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Etsy Design Awards: And The Winners Are…

Nov 10, 2014

by Kirsteene Phelan

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Thank you for voting for your favourite seller in our 2014 Etsy Design Awards. It was wonderful to see our community showing support for such an uber talented group of of artists, makers and designers. We are excited to introduce you to this inspirational group of winners.

New Talent: Carl Holder, ForeplyForeply - Etsy Design Award Winner

Carl is an award-winning product designer and artist with experience ranging from street furniture to graphic illustration. He is passionate about furniture design with integrity and enjoys working with local sustainable materials. Carl bases himself on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast and also work as a designer for Sydney based high profile design firm Tzannes Associates. His Foreply furniture pieces are created with personality to work in contemporary homes with a sculptural + playful functionality.

“I love that Etsy gives the artisan an accessible platform to share their unique products and ideas, linking them with people looking for something unique”.

Home & Living: Mei Ong, Vice and Velvet 

Mei Ong - Etsy Design Award Winner

Mei makes her skincare products in Melbourne, Australia. She combines urban influence with a love for natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. She has been making soap and body products since her early teens. Mei believes in creating beautiful products with simple packaging, not the other way around. Production is her favourite part of Vice & Velvet because she just loves getting her hands dirty, or rather, getting them clean. Every product is designed, made and packaged by the same two hands. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

“As a buyer I love finding unique ‘gems’ from all over the world. A a seller I love that Etsy gives my creations the chance to be ‘gems’ to others. I also love that Etsy members can follow each other and discover products and sellers that they have favourited.”

Business as Unusual: Kylie Gusset, Ton of Wool

Kylie - Etsy Design Award Winner

Ton of Wool started as a project in 2011, when Kylie was running a small business as a yarn dyer whilst studying textiles at RMIT. She was shocked by how the bulk of wool used in the textile industry in Australia was exported for processing.With much research and the support of a successful crowdfund, the first ton of rare breed Cormo wool from the founders of the breed was processed locally.

“The great thing about Etsy is that it opens stores up to a completely new audience. There’s a worldwide audience of people looking for something that little bit different, and Etsy is the killer place to find it. I’ve had overseas orders and wholesale interest, which is a great indication that I’m on the right track”.

Art & Illustration: Jo and Andy Olive, Olive and the Volcano

Olive & The Volcano

Jo Olive is a letterpress printer and printmaker from Northern NSW. She designs, print and assemble a range of handcrafted paper goods such as notebooks, gift cards, gift tags and prints. The studio also prints custom work for private clients. Jo’s background includes a degree in Fine Art History and a Grad. Dip. Ed. and an all too brief time in a printmaking course! Jo works closely with her husband Andy and together they share the efforts of running the studio. Each piece that they produce is made in-house on their 1956 Heidelberg Windmill Platen Press, using handmade plates and trimmed using our vintage guillotine. Each notebook is stitched by the duo, each card is scored and folded by them too.

“A good friend of mine always says ‘artists need other artists’ and I think that over time we’ve made some really great connections and friendships with other makers/sellers on Etsy”.

Fashion & Accessories: Britta Boeckmann, BoldB

Britta - Etsy Design Award Winner

Britta studied industrial design in Germany where she realised that working in a workshop was an obsession. On a study exchange to London she met her Australian partner and together they decided to do the big move to Australia. Britta learnt a lot about the jewellery making process working with a group called the “Wangaratta Woodworkers”. In 2014 she invested in a small workshop space and a few tools and machines. Now she is the proud owner of her own tiny and dirty workshop which makes her one of Melbourne’s happiest residents.

“There is a lot to love about Etsy. I think Etsy makes selling online very easy, because it is like a hub for handmade products. I also love the inspiration I get out of other Etsy shops. Being able to follow people and get updates from your favourites is great”.

Community’s Choice: Fairina Cheng, Fairina Cheng

Fairina Cheng - Etsy Design Award Winner

Jewellery design found Fairina in 2009 after an offhand decision to take an evening jewellery course. She picked up her first jeweller’s saw in a small Sydney workshop, and fell in love. A week later, she was looking at jewellery design as a career. In 2012, Fairina took the first exciting steps towards launching her own jewellery practice. Starting her own business has been intimidating, nerve-wracking and so incredibly inspiring that she can confidently say there is nothing else she would rather be doing. Her work combines creative skills from a background in jewellery design and technical knowhow from an ongoing course in jewellery manufacture. The result is contemporary, high quality jewellery with a distinctly unique aesthetic.

“It’s been so great being part of the Australian and Sydney Etsy community. I can see that there is a strong focus on promoting sellers and creating opportunities for local designers”.

For more information about the awards and finalists visit www.etsydesignawards.com.

Also don’t forget to pick up a copy of the December and January editions of Inside Out magazine featuring our amazing sellers. The December issue of Inside Out is on sale Thursday November 20.

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