Family Trip to New Zealand

My parents visit Australia on every Chinese New Year so they’ve been to Australia 15 times now! My dad is even more familiar with tourist places than I am! So this year we decided to take them to New Zealand for a few days, just to make it a little bit different for them.

We went to South Island for just under a week. We drove from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, Twizel, Wanaka, Haast, Fox Glacier, Hokitika, Greymouth then back to Christchurch. I think we drove more than a thousand kilometres, but the scenery is so beautiful that every corner is worth the hard work.  It was such a great experience. Mum and dad were a bit bored, they constantly fell asleep in the car and missed out on all the beautiful views ha!

During our short but eventful trip we saw million year old glaciers and even a few shooting stars. We saw the ocean and we saw the rainforest, such a diverse place with such beauty.
Honestly you cannot imagine how stunning it is until you see it with your own eyes. We live in a wonderful world, that is full of beauty, excitement and love. It’s so nice to surround yourself with all these things and enjoy the little moment’s with your family.
In front of all these big mountains and beautiful rivers we realised how lucky we are to have each others. The world is so big and we only have limited time on this planet – we just have to enjoy every moment.

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(The beautiful star night photo is from @infarawayland because our camera was broken. Otherwise all the photos are mine)

Have a wonderful week!

Suki
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Creation

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As an artist & creative-mind-business-lady, my passion is about creating illustrations and products that will put a smile on people’s faces. The original and fundamental idea is to create something that I love first. Then if I am lucky, I can develop the artwork into different products. Otherwise I am just happy as it is.  To me the most important principle for a “creator” is to be true to yourself.

When people walk into my shop they straight away think this is a children shop. Honestly I don’t usually draw things specifically for children or adults. I’ve never thought of something that would make lots of money then drew it (maybe that’s why I am still very poor).

All the illustrations that you see on my website and in my shop, they’re individual drawings reflecting that moment of my life. I love colours because they make me happy and I hope my products make people happy too. Colours shouldn’t just belong to children. They belong to everyone.

As an artist, I believe, we should always focus on the originality not the commercial side. It’s very weird for me to say that because I really want to be rich and famous but if I draw solely what’s trendy and what makes money then I feel like I am a fraud – I’d rather not do it at all.

People come to me everyday and ask if I can draw specific things for them. Sometimes I have people ask for wedding invitations, children’s books, cards, posters. Sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say no. It really depends.

If the reason for a drawing isn’t coming from love and passion it doesn’t really mean anything to me. When you have a really good piece of work, you can develop it and market it into different things but if you don’t even like the work you produced you won’t be able to make it into anything else – you need to love what you do!

I know it’s very contradicting coming from a business point of view but I am the soul of the business and if I don’t make something that I am truely passionate about and love, the business will have lost its soul.

I am very grateful that people love what I do. Every time when I sell something it’s like giving you my baby and knowing my babies are going to a good home. This feeling cannot be replaced.

This post means a lot to me because I explain why I do things and why there are no black and white trendy products in my shop.

Thank you for loving what I do. I really appreciate that.

Suki x

My First Book

ACS_0008I can’t believe I’ve published two books. Most of the time I completely forget about them, but sometimes I am like “WOW” how did I do that?

I haven’t written for a while because I am so focussed on the business, I have lost all sensitivity about what’s happening around me. In saying that, I am hoping to pick up writing again this year – so who knows maybe I’ll have a third book?

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This was my first book. The english title wasn’t even right. I wrote about the funny things that happened to me when I came to Australia. The culture shock, working, living away from home, etc.

Before I came to Australia I never imagined living overseas. I was a princess when I was a child, with my dad driving me everywhere and I thought money grew from the wallet. Who wants to live away from home?

Life changed when I came here for university and I fell in love with Australia.

