My name is Sarah, I’m 21 and I live in a character home in a sweet little leafy street with my partner Niels, who is from Belgium. Our next door neighbours are musicians which means we are often accompanied by a melodious soundtrack while taking our morning showers. Luckily we have a similar taste in music to them!
For the large part of the year you can find me reading textbooks, as I am in my 5th year of a combined degree in Law/Arts(Communications) at UWA. I also work a couple of shifts a week at an optometrists, where I help people choose glasses. Although most of my time is taken up working and studying, when I get a spare moment I love to get crafty! Not only is it creatively satisfying but it also saves me from drowning in all that legalese.
2. Your shop name is very interesting, how did you come up with that?
I spent a lot of time browsing etsy, seeing what was out there already and listing other names that I liked so that I would have an idea of what I wanted. ‘Bini’ was my starting point as it was my nickname at high school, formulated as a sort of cross between/shortening of ‘albino’ and ‘Albertine’ (the former because I had woefully pale skin, thanks to my Irish Dad, and the latter as a character from a book). My friends were clearly creative (albeit in a convoluted way!).
While I was sitting down brainstorming my shop name I happened to be drinking tea and it struck me how it seemed to be a habit of mine to work more creatively when I had a cuppa in my hand. Walah – Tea For Bini was born!
3. What sort of items do you make and sell?
I’ve sold a variation of items since starting my etsy store about 2 years ago, but can confidently say that I’ve reached a point where I feel there is a real sense of cohesion about my existing product lines. I think most people associated Tea For Bini with my whimsical block canvas paintings of paper aeroplanes. However, the project I hold most dear is my Outdated Technology series, which features illustrations of things like VHS tapes and floppy discs on little round canvases. I began creating these drawings/paintings when I noticed how much people value and enjoy reminiscing. Now, instead of merely verbally lamenting the extinction or declined use of their beloved (and sometimes even mundane) works of technology, they can hang a painting on their wall and thereby immortalise the memory.
I also sell decorated moleskine journals and some other little tidbits such as magnet sets and brooches (I had to made at least one product that was wearable!).
4. I hear you will be selling at the upcoming Made On The Left market, is this your first physical market? Are you looking forward to it?
Yes, that’s right! You can find me there on the second day – Sunday 26th July. I’m super excited as it will be my first ever market. I have always wanted to sell at a MOTL event but have been overseas or had exams scheduled on the same dates as the previous ones.
I’m looking forward to it very much – first and foremost for the novelty of having my own stall (yay) but also as a learning experience. I’m familiar with many of my fellow sellers’ work and I must say I am very lucky to be included with such a talented bunch of West Aussies.
It’s a bit daunting to think of all the preparation I still need to do, but also really fun brainstorming creative ways to display my work. As I’ve traditionally only sold my work online, I’m especially looking forward to meeting some of my buyers face-to-face.
5. What are your hopes for Tea For Bini' in the future?
Well there is a good chance that after the upcoming MOTL market I will have all these lessons and new knowledge under my belt which I will want to use/test again – so perhaps some future markets will be in order. Ideally I would love to be able to further expand Tea For Bini once I graduate and have the time to do so.
6. Where can we find you on the net?