Behind the Scenes with Little Man's Closet

Today’s feature is all about charming little men, lovingly styled by the talented Sherene from Little Man’s Closet. Sherene specialises in old school hats, ties, suspenders, and clothing, and her garments are perfect for photo shoots, special occasions, or a treasured gift. I hope you enjoy our behind the scenes interview, giving you a little sneak peek into the women behind the label.

Little Man's Closet Handmade Boy's Clothing

Little Man’s Closet (LMC) is…

A creative project of Sherene; wife to an amazing and supporting husband and the lucky mum to one very dapper, handsome and loving little man, Oscar – the inspiration behind Little Man’s Closet.

I have always loved all things unique, vintage and handmade. When my little man was born in 2013 I knew exactly the style I wanted to dress him in, however I couldn’t find it, so I made it! And this is how Little Man’s Closet was born.  LMC has been open now for 1.5 years.

My range has been designed with a vintage feel and look, with a modern twist.  All items are handmade with love and care to a very high standard right here in Melbourne. I offer a limited editions collections, with many items OOAK, to keep things fresh and unique – we can’t have lots of little men dressed the same!

Little Man's Closet Handmade Boy's Clothing

Three things that make my business unique are…

  1. I only do a small run of each design (with a maximum of five sets made from each fabric).

  2. I specialise in custom orders, and also have a range of ready to ship items. I love creating a set exactly what a customer has in mind.

  3. I am a bit unique (maybe strange is the word!) But seriously I do receive lots of feedback from customers that I am helpful with making decisions on the set or look they are after.

The first handmade product that I made for my store was…

Orange plaid newsboy hat, to this day still a favourite of mine!

Little Man's Closet Handmade Boy's Clothing

When I grew up I wanted to be a…

Hairdresser.

But I actually became an…

Accountant (random I know) and now I am hitting my creative side with LMC.

Little Man's Closet Handmade Boy's Clothing

My favourite memories from my childhood are…

Going boating and fishing every weekend, I love the water.

My go-to song for singing Karaoke is…

Total total eclipse of the heart, not that I ever jump up to sing karaoke, because I can not sing at all!

Currently residing on my bedside table is…

Australian Coastal Homes; we just moved to a beach house and are currently decorating. I love flicking through magazines for inspiration.

Little Man's Closet Handmade Boy's Clothing

My most prized possession (apart from my family) is…

My Olympus OMD camera! I love love love photos, nearly obsessed and I don’t go anywhere without it.

The next handmade item I plan to make is…

A new style of boys hat – think a combo of flat cap and newsboy hat – super dapper and unique is the plan!

Three things that make me smile each day are…

  1. My little boy saying I love you mummy.

  2. Seeing my hubby drive in from work each afternoon

  3. The coffee machine as soon as I wake up!

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

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>> Visit Little Man’s Closet

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Behind the Scenes with The Crafter Studio

It’s with great pleasure today that I introduce Diana from The Crafter Studio. Diana resides in Heredia, Costa Rica and is an amigurumi expert. Her creations are whimsical, fun, and brimming with character. I’ve picked out a few of my personal favourites to accompany this feature, but I urge you to check out her full range here… after you read our behind the scenes interview of course!

The Crafter Studio, Crochet, Amigurumi, Handmade Toys

The Crafter Studio Project started…

After what I thought was an unfortunate event. I was trying to change my university major and failed, for the second time. Feeling sad, I decided to take a sabbatical year. However, what was I going to do for a year!? Looking for things to do, and trying several techniques, I finally found crochet and felt in love with amigurumi!

The Crafter Studio, Crochet, Amigurumi, Handmade Toys

My Artistic / educational background is…

Well remember I said I was trying to change my major? I finally did it! Now I am a graphic design student in Universidad de Costa Rica fine arts school. We first take two years in which we experiment with different art techniques, from paint to sculpture, and many more interesting and awesome art fields.

Three things that make my business unique are…

Art is my passion and I make all my items using artistic techniques. It is one of the most important things in my life, and it makes me truly happy. Also, when I create something, I always think about the reaction the customer may have when they received their item, and this makes me create my items in the best way I can.

The Crafter Studio, Crochet, Amigurumi, Handmade Toys

When I look around my workspace I see…

Me, with lots of different creative projects on the go! I love to work on a variety of items per day, rather than working on one technique. For example, when I need a rest from crocheting, I draw or take pictures.

My favourite materials to work with are…

Yarn! Acrylic, paper, pigment liner, and watercolors (I’ve been thinking about introducing illustrations to my shop).

