Shop Etsy

Featured Shop: Lost Property Hong Kong

Feb 12, 2016

by Valerie Rains

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

As a former textiles designer for a bed linens brand in her native Australia, Jemima Callaghan of Lost Property Hong Kong knew firsthand the challenges crafters, creative entrepreneurs, and aspiring designers often faced in sourcing interesting sewing and craft supplies at reasonable prices. “In Australia, you might go to one or two of the remaining chain sewing stores and find elastic in only black and white, and twill tapes in just five colors,” she recalls.

It wasn’t until she moved with her family to Hong Kong in 2012 — and laid eyes on the rainbow-hued offerings within the city’s thriving textiles district — that she realized the role she could fill as a kind of textile-supplies whisperer, both for her compatriots back home and for small business owners all over the globe. Soon enough, she was putting her trained eye and industry experience to work, seeking out unique, high-quality materials and building a network of relationships with makers worldwide. “My favorite, favorite part of my job is when someone says, ‘Can you find a ribbon like this, in this width, in this color, in this style?’ and I get back to them a day or two later with just what they’re looking for. That feels amazing,” she says. “I love helping people solve their textile problems.”

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In the three-plus years since her shop debuted, Jemima has branched out, adding DIY tassel-making and rope-bowl sewing kits to her shop, and she’s hosting her first hands-on DIY workshop in Hong Kong later this month. Here’s her story — and what she’s set her sights on next.

What inspired you to open a supplies shop in the first place? Did you launch your shop with Etsy specifically in mind?

In the beginning, I didn’t really have a plan — the shop was meant to be a hobby that I’d do between 12 and 3 p.m. when my kids were sleeping. Once I had the idea to sell supplies online, though, I realized my best market would be the people who are trying to start up fashion labels and small creative businesses; especially, I was thinking of Australians, because of their limited range of options and limited access to bulk supplies at a really good price. I just thought I could be their connection.

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Do you still remember the first item that you listed in your Etsy shop?

I do! It was a Japanese denim ribbon — the same one that’s in my shop today.

How would you describe your shop’s aesthetic?

At first, I was trying to create a look for my shop that would appeal to other people, but now I just focus on making it appealing to me. It really is about showing off the uniqueness of the things that I can find, and also weaving in what inspires me and what I’m making at that time. At the moment, I’m photographing a lot of hand-dyed indigo linens because I’ve been dyeing linens on my rooftop. And I really like bold, colorful things, and so my shop, too, is quite colorful.

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In addition to dyeing, what other kinds of crafts and DIY projects do you enjoy doing in your personal life?

Being a maker myself, I want to know how people are using the materials they’re buying from my shop. So when people started buying macramé cord from me, it piqued my interest, and I started playing with that, testing it out and seeing how it works. It’s really important for me to know how the product’s being used, so I can answer people’s questions about the feel and the quality of the materials. And I always love it when my customers send me photos of what they’ve made or tag me on Instagram.

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When did you start adding DIY kits to the shop?

With my background as a bed linens designer, I have always been interested in homewares and home furnishings. About a year after I’d opened my supplies shop, I started creating my own range of homewares and selling it at markets here in Hong Kong. In particular, I started selling rope bowls, because I’d found a rope mill here that was doing some really interesting, beautiful ropes. Before long, I realized that there must be a lot of people trying to make these bowls themselves — there were so many photos of them going around on Pinterest — and I realized I could just do up the instructions and sell the materials as part of a kit. And the kits kind of went crazy! I still don’t really know how they went crazy, but they did, and it was really exciting.

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Do you find yourself constantly looking at supplies wherever you go, even when you travel for fun?

Anytime I go to a new place, my first search is always: where is the textile market, where’s the weaving village, where do they do the dyeing? I’m always thinking about supplies and about where I’ll go next to start sourcing. I’d love to go to India soon and build up some contacts there.

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What are you most looking forward to in the year to come?

For 2016, my big plan is to expand my shop and offer a wider range of supplies — I’d like to go into hardware and findings — and also to sell my own homewares on Etsy. Watching other people’s shops grow is also very inspiring to me: As a mentor of the Southeast Asia Etsy Resolutions and captain of the Hong Kong Etsy team, I’ve seen people go from just starting out, to taking their shops to the next level, to leaving their full-time jobs to work only on their Etsy shops. I love that, and I’ve made some really good friends through that team, too.

To keep up with Jemima’s adventures in supplies sourcing, design and DIYs, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

Photos by Ju Redondo.  

