Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Interview With Cree ~ Designer Of The Month

When I thought about starting my monthly designer interviews back up again, I wondered who would be my first interviewee. There are so many people I would like to ask, but one amazing women stood out in my mind. Her designs have been receiving a lot of attention lately, and anyone can see why. They are unique, spirited, lively, colorful, everything that children are, and everything children would love to wear. From her Disney Princess sets, to her fairies, little girls will stand out in the crowd if outfitted in one of Cree's gorgeous designs. Cree is a pioneer in her field. Someone who is not afraid to take chances, someone who thinks outside the box. For these reasons, and many others, Cree is well respected by designers and buyers alike. The first word that comes to my mind when I look at Cree's work, is ART, plain and simple. The next word would be TALENT, and the third word would be BRILLIANT. This is why I have chosen Cree to kick off the re-birth of my designer interviews. First off, I want to say to Cree, congratulations on all your eBay success, and thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to tell us a little about yourself, and what makes you, you :)

Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia.

Where do you live now? I’ve moved around lots and lots but am now right back where I started from.

How many children do you have? Names and ages? I am so lucky to have two children – Loughie who is 9 and Henrietta who is 4.

What are your hobbies (besides designing and sewing)? Um could you rephrase that – ‘besides sewing’, is there such a thing as ‘besides sewing” Tee Hee only kidding. I play netball which is a funny sport played mainly in England, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. It is a little bit like basketball but you can’t dribble the ball, only pass. Also the court is divided up into three sections and depending on your position you can only go on certain parts of the court – plus you have to wear a bib stating your position – like GS for Goal Shooter, or WA for Wing Attack and you wear funny little pleated skirts.

What is your eBay ID? Bowznstuff_boutique

How did you come up with your ID, is there a story behind it? You know I never really liked the name Bowznstuff and I always thought I would change it but as the years have gone on it really has become ‘my’ name and I couldn’t change it now – I like it after all this time.

Are you a member of a design group? How long have you been a member of that group? I am a member of MeliMelo and have been since the start of this year.

How long have you been selling your designs on eBay? You know I was trying to work this out the other day but couldn’t quite pinpoint. I think I began selling bows around 4 years ago, more as an aside, a little hobby when Hettie was little. I started getting serious about it around 2 years ago.

What got you started? I was browsing Aussie ebay for baby clothes and came across a seller who was reselling some bows she had bought. I was entranced! We used to tie bows for ballet costumes, so I started there. So I started with bows and then dusted off the old Elna and the rest is as they say..history!

Do you remember the first set you sold on eBay? How much did it sell for? One of my very first sets was this one – it sold for 49.99 to a sweet customer who still buys from me today – she has twins so she bought two – I was so excited.

Have you noticed a change in your designs from when you first started? Yes for sure – I used to make many more jackets and hats and 8 piece sets which I make less of now. I think my own style shines through more strongly now than when I started as I have become braver and had the courage to take more risks.

What is the one design that is the most popular...the one that you get repeatedly asked to create? Mmmm all of my Disney Princess designs that’s for sure. And then non Disney would be our of these two:

What is your inspiration for your designs? It can be anything really. Sometimes it is the fabric, sometimes just a sort of image I have in my head. Often it is something I see as I bumble around. So around dance concert season you will see lots of stage inspired designs, or I might drive past a shop window and get inspired to create an outfit in the same style the chair or the curtains or whatever it was in the window that caught my eye.

Is there any other designers you admire? Oh there are lots – the very first person I really remember noticing on ebay was Srann. She doesn’t sell anymore but wow what an inspiration. My friend Nat (smallsomething) for her amazing talent, Susan (little*monkey) for her impeccable detailing, Jamie (jzcustoms) for the way her photos have the power to make me gasp, pbandj*creations for her fabulously funky boys sets and appliqué work and Servanne (monalisaboutique) for her groundbreaking work.

Do you remember your first design that went for the big $$$? How did you feel when you sold that set? It was this one here – it went for $143 and I just thought it was the most amazing thing – I was SO excited – the whole week I kept checking just to see the bid price. It was a dress, apron, hat, coat and stole!

Is there any advice you can give to designers that are wanting to achieve your selling level on eBay? I think the best thing you can do is to try and find your style and develop that. My most successful sets are always the ones with the most of me in them. Sure look at what sells but try and adapt that to your own personal style – I think that the most successful sellers on eBay have all developed there own unique style. Other than that it is just time and patience but it is a roller coaster ride for sure.

Do you notice that you have the same customers that are loyal to you, and give you repeat business, or are you constantly getting new customers? Most of my business comes from repeat customers. I try to look after my customers the very best I can – getting there sets to them as fast as I can and offering lots of fun little games, competitions and special offers for my mailing list customers

What is your favorite design you have created? Now THAT is a hard question. I don’t have one fav but out of my list of top 5 this is one of them

Who is your favorite fabric designer? Mmm whoever designed the range of French poplin dots – that person!

What is your favorite custom auction on eBay right now? Oooo fun! Um let me see…well it just finished but it would have to be this one

If you could max out your credit card at one store, what store would that be? mmmm I have very large feet so it would have to be a shoe store that sold funky but large shoes – I think I would have to fly to Germany first and then go shoe shopping!

What can we expect from you in the future? Lots more magical little girl sets, lots more ruffles, lots more twirl and lots more punk – oh and lots and lots of collaborations.

Click Here to see Cree's designs on eBay

Click Here to go to Cree's Etsy Store

***Cree is offering a 10% discount for any purchase through the month of May if you tell her you read her interview on the Boutique Buyers Blog***


sunshine*kisses said...

ahhh sweetie such a fantastic iterview WTG


hoganfe said...

Michelle great interview!
hoganfe handbags

smallsomething said...

oh yay...Cree is divine...both in talent and personality! GREAT interview Michelle!!!
Love you Cree:)

Sweet Sunshine Boutique said...

What a fabulous interview with one of all of our favs, Cree! Awesome work Michelle! Thanks for a peek into Cree's fabulous, creative world!! I admire her designs, DAILY!!!


Clara said...

LOVED the interview!!!! Love your work Cree!!!!

Jordon said...

Amazing designer! Great Interview!


modkidboutique said...

WOW! What a wonderful interview, Michelle! Cree, it was great getting to know you better, sweetie! :)