I remember my first impression of Australia was LAZY. I came from a city that’s 24/7, and 17 years ago shops closed here at 5pm and would not even open on a Sunday. What shocked me was the taxi driver didn’t even know where they were going – they had to read a map! Of course, this was before iPhone’s existed and I didn’t know Australia was such a big country. Who wants to live in a country like that? Other than that, Australian’s are very kind, very accepting and very funny. Although I will ask you, who puts hot chips in their burger? Are you in a hurry? Who do we shorten people’s names like David to Davo or Barry to Bazza? This has been confusing the crap out of me for a long time!

So I decided to write a book about Australia and the funny things that happened around me when I first came here. It was written in Chinese of course, because I don’t think my English was good enough back then. Even today I still think I don’t speak English most of the time. I want to show people it’s not easy living in a foreign country alone, but if you keep trying and understanding the new culture you’ll fall in love with this country!

 

 

My workplace

You may think that I have a fancy creative colourful workplace but the truth is I work from the bed most of the time!

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The truth is, I have an office with a fancy computer. The office is full of stock at the moment but I really enjoy the quiet time in there. HOWEVER! My dog Daisy follows me everywhere and always wants to play. I thought to myself, if I work in the bedroom maybe she’ll go to sleep – and that’s what happens. She sleeps, I work!

 

My typical night usually looks like this: Daisy sleeping peacefully on my side of the bed, while Iain falls asleep while watching TV. I have to lie at the end of the bed because my dog has taken my side, and I have heaps of books and notes lying around.

 

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Everyone’s sleeping except me of course….

 

So yes! This is how I work most of the time. I will spend time in the office when I need to do serious illustrations, but if I am just working I am usually on the bed! I am very jealous of people having nice home offices. I am also jealous of the super smart ladies that have kids and also built a business empire because I can’t even handle my own dog!
lol….

See you next week!

Suki
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Our New Brand Ambassadors are…

On Wednesday we announced our new Brand Ambassadors! We are super excited to announce that @our.precious.memories, @zaynee.and.chloe  and @run_wild_riley will be our new Brand Ambassadors!

While we received an amazing response to our Brand Ambassador search in the last few weeks, it made it extremely hard to pick who would represent Suki McMaster!
Over the next 3 months you will be seeing more photos from these talented stylists on our social media and blog.

We can’t wait to share more with you!

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End of Year Sales – Ends Tonight!
We’re offering up to 50% off selected products. It’s not often we have such a massive sale, so if you have had your eye on something now is the time to snap it up!

AfterPay is 
offered at checkout! Simply receive your items and then make 4 easy fortnightly repayments!

Don’t miss out!

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Australia Day! Friday 26th January 2018
We are open! Our shop at South Melbourne Market will be open on Australia Day from 8am to 5pm so pop on down and say hello! We may even just have a surprise for you!

School Holidays Food Fun
@thehappyorganicgirlau shared a delicious creation made famous by Kelloggs Corn Flakes and enjoyed by thousands of kids around Australia each year. 

INGREDIENTS
* 90g butter or margarine
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 4 cups Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
2. Line 24 hole patty pan with paper cases.
3. Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy.
4. Add Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes and mix well.
5. Working quickly spoon into paper patty cases.
6. Bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10 minutes.
7. Cool.

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Have an incredible week!

Suki
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Go Green

We’re very excited to see the Victorian government is finally going to ban single-use plastic bags in Victoria. A lot of countries around the world have stopped using plastic bags for some time, and I am glad that we’re finally doing it here in Melbourne.

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In 2018 we decided to change the direction of our business slightly. We want to be more responsible for the environment. We may not be a super hero, we just don’t want to be part of the problem. As you know a lot of our products are printed here in our own studio in Melbourne. We have also worked hard to successfully minimise waste when producing our products also. Our baby swaddles and blankets are printed on organic cotton and bamboo, which is environmental friendly.

In 2018 we have decided to take it a step further, we’re changing the packaging of our products to recycled paper – items such as paper boxes and paper bags. We are making bamboo and plant based fibre coffee cups and children’s dining sets. We’re also planning to print our greeting cards and envelopes on recycled paper and remove the plastic sleeves the cards come in. I am still thinking how to display the greeting cards nicely on the stand, but I am sure I will get there.

