Today is our first blog post to find out more about the talented designers of Mum Made with a little "Get to know you" interview. First off we have Sonia Foster who is behind Creative Aertz.
So where in NZ are you from?
Putaruru, South Waikato
What’s the best thing about this area?
The gorgeous bush walks we have and it is very central to many cities.
Can you tell me a little bit about your family and kids:
I married my High School sweetheart who I met when I was just 14 and have 2 gorgeous children – my gentle giant Zac who is almost 6 and fits just under my chin and my sweetie pie Esmē who is almost 3 and full of energy.
When and why did you start Creative Aertz?
When I had my son, Zac, I developed Post Natal Depression. For my sanity’s sake I picked up my knitting needles, which I hadn't done for years, and started knitting and haven't stopped and so Creative Aertz was born!
How did you come up with the company name and your niche?
My maiden name was Aerts and wanted to incorporate that into my business name but thought I would change the “s” at the end to a “z” for Zac. I create handmade gifts for little people and have found a niche market with my knitting and sewing skills – with my novelty hats being my main pride and joy.
What’s on your Top5 wishlist? Can be business and family life
- Have my own “warm” office/workroom – instead of the garage.
- Build my own website.
- Buy a laptop.
- Have a family holiday overseas that I can pay for from my crafty money.
- Just keep having fun with my gorgeous family.
What is your favourite creation/product? How did you dream it up/how was it born?
I am especially fond of my hats but most of all my shark attack hat. Someone asked if I could make a shark hat and I came up with an idea to have the person’s head inside the sharks open mouth – it has been one of my top sellers. Now someone has asked if I can make a plane so stay tuned.
Where and/or who do you draw inspiration from?
I have so many ideas in my head and love to create new things. Everything inspires me from an acorn on the ground to cows and sheep in the paddock. I also get inspired by my kids and from all our family adventures.
Where do you your work?
I have my computer and things set up in the garage aka “the office” but set my sewing machines up on the kitchen table when I need them otherwise you can find me on the couch with the knitting needles out.
How do you find juggling looking after the house, your family and work?
Housework often takes a backseat when things are busy but try to do one house job at a time and then reward myself with 5 rows of knitting. The knitting needles go everywhere with me and I even knit if we go somewhere as a family and hubby is driving. Sitting in the car as a passenger is such valuable knitting time!
What is your least favourite household job?
The dusting – you dust and 5 minutes later its all back again!
Where do you get your energy – what motivates you?
I just have such a passion for craft – especially knitting and my brain is always coming up with new ideas – it never stops and I don’t actually know how to just sit and relax.
What was your first job? How old were you?
I left school half way through 7th form and got thrown into the deep end as a PA – it was very stressful but was the best thing that could have happened as I gained great skills and knowledge very fast and have had some awesome jobs both in NZ and overseas.
Who are your creative role models?
My Mum (who sadly passed away last year) – she taught me everything I know about knitting and used to knit the most amazing jerseys for tourist shops. Something she was so proud of. I miss her so much but she still gives me inspiration.
If your house was on fire, what 3 things would you grab before you left the house?
- My kids scrapbooks.
- My tatty book of hand-scribbled knitting patterns and ideas.
- My sewing machine and overlocker.
Big thanks to Sonia for being the first of our great designers to do the Getting To Know You interview! Make sure you check out some of the great products from Creative Aertz!