Meet The Maker - Tortie Designs
Happy Easter, handmade lovers!
What is better than to finish off the day reading a blog about a fellow maker whilst eating chocolate easter eggs? #nothingisbetter
Today's post is about Taylor from Tortie Designs. Not only does she have an awesome day job, but some of her profits from her handmade business is donated to... (keep reading to find out)!
Who is the face behind your business?
Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m the owner of Tortie Designs – I’m a 25 year old web developer who lives in Fitzroy, Victoria. Tortie Designs is “co-owned” by Zelda, my very fluffy tortoiseshell cat. She always sits next to me while I make anything and will happily untangle string for me.
How did your business start?
Tortie Designs started in April 2017 when I was looking for a way to be creative outside if my normal job, as a web developer. It’s pretty creative work already, but having a hairdressing background, I was desperate to do something more hands-on. I started it for fun, and then one day I noticed my cat, Zelda, was always playing with my designs. I joked with my partner that if she likes them, everyone’s gotta like them! I opened an Etsy shop to see if I would get any bites, with no real thought of a business developing out of it, and here I am today!
What is one piece of advice you would give to a girl boss starting or wanting to start their own business?
To quote Nike, just do it. A lot of people worry so much about the semantics of running a business. Is it going to fit in around my full-time job? Am I going to have time to run a business? Just do it, and work out the fine details later. There’s nothing wrong with deciding you can’t run it full time and being okay with it.
What is your current main goal for your business?
Honestly, Tortie Designs has never been about making myself a bunch of money. It’s been an art-hobby for just over a year now – and my focus in the business has turned to creating sizeable donations to The Lost Dogs Home in Melbourne. I donate 10% of profits, helping homeless kittens, puppies, cats and dogs in need.
What process do you go through to create a final product of yours?
When I’m creating a product, there’s usually no drawing, designing, etc. It’s always been very freehand, I just pull out some clay colours I’ve been meaning to try and go from there, usually.
How does running your own business effect your day to day life? What is a day in the life of you like?
Working full-time whilst running a seperate business pretty much means that you need to become a master at time management, and fast. I mean, sure, there’s been multiple times where I’ve gone home in my lunch break (I’ve always lived very close to my offices), to bake some earrings, or to send off some orders. Funnily enough though, I don’t actually have a set schedule for it. You sort of learn how to become organised around your full-time work. Full-time work can be really unpredictable, you stay back late to get things done, meetings go over…things don’t always go to plan. So you have to become a really flexible person, too.
What other handmade businesses do you look up to?
I mostly look up to businesses that are like mine – someone who isn’t running it full-time, because I can relate! Haha.
What makes your business unique and different to others?
Everything is vegan and PETA-approved, and helps animals by donating 10% of profits to The Lost Dogs Home. Also – everything is inspired by the sassy attitude of tortoiseshell cats – so it’s all gonna be a bit different!
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Thank you for reading x