Featured seller: Evelyn Rose Design

Sarita Muir’s love of animals is very apparent in her creations and in her day-to-day life, as she divides her time between design for her label Evelyn Rose Design and rescuing unwanted rabbits and guinea pigs. Sarita finds it an exciting time to be a designer-maker, saying “The digital printing age has really embraced small businesses, creating new opportunities to print small runs of fabric.”

evelynrose cover

What do you make?
“Beautiful things.” I create custom designed home wares and gifts using my own drawings, vintage images and Lisa Glanz watercolour paintings.

How did you get into your craft?
It all started with wool felt and the desire to make my own handbag instead of paying a ridiculous amount for a product made in China. I have never looked back.

Last year I retired from my music specialist job and now work on my design part time. I love garden landscape and interior design but I didn’t want to go back and study, and felt smaller projects were more flexible to accommodate family life.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
None what so ever! My Bachelor of Music and post graduate training were so formal and orderly. I love the freedom and creative possibilities no training provides!

Your favourite materials, tools, processes.
Fabric, felt, paper, wood and wire. My process is always the same: I work backwards from the finish to the start. I draw, create a sewing pattern/find the right sized wood and then move to my computer. All my designs are custom made for their product. Creates no waste and no left over fabric, a very environmentally efficient way to work.

What inspires you?
Animals play a huge role in my design due to my total love of them.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Recycle and use eco fabrics as much as possible.

evelynrose workroom

Describe your workspace
I have a gorgeous space with windows looking over our beautiful rural property. I can see the Port Hills and the tops of trees all day long. It is sunny and warm and I love spending time working here. Everyday I tell myself how lucky I am. My dear ginger cat called Fleur Bean spends every moment with me. (Plus my totally devoted recused Spoodles Coco and Bella.) We rescued Fleur Bean and she had to have her tail amputated but she still feels brilliant about herself and the dogs fuss over her!

I always work on four to five projects at the same time and move from one to the other. (Please note I had a tidy up before I took this photo!)

Five words that describe your mind…
Creative, joyful, colourful, funny and enthusiastic.

What’s your favourite feedback from a customer?
“I have been meaning to log back in here to thank you since your parcel arrived. I had planned to save everything for Christmas but cracked and started with the Advent calendar pockets we have. Your shower cap has changed our lives! My almost-three-year-old had her first (happy) shower ever wearing that lovely elephant cap! Instead of being held by one of us, writhing and crying, while the other one soaps, she now lingers under the water with the ‘rain’ on her head – which now just misses her eyes because of the lovely little frill. Bingo! Seriously. Best gift ever! Thank you! X”

What are you currently listening to? Bellbirds in our garden.

What’s your favorite childhood book?
The Golden Compass – all the children have spirit animals.

What are you reading now?
Ideas – The most wonderful South African magazine, packed with creative ideas and inspiration.

Who is your hero/heroine? My husband.

A favorite quote? I have so many, very difficult to choose. “Enjoy the small things.”

Do you have any pets?
Yes, my daughters and I have a small animal sanctuary for unwanted guinea pigs and rabbits. Presently we have seventeen guinea pigs and nine rabbits. Plus we have many other larger animals – the most outstanding being Ernest, my Highland steer, who is simply magnificent!

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Don’t give up and continue to be tenacious!

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
During a recent trip to Wellington we visited the market and I purchased some beeswax lunch wrap. The smell was sensational.

What’s in store for the rest of 2015?
I have just started work on a new range for 2016/17, which I am so excited about. I am working with my mum on the first pattern mock-ups, as she is the sewing magician and can whip up anything. Also getting geared up for the market/fete season, assisting Sprout Patterns with their beta launch in the States, drawing a lot of adorable rabbits (which will take centre stage in my new range) and I’m hoping to rescue a pair of breeding Flemish Giants in the very near future!

I have challenged myself to purchase only New Zealand made products for Christmas 2015! I LOVE FELT! (Awww, thanks! And what a great idea! -Ed.)