The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is…

I try to look for beauty in all things, beauty in different types, as Van Gogh said “Admire as much as you can, most people do not admire enough”. So I enjoy the beauty of everyday, the sky, flowers, animals, smiles…

The Crafter Studio, Crochet, Amigurumi, Handmade Toys

My  idea of complete happiness is…

Making what you love around the ones you love the most.

Three things that make me smile each day are…

Family, Friends and Art. This includes crocheting, drawing, painting, photography, movies, and music!

The Crafter Studio, Crochet, Amigurumi, Handmade Toys

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

Flying! Imagine all the places I could visit, and the photos I could take! The places I could draw…

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

My camera, my pencil pouch, and my drawing books.

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

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>> Visit The Crafter Studio

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Behind the Scenes with Catshy Crafts

It’s with great joy today that I introduce you to the lovely Cathy from Catshy Crafts. Cathy is a wizard with felt, needle, and thread and her collection is a marvellous mash-up of heavenly hues and beautiful blooms. Below you’ll find a little sneaky peek into Cathy’s creative mind… happy reading!

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

Hello…

I’m Cathy Pascual, owner and designer behind Catshy Crafts. I create beautiful and whimsical wall art using felt and embroidery hoops. I also make yarn wreaths decorated with my hand-stitched wool felt flowers. Combining my loves of creating, photography and vintage, Catshy Crafts has been a wonderful way to express myself and pursue my dream of running a creative business. I live in the beautifully rainy Seattle area with my two daughters and our two lovable guinea pigs.

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

My educational background is…

Quite far removed from what I do now! I was pre-med in college and earned a masters degree in public health. I am a self-taught sewer, artist and photographer.

Three things that make my business unique are…

My use of colour, my hand-cut and hand-stitched flowers (I never use a die-cut machine or glue to make my flowers) and my happy and romantic style. My design has many influences from vintage to nature (especially flowers) as well as the whimsical and adorable kawaii style.

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

My favourite materials are…

High-quality wool-blend felt, vintage buttons and kraft paper. I love printing my own packaging and tags on kraft paper!

Three things that make me smile each day are…

  1. My first cup of French-press-brewed coffee (with cream and sugar);
  2. My daughter Zara asking me for an extra snuggle in the morning; and
  3. My guinea pigs’ adorable squeaks.

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

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

How to choose the most thoughtful gift for a person just by looking at her!

My favorite food is…

Talenti gelato. I can eat a whole pint by myself. So addictive!

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

The title of my biography would read…

Quiet Maker: Saving the World One Hoop Art at a Time

My go to song for singing Karaoke is…

Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia (even though I can barely hit the high notes!)

Catshy Crafts Handmade Homewares, Decor, Felt Flowers

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

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>> Visit Catshy Crafts

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Behind the Scenes with The Big Forest!

It’s with great excitement today that I welcome Benjamin Rowling and Michael Craven to KID independent. These guys are the creative duo behind TheBigForest; a handmade menagerie of felt animals that will put a smile on your face, no matter what side of the bed you woke up on! Let’s take a sneaky peek into Benjamin and Michael’s imaginative world…

TheBigForest Handmade Felt Toys, Softies, Bears, Animals
TheBigForest is…

Two Artist/Makers, Benjamin Rowling and Michael Craven. We began working together about ten years ago and founded TheBigForest in 2012. Our creative collaboration takes many different forms – sometimes we bounce ideas around together, sometimes we critique each others work, and sometimes we make parts of the same work using our different skills.

Creations from TheBigForest are made in three favourite materials – beautiful wool felt, paper construction, and more recently we have begun adding reclaimed wooden bases and wood fretwork accessories. We love being silly and making folks laugh! We make tableau with felt animals (cats, bears, dogs, rabbits) that tell a story, three-dimensional portraits of customer’s dogs, animal brooches, and key rings for grown-ups. For kids we make finger puppets, large felt murals for kid’s rooms, amazing mobiles and our cut and colour greetings cards. We make lots of other things too. We also write and teach and are never, ever short of creativity!

TheBigForest Handmade Felt Toys, Softies, Bears, Animals

When we look around our workspace we see…

A dog, and also a bear commission on a wooden base, which we will finish soon. We can also see our notice board with images that inspire us, our computer with our latest writing project on the screen, huge bolts of felt, a pile of old books to spark ideas, some vintage toys set in a silly scene, and a lovely view of the trees.

