Cirrus Masthead

Sweet Sistas

Clare Watson

Sweet Sista Offer up Sweet Handmade Children’s Creations

If you’re a lover of all things handmade, chances are you’ve been to the quarterly Handmade Market. Showcasing the local talents of Canberra’s best and brightest in the thriving handmade scene, many of the stall-holders work for months on their designs and products, ready to wow the crowds at each market.

One of the talented operators showcasing their work at the most recent market was Sweet Sista, two locally based sisters, Jenny Gianakis and Debbie Fior, with a penchant for beautiful nursery décor and handmade children’s clothing.

sweet_sista_1

Launching their business in 2001 after teaching themselves to sew, the sisters have always had a passion for handmade items, originally selling hand sewn handbags and then branching out into children’s clothing and soft toys when they realized how many people were looking for that something special for their child’s nursery.

An example of their work is one of their current big sellers, a set of soft rattle ‘tools’, including a hammer, screwdriver and spanner. Inspired by their father, a ‘tradie’, Jenny notes she loved the idea of creating something that tied their designs back into their family history.

Like a number of blossoming handmade operators, Sweet Sista have used social media as a platform to both promote their business and showcase their work. Currently using Facebook for product perusal and orders, the sisters are fastidious about ensuring they keep their products fresh and unique with a new collection each season.

sweet_sista_tool_set

Different colour schemes and fabrics also allow their cute, quirky soft toys to be both gender neutral and ever changing.

“We want to be able to give Canberra Mums and Dads beautiful, unique, well crafted products,” says Jenny.

Working to create items that are suited to both boys and girls is a priority after finding there are fewer handmade creations available for boys. Ensuring their products are gender neutral also offers the perfect option for parents who choose not to find out the gender of their child but still want that something special for their nursery.

IMG_1817

Working full-time with sometimes unpredictable schedules, both Jenny and Debbie enjoy their current careers, but find there’s something inspiring about handmade work. As a small operation, they’re more than happy to stay small, individually hand sewing each item, as it allows them to oversee the detail of each and every product and enjoy the level of finesse that brings.

Sourcing their fabric from overseas, the sisters from Sweet Sista have specific taste and have certain colours they prefer not to work with, however they’re more than willing to take custom orders and source suitable fabrics if customers are after something specific. They love finding fabrics that are both vibrant and unique with Jenny also remarking, “we like to ensure that our products are going to last and have found that fabrics sourced from overseas are more durable.”

IMG_1821

It’s not just soft toys and rattles that come out of the Sweet Sista design studio though, with their range including clothing, baby headbands, hair ties and necklaces for little girls. Their creations range from $4 for hairclips all the way to $50 for a baby blanket.

As Jenny says, “we really try to focus on keeping our creations good value for money and we want people to enjoy their experience when ordering from us.”

the essentials

What: Sweet Sista Handmade
Where: Facebook and Canberra Handmade Market
How much: Products range from $4 to $50
Web: www.facebook.com/sweetsista.handmade

user

Clare is a first time mum with a passion for writing, fitness, country music and good coffee. Born and bred in Canberra, Clare has watched the city transform over the years into the cultural star it is today. She is also quickly learning just how draining motherhood can be and is always on the look out for silver linings on the toughest days of motherhood. More about the Author

UNVEILED 10 Leaderboard