Guest Blog: by Fina Tejada – Rosie Ok

by guest contributor Fina Tejada


Australian, Rosemary Newman, owner of Rosie Ok (also of Wearables Ok) comes for a crafty family. Her earliest craft memories are of crocheting under her grandmother’s kitchen table and she’s been crafting ever since. Rosie spends her free time sewing, drawing, painting and designing patterns. She started making bears ten years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

1. Can you give me a brief description of your business? What are the products that you sell? How did you come up with the idea to start your business?

People ask me what I do all the time and there’s always this awkward silence while I try to work out what to say. When you tell people you’re a toy maker the conversation always takes a weird turn while they try to work out exactly what this means. Basically, I design and hand make a variety of toys —teddies, monsters, amigurumi (crocheted stuff) dolls and anything else that pops into my head.

Like most things in my life, I just kind of fell into this. I first started making teddies when I was 17 and I first started selling them at a local market, which was fun for a long time. Then, I started selling my toys on Ebay a few years ago and I sold there for about 3 years. When Etsy came around, I decided to swap Ebay for Etsy last year.

2. Where do you sell your products?

I only sell through Etsy at the moment (also Wearables Ok). I love the community on Etsy and the whole handmade artists thing. So, when I switched from Ebay to Etsy, it was the best decision ever. I fit in at Etsy and the people are so friendly.


3. Are most of your customers international?

I’d say for a long time about 98-99 % of my business was international—mostly from the US. But recently. I think Etsy is becoming better known in Australia, so I’m starting to get more Aussie buyers.

4. What’s the first thing your remember making?

I remember sitting under my grannies dining table learning how to crochet and knit. I know this was before I went to school, so maybe around 4? The first actual thing I remember making though was a scrunchie on my grannies sewing machine. I remember digging through huge bags of fabrics, then having to sew the thing and thread the elastic through the tube.


5. What motivates you?

I’m not sure. This is just what I’ve always done. I do love new challenges. Challenges are a huge part of the fun of what I do. Finding new ways to do something, seeing it in your head and then in your hands is addictive.
I also LOVE colour and colour combinations. This is what always attracts me to something. It’s odd because people seem to think I’m a completely outrageous colourful person when they look at my stuff, but I’m actually quite sensible, quiet (not shy at all though) and I usually wear black and grey with no jewelry. Maybe my alter ego comes out through my work?

6. Out of all your craft supplies; what 3 would you be lost with out?

I almost cried at the thought of losing some of my stuff ! Well for materials I couldn’t live without my favourite brand of acrylic yarn or 100% quilters cotton fabrics. But I truly couldn’t live without my favourite tool. It’s a straight homeostatic clamp. It’s actually a surgical tool and it was my fathers from an old first aid kit, but i stole it from him and won’t give it back! It kind of looks like a long skinny pair of scissors, but instead of a blade it has a grip and there is also a part on it where it locks together to hold stuff. It’s the best invention ever. I use it to turn my sewing through from huge teddy bear pieces to my tiny little plushie brooches. I use it to hold stuffing and push it down into toes. I can use it as a pair of pliers (gently) for jewelry, to pick up buttons and eyes from my little jars.


7. Do you have any tips for crafters who want to start their own business?

A big tip I should have given myself years ago is that you can plan everything carefully and to the last detail, but sometimes you just have to have faith and leap off the cliff. Also if you’re stuck, ask for help from someone who knows! This is a biggie too. There are so many generous, wonderful, kind people out there who are more than willing to help if you are honest and upfront with them.


About the contributor: Fina Tejada owns Miss Fruitfly, an indie lifestyle company featuring artwork and home accessories. She is also a blogger who loves to cook, is a closeted reality show junkie and supports independent designers. She will be posting on the Indie Fixx Guest Blog featuring international indie crafters & bloggers to find out what motivates them creatively, how they started their businesses and how they approach the U.S. market. Fina will be posting periodically on Thursdays.