We are based in London and Brighton, England on the sunny Sussex coast. We always say that we work in TheBigForest hut or cabin in the forest but eagle-eyed customers soon spotted that there aren’t many cabins or indeed forests in either of these cities. Our studio has huge windows which let in so much light, in the summer you could almost be sitting outside which is one of the things we love about working here.

Our design style is influenced by…

A whole bundle of things is the quick answer! For me, Michael, it would be classic English illustrators like Edward Bawden, S.R Badmin, and David Gentleman. We love telling stories in our work and narrative illustration – particularly mid-century kids books – gives me lots of ideas. I also love the clear colours and fun designs of 1970’s kid’s toys and you can see that in the things we made and our greetings cards from TheBigForest.

Benjamin’s main influence is the whimsy and colours of the Festival of Britain, an exhibition of the best of Britain in the early days of the 1950’s. He loves the colours and the quirkiness of it all, particularly the animals that were part of the exhibition – Lions and Unicorns and odd beasts. He also has a collection of toys from the 1980’s which inspire him, and films like Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki are a big influence with its magical but slightly believable world.

Of course our biggest influence is forests (hey, what a surprise!) and the seaside too. We spent most of the summer tramping round the countryside gathering ideas, getting fit and tanned, and growing bushy beards!

TheBigForest Handmade Felt Toys, Softies, Bears, Animals

The next handmade items we plan to make are…

Mobiles. We have made mobiles to commission in the past but we are now making and designing a range of new mobiles each, which will tell a story!  They will be available in our Etsy shop soon. We are also designing felt pictures for kid’s rooms – fantastic, magical designs to fire kid’s imagination with dogs and knights and cars and dinosaurs (not all together… but then again that sounds like a fun idea!). Some felt pictures are small scale and some are huge. We are looking forward to felt picture commissions.

Our favourite childhood memories are…

We both had a wonderful childhood, neither of us has lost the magic of being a kid and it certainly inspires TheBigForest. For Benjamin, his favourite memory is feeding the fish at a trout farm. One minute the water was empty and then you leant over with a small container of food and suddenly the water was a seething mass of hungry fish all intent on getting a nice lunch!

For me, Michael, my favourite memory would definitely be camping. My family camped whenever we could and I loved (and still love) everything about putting up a tent, making it home and then cooking and sleeping outdoors. Now camping is a bit more civilised in my campervan ‘Bruno’ but each adventure is definitely inspired by childhood camping trips.

TheBigForest Handmade Felt Toys, Softies, Bears, Animals

My idea of complete happiness is…

Being in a forest miles away from anywhere is Benjamin’s idea of happiness. We stayed in a cottage in a Welsh forest last year and spent our time collecting blackberries and making crumble and baking bread and filling up sketchbooks with ideas and sitting in front a wood burning stove. Perfect happiness!

It has to be writing for me, Michael. I love writing our blog and I’ve recently written for magazines and writing our book ‘Cute Felt Bears’ was great fun. It’s a completely different type of creativity from making our felt and illustration goods and makes me very happy. Particularly if cake and a cup of tea are also involved! Complete happiness is cooking too. I love baking and making new recipes.

Benjamin’s favourite song, book and food…

  • Song – Hey Soul Sister by Train. It always makes me feel happy and I can sing along.

  • Book – The Dark Crystal – by ACH Smith it’s the novel of one of my favourite films.

  • Food – A really good homemade sour-dough loaf and homemade soup. Yum!

Michael’s favourite song, book and food…

  • Song – According to my I-pod it’s Bubble by King Creosote and John Hopkins. The animation on YouTube is brilliant. Maybe it’s a bit sad but it is uplifting too.

  • Book – Walden by Henry Thoreau. I read this cover to cover a few years back but now I dip in to it to remind me about living with nature in a wood.

  • Food – I see Benjamin has put homemade bread so I need to be original – I think my favourite food is apple crumble with ice cream.

TheBigForest Handmade Felt Toys, Softies, Bears, Animals

Our biggest weakness is…

Homemade cake and chocolate without a doubt. How neither of us are the size of hippopotamus we will never know. It must be all that walking through forests and chasing after felt dogs and bears that keeps us so trim.

Our biggest strength is…

Creativity. We have big boundless, woppy, wonderful amounts of creativity and we use it all the time in TheBigForest to create new things for our customers.

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

We both chose the same thing – we would make people be nice to each other all the time. And we would definitely make people write nice emails and say please and thank you!

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Thanks so much for sharing Benjamin and Michael, it was a pleasure getting to know you!

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>> Visit TheBigForest Etsy Store!

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