. Whilst there is also disappointment from sold out’s, there’s also always something amazing coming around the corner.

  3. Playful Fun – each day at “work” we always manage to achieve a good belly laugh. We have colour in our lives and occasionally greet our Fed Ex Courier or Australia Post contractor with a ‘Ta Dahhhh!’. We can get caught up in numbers, analysis, sell-through reports and product review meetings, obsessing over how to keep improving our processes, but in between those moments we celebrate birthday’s with a song and a cake, make many cups of tea and go rollerskating or Karaoke-ing for team catchup’s. Our Oishi-m Team give the good vibes back out into the world creating a warm fuzzy glow around us.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

When I look around my workspace I see…

A remarkable team. We’re so fortunate to be based in Torquay which is not only a beautiful part of Australia (or the World!) but also a creative hub that have cultivated some great people resources from the local rag trade. Between us we hold over a century of experience from the Surf Industry. Whilst we also hold relevant work experience, we’re also at a time in our lives where we have families and value living life. In any given day we have made a zillion lunches, have swung in a kinder drop-off, school bus pick-ups and the occasional assembly to rush to all whilst juggling getting things done.

Three things most people don’t know about me are…

In the last few months I have learnt how to use a sewing machine – and since then I have managed to produce an apron, and 4 x Mickey Mouse Nighties for my daughters, sister and I! My shoddy workmanship is fast improving but wow, what a great appreciation for garment construction I now have.

Apparently when I’m stressed and on the phone at work – I start to frantically twirl my pen around my fingers. I have no idea where it comes from but one of our team mentioned that she can just look at me from the other side of the office and know that something heavy is going down because of the pen twirling!

When I grow up – I want to be a lego display builder. I love going to check out Lego conventions to people watch the geeks and also appreciating their amazing work. One day soon I’d love to go to Legoland in the US. Sometimes I have a little play once the kids are in bed. Making yet another tree house – my speciality.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

My go-to song for singing Karaoke is…

Living on a Prayer Bon Jovi – the inner bogan comes out! We did go Karaoke singing for a team dinner last year and it was a big chorus of us singing it as a team. Though the last time I went karaoke-ing we managed to really own “Let it go” as the only parents (yes both of us had a crack at it) of daughters I did feel that we had to deliver a performance that did Elsa justice.

The title of my autobiography would read…

“I am Miyo” – Growing up with a close extended family with a mix of cultures (Australian, British and Japanese) I was always a little different but loved the independence and confidence it gave me. We all lead such remarkable and amazing lives so an autobiography doesn’t seem justifiable as much as occasionally dropping insightful short stories or interviews here and there.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

If I could trade places with anyone in the world for one day it would be…

This is such a hard sentence to finish!  Anyone inspirational I’m not sure I can do their life’s work justice even in one day. On the flip side I don’t just want to switch places with someone just to slack off and be indulgent. I do think Melinda Gates is doing some amazing things with the Bill and Melinda Foundation and if I made a small fraction of the impact they have made I would be stoked.

Oishi-m Spring 16, 2016, New Release

My three most prized possessions (apart from my kids/family) are…

It’s funny thinking of this question, living in a somewhat rural area near the coast the threat of bushfire goes through my mind each summer and I think about which of my possessions matter and what is the contingency plan for them…

Phone – I read books from it, listen to podcasts, inspired by Pinterest and Instagram, giggle at Snapchat and love flicking through the photos from over the years.

Computer – I sound like like a crazy workaholic – probably because I am. Besides the work, it’s our photo albums and the internet and the connectedness of our world that spins me out. There is so much to learn from each other.

My Health – in our youth we can take our health for granted. As we grow older our mortality becomes more apparent. We only live this moment right now, just once. Are we making the most of it? Are we looking after our bodies and our health in order for our tomorrow. I love being active and I love good food. I also on the (very brief) occasion like a hot jam donut for breakfast.

My idea of complete happiness is…

A life well lived – not just at the end of one’s life. But to look at our lives at regular intervals and to know that we’ve overcome challenges, felt productive, achieved great things, lived in the moment, cherished time with our loved ones and had some great laughs.

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Visit Oishi-m…

Online store | Facebook | Instagram | Snapchat (Oishi-m)

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Thank you so much for sharing Miyo, it was a pleasure getting to know you!

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Behind the Scenes with Wise Willow Tree

Hello friends! Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing the lovely Leanne from Wise Willow Tree. Leanne creates a range of stylish and cheerful art and decor for kids and we’re proud to have a few of her pieces adorning our play space and bedroom. We’ve invited Leanne to give is a little peak into her creative mind and her creative space… enjoy!