Sarita attends a regular Lincoln Market, which has moved to a gorgeous new venue and she’d love you to come and visit. She’s also exhibiting at the Ellesmere Spring Fling, the Ohoka Garden Tour and Fete and the Christmas Encraftment Market.

evelynrose prizedraw

Love Sarita’s Evelyn Rose range? Check out more of her gorgeous products in her Felt shop.

Sarita has kindly offered a prize of this adorable “I love Bunny Blue” 100% cotton pillowcase (pictured above) valued at $38.50, for one lucky Felt blog reader. To win this sweet prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Sarita’s story and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 23 October and is open to New Zealand residents only.


33 thoughts on “Featured seller: Evelyn Rose Design

  1. What a stunning collection and a lovely story/profile to match. Having personally seen some of Sarita’s designs and products, I can vouch for their quality and uniqueness, just gorgeous! It’s so nice to have something that’s not run-of-the-mill to choose from for Christmas presents, I’ll definitely be stocking up. Keep up the fantastic work Sarita, I love your latest designs.

  2. I love Sarita’s beautiful designs. I have a cushion that takes centre stage in my bedroom and it makes me happy every time I see it. The designs are creative and happy and make great gifts for a friend (or for yourself!)

  3. What a wonderfully inspirational lady you are! As I read about all your creative drive – I have trouble understanding how you have the time and the energy. You must be doing something that is a true passion for you. Certainly looks like it with all your gorgeous designs and products. Well done, keep it up you are a very creative lady.

  4. Such gorgeous designs! What a clever lady. To not have any formal training in this type of creativity is unfathomable, she has such an eye! Sarita is an inspiration to those of us who love making things but would never enter it into the public domain. I’m loving the rabbit pillow case! I’ll be sure to share “Felt” with friends.

  5. What a gorgeous range of products! I am envious of Sarita’s talent, and also her fabulous working environment. Don’t know if I could cope with all those guinea pigs and rabbits though!!

  6. We have seen some (almost living!) examples of Sarita’s work which have already impressed us tremendously, but are almost overwhelmed by this further display of her natural talent, her imagination. and the range of products shown. Great work Sarita. We wonder how you do all this and still manage to give such loving care for your family, not to forget your 17 guinea pigs and rescued rabbits. Good luck with your shows, you deserve it.

  7. I love Sarita’s wide range of work! I also absolutely the way she is looking after animals that need her, and teaching her children how to love and care for the animals of this world, then filtering this through to all her beautiful work. What an inspiration, thankyou Sarita.

  8. Sarita’s love of gorgeous colours and design is evident in her exquisite and beautifully crafted collection of gifts, clothing, and decorative items for the home.
    With an eye for quality and detail, she combines playful images of animals to create stunning and delightful effects. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of her newest collection.

  9. Sarita,
    Gorgeous works of art and such useful gifts, especially the scarf, so soft and easy to wear, perfect for travelling and these strong windy days.
    Love the bunnies!
    We wish you the best.

  10. I love the idea of a small animal sanctuary! You have inspired me to think about doing something similar. We have plenty of space and grass so the only thing standing in my way is a little effort.

  11. I really appreciate how close to home much of Sarita’s inspiration comes across from in this article. Her pieces are absolutely gorgeous, and the story about the child and their elephant shower cap is just beautiful. I am thankful for this discovery today

  12. Such beautiful things; I spy many a thing that may be purchased and wind up as Christmas presents (or just stay safe and sound with me rather than being given away!) i have a rabbit obsessed three year old who would adore that pillow case

  13. I think it’s truly inspirational that she’s never had ‘formal training’. It just shows that once you find something you love doing, you can make it work and you can make it amazing.

  14. I love your pictures. They evoke happiness just looking at them. My daughter would love the bunny pillowcase. Childhood memories flood back the minute I saw it. Everything you have shown us on the web page is beautiful. You are very talented and gifted. Keep sharing your talent with us.

  15. Truly an inspirational woman who has a wonderful talent. Absolutely love her work and her commitment to caring for the animals with her daughters. What a fantastic idea – NEVER stop doing what your doing.

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