The Market Folk: Get to know Erika from Hello Joy
Tell us a little bit about Hello Joy?
Hello Joy aims to bring a sprinkling of happiness and colour to the lives (and wardrobes) of ladies looking for something a bit extra when it comes to accessories.
The range is a bright and happy collection of hand crafted earrings, made using a combination of Australian Leather, polymer clay, hand painted acrylic and eco resin. Each piece is made locally here in Brisbane, resulting in small-batch, ethically made accessories designed to treasure over the years, not just the season.
What is your creative background?
I’ve (Erika) been a graphic designer for 20 years now (gosh that makes me feel old!) and have been self employed for 13 of those. When I was younger I always knew I wanted to be in creative industry – in high school I aspired to be a fashion designer, but somehow ended up studying graphic design instead. Over the years I’ve dabbled in beaded jewellery, sewing and even studied basic millinery at TAFE. It wasn’t until the birth of my second daughter that I picked up a block of polymer clay and some leather scraps and started experimenting, and it all just grew from there.
What inspires you and your work?
I am inspired by everything around me. I’m drawn to colour palettes first and foremost and I’m continually sketching things on random bits of paper!
Is Hello Joy your side project or is it your full time job?
For now it’s my side project. I still do graphic design work for some of my long term clients whom I’ve worked with for many years, but the goal (when both my girls are in school) is to have Hello Joy be my full-time gig. I’m working towards a full range of accessories (bags, neck pieces etc) and have slowly been building a range of stockists. It’s tricky trying to run 2 businesses, a household and parent two little ladies though! Patience has never been my strong point!
Tell us about your work space
I initially started working at the kitchen bench, then set up a workstation in the corner of a bedroom. I quickly outgrew that and now have three workstations spread out across three areas of my house… one for all of my main making and assembling (pictured), one for curing clay and drilling and one for leather cutting.
Any advice for creatives just starting out?
Find your style, what makes your brand unique. Sketch, create prototypes, research, refine and refine again until you have something that you are proud of and is unique to you. And be patient. There will be lots of set backs along the way, and finding your customer can take time.
What is your favourite product from your range?
Oh that’s a tricky one! I wear a lot of the studs day to day, but the larger dangles (Luxe Decos in particular) are always on high rotation when I go out. It’s hard not to feel fancy in big colourful earrings!
Favourite Book, Band or Podcast right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of motivation/inspiration podcasts at the moment – I love Oprah’s Super Soul series and also Mums with Hustle. I also listened to a new one last night that was fun – So Tell Me. It’s brand new, but I really enjoyed the first episode, Chole is a real character!
Favourite way to unwind?
We just bought a fire pit. There’s something so hypnotic about sitting in front of the fire with a drink in hand.
What does 2020 look like for Hello Joy.
To be honest, all of the plans have pretty much gone out the window, and it’s now onto plan B which is make new plans! Covid-19 really got us didn’t it?!
As a maker of a non-essential items it’s been a tricky time, but I’m lucky to still have my graphic design clients to keep things ticking over. We’ve are fortunate in the grand scheme of things, so for now I’m working on prototyping new products and just continuing to make whenever I can – it’s such a great stress relief!
Browse Hello Joy's Market Stall
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