Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Painted all my life, all my work reflects every aspect of my life and the people who are around me at the time, there is over 30 years of work.
Born in Bellingen on the Mid north coast of Australia, my artwork has been exhibited through out Australia, where a whole series of my paintings has been sold out, my work is very recognizable extremely diverse continuously ever-changing .
I live on the beautiful mid north coast of Australia Urunga where the river meets the sea.
I have 2 beautiful daughters, eldest is 29 the youngest 10, both are inspiring artists.
I started seriously painting since I was 9 years, experimenting and creating with mediums and colours blending, drawing and painting still life and portraits, eventually as a teenager went onto study at the prestigious East Sydney college of Fine Arts.
Through the magical visions of my imagination emerge, I excitedly continue to create, I paint to get closer to the spirit.
I work mainly with oils, acrylic, inks, mixed media; I have used many mediums along the way.
East Sydney college of the Fine Arts Sydney Australia
Kogarah Fine Arts college Sydney Australia
Dip interactive digital media
cert4 interactive digital media
cert4 multi media
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
my toffee apple
Opened on May 24, 2015
I discovered on Etsy a successful cushion business and studied the process of starting and making a business like this succeed. Then I knew that this is definitely how I will have my unique images printed and sold.
This latest venture to publish my work is an exciting prospect because, my art is street ready and can be worn, displayed, used to decorate and compliment.
Imagine how much better that feeling would be with a piece of your very own piece of artwork.
Tell us a bit about your products.
Hi I’m Traci. I am the owner and creator of my toffee apple. I make handmade cushions all original designs from my own art work and my own graphics, printed on 100% organic cotton fabric.
I have also beautiful vibrant greeting cards all my own designs all printed on sustainable card.
Using absolutely unique, vibrant, colourful designs.great for gifts and brightening people homes, offices, shops, and even travelling in a car with your favourite my toffee apple cushions.
What inspires your work?
Painting, drawing, creating is a something that has always been in my life, inspiration for me is found in almost everything around me, endless ideas from dreams, people, wildlife, plants, characters, feelings of that there is story to tell and so I paint .
Colours inspire me, the colours of deep ambers of sunsets, the morning dew, the colour of turquoise and jade from gem stones, the street art of Mexico, faces, expressions, other worlds, surrealism, realism.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
Goals for customers to buy a beautifully sewn unique colourful throw cushions, and greeting cards to match and for the people purchasing the product to be happy with their purchase, service and packaging. These will be available at local markets, online Etsy shop and in select retail shops. I will be insuring my products remain at a high standard, as well as face to face and online customer service.
I would like to be financially independent at the end of the year, starting by selling a cushion a day.
Have a product that customers just want to come back for more.
Introducing and creating new and fresh new images throughout the year.
Network and develop relations with retail shops.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
My unique designs have stood out from many other cushion designs,my use of vibrant colours, my designs are diverse and unique to my toffee apple.
Also having custom-made designs that my customers have been so happy with.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have a separate studio in my house, beautiful light space where I have my easel set up overlooking an extraordinary view of a winding river, and blue mountains in the background.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Custom orders getting shipments of prints on fabric on time. I might minimize this issue by being aware of lead times for suppliers and ensure to allow for this when taking customer orders also ensuring to have stock holding so I don’t run completely out of stock.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Etsy can be a test of patience, so keep marketing your product via word of mouth, networking and online marketing. It can be a slow process, so be positive and confident of your product, then other people will be positive and confident also and will love your product even more.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I live in a beautiful part of the world coastal Australia, so my 10-year-old daughter keeps me busy we love swimming in the cool clear rivers and body surfing in the magnificent beaches. Barbecues, cooking and going to the cinema, meeting up with friends and just having lots of good old belly laughs.
Painting and drawing at any given moment, that’s every day!
What is your favorite quote?
“Everything is energy. The whole universe is energy.”
don Juan Matus
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Keep doing what you love the best!
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.