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

About Wise Willow Tree…

Wise Willow Tree was established as a creative outlet during my maternity leave. I couldn’t find many prints which suited my style or theme for our son’s room so decided to create prints which moved away from your traditional themes. Inspired by all things Scandinavian + Minimalistic we continue to create décor to inspire a modern space for your little one.

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

When I look around my workspace I see…

Honestly, I’ll say organised chaos! I am normally surrounded and mostly buried by paint tins, products and packaging!

My design style is influenced by…

Scandinavian design. I’m a minimalist at heart (my nickname is Miss Monochrome), I love simple, clean designs with a hint of fun.

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

My favourite materials to work with are…

I enjoy working with different materials and am constantly trying out new materials. I’m currently working with paper, felt, wood, paint and acrylic.

The next handmade item I plan to make is…

Sssh it’s a secret! But my clue is… it’s inspired by the night sky. Don’t worry KID Independent followers will be the first to know when it’s released soon!

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

When I grew up I wanted to be a…

A teacher and then an Interior Designer.

And I actually became a…

Although not in those specific roles, I’ve ended up working in an administrative capacity for an Architectural firm and the Department of Education. I am now embarking on my dream of Interior Design!

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

If I were a superhero, my super power would be…

Just one?! If I had to pick one it would be to time travel. I would love the ability to go back in time and experience how the world lived, meet my ancestors and discover ancient places.

My go to song for singing Karaoke is…

Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi… gets me every time (my friends will never let me live this down!)

Wise Willow Tree Children's Art and Decor

Currently residing on my bedside table is…

Are a pile of interior magazines! Who doesn’t love adoring beautifully styled rooms, lush spaces, dreaming of exotic places and scrumptious food (which I’ll never get around to making!)

My idea of complete happiness is…

Being in an environment where I can create freely, to travel and discover the world, and have days where I get to lie in bed all day with a good book!

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Visit Wise Willow Tree…

Online Store | Facebook | Instagram

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Thank you so much for sharing Leanne, it was a pleasure getting to know you!

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Behind the Scenes with Embellish'd

Michelle from Embellish’d is a master crafter when it comes to children’s accessories. Her current range includes hair ties, clips, bows, headbands, and hats (in all the colours of the rainbow) and today we’d like to share an insider look at Michelle’s creative business. Check out the interview below and be sure to stop by the Embellish’d store to check out the goods!

Embellish'd Handmade Hair Clips, Bows, Accessories

Embellish’d is…

Since having my daughter 5 years ago, I was always looking for accessories to go with her gorgeous wardrobe and found it hard to find that perfect little something that would make an outfit complete. That is until I discovered Embellish’d at a handmade market. I instantly fell in love, and when the business came up for sale 3 years ago, I knew it was something I would LOVE to do!

I am passionate about spreading the joy that I felt when opening up a parcel of Embellish’d goodies. Since taking over, I have expanded the range and when my little prince came along, I just had to create some little boys accessories too. The range is constantly growing and I can’t wait to get working on a few more product ideas!

Embellish'd Handmade Hair Clips, Headbands, Accessories

When I grew up I wanted to be a…

Forensic scientist and I completed two science degrees leading to completing that dream. But once I got there, I decided it wasn’t what I had imagined it would be, and I’m still looking for my dream job. I absolutely love my handmade business and would love to open my own family friendly café as well. Maybe some day I will work out the perfect way to combine both!

If I were a superhero, my super power would be…

The ability to live without sleep and keep going like an energiser bunny! There aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do! My mind is constantly thinking of new and exciting ideas that I want to try, but family commitments are always my number one priority. It takes me a while to find the time to do the things I want to, but I do get there eventually!

Embellish'd Handmade Hair Clips, Headbands, Accessories

When I look around my workspace I see…

Lots and lots of colour!! I have fabrics and ribbon everywhere and other materials as well. I am a bit of a fabric addict and can’t walk past a fabric store without buying more (lots, lots more!). I have a table filled with completed orders ready to go and my work table is always covered with things I’m working on, ideas I’m perfecting, and other bits and pieces the hoarder in me keeps for ‘just in case’! My workspace is beautiful organised chaos and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My favourite material to work with is…

Liberty Of London Tana Lawn 100% Cotton. They are an absolute dream to work with and feel and look divine! With a beautiful range to choose from, I use a lot of the floral prints for my Liberty print headbands and Liberty snap clips.