Shop Lost Property Hong Kong

 

DIY Tassel Making Kit.  Make your own large or mini tassels with cream cotton rope and waxed neon twine. Block colour tassels
DIY Tassel Making Kit. Make your own large or mini tassels with cream cotton rope and waxed neon twine. Block colour tassels
1"  cotton twill tape, herringbone tape, 50 yard roll, over 200 colour choices. Wholesale ribbons / apron ties / flat tape.
1" cotton twill tape, herringbone tape, 50 yard roll, over 200 colour choices. Wholesale ribbons / apron ties / flat tape.
Picnic blanket Aztec Throw Blanket, Navajo Picnic Blanket, Modern Navy White, Southwestern Throw rug Couch Wrap Tribal Beach blanket
Picnic blanket Aztec Throw Blanket, Navajo Picnic Blanket, Modern Navy White, Southwestern Throw rug Couch Wrap Tribal Beach blanket
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
DIY Tassel Making Kit.  Make your own large or mini tassels with white and navy cotton rope and waxed neon twine. Block colour tassels
DIY Tassel Making Kit. Make your own large or mini tassels with white and navy cotton rope and waxed neon twine. Block colour tassels
12mm, 1/2" Cotton twill tape / Cotton herringbone tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours  / cotton drawcord / sewing supplies
12mm, 1/2" Cotton twill tape / Cotton herringbone tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours / cotton drawcord / sewing supplies
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope bowl making kit and instructions DIY
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope bowl making kit and instructions DIY
3/8" Cotton Grosgrain Ribbon / 200 yard roll / Woven cotton tape / sewing tape / cotton tape / 100% Cotton grosgrain ribbon
3/8" Cotton Grosgrain Ribbon / 200 yard roll / Woven cotton tape / sewing tape / cotton tape / 100% Cotton grosgrain ribbon
7mm Cream Cotton Grosgrain ribbon with a black saddle stitch /  premium quality french cotton ribbon / sewing tape / cotton grosgrain tape
7mm Cream Cotton Grosgrain ribbon with a black saddle stitch / premium quality french cotton ribbon / sewing tape / cotton grosgrain tape
3/8" Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape / fine sewing tape / raw ribbon
3/8" Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape / fine sewing tape / raw ribbon
1/8" (4mm) round cotton cord, drawcord / sold by the yard / wholesale rope / macrame supplies / cotton rope / coloured rope / string
1/8" (4mm) round cotton cord, drawcord / sold by the yard / wholesale rope / macrame supplies / cotton rope / coloured rope / string
6mm 1/4" Cotton herringbone twill tape / Cotton tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours, cotton drawcord / sold by the yard
6mm 1/4" Cotton herringbone twill tape / Cotton tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours, cotton drawcord / sold by the yard
twill tape cream with a black centre stripe woven herringbone twill sewing tape ribbon
twill tape cream with a black centre stripe woven herringbone twill sewing tape ribbon
Colour Card for Cotton twill herringbone tapes, shows all 200 colours. sample card also available for grosgrain organza
Colour Card for Cotton twill herringbone tapes, shows all 200 colours. sample card also available for grosgrain organza
1 roll of 8mm, soft jute and cotton mix twisted rope, 22 yards per roll, (or cream plaited) Nautical twisted rope, silver rope, natural rope
1 roll of 8mm, soft jute and cotton mix twisted rope, 22 yards per roll, (or cream plaited) Nautical twisted rope, silver rope, natural rope
7mm Black cotton rope.  Rope for macrame, Braided cotton rope, black cotton rope on a spool. DIY rope Tassels, coiling, baskets, macrame rop
7mm Black cotton rope. Rope for macrame, Braided cotton rope, black cotton rope on a spool. DIY rope Tassels, coiling, baskets, macrame rop
1" cotton twill tape, (25mm) herringbone tape, over 200 colour choices, sold by the yard, apron ties.
1" cotton twill tape, (25mm) herringbone tape, over 200 colour choices, sold by the yard, apron ties.
Waxed leatherwork thread, 1mm x 450 yards, for beading thread, macrame thread, leatherwork, sailing thread, neon coloured thread
Waxed leatherwork thread, 1mm x 450 yards, for beading thread, macrame thread, leatherwork, sailing thread, neon coloured thread
100 Blank kraft card swing tag / price tag label /hang tags /name labels / party favor tags / blank tags / gift tags/ wedding favor tags
100 Blank kraft card swing tag / price tag label /hang tags /name labels / party favor tags / blank tags / gift tags/ wedding favor tags
Large Blank kraft card swing tag, price tag, gift tag, label / brown paper packaging / wedding favour tags / hang tags / gift tags
