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Etsy Awards: Meet the 2016 Australian and New Zealand winners

Jun 20, 2016

by Anna Hickey handmade and vintage goods

The winners of the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Etsy Awards have been announced. Thank you to everyone who voted for the Community’s Choice Award winner and a special thank you to our judges.

The Etsy Awards are our way of celebrating the best in local creativity across Australia and New Zealand. The Awards are now in their third year and as with the past two years we have been truly taken by the depth and quality of applicants, reminding us of what a special community we have! The judges were seriously impressed by the creativity and craftsmanship showed by all of the entrants, which made choosing the winners a difficult task (to say the least).

Thank you to all who voted for the Community’s Choice prize too, we couldn’t have done it without you, and congratulations to everyone!

Shop the winners and finalists now

This year’s Etsy Award winners are:


Community’s Choice: Jeremy and Dee Rolston from Needle & Nail (Whatawhata, New Zealand)

Needle and Nail Etsy Awards

Photography by Jodi Bennett

NeedleAndNail Etsy Awards Winner

Husband and wife duo Jeremy and Dee Rolston began Needle & Nail in 2014, a long talked about dream for the pair to make their own living and spend time with their young family. Jeremy and Dee work out of their home in Whatawhata, New Zealand in between raising and home-schooling their six kids. This sewing machine was designed, created, and produced by Jeremy. Passionate about seeing children being able to engage their imagination through play they’ve included a clever little mechanism that allows the ‘needle’ to rise and fall, as if sewing, when the handle is turned.

“We think it’s actually quite unbelievable that our little family business has won an Etsy Award! Two years ago, when we took the plunge and opened our Etsy shop, it wasn’t just a shop opening, it was the beginning of an amazing two-year journey of making and selling handcrafts as our main source of income. We never dreamed we’d come this far, or have this kind of success. Winning this award validates to us, and hopefully any other families who may be considering taking a similar path, that making for your living can be both a satisfying lifestyle as well as a genuinely viable business option”.

Lasting World: Kirralee Robinson from Kirralee & Co (Brisbane, QLD)


Etsy Awards Kirralee and Co

Kirralee Robinson is a long-time maker and a self-taught woodworker with a history in visual arts and floristry. She has an intense drive to create with her hands and provide design-oriented, sustainable and ethical homewares that are inherently practical. Kirralee’s work shed, a short walk from her home in Queensland, is off the grid and she selects quality, reclaimed hardwoods finished with natural wax. The Best Friends Vase was originally designed by Kirralee as a one-off gift for her best friend of 15 years and is made from the leg of a salvaged solid gum table.  

“After hearing that I had won the award I had a wide range of emotions, starting at shocked all the way through to excitement. I cannot believe that this little business has come so far in just over a year. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by support and encouragement from so many creatives that I admire. For many years I believed I would be a supporter of other people’s creativity rather than being a maker myself. This award cements the idea that I can do both!”


New Talent: Noël Skrzypczak and Andy Newton from BankyMoon Plantstands (Melbourne, VIC)


Banky Moon Etsy Awards

Photography by Breeana Dunbar

BankyMoon is a partnership between Andy Newton and Noël Skrzypczak, experts in metal fabrication, visual art, and living in small spaces. Together they design plant stands and racks that help plant lovers make the most of their limited spaces. The Cactus Stand was one of their first ideas and it took a number of prototypes to create a design with the right mix of style, functionality, and personality. All designing is done in Melbourne and the making performed in Andy’s family’s workshop in Wodonga.

“Winning an Etsy award is a great honour and a powerful form of encouragement for our young business. It inspires us to keep trying out new ideas.

Etsy’s encouragement has already impacted our business greatly [and] winning this award is sure to bring new opportunities and contacts. Hopefully a few collaborative works with other Etsy makers will be on the BankyMoon calendar soon!” 


Fashion & Accessories: Joram Salisbury and Cameron Paterson from Paterson Salisbury (Wollongong, NSW)

Paterson And Salisbury Etsy Awards


Joram Salisbury and Cameron Paterson began working with leather in 2009, making kangaroo leather pedal straps for classic bicycles under the name Patebury. While developing their skills the pair experimented with making bags and wallets for friends and family. After receiving a good response they created a small range for a local market and developed a fascination with 19th Century European artisans and traditional disciplines. With help from customers, they refined their collection and Paterson Salisbury was established. Each piece in hand-crafted by the pair in their workshop in Fernhill, New South Wales.

“[Winning an Etsy Award] is a thrill, a nice tap on the back. It’s great to be acknowledged by judges who are champions and ambassadors for Australian ideas and hard work. Thank you! To think we may have more of our work hanging on the shoulders or sitting in the pockets of people out there gives us a big kick.

Home & Living: Lucile Sciallano from La petite fabrique de Brunswick (Melbourne, VIC)

Etsy Awards Fabrique De Brunswick

Photography by Breeana Dunbar

lapetitefabriquedebrunswick Etsy Awards

La petite fabrique de Brunswick is a Melbourne-based ceramic studio run by french-born designer Lucile Sciallano. Her love of ceramics began while training as a designer in Europe where she explored a variety of techniques and consistencies before deciding on slip casting. Lucile loves the process of working with liquid clay and the ability to use pigments in the porcelain to create unique designs and imprint colour. Slip casting also has its challenges in that firing reveals any tension resulting in cracking or warping, but Lucile says it’s worth the pleasure when you create a beautiful, finished piece.

“Winning the Etsy Awards is a pretty amazing thing in the journey of being a maker – it means recognition, value of your work from your peers, support and care from the amazing platform Etsy is. As well it has even more impact in my work as I moved here a bit more than two years ago, and winning this award is  proof of the help and support this great community offers me. It is also a financial help which as a self employed maker is always more than appreciated. This award will help my business invest in some new tools for the studio.”


Art & Illustration & Paper Design: Penny Ferguson from Min Pin (Melbourne, VIC)

Etsy Award Min Pin

Etsy Award Min Pin

Photography by Breeana Dunbar

Penny Min Ferguson is the designer and maker behind Melbourne-based craft label Min Pin. Specialising in alternative jewellery, homewares and illustration, Min Pin believes in compassionate design, quality workmanship, sustainability, affordability, and fun! In 2013 Penny began creating her line of unique Min Pin illustrations and paintings that were not only lovingly crafted, but hand printed, packaged and affordable. She continues to create all designs in her Melbourne studio. The Best Friends print is a Min Pin design that was created for a collaborative exhibition project with Perth artist Horse on Toast.

“I feel absolutely honoured to have won an Etsy Award! Being in the Art, Illustration and Paper Design category I am amongst amazing company and am very flattered to have been selected. The work I do with Min Pin means so much to me and this feels like a really big awesome pat on the head!

And last but least we would like to congratulate House of Cherub who has won the Business Bundle prize of a General Assembly online Digital Marketing course and mentorship with a top Etsy seller to help kickstart their business.


House Of Cherub Etsy Awards

Winners of the x2 $500 Etsy Gift Cards are: A Hunter, Queensland and A Todd, Victoria.

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