FK chats to the lovely Megan of Sydney based illustrated & accessories label The Ever Dazzling.
Tell us about your lovely label, The Ever Dazzling
The Ever Dazzling started out as a blog a couple of years ago, and has since grown to encompass all of the creative bits and pieces that I make. I’ll forever be embarrassed to admit that the name came from a television description of ‘the ever dazzling Cyndi Lauper’, but I liked the ring of it too much to not use! I like to think of my little label being something cheery and positive and I try to keep the things I make quite sweet, pretty and easily accessible.
What is your background and what other creative hobbies do you have?
I grew up in the country and moved to Sydney to start university in 2009. As a little’n I was never one for dolls – my mum tells me I just wanted to play with Fuzzy Felt. I was the kid who spilt glitter in the carpets and tried to be business like as a 10 year old by selling ‘handcrafted’ cards and button earrings to my schoolmates. Another decade on and I guess nothing much has changed. I still spill glitter in the carpets and try and sell my work. I’m currently studying Design in Visual Communications which allows for a lot of creativity and time to experiment. That said, it’s a good thing my study is what I’d be doing in my spare time anyway, because it leaves little time for other hobbies. Extreme sports will just have to wait!
What items have been popular in your range, and what have you learnt most about selling your work?
Some of the more popular items have been my fabric hair bows and my woodland animal brooches. I’ve only been selling in an official sense for a short time, so everything is new and full of lessons! I’ve learnt how to invoice and stock to a retail store, and I’ve also learnt that it feels pretty gosh-darn nice when someone really likes what you do and tells you so! I had an opportunity to be a part of Finders Keepers collaboration with Gaffa Gallery last year, and that in itself was another lesson in merchandising and managing a space.
What inspired you to start your own label and where do you find inspiration?
I always feel like I’m not doing quite enough. Youth won’t be on my side forever (dramatic, I know!), and I get really panicked about wasting time! I didn’t want to wait until I was finished studying to start using all the skills I’m learning, so I figured it was better to do everything from the start! It’s nice to have other things to work on outside of study and assessments – I like to think it keeps me out of mischief.
I’m a big fan of 1960’s illustrated childrens books (ones with a nature theme are particularly special) and my mum is forever rescuing Golden Books she comes across to add to my collection. There are so many talented designers and illustrators who are doing such wonderful things that are a constant source of inspiration, and I’m also blessed with many design based friends who are inspiring without even knowing it. I think people are a little hesitant to admit it, but the Internet is also a constant and unending source of inspiration. Having so many resources at our fingertips, and the ability to see work from all around the globe means there’s always a fresh take, a new way of thinking or another person to be a little jealous of.
Your blog is lovely! What other blogs do your follow and draw inspiration from?
When I first started blogging a few years ago it wasn’t quite the promotion platform it is now, and certainly didn’t have any feelings of community – now I’ve got lots of friends who are keeping their own blogs, and I’ve also made some new friends along the way! My Google reader is always full – I’ve a bit of a subscription addiction. Favourite blogs include The Daily Smudge, Matthew Roland, Something’s Hiding in Here, Red Velvet Art, Rifle Design, Oh Happy Day and squillions of others. I’m also hopelessly addicted to wedding blogs, something I can openly admit now that I’m an engaged lady, but it’s been a long time love affair. Fabulous styling, impeccable colour palettes and celebrations of love. What can be better than that? 100 Layer Cake, Ruffled and Grey Likes are some of my favourites that I constantly find myself getting lost in.
What will 2011 bring for The Ever Dazzling?
2011 is going to be a big year! Studying, working, creating and I’m getting married in December to my wonderful best friend and all round good guy Joshua. We’re unbelievably excited, and planning on DIY-ing the whole thing – that’s almost a whole year of crafting! It’s nice to have an occasion to be a little indulgent with – invitations and packaging and trying new things. I’m hoping to use our wedding plans as inspiration for new products and designs. Forever multi-tasking, I’m planning to create more paper based goods for The Ever Dazzling, with the launch of a stationery line a little further down the track.