Large Blank kraft card swing tag, price tag, gift tag, label / brown paper packaging / wedding favour tags / hang tags / gift tags
100 medium Brown kraft card swing tag / price tag label, gift tag, wedding favour tags, scalloped edge, name label
100 medium Brown kraft card swing tag / price tag label, gift tag, wedding favour tags, scalloped edge, name label
3/4 inch cotton twill tape, herringbone tape, 50 yards, over 200 colour choices.
3/4 inch cotton twill tape, herringbone tape, 50 yards, over 200 colour choices.
Cotton twill tape / 1.5" wide herringbone tape / over 200 colour choices / Sold by the yard / wholesale ribbon / apron strings / cotton tape
Cotton twill tape / 1.5" wide herringbone tape / over 200 colour choices / Sold by the yard / wholesale ribbon / apron strings / cotton tape
100 yards x Polyester Flatring tape / Hoodie ties / Hoodie drawstring / 50 colours / Whole roll / Shoelaces / outdoor macrame cord
100 yards x Polyester Flatring tape / Hoodie ties / Hoodie drawstring / 50 colours / Whole roll / Shoelaces / outdoor macrame cord
3/4" 19mm cotton grosgrain tape 50 yard roll, cotton grosgrain, 3/4" cotton tape, 50 yard roll
3/4" 19mm cotton grosgrain tape 50 yard roll, cotton grosgrain, 3/4" cotton tape, 50 yard roll
Velvet ribbon 1cm, 3/8" width / Wholesale ribbon / ribbon by the yard, over 80 colours / also available in 3mm 1/8" and 6mm 1/4"
Velvet ribbon 1cm, 3/8" width / Wholesale ribbon / ribbon by the yard, over 80 colours / also available in 3mm 1/8" and 6mm 1/4"
12mm Cream cotton braided rope, Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / Rope basket, Rope decoration / Spool of braided cream rope
12mm Cream cotton braided rope, Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / Rope basket, Rope decoration / Spool of braided cream rope
Blue Neon Pom Pom Tassel decoration / camel swag / bohemian style / gypsy fashion / bag charm / llama swag / accessory
Blue Neon Pom Pom Tassel decoration / camel swag / bohemian style / gypsy fashion / bag charm / llama swag / accessory
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
Copper colour coated safety pins for clothing tags, hang tags, fashion, crafting, price tags / 100 pins
Copper colour coated safety pins for clothing tags, hang tags, fashion, crafting, price tags / 100 pins
Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape 100 yard roll, every width available, 1/4" to 2"
Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape 100 yard roll, every width available, 1/4" to 2"
Scandinavian style embroidered ribbon in Navy, Red and White flowers.
Scandinavian style embroidered ribbon in Navy, Red and White flowers.
10mm Flat Elastic tape,  stretch sewing elastic, hair tie elastic, bright coloured elastic, 3/8", DIY elastic headband or DIY hair ties
10mm Flat Elastic tape, stretch sewing elastic, hair tie elastic, bright coloured elastic, 3/8", DIY elastic headband or DIY hair ties
8mm Flat Elastic tape,  stretch sewing elastic, hair tie elastic, bright coloured elastic, 3/8", DIY elastic headband or DIY hair ties
8mm Flat Elastic tape, stretch sewing elastic, hair tie elastic, bright coloured elastic, 3/8", DIY elastic headband or DIY hair ties
2" Cotton Webbing, natural webbing, 5cm width, Bag handles, bag strap for tote bag / upholstery webbing / sold by the yard
2" Cotton Webbing, natural webbing, 5cm width, Bag handles, bag strap for tote bag / upholstery webbing / sold by the yard
4mm Macrame cord (3/16") soft and flexible with a cotton inner core, cotton Macrame cord, macrame rope, Cream cotton rope for macrame
4mm Macrame cord (3/16") soft and flexible with a cotton inner core, cotton Macrame cord, macrame rope, Cream cotton rope for macrame
Clip in rings for keychain, key rings, clip tassels on a handbag,  soft gold colour and measures 1.25" diametre.
Clip in rings for keychain, key rings, clip tassels on a handbag, soft gold colour and measures 1.25" diametre.
2.25" Wide hot pink and navy border trim / embroidered geometric / Hot pink navy and cream / decorative trim / 6.5cm / bag strap
2.25" Wide hot pink and navy border trim / embroidered geometric / Hot pink navy and cream / decorative trim / 6.5cm / bag strap
Set of 100 large plain white cardstock swing tag / price tag label, gift tag, wedding favour tags, scalloped edge.
Set of 100 large plain white cardstock swing tag / price tag label, gift tag, wedding favour tags, scalloped edge.
1/2" Cotton sewing tape, 12mm sewing ribbon, sold by the yard. cotton twill tape, cotton sewing ribbon, drawstring cord, sewing tape,
1/2" Cotton sewing tape, 12mm sewing ribbon, sold by the yard. cotton twill tape, cotton sewing ribbon, drawstring cord, sewing tape,
Small white blank tags, Plain white card swing tag, hang tag, white tags, price tag label, gift tag, wedding favor tags, scalloped edge.
