a little taste of the handmade goodness you will find on the site...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meet the Maker - Beinzstalk

Please tell us who you are & what you do?

Hi, I'm Roslyn from Beinzstalk a fun and funky clothing label that clothes beans (newborns) to stalks (approx 10 years old). Beinzstalk is depicted by simple styles that are transformed into unique creations with the use of colour, texture, fun prints and embellishment. Quality fabric and craftmanship is paramount. Wherever possible garment adjustability accommodates ever growing bodies.

Beinzstalk also has other fun stuff like beanbags, swimming ponchos, various carry bags and handbags, stylish aprons and blankets. Detachable embellishments like brooches, cuffs and necklaces also make fun accessories that add a creative touch to any outfit.

How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
Having worked in a very non-creative environment all my career I seized the opportunity soon after my first child was born to enjoy some creative freedom. I started with hats and before I knew it other products kept sprouting up. Even though the business background is useful doing creative things is far more satisfying.

Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
The name had to meet several criteria - be suitable for children as well as babies, boys as well as girls and be a bit funky. I was forced into changing the spelling when listing the business (while living across the ditch) as beanstalk had already been taken. Determined to still use the name and seeing an opportunity to not conform I changed the spelling and managed to fit in a bit of NZ at the same time - beinNZstalk.

How long have you been creating for?
I've always enjoyed the creative process even as a child. At school dressmaking was great and I soon learnt how to get the opportunity to use the best machines of the day. The slow mechanical singers just didn't stack up against the fancy berninas. Ironically now most of machines are industrial and really are more similar to the old singers.

My Mum was a great role model too embracing many crafts as well as dressmaking while I was growing up.

Describe your work setting.
Creative chaos. One room dedicated to machines, fabrics, other materials and finished product. It looked like a big room when it was empty but alas - not big enough at all.

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?
I'm very visual so patterns and colour combinations in nature, fabrics, creative blogs and magazines with lots of pictures cook up a storm in my brain. Customers with great feedback, my kids, the tui singing perfectly every morning, a sunny day in Autumn all inspire.

Over the last year I have also been truly inspired by the work at the uniform project http://www.theuniformproject.com/year1/monthly/May.html where an amazing woman wore 1 black dress for 365 and managed to change the look with accessories and other clothing items all repurposed or thrifted. While doing this she has raised nearly $US100k for Indian slum children to be able to go to school. Fashion, sustainability and helping others - what a powerful combination.

Can you remember your first sale? What was it?
A beanie. I was amazed and encouraged that someone liked what I did enough to buy it.

Have you ever been in business before?
No but its in my blood. I grew up seeing first hand what owning your own business was all about - the excitement, the influence, the challenge and the hard work.

At what point do you consider yourself successful?
When my label is sought after (because its uniqueness/quality are valued) to such an extent that supply can't meet demand.

Where do you do your best thinking?
At the sewing machine or pounding the pavements.

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?
Knowing that many famous people had their best eureka moments when highly frustrated and supposedly run out of ideas. Even though all their friends have long given up on them they kept going. If they hadn't we wouldn't have many of the things we take for granted today - light bulbs, phones etc

If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
To play the saxophone - nothing beats the oozy music made by a sax.

When you are not involved in your craft/business- what can you usually be found doing
Family, friends and providing a taxi come cheerleader service for kids. This year I have also taken on some voluntary work within Guiding. Plenty of room there to keep the creative brain active while doing some good for young kids today.

Do you have a favourite handmade purchase?
Several lariats (I can't get enough of them - so versatile) that experiment with the use of colour from http://www.dianekerrdesigns.com and a number of gifts for others (next time it will be for myself) from the beautiful paper quilting of Michaela from Wren's Nest http://www.wrensneststudio.com/default.html.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?

1. What is the last thing that made you belly laugh? One of my kids telling a joke.
2. What book is on your bedside table?  Have a new kid by Friday - Dr Kevin Leman. Changing your child's attitude, behaviour and character in 5 days - very practical and thought provoking.
3. What was the last cd/ipod track etc that you listened to? Roald Dahls "The Twits" (audio book) in the car with the kids - surprisingly creatively and captivating.
4. Where do you hide your secret stash of chocolate? In the freezer - oops did I say that!
5. Who controls the remote in your house? The man of the house but remotes aren't everything.



Beinzstalk is offering a fantastic gift with purchase until June 11, 2010.  Simply purchase $60 in her store & receive a funky (& extremely warm) beanie of your choice for FREE.  Enter the words 'free beanie' upon check out to receive your gift.


Brighten up your winter with a piece or two from Beinzstalk's funky collection HERE!

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