Every time Liora Saad and her sister called or wrote to each other, they’d use the same sign off: “Toodles Noodles!” This cheery salute became the name and set the tone for Liora’s stationery, which is all about sharing the joy of communication. Toodles Noodles is an eco-friendly Kiwi stationery company specialising in gift wrap that is cheeky, beautiful, and colourful.
When starting Toodles Noodles (which has the equally-delightful username of tootsnoots on Felt) Liora wanted to show her love for gift wrap and her new home by utilising what New Zealand had to offer. “We believe that the gifts you give should be as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside! All the products are produced in New Zealand and are either made from 100% recycled material or the most eco-friendly products possible.”
What do you make?
We specialise in eco-friendly, colourful giftware, gift wrap and stationery for every occasion. All my designs are produced here in New Zealand and are made to channel the New Zealand natural, earth feel while still maintaining the current design trends.
How did you get into your craft?
I’ve always had a soft spot for stationery. Even as a kid I had photo albums where I would collect stickers (and never use them).
A few years back I was going through some tough times and was suffering from insomnia. With so much time on my hands I thought why not make the most of it! I decided to start up my dream of having my own stationery line. I had the philosophy that if you don’t try it, you’ll never know if you will succeed. I started with designing gift cards and then the wrapping paper. The number of products and designs just keeps growing and I’m excited to see where it goes to next.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I graduated with a double BA of Graphic Design (with an emphasis in print) and Visual Communications (with an emphasis in photography) from American University in Washington, DC.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I try to keep all my designs very clean and bright – I want people to have a smile spread across their face when they pick up one of my pieces. There also seems to be a bit of cheekiness to some of the items I produce, which just goes inline with my personality.
Describe your workspace:
I LOVE my new studio space! In February we moved to a bigger sunnier apartment due to Toodles Noodles basically taking up our entire home!
I had all my packing material stacked up in our second shower, boxes of products and stacks of gift wrap next to our dining table. Not to mention my computer in our second bedroom / office and all my other products in the second bedroom closet! It was getting a bit crazy. So when a bigger apartment on the sunny side of the building became available we didn’t even think twice.
In this new place we decided to put my studio where the dining area should be. Since we don’t host that many people and it has the best light in the house – my amazing partner suggested we dedicate that area to me and my creativity! One day I came home from a client meeting to see my new studio all set up. We put our dining table in the corner for me to use a nice huge desk, I have ample storage and, most importantly, light! I can look to my left and look down at the beer garden next door or look to my right and look out our deck and to the Waitakere hills. I also now have heaps of floor space to wrap up the wrapping paper orders!
In terms of storage it’s a bit of a hodgepodge but I am loving the look. My surplus is kept in beautiful handmade wooden creates and I have my wrapping paper in old planning drawers. I’m surrounded by inspiring art by fellow artists.
Five words that describe your mind:
Always moving, cluttered, imaginative, pictorial and random.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“First off, I needed this gift wrap kit in a hurry. After searching through Etsy for the perfect design, I came across the Toodles Noodles store and was struck by how beautiful and original the designs were. Since I was on a time crunch, I immediately contacted Liora and she was incredibly efficient – she responded to questions about my custom order within a matter of a few minutes, and it was shipped out the next day. Within a few days my order arrived from New Zealand all the way to the East Coast. As for the gift wrap kit itself, let’s just say it’s stunning. The texture of the paper is very high quality and it reminds me of the thoughtful care and attention to detail that I’ve seen in Japanese stationary. Everything from the way it was sealed and presented – all very professional. She even included some sample tags of other designs she has (which is good to know for future orders.) Overall, a terrific experience! Thank you!”
What are you currently listening to?
I’m not sure if it’s because it’s been over a year since last time I went home (California) – but I’m on a country kick! That and Macklemore – as you read above, my brain can be quite random!
Recommend an album:
Boy‘s Mutual Friends – I promise you will be singing and dancing in your chair in no time.
Your favourite childhood book?
All of the Berenstain Bears books!
A favourite quote:
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” (Given to me by my Mom, on a plaque hanging in my studio.)
What was the last handmade item you bought?
Beautiful earrings by Bron Alexander at the Ponsonby Markets – I bought one pair one weekend and then another four, love them!
If you’d like to meet Liora in person, she will be at the Auckland Art & Craft fair this June and the Spring NZ Gift Fair on 1-3 September. You can also usually find her at Ponsonby Central Market on Sundays.