Embellish'd Handmade Hair Clips, Headbands, Accessories

My design style is influenced by…

My children. I love to get colour inspiration from their (extensive!) wardrobes,  artwork they’ve created, or from places we go. I don’t really look at current trends, but rather what I like the look of, and I will only create products I would be happy to use on my own children. My daughter is always happy to be my critic and gives her honest opinion on my creations (and she definitely doesn’t hold back!).

The motto I live by is…

You will never know if you don’t give it a go. I always second guess myself and tend to over think things and it really is my wonderful husband’s encouragement and support that has made me take the leap of faith taking on a business with very little prior business experience. It is fantastic to see the business continue to grow and get stronger each year. I am very grateful for my supporters, fans, and stockists that continue to support my brand.

Three things that make me smile each day are…

Cuddles every morning in my bed with my two children, listening to them giggling together when they’re getting up to mischief or making each other laugh, and when it’s finally their bedtime and I know mummy free time is here!

Embellish'd Handmade Fedora Hats, Accessories

My idea of complete happiness is…

Winning the lotto and never having to worry about work or money or bills again and being able to buy as much fabric as my heart desires! Just joking! Complete happiness would be the ability to continue being a stay at home mum to my two beautiful children whilst continuing to grow my business, making it even bigger and more successful and just doing what I love!

If I were a cartoon character, I would be…

Doc McStuffins? I seem to be constantly using my sewing skills to fix my daughter’s well loved soft toys. I even found myself performing much needed surgery on the kinder’s teddy when it was our turn to mind him last week!

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Visit Embellish’d…

Online Store | Instagram | Facebook

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Thanks so much for sharing Michelle, it was a pleasure getting to know you!

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Handmade Cooperative Membership Drive!

Here at KID independent, we love supporting creative handmade businesses. Our friends at Handmade Cooperative share this passion and today we’d like to share their annual membership drive. This dynamic community celebrates & promotes the best of Australian handmade and provides a safe and supportive network for like-minded businesses. Find out more here, but before you go, make sure you read our behind the scenes interview with Kate Waters, Handmade Cooperative’s Editor in Chief.

Handmade Cooperative

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Hello! My name is…

Kate Waters and I am the editor at Handmade Cooperative. Founded in 2009, we are a community of 70 independent businesses who are obsessed with handmade and create children’s clothing, toys, accessories, homewares and bags. We share the latest Australian designs to make choosing handmade gifts for kids a whole lot easier.

My artistic / educational background is…

Science! I am a molecular biologist, which means that I work with DNA and bacteria and other small things that you can only see through a microscope. It is actually quite common to find biologists in the handcraft industry, science-brains and art-brains seem to go together. I am a self-taught artist, guided by my extremely creative family.

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Handmade Cooperative

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Three things that make my business unique are…

  1. Handmade Cooperative works to spread the word for Australia’s truly inspirational marketplace. We love finding the latest artisan products for kids.

  2. Behind the scenes, our members form a supportive and inspirational community of like-minded businesses. Many friendships have formed out of Handmade Cooperative and it is a great environment in which to network and build your business.

  3. We are a select group, which means that in September Handmade Cooperative runs a membership drive to restore our numbers to 70. The application process is only open for two weeks each year and we see a lot of very talented applicants.

When I look around my workspace I see…

Paint, washi tape, fabric, felt and glitter. Like most creatives I try my hand at many different crafts. Interspersed with my own works in progress are my children’s creative exploits, so we can add some Fimo and stickers to the mix.

My idea of complete happiness is…

A day spent wandering around and discovering new things in a museum, preferably in some lovely city in Europe. I think that I have a calling as an anthropologist.

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Handmade Cooperative

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Three things that make me smile each day are…

  1. The antics of my husband, two cheeky children and two mischievous dogs (they make me laugh every day).

  2. Feeding my family with fresh fruit and vegetables grown in our garden.

  3. Being blinded by the rainbow of colours that we have painted our home, love it!

My secret talent is…

Extreme organisation. Okay, that’s not a secret. I can also touch my nose with my tongue.

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Handmade Cooperative

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Currently residing on my bedside table is…

A pile of books. I love reading and a Kindle really doesn’t represent a lifetime of love for literature as well as a pile of real books. I’m currently exploring the French crime scene with Fred Vargas.

The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is…

An empty laundry basket! Ah, first world problems. I also find it beautiful to sit in my front room each day and watch the parrots eating the lilly pilly berries. The natural world is a constant source of inspiration and beauty.

The motto I live by is…

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful, from William Morris. Words to guide your day.

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Thanks so much Kate, it was lovely getting to know you!

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Find out more about the Handmade Cooperative via…

Membership Drive | Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

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