Guest Blog: It’s a Handmade World…Brisbane, Australia by Jessica Van Den


{by Christolakis on Flickr}

I’m away this week for a week of vacation with my siblings & stepfather in Nag’s Head, NC. As I’m typing this on Sat (the day before we left), I’m doing a little dnace in my chair, I’m so excited. It’s pretty quiet at Nag’s Head in early Sept/Oct and I’m so looking forward to relaxing & enjoying the nature that the area has to offer. Plus, it will be pretty fun to hang out with the fam too!

All this week I will have guest bloggers filling in for me. Today kicks off a new series, Handmade World, which will highlight the diversity of handmade goods around the world. Conceived by Jessica Van Den, each edition will feature creations from one international city.

Make sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the series, as well as yor suggestions for cities to feature. — xoxo, jen

by guest contributor Jessica Van Den

Hot summers, balmy winters – and not a jot of snow in sight. Brisbane boasts a population of just over 2 million people, and is pretty much smack-bang in the middle of the east coast of Australia. With a beautiful river wending its way through the middle of the city, and surrounded by gorgeous beaches to the east and mountain ranges to the west, it’s no surprise that the population is growing  – and along with it, the prevalence of handmade!

Not to be outshone by its better-known cousins to the south – Melbourne and Sydney – the handmade scene in Brisbane is flourishing, with new boutiques opening regularly, as well as a growing number of regular handmade designer markets (such as the Valley Laneway Market, The Little Market at Avid, and The Boutique Markets).

One of the most active groups of crafters is brisStyle – the Brisbane Etsy street team. They run a slew of niche markets throughout the year and work together to raise the profile of handmade in Brisbane.

Here are some bright examples of local crafts – reminiscent of the blue Brisbane skies…

hot toffee earringsHot Toffee

Nicole from Hot Toffee completed a Bachelor of Art (Visual Art) before a six year stay in Japan, where she studied Togei (pottery), Shodou (Japanese calligraphy), Ikebana (flower arranging) and learnt how to make kiln fired glass accessories. She brought her tiny kiln back to Australia with her, and has never looked back! Her shop is filled with candy-like glass goodness, and you can find her work stocked at boutiques around the country.

hey harriet

Hey Harriet

The lady behind Hey Harriet is actually Tracy, and while her art is gorgeous, she’s best known for her TtV (through the viewfinder) photography. The technique gives her photos a gorgeous vintage feel. When you visit her store you’ll be taken back in time to an Australia of the 50’s – all hot beaches, carnivals and dandelions…

Kerri’s Hangups

Up-styled army bags, anyone? You’ve come to the right place! Kerri’s been sewing up a storm ever since Santa left her an old-fashioned treadle sewing machine under the tree (yes it was a big tree) when she was 9 years old. Her specialty is taking old (and a little bit boring) canvas army bags and making them gorgeous with appliqué, beading and embroidery.

Sodalight Creations

Tiffany of Sodalight Creations is a professional animator by day, and crafter in-between! As well as these sweet fabric ornaments, her shop has amazing sculpted fabric paintings… intrigued?


Fee Harding is the woman behind Burntfeather, home of sweet, innocent (and sometimes a little odd) art – often inspired by popular culture. With a Bachelor of Creative Industries, the 26 year old Fee is striking out in a freelance career as a visual artist, and has already had work published in Australia.

Hungry Designs

After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (in Scotland) with an Honours Degree in Illustration & Printmaking, Amanda Whitelaw joined so many of her fellow countryman and moved across the world to enjoy the balmy weather of Brisbane. Her comic-style work is sometimes sweet, and sometimes creepy, but always fascinating. She makes wearable art – mostly brooches – that will make people look twice!

About the contributor: Jessica Van Den is crafter, entrepreneur, and advocate for handmade goods and crafty micro-business. She creates sleek, modern, eco-friendly sterling silver jewellery (, as well as editing two blogs (Epheriell Designs & Crafting a Business) and a zine (*bespoke*) that support, inspire and nourish the handmade community.


  1. Glad to read how much you all liked this post and the new series. Things are already in the works for the next city, and Viki, Tel Aviv is in the works. 😉

  2. Love the article! I’m suggesting Israel for the next crafty place-we have TONES of fabulous talents in our little Holly Land 🙂

  3. What a fantastic post! Go BrisStylers go! I love being part of such an amazing and inspiring group. Thanks so much to the wonderful Jess for featuring us and I look forward to following this series. It’s such a great idea!

Comments are closed.