Name: Kira Pan
Occupation: Interior Designer
Etsy Shop: FORM MAKER – Sustainable cardboard design
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an interior designer from Sydney, Australia. After a few years of working at Architectural practices, I took a leap of faith to move to Shanghai China a year ago, where I felt the increasing need to promote sustainable living. The experience had given me a different perspective and encouraged me to start my Etsy store.
My shop on Etsy is FORMMAKER, where you can find functional artworks and objects with renewable cardboard materials, ecologically friendly packaging.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
As you may know design students spend a lot of time making models and experimenting. University had set good foundation for me in what I do today. Everything really took off when I came across a particular type of recycled cardboard. I am very much addicted to the texture and couldn’t stop thinking what they could become.
In the beginning I had made furniture for friends and families, everyone responded very positively. So I thought why not give it a shot by opening up my own Esty store after years of shopping on it! Form Maker opened in Autumn 2013, shop owner wise I am a new comer.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
The name Form Maker reflects my simplest desire to make and build. The logo design incorporated basic geometry shapes of circle and triangle for a touch of playfulness.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Right now Etsy shop alone cannot support me, but of course turning it into full time job would be a dream.
How would you describe your creative process?
If I had an idea in mind I would sketch it done straight away, and go directly to the cutting mat. I wouldn’t stop until the prototype is done. People around me are pretty good with putting up with my restlessness now…
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I suppose life itself is inspiring. The people we meet, the streets and buildings we see, and the colors of nature, or maybe the composition of food that is in font of us. Anything and everything gives me inspiration.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows? Yes.
• What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite?
Charity markets and eco design markets are both held for great courses, so I love being part of them.
• How long does it take you to prepare for a show and do you have any special methods of getting ready?
About a week or two in advance. The advice I would give is to design your stall as a whole, don’t just focus on your products, think about how they are presented.
• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work
The different mix of people that would come to a show makes the experience very valuable. I would meet people who didn’t understand the value of cardboard design, people who are very interested but sensitive about the pricing, and like-minded people who just can’t get enough. Shows bring lots of job opportunities too. Last time we meet the chairman of Biennale in China at the charity market and were invited to create a design for the project he was taking on!
To promote awareness for sustainable design and meeting people is more important than making a profit at a show, so I would keep going to shows with good initiatives.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
I have a handful of handmade rings. All of them are loved dearly.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Travelling is always on my mind. I enjoy looking at and studying the design and aesthetic of different cultures, and bringing back loads of local handicrafts.
Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
An artist is what I always wanted to be. Now I paint and draw in my off time. The colors gets translated into design.
Five years from now you will be…
I wish to run our own studio/workshop, open up a concept boutique store/showroom, and travel to India.
Describe yourself in five words:
I think I am…
Curious, Unassuming, Affectionate, Happy, Tall.
Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your IPOD, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Je ne veux pas traviller-Pink Martini / Blue Velvet - Lana Del Rey
/Lucky- Jason Mraz /La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf/ Let’s do it – Cole Porter
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Know what you are doing, think of what you want you and your product to become, understand your target market, and then just run for it.
And up for grabs this week is an awesome Snowflake Crate