Featured Designer: Odds & Ends Handmade

FK chats to Melbourne sisters, Andrea and Renee about their vintage label, Odds & Ends Handmade.

Can you tell us about the work under your label, and where the idea came from?
I am a self confessed hoarder and have been collecting beautiful fabrics and miscellaneous vintage treasures such as sewing patterns, trimmings and decorative objects for a long, long  time. Odds&ends focuses on taking these beautiful materials and making them into thoughtful products for people like us who appreciate a little bit of handmade goodness. We aim to make people smile. Our concepts come from many places, but often the ideas originate from our materials. Our knitted cacti are amongst our favorites, the idea born from my killer black thumbs.

What are your backgrounds and when did Odds & Ends start up?
Together with my sister Renee, we started Odds&ends officially this year. Although we have been making for many, many more. We come from a creative family and were encouraged to explore our artistic interests. Renee studied Fine Art, with a major in Painting and Printmaking. My own studies were in Industrial Design and Fashion Design.

What draws you to craft and design and where do you find your materials?
I think I speak for both Renee and I when I say that we are drawn to craft and design for the simple reason that it makes us happy. I can not think of a more enjoyable interest, we love the fact that craft has of recent years been reborn and that there is such a huge platform for us to experience it with others.¬† Also, there is such a beautiful sense of accomplishment when you have handmade a product. The materials we use are mainly vintage and like many others we are known to hunt down the local opportunity shops. Although as the trend for vintage rises, it can be a challenge to find ‘good’ materials. We also have some very generous friends who are continually donating their no longer needed objects to be reinvented for Odds&ends.

Who and what inspires your creating?
It is the little things. I also try to work slowly. By this I mean, I allow myself the time to notice my surroundings and my experiences. It could be as simple as a texture of a fabric, a song I’ve heard or even a colour. I have a big love of mid century design classics, Ray and Charles Eames are some of my favorite designers. They had such a playful sense of design and true believers in form follows function. My husband and our son Charley also keep me busy and continually full of smiles. They inspire me to keep doing what I love.

What are your favorite three crafty things to do in Melbourne?
I have been known to knit on the tram, participate in the wonderful craft markets we have on offer here in Melbourne, and visit so many awesome independent galleries.

You just took part in the recent Melbourne FK markets. How was the response and where will it take you in the future?
Finders Keepers was just wonderful, the event was full to the brim with amazingly talented people and has reassured us that we are heading in the right direction. We meet so many beautiful like minded people, and shared some great stories. I can’t wait for the next one.


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