Small white blank tags, Plain white card swing tag, hang tag, white tags, price tag label, gift tag, wedding favor tags, scalloped edge.
Cotton twill tape, 1.5" wide herringbone tape, 50 yard roll, over 200 colour choices. cotton ribbon, sewing tape, apron strings
Cotton twill tape, 1.5" wide herringbone tape, 50 yard roll, over 200 colour choices. cotton ribbon, sewing tape, apron strings
2mm Elastic Drawcord, Nylon shock cord, Elastic bungee stretch cord, polyester elastic cord / round stretch rope cord / Sold by the yard
2mm Elastic Drawcord, Nylon shock cord, Elastic bungee stretch cord, polyester elastic cord / round stretch rope cord / Sold by the yard
3mm Macrame Cotton rope, 100% fine braided unbleached cotton cord 1/8" or 3.5mm (RS254)
3mm Macrame Cotton rope, 100% fine braided unbleached cotton cord 1/8" or 3.5mm (RS254)
7mm Cream cotton braided rope / Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / macrame cord / Rope decoration / 50 yard Spool of braided cream rope
7mm Cream cotton braided rope / Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / macrame cord / Rope decoration / 50 yard Spool of braided cream rope
Soft jute and cotton mix rope / brown string/ brown paper packaging / soft string / divine twine / FREE SHIPPING / different widths
Soft jute and cotton mix rope / brown string/ brown paper packaging / soft string / divine twine / FREE SHIPPING / different widths
1/2" Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape / fine sewing tape / raw ribbon
1/2" Cotton Ribbon, Natural Cotton twill tape, EXTRA FINE herringbone tape or grosgrain tape / fine sewing tape / raw ribbon
Colour Card for Elastic Drawcord, bungee cord, nylon shock cord in 2mm 2.5mm and 3mm width, shows all 200 colours. sample card.
Colour Card for Elastic Drawcord, bungee cord, nylon shock cord in 2mm 2.5mm and 3mm width, shows all 200 colours. sample card.
9mm, 3/8" Cotton twill tape / Cotton herringbone tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours  / cotton drawcord / sewing supplies
9mm, 3/8" Cotton twill tape / Cotton herringbone tape / available in over 200 beautiful colours / cotton drawcord / sewing supplies
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY
Tassel Making Kit and instructions, DIY craft.   Make your own tassels or key chain with our tutorial, DIY Craft kit,  block colour tassels.
Tassel Making Kit and instructions, DIY craft. Make your own tassels or key chain with our tutorial, DIY Craft kit, block colour tassels.
Copper calabash safety pins for clothing tags, hang tags, fashion, crafting, price tags / 100 pins / 4 colours available
Copper calabash safety pins for clothing tags, hang tags, fashion, crafting, price tags / 100 pins / 4 colours available
3/8" Polyester Flatring tape / Hoodie ties / Hoodie drawstring / 50 colours / sold by the yard / Shoelaces / outdoor macrame cord
3/8" Polyester Flatring tape / Hoodie ties / Hoodie drawstring / 50 colours / sold by the yard / Shoelaces / outdoor macrame cord
Navy Ethnic Woven Cotton Fabric / Bohemian cloth / Mexican weave / Jacquard woven fabric / Picnic blanket cloth
Navy Ethnic Woven Cotton Fabric / Bohemian cloth / Mexican weave / Jacquard woven fabric / Picnic blanket cloth
YARD SALE Ethnic Woven Cotton Fabric / Bohemian cloth / Mexican weave / Jacquard woven fabric / Tribal geometric fabric 50111
YARD SALE Ethnic Woven Cotton Fabric / Bohemian cloth / Mexican weave / Jacquard woven fabric / Tribal geometric fabric 50111
Cotton plaited rope in multi colours with nylon core.  For rope crafts, coil rope bowls and baskets. 8mm, 10mm and 13mm widths available
Cotton plaited rope in multi colours with nylon core. For rope crafts, coil rope bowls and baskets. 8mm, 10mm and 13mm widths available
Waxed Cotton string, 15 yards, for rope bowls, leather craft supplies, sewing twine, bright string
Waxed Cotton string, 15 yards, for rope bowls, leather craft supplies, sewing twine, bright string
9mm Cream cotton braided rope / Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / macrame cord / Rope decoration / Spool of braided cream rope
9mm Cream cotton braided rope / Natural Rope / Cream Cotton Rope / macrame cord / Rope decoration / Spool of braided cream rope
Nautical theme 10mm white and blue braided rope, beach party decor, beach wedding decor,  Rope handle / bag handle / rope craft
Nautical theme 10mm white and blue braided rope, beach party decor, beach wedding decor, Rope handle / bag handle / rope craft
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY  with two tassels included
Coil rope bowl tutorial and materials. Woven rope basket making kit and instructions DIY with two tassels included

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