Imagine my delight browsing through a store like Koko Vanialla Designs, everything is so pretty, I covet it all!!! So it makes sense that I have had a chat with the lovely Anna from Koko Vanilla Designs to find out some more.
How long have you been crafting and what made you decide to turn it into a business?
I have always had a love of all things craft, but when I started having children is when I started to have more time to pursue crafts so say I have been Scrapbooking and Card Making for about 11 yrs now. I was attracted to papercrafts, with both scrapbooking because it gave me an opportunity to journal my children’s lives, something they can look back on and I love making cards that are special and personalised for people and its also a good way of using up all the scraps of papers that accumulate. Each time my child has a birthday the invitations are always handmade and beautiful and I usually make matching lolly bags or boxes for their friends. It seemed like a natural progression to turn it into a business.
I grew up in a family business my parents ran their own reception centre for 25 yrs so being your own boss and running your own show has always been high on my list. I’m very much a believer you should love what you do as a career choice so I am being the example I always encourage others to do. Having kids of course it is much easier to work from home than having a job with set hours and the fact that it’s something l love doing and know the industry so well is a bonus.
How did you come up with the name Koko Vanilla Designs?
The name is a hard one I agonised over this for months. I really didn’t want a name that identified with just scrapbooking or just cards for example I wanted a name that could incorporate anything if down the track I decided to design something different. So I just kept playing around with different words until something sounded right and a bit different. Koko Vanilla just came from there. There is no real meaning behind it other than pick a name that you love because you will be using it over and over and saying it all the time.
Do you start out with an idea or image in you mind and then find supplies to match or do you draw inspiration from the supplies you have available?
I definitely draw inspiration from everywhere. Sometimes its from the products I already have, and sometimes its from endless hours of surfing on the web (my biggest time waster I might add), to see how others do things is great for keeping the creative flow happening. However when I sit down and actually create its whatever comes to me, so even if I might have seen something that someone else has created and think I might make a card like that I end up putting my twist on it and it comes out completely different. I love doing one offs I am not a repetitive sort of artist I don’t mind doing a few of the one thing but then I get bored with it. I don’t have the discipline to do production line items I love to create differently each time I make something.
What is your workspace like?
My workspace for the most part is a bit disorganised. I have a whole room in which to create, so I am very lucky but at the moment the supplies overtake the space and it needs lots of organising. It is a gradual process trying to work out the best system for things so they can be easily seen and categorized and taken out to pack into an order or made to use on a project..
As for my desk well it’s great when a project is finished and is tidy but during the creative process let’s just say I don’t have that much space left to actually create on by the time the project is finishing. I am a get all my supplies out (stamps, inks, papers, tape, scissors, bling, flowers, ribbon etc etc) and don’t interrupt me because I am in my creative flow type of girl. My cooking is much the same. I do clean up afterwards though.
What do you most enjoy making, and do you have any favourites in your Etsy shop right now?
I love making anything and everything. I especially love making the jumbo scalloped tags and cards. I just made a cute cupcake set of scalloped tags and I really enjoyed making those they are so cute and bright rainbow colours they are my favourite at the moment. Each one is slightly different great for popping onto a gift.
My other favourite is a gorgeous style shabby chic pink and white wish card with a bird and lace and chipboard on the front. It is even more beautiful in real life. The card took me a while to make but I am happy with the result.
There are too many beautiful things to show you them all, so please stop in at Koko Vanilla Designs to see them for yourself.