Fiona is our very first stallholder of the month for 2012. Her business is named Squirt Baby, and her products are incredibly well made, and so beautiful. Many of her designs remind me of the clothes I wore as a child. Pretty and feminine using stunning fabrics, and lovely patterns. I first met Fiona at our very first market we ever held. She was just starting out, and we discovered not long into the day that we both went to the same high school....she is (cough cough) a little older than me however !!
She is funny, sweet, and great at making me feel better about all manner of issues !! Here's her story...enjoy !!
You can find Fiona and her lovely products
here - www.squirtbaby.blogspot.com
and here - www.squirtbaby.bigcartel.com
Hmm - when I add it up it's longer than I thought. Squirt Baby has been going for just over three years now.
I've always been a maker. For a while there I pretended I was a scientist. Having children gave me the opportunity to do something I actually like! Inspiration comes from lots of places - my children, my childhood and hanging out at my favourite fabric hot spots. I've never thought of myself as being "current". In fact, I've always thought myself to be a little on the daggy side. So that helps with not feeling pressured to keep up with the cool people, and I get to make what I like instead.
This is the hardest question to answer. I can see my response is going to be verbose and garbled - it's hard to pin down what Squirt Baby is to me and why I do what I do!
Officially I create clothing and accessories for boys and girls, newborn to 8 years. I don't go into a "season" with a plan. I have a loose idea about what I'm going to make (usually based on the needs of my children!) and then it comes down to time and the fabrics I find or have on hand. Family needs often interfere with production time. My attention span has shortened to match that of my children, so I keep quantities limited before I get bored with a particular fabric or style. I also like having new things to offer at each market - for myself and my customers! No-one wants be looking at the same stuff all the time, do they?
I like working with cottons, particularly, and wool. Apart from looking and feeling nice, they last well - I'm not into disposable fashion. I'm pretty chuffed to see clothing being handed down and still looking good. For everyday wear it's important that children can (once they're old enough) dress themselves, and that the clothes can go into the washing machine.
There are a few staples (such as a-lines and knitwear, which are my most popular lines) and then there are things that come and go like hats and accessories. For a while there I nearly stopped doing gear for boys but this summer has shown me there's still demand. So now I'm committed to expanding the range for boys - they deserve gorgeous stuff too! I'm about to start on pants with big pockets for stowing treasures and some tweedy vests and caps.
Gee, I don't do unsolicited advice. But since you asked - stay true to yourself. You can't be all things to all people.
Well it's hard to single folk out. But I will give a big thanks to Ruby Louise Jewellery who single handedly sorted my Christmas presents for teachers list last year. Cute, affordable and fabulous service!
I'd have to say, being the inaugural stall-holder of the month for Yarraville Markets is a big thrill! Wholesale orders/enquiries are also ego-boosting!
In five years all my kiddies will be at school. I'll have time for long lunches, getting my nails done and hanging out with my personal trainer five days a week. However, I suspect that I will be able to devote some uninterrupted time to Squirt Baby, increase my output and perhaps even open a little shoppe showcasing my own wares and those of my creative buddies. I'm seeing a dresser bursting with vintage china, some flying ducks on the wall, plenty of natural light and me swanning around in my emporium of handmade gorgeousness.
YM is the right place for a little business like mine. It provides customers who appreciate handmade, they seem to appreciate my "style", it provides me with an affordable outlet to sell my wares.
When I was starting out I was accepted into the very first Yarraville Market. It was my big break. And the organisers are lovely chicks!
Fiona has kindly donated a $50 gift voucher for us to give away !!(excluding knitwear) All you need to do is head over to our facebook page, and say what you love about Squirt Baby...we will chose a winner by the end of the week. And the winner can head down to the market this Saturday and spend up !
Thanks Fiona - I particularly like your answer to the last question! ha !
Hope to see you all on Saturday. The hall will be full of great talented designers