Maker of the Week... Yardage Design February 27 2015

Hello my friends! so lovely to see you again, I'm guessing you're looking forward to reading another Maker story?...

Well you won't be disappointed! welcome to the handprinted textile loveliness that is Yardage Design 

I've been following the super talented Nicole over on Instagram for a few years now and I pretty much love everything she does, so its my absolute pleasure to be able to feature her amazing work here.

Tell me a little bit about you?...

Hello! I'm Nicole :: designer and printmaker at Yardage Design, which is a little handprinted textile business I started back in 2009. I am an environmental scientist by profession, and while I've always been creative, I took a screen printing class one weekend years ago when my son was just a baby, and haven't looked back!

And where are you based?

I am based in Brisbane, Australia at the moment, but I have lived in, and run this business from, Melbourne and Madrid over the past few years :: we get around! I am lucky enough to have a home studio. We have a traditional "Queenslander" house, which means it is raised quite high off the ground. My studio is built in underneath the house, and is where I spend my days between school drop-off and pick-up.

What do you make?

Handprinted textiles are my thing! My goal when I started Yardage Design was to design and print fabric by the metre ("yardage") which I did for a while, but I started testing designs on tea towels and haven't been able to stop since. These days I design and print linen homewares like napkins and tea towels, as well as hand bags and tote bags. I'm looking forward to releasing a few new handprinted products in the coming months too. This year I am also challenging myself to #52weeksofprintmaking on Instagram to hone my skills and get my design brain moving every week :: it has been a great side project to my usual work.

And where do you sell your products?

The main way that people buy Yardage Design products is via my online shop but I also have a lovely group of shops who stock my wares, and a few times a year I do a large design market in Australia. It's so great for people to be able to come and feel the fabrics and see the colours. I am lucky to have some really lovely, loyal customers.

What inspires you?

So many things! I really love patterns, in whatever form they take. Travel has been a huge influence on my design work and aesthetic. I also love colour, especially from flowers and old things. I may have a vintage haberdashery habit! 

What are the pro's and con's of running your own business?

There are lots of amazing things about running a creative business, but my favourite is the satisfaction of making something that started as an idea in your minds eye and turning it into something people like enough to buy and use in their homes.
The only cons come about if you get out of balance between the "creative" and the "business" :: they both need to be nurtured and require each other for success.

Do you have any advice for designers starting out?...

There are a few things that we all take a while to learn, but these are my top three tips for creatives starting out :: take your business seriously and separate it from your personal life to an appropriate extent (particularly on social media - have a business account and a personal account if that helps); take good photographs, or get someone to take them for you; ask yourself "what's in it for me?" before making decisions, learn to say no, and follow your instinct.

And finally, what are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Good design that people love so that I can continue enjoying and growing my business ... and an overseas trip this year would be amazing! I am busting to get to Japan and check out their amazing creative culture first hand.

Thank you so much Nicole for sharing your story 'Today is the day make something special' is a mantra I love to live by too and I'm fortunate enough to have a beautiful pennant printed with those words hanging on my workroom wall, it was a lovely gift I received from Nicole sometime ago.

If you love her work as much as I do, you can check out more of her textiles and prints at 

big love for now lovelies, keep on making and sharing the handmade love! 

Allison x x x