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I am extremely passionate about protecting the environment. I feel guilty when I see photos of sea turtles or birds that have died because of our selfish waste of food, plastics, clothing etc. I know my little actions may not change the world, but I believe if we all work together we still have time to help bring about change.

Suki x

Happy 2018

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year with their family and friends!
We feel refreshed after our little break in Sydney and we’re ready for an exciting year ahead!

We are excited for 2018 as it is shaping up to be one of our biggest years yet! We are planning on making some changes to our product range which will see several new products and new designs.

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Something I am extremely passionate about is the environment and our impact on earth. As such changes are being made to our packaging so we are more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

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We’re planning to apply for more big markets and events nationally, like Finders Keepers, The Big Design Markets and One Fine Baby. It may sound crazy to talk about all these events at the beginning of the year, but honestly there are is so much involved when you’re exhibiting around the country. Money is the main thing however logistics, staff and other resources are also very important. We need to plan ahead!

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We will also be focusing on the wholesale side of the business, meeting with new retailers and building important relationships. We are wanting to get our products into retail stores around Australia and hopefully around the world.
If you know any retail stores that would like to carry our product range please feel free to forward my contact information onto them.

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A few years ago, before we moved to Melbourne, we showed at Life InStyle and Reed Gift Fair  . I can’t say it wasn’t a success however we didn’t receive many return orders. I put this down to the fact we hadn’t defined our brand. Our product choices were very limited also.
Since opening the shop at South Melbourne Market, I know exactly what business owners want and who my target market is. Now is the time to go back to the trade fairs and reintroduce Suki McMaster to other retailers. Now is the time to make this happen!

This is going to be an amazing year for us! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram.
I can’t wait to share more news with you in the future.

Suki x

Written in conjunction with Renee Harvie (@thehappyorganicgirlau)

 

Thank you 2017

What an amazing year! We have had so much fun and really felt the love, so much love.

So let’s recap the incredible 2017, the year that was!

A standout highlight was having a space at Finders Keepers in Melbourne. So many customers visited us and took the time to wish us well. By the end of the weekend, our cheeks ached from smiling and laughing. We made new friends, laughed with old friends and had a great time.

018FEA32-8FF5-4FC8-A834-27089F96E767Our space at Finders Keepers, Melbourne!

We went on adventures to Brisbane and Sydney to check out Finders Keepers. This was to help us decide whether we should pack up and take our designs on the road in 2018 (and have a sneaky laksa in Chinatown!). Will you see us in Sydney and Brisbane next year? Stay tuned!

Our Bird Birchwood Tray and Rabbit & Ice Cream Mug make an appearance near Sydney’s greatest landmarks.

We were busy in our studio working on new products and successfully launched our soft Bamboo and Cotton Muslin Wraps, Baby Blankets, Onesies and 2018 Diaries to the delight of our customers.

B2844C3B-430D-4861-A6EF-E5A00439CE2C@itsopalrose, such a sweet and beautiful bubba, modelling our Platypus Muslin Wrap.
B10579BB-D4DC-41ED-8000-1B7C920A6212Our Cat & Bird Onesie

I also created several new designs including  Emu Mum and Baby for Mother’s Day, Cocky and Platypus to name a few! All my designs feature a special message, for example, the Platypus holding a heart and swimming in the Reef reminds us to love our Reef and take steps to protect it.

261FBFEA-B2E8-4806-B060-741905C658ACMum and Baby Emu design for Mother’s Day 2017
3507B8F0-DDED-4FD1-906D-1BE5417FC2D4Cocky

On the technical side of things, we launched our new website which is bright, cheerful and easy to navigate – making your online shopping experience a breeze! Along with the new website came the implementation of AfterPay. An alternative payment method that allows you to receive your purchase, then make 4 fortnightly repayments.

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We have loved seeing our customers share their purchases with us on social media.

Our amazing brand reps, @placedonpoint, @happyhomestyle and @yolonatty have shared their happy homes with us throughout the year. Thank you for showcasing your gorgeous homes with my designs and inspiring us with each post. It’s been wonderful year working alongside you!

