Joanne Wainwright is from the UK and she has been living in New Zealand since 2006 and has never looked back. Joanne moved there with her husband. They have a doggie called Raisin and he is a Yorkshire terrier and a wee boy called Phoenix who was born 10th June 2010. She works full time for ANZ Bank as a business manager. Joanne has worked there for nearly 4 years now. She loves to go shopping, she loves running (currently training for the Auckland Marathon). Joanne loves cooking and she absolutely loves creating stuff that makes people happy.
Joanne Wainwright is a big people pleaser, everything she does is for other people, she says that she can’t help it… Joanne can’t say no to nothing, unless she really has to. As long as everyone is happy then she is happy 🙂
It was a pleasure for us to take an interview with Joanne Wainwright who shared some interesting facts of her biography. We wish you a pleasant reading of Joanne Wainwright success story and viewing of her cheerful night owl creations.
AP: Your first works. What did they look like? Was there someone or something that influenced your work or inspired you?
JW: I have always been a creative person, always making things out of cardboard and plastic bottles and pretending to have my own show and presenting to my audience of teddies and dolls. I remember when I was about 11 and we had a x-mas fancy dress party at school. I remember this like it was yesterday; I really wanted to go as a snowman, so my grandma gave me a spare white sheet and some black material and some other bits and pieces. So I made a hole in the middle of the sheet for my head and then I got the bottom hanging edges of the sheet and stitched a massive hem which I stuffed with another sheet. So I looked all big and puffy, then I made some black circles out of the material and stuck them down the front of the sheet hoping they would look like buttons, I wore one of my old scarves and a black hat. It was terrible but I wore it – my grandma was a big inspiration as she made all her clothes and she always looked so beautiful, she had the biggest sewing basket I had ever seen and she used a singer sewing machine which was not electric by the way! She was such an amazing lady.
AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?
JW: I have only been sewing since April 2011 and have never even touched a sewing machine! I have always talked about getting a sewing machine for as long as I can remember. When my son was born I received a hand made personalized blanket which a friend had made and that got me thinking. So, I got in touch with my friend and said can you teach me a few stitches. And she did and that’s it! I am now a sew-a-holic. I am definitely going to keep learning and I am going to do a quilting course this year and possibly learn stitchery.
AP: What genre are your works? How would you describe them?
JW: I would say my genre is cute/bright/loveable/designer! My inspiration was a pair of PJ’s I got from the UK – Phoenix lived in them, the top had a big owl on the front sitting on a branch. I am looking to expand my family of owls by introducing new textures/designs and size. I do like to experiment and I have a scrap book of over 100 designs of owl items I want to make. It’s going to be a hoot making everything. It’s great looking back at photos of my owls from when I first started and watching how much I have grown over a short period of time.
AP: Can your handmade items be characterized as unique and unusual?
JW: I definitely think my owls are unique, I want to show people that it’s just as good to buy handmade items rather than in than gifts from a shop that stocks 100’s of the same thing. You appreciate handmade items more as you know the work and love that goes in to it. Why have what everyone else has. Why not buy a personalized and unique gift that you have had a helping hand in creating by choosing colors/material etc. No one else will have the same as every owl is unique and has his/her own character.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use?
JW: I use a sewing machine but mainly my hands as every detail on the owl is hand sewn and takes a good 5/6 hours from start to finish. I prepare owls and cut out all the shapes and all the eyes, tummy, shapes, letters and then attach to owl and away I sew.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere?
JW: Definitely not an expert but I want to learn more and more I would love to be able to do this full time. I dream of having my own ‘night owl creations’ shop with a little coffee shop inside with a ‘nightowl corner’ for reading to the children that come and look at all owl stuff I make. twit twhoooooo it would be hoot-i-ful.
AP: What is your success formula?
JW: I think the formula to success is to believe in what you do. I know I have achieved a lot in the last 4 months; I have a large following on my face book page. It takes a lot to look after your page and to network and keep your customers up to date with what you are doing. Its been hard working full time and looking after the family and everything else but I just cant stop I just wish I could sew faster. I want to do markets I just can’t make my owls fast enough as soon as I put a photo of a completed owl on Facebook, I get another order. I do giveaways on my Facebook page when I reach a certain amount of LIKERS 🙂 always good to give back for all the support you get.
AP: Is there someone who helps you in your creativity?
JW: This is the most important thing in the world – Support! I just couldn’t do it without having my husband beside me. He fully supports me and help me in everyway possible. My motivation comes from my father who passed away Sept 2010 and my son! Need I say more? Family : )
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