• by Kids Style file

As featured on Handmade HQ

After my first Puggles Baby and Kids Market i was approached for an interview with Handmade HQ.


Q: Tell us a little about yourself

I,m a 44yr old first time mum of one, my husband and I immigrated to Australia from the UK in 2004 and shortly after bought a farm in Pokolbin, which is the heart of hunter valley wine country. I make all sorts of things, art is in my blood as i come from a line of very Artistic people on my dads side of the family.

Some of my hobbies include:- Drawing, painting, sewing, dressmaking, photography, sugar art, cake making, cooking, flower arranging, graphic design, pottery, crochet, knitting, woodwork.....the list goes on...........

Q: How did you get started ?

It started over a year ago when i made my newborn son a decorative room mobile, when friends and neighbours saw it they asked me where i got it from, i explained that i handmade it myself from scratch, then they all wanted one and my business grew from nowhere and snowballed quite quickly

Q: What was your inspiration ?

I regularly see the hot air balloons floating over the vineyards and often land in acreage on the road i live in, so it was very inspirational and appropriate for the area. I wanted to make something visually stimulating for a baby as they can only see in black and white for the first 6 months of their lives, as they grow and focus their vision it will become entertaining for a baby to look at as well as please the parents eye and compliment a nursery scheme.

Q: What is in store for your handmade business in 2017 ?

Lots of good things i hope, i just started my first market last weekend in Newcastle that specializes in Childrens products called "Puggles Baby and Kids Market", my on-line shop (www.bhretreat.com) and Blackthorn Hill Retreat Instagram have proved very successful for me too. Momentum has grown over the past 14 months and my mainstream business is sewing custom orders in between looking after my 18 month old at home.

I will be a regular feature at the "Puggles Baby and Kids Market" in Newcastle NSW for my balloon mobiles, this market is the only one i can manage to fit into my schedule so far, mainly because i need that time in between to replenish stock on top of my custom orders which are my mainstream business.


A: When I first joined my local market selling my honey I was the happiest person ever, I was so glad that my friend of four years had talked me into joining her market as I immediately felt like I had an extensive artisan family and a community I could finally belong.

Little did I know that she would shatter that friendship in a heartbeat within 12 months’ time.

The market has a unique branding and strong ethic for Locally Made & No Imports, which I defended strongly for my friend who was subject to childish bullying by a neighboring market. I was always the first person to leave a positive note on the internet and hold her hand through all her trials and tribulations, we had well and truly accepted her into our family, becoming social outside of business and networking lunches.

Being a small market they have a ‘one of’ rule which means that you can’t have 3 people selling honey there on any 1 weekend, fair enough. My then side business selling hot air balloon baby mobiles since Dec 2015 was taking off at a fast rate of knots, but because of the ‘one of’ rule I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sell my mobiles at her market, I was completely fine with this because I strongly supported and agreed with the market rules, however I did ask my friend at a networking lunch in front of witnesses if I could sell them at her ‘double up’ days ONLY, which happen approx. 3 times a year where ALL stall holders are invited to be there even if that means 4 people selling soap on the same day, double up days are usually only for Christmas, markets birthday, or occasional festivals. The answer was NO, absolutely no way, although not surprised by her answer, I was happy that I’d asked and completely respected her decision because of our friendship as she had a handful of individual hot air balloons at the time on her jewelry stall (unlike my mobiles of them) and