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Our shop celebrated it’s one year anniversary at South Melbourne Market and each week our business continues to grow. Although, sometimes we are working so hard in the business, we forget to look back and celebrate what we’ve achieved.

This year, we have made ourselves so incredibly proud!

F061DAFA-C009-4A0F-9578-DA7698ED5A68Celebrating my birthday and our success though the year!

One of the greatest things about having our shop at South Melbourne Market, is we have met so many kind people who touch our hearts everyday. There are ups and downs when you are running a business and it’s this great love we see that keeps us going. We are so very lucky to know you all, and thank you very much for making our dreams come true.

Again, thank you to each and every one of you. Have the happiest of New Year’s!

Suki
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Below are our top nine photos of 2017
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Written by Renee Harvie (@thehappyorganicgirlau) on behalf of Suki McMaster

 

Merry Christmas Friends!

It’s Sunday, the 24th of December – Christmas is finally here!

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We have had such an enjoyable lead up to Christmas in the shop, meeting so many lovely faces, seeing our regular customers and just seeing everyone sharing some Christmas cheer.
Watching other shops decorate for Christmas, watching all the events put on by South Melbourne Market and watching in awe as my Husband, Iain, designed and made our wooden Christmas tree, which so many people have loved!

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One of our smiley staff, Sarah, shared this photo of her mum in Austria with one of our
Birchwood Trays!

Our shop has done exceptionally well this festive season, thank you so much for your support. When I reflect on the year that was 2017, it has been such a joyous year here at South Melbourne Market. Each and every one of my customers have made my Christmas wishes come true!

2017 has been such a massive year. We have had a lot of late nights, working away to ensure everything is in order. Creating new designs such as the much loved Cocky and planning for 2018, we have decided to take a little break between Christmas and New Year! Our shop at South Melbourne Market will be closed from Wednesday the 27th of December, and will reopen on Wednesday the 3rd of January 2018 (2018! Crazy!)

0A2FC064-8465-4F83-9041-5954E2A98EB0One of my new designs for 2017, the Platypus showing the Reef some love!

Iain, Daisy and I will be spending time in Sydney with our family and friends. I am excited for some time away to refresh and reset for 2018. We have so many exciting things planned for 2018, you will have to keep your eyes peeled!

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Some other good news, our Boxing Day Sale starts tomorrow night at 6pm! While I can’t give too much away just now, I can say this is a sale you won’t want to miss. Stay tuned for some great bargains!

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Have a wonderful time everyone, stay safe and we will see you all in the New Year!

Suki

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8 Sleeps till Christmas Day

 

With the festive season in full swing, we hope you are coping well doing this crazy time. Remember to take time to breathe and relax, as this time of year is about enjoying it with your loved ones.

We have plenty of beautiful gift ideas in store and online, such as our popular cushion covers in bright and happy designs, candles by Belash Soy Candles andChe-Sara, body products by Ena Products, our mugs, Birchwood trays and more!

Today is the last day for customised orders also, so if you are wanting a personalised mug, baby bib or print be sure to order online or in store to ensure it will be ready for you.

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As mentioned above, today is the last day before Christmas for customised orders.
Below is an idea of how you can customise some of our most popular designs.

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We know it’s busy, and really do you want to be stuck wrapping Christmas presents at 10pm on Christmas Eve? No! Well, let us do it for you. We are offering FREE gift wrapping on all orders instore and online. So go and have a coffee and let us take care of this for you.

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Great news, South Melbourne Market have extended their trading hours for the Christmas period.
Our shop will open on the following days and times;

Wednesday 20th of December, 8am – 4pm
Thursday 21st of December, 8am – 4pm
Friday 22nd of December, 8am – 5pm
Saturday 23rd of December, 7am – 4pm
Sunday 24th of December, 7am

Don’t forget you can buy online 24/7, from the comfort of your own home!

I hope you have a great week, and remember to take time for yourself!

Suki

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