Adorable Purses by Misala Handmade - Feature Etsy Post
She is just too cute for words and her handmade purses are unbelievably adorable! When I came across her shop on etsy, I instantly started to favorite her items! I love her use of color, printed fabrics and attention to details.
Today, I am sharing photos of just some of my favorite purses from Michelle and giving you a look into the life behind her Misala Handmade shop! I hope you find her items as adorable as I do and keep her in mind this holiday shopping season! How cute would her items be in a stocking!?!
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the handmade business
I loved sewing and making cute little items since I was young, but it wasn’t until moving to live in Dubai with my husband late 2009 that I seriously considered making and selling my crafts as a business. I was originally from Hong Kong and I quit my job to become an expatriate wife. For the first time in my life I have time to stop and think about what I really would like to do, and I found my greatest joy from the needles and threads and the little things I make! I started off making a number of clutch purse and trying to sell them at a local artisan group which has regular art and craft sales event in shopping malls. The group was actually a very good one and I managed to meet my first few fellow artisan friends over there. But since it takes so much time to make a stall full of purses and bags for a good display, my business never really kicked off over there. Me and my husband figured that it would be much better we develop a brand and reputation online, and by then we could go back to the artisan group and meet my fans and potential new fans and show them all my crafts. That's how my husband recommended me to start on Etsy and how it all started.
2) Describe your studio/work space
Being expatriates in a foreign country, I do all my work in my make-shift home studio with simple (and mostly IKEA) furniture. Compared to Hong Kong, which is well known for expensive homes and high density living environment, the apartment we have here in Dubai is very spacious and comfortable. My work table faces a large floor to ceiling window with a stunning view of the beautiful seaside Dubai Marina residential district, and a glimpse of the Arabian sea and the beautiful Palm Island. We love this place, but at the same time the understanding that it is all temporarily and we might have to move to god knows where at any time is keeping us from actually decorating and making my studio more like an actual work studio. But I guess it is also good news for beginner sewers - you don't really need a lot of space, furniture or anything at all to start making your hobby a business, you just need to let your imagination run wild!
3) What is your favorite thing about your craft?
Like every other form of art, designing, sewing and making my purses is a way to express myself in a way that I could not do so in a 9-to-5 job, and I am enjoying every bit of it! Certainly there are also difficult times, like when there are huge urgent orders and I have to sew like there's no tomorrow, but despite all the hardship I still take a little bit of time after making every purse to admire at my creation. It felt so satisfying to create something beautiful, and even more so when it is your idea that gets handmade into a product, knowing full well that it is going into a loving person's hand!
4) Do you have any tips or advice for beginner sewers?
I have learned so many lessons throughout all these months doing my crafts and trying to make it a viable business. But then, if you are not making any mistakes, you are not doing anything, so don't be afraid to do anything. Just make sure you are always in a good position to evaluate what you have done and make adjustments according to what you've learn. Believe in yourself, your crafts and believe that there must be someone out there who likes what you create. Be persistent, and you will achieve what you want to achieve!
5) What is your favorite color?
I like every color that is bright and delightful! And if you are a fan in my craft, you know already that I absolutely LOVE polka dots! Polka dots brings life to every color, that's why you can see it on almost every bags and purse I make!
See, isn't she adorable!?!! I love her inspiration in her answer to question #4:
"Just make sure you are always in a good position to evaluate what you have done and make adjustments according to what you've learn. Believe in yourself, your crafts and believe that there must be someone out there who likes what you create. Be persistent, and you will achieve what you want to achieve!"
Thank you Michelle for sharing your work and what life is like behind the scenes!