Jun 29, 2011

ChiChiDee Designer Feature:

About ChiChiDee:

Why did you start doing what you do?
I was in the final year of a Creative Writing Degree, spending hours staring at black words on a white computer screen. I needed an escape and this happened to be crochet, which my mum had taught me a few years earlier. Instead of writing my dissertation I hooked, chained and stitched my Nan a stripy hot water bottle cover for her 95th birthday, complete with pompoms and corded strings. As I was making it, I remember thinking “Just one more stitch, just one more row, I’ll just finish this side and then I’ll have a cup of tea / go to the loo / get back to editing my story!” It was the definitive moment when I felt the obsession take hold.
I was enticed by the tactile element of crafting and enthralled by the bountiful pallet of colours. Then, when I moved to Germany with my boyfriend at the end of my course, I needed something to do while I picked up the language. I discovered Etsy and the amazing online handmade community and this validated what until then had only been a hobby. It opened the doors to this exciting crafty world and I haven’t looked back since.

Why did you chose your business name?
Chi Chi Dee is just one of the many nicknames my boyfriend coins for me on a monthly basis. It happened to be the one in use around the time I opened my Etsy shop. Others include, but are not limited to, taco bill, stevie, schnee-bee-dee, choo choo roo and Stavro.

How long have you been doing what you do?
On and off for three years.

What else do you like to do?
I’m getting into screenprinting at the moment. I like exploring all forms of craft. I love travelling, which is another reason I love crafting and the online marketplace because I can take my little business with me wherever I go. I like the elements: water is amazing – swimming in lakes and surfing in the sea; steaming in a sauna. I like hiking and want to go wild camping this summer. Gardening has become very therapeutic. Living sustainably.

What is your ultimate goal for your business?
For it to always remain something I love doing. For it to grow organically and adapt to my ever-changing and developing interests. For it to build gradually and consistently to the level where the financial returns are as rewarding as the making.

I’m inspired by London and all the creativity she fosters. I draw influences from all the places I’ve lived, namely the picturesque Bavarian countryside and sunny Australia. I love online craft hubs like www.threadbanger.com; it’s refreshing to see DIY culture still thriving in an ever-more consumer-driven society. I’m motivated by environmental concerns and my belief in the importance of the preservation of traditional craft forms.

Best Sellers:

I tend to have a pretty freestyle approach to craft and therefore it’s hard to pin down a signature piece or bestseller. I’ve always been a bit of a chopper and a changer and I’m trying to learn to embrace that quality! At the moment I like my pooping birdie plushie toys because they are funny and made from 100% recycled materials, which I am proud of.

We Make Summer Boutique:
I’ll be showcasing an assortment of goodies from bags, to homewares to plushie toys. Everything is crafted with a sustainable agenda using recycled materials, like this Upcycled T-Shirt Bag, Yoyo Cushion (made from men’s cotton shirts), and this funny Droopy-eyed Monkey Plushie Toy made out of a recycled sweater.


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