I love cute stuff that adds a little bit of a quirky touch to things. As much as I’m all about functionality and clean lines when it comes to home spaces, I believe children especially need lots of fun elements when it comes to decorating their bedrooms. Things that are going to add a little bit of magic to their imaginative worlds!
Which is why I just LOVE Wooden Doodles and all the truly inspirational pieces that Deirdre comes up with. I mean just look at these gorgeous pieces she contributed towards out Bedroom Makeover earlier this year….
So today we hear from his incredibly talented lady, Deirdre Botha about her business and what some of her greatest challenges and achievements have been thus far!
1. Is this your full time job? If not, what do you do?
Yes, this is my full time job.
2. How and when was your brand born?
I used to have another brand called Dids Art Creations. It included vintage blocks, soft toys, lampshades and other kids room décor. 3 Years ago we started renovating our 1970’s style home and I was confronted with a mountain of old roof beams. I did not want to get rid of it as I am always conscious of reclamation and repurposing of materials. I made a simple wooden house and the range just grew from there.
3. Was it an overnight success or did you experience many teething problems?
Friends and family just loved the whole idea of what I was doing. The challenge was to find clients. There are so many amazing products out there, you have to do something special to get noticed. My brand grew quickly and sales has doubled every year. Facebook and Instagram was a big help getting my products out there.
4. What has been your greatest lesson in the industry? Any tips for people starting out?
The biggest challenge is branding and marketing. We are all creatives but the business side is a big challenge. Not forgetting bookkeeping…. Spend some money on a great logo and get going. Follow fellow crafters on social media and get involved in collaborations. To give your business a chance you have to just do it. Don’t spend too much money using outside suppliers, just do it yourself.
5. As a momtrepreneur what are some challenges you face with having to balance it all – family, work and other commitments?
Luckily I am the mom of 2 teenagers (maybe not so lucky… 😉 This at least gives me a lot of time to spend in my studio. When I started out years ago, they just about grew up in my studio, covered in paint, paper and glue. Don’t get despondent, it might not seem like it now, but they grow up so quickly. I now have a 15 year old daughter who want to become a graphic designer.
6. What is the dominant theme running through your product range? And what is your signature product?
My signature products are the robots. They keep on stealing hearts. The main aim/theme is the concept of reclamation. I source my wood and metal bits from reclamation and scrap yards. As one client once mentioned…Saving the planet one doodle at a time J
7. Who/what are your biggest influences? Or your greatest inspirations? ( I’m guessing your little ones!)
I have to admit, I don’t find inspiration from other artists/crafters. I will follow colour trends to a degree but that is about as far as it goes. Unfortunately this does not stop others from copying me! A lot of creatives just copy products found on sites like Pinterest and make it their own. I have always been conscious to be original and do my own thing. Creativity has been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl.
8. What has been your biggest achievement thus far?
Setting up my online shop has always been a dream and this year it went online. Whoop whoop! I have also found a client on Reunion Island with a lovely shop and have new clients in Mauritius and Singapore in the new year. And of course all the lovely shops in SA sharing my love for the Doodles.
9. What are your future plans and dreams for your brand?
I have some new Doodles in the pipeline for 2017. I also want to get my Etsy shop online and introduce the world to the Doodles. As I make every Doodle by hand I do not have the capacity to expand volumes. It is time to employ another person. This is not going to be easy… I am a control freak and am worried I will just be busy with quality checks the whole time 😉
Thank you Deirdre for contributing to our amazing Collaboration makeover. Look how happy your little winner is with her prize!!
Deirdre has so many options for your little one and will even custom make Doodles to your own specifications. Go check out her links for more details: