It’s the books from our childhoods that stick with us forever! They shape who we are and how we see the world. If a favourite book can be turned into an accessory to be worn in everyday life, that makes it even more special! This is exactly what Jocelyn, the mastermind and creator behind Geeekalicious does. Her handmade accessories are made from second hand books, which she transforms into wallets, pencil cases and jewellery! Her aim is to reduce the waste of discarded books that would otherwise end up in landfill and combine this with a love of reading, dreaming, and creating. Much like a good book, we recommend diving head first into this fantastic interview with the creator herself. Forget your worries and escape reality for a few minutes. Let’s all appreciate how much thought and effort goes into Jocelyn’s small business!
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hi! I’m Jocelyn and I’m the book nerd and creative behind Geeekalicious, a small handmade business dedicated to repurposing books into unique fashion accessories for my fellow bookworms. I create a range of bookish things including book purses and wallets, book page pencil cases, and jewellery. Absolutely everything I make starts with a second-hand book (or preloved, as I like to call them). From that one book, the cover is transformed into a purse or wallet and the book pages are used to make book page wallets, pencil cases, coin purses, and jewellery featuring little snippets of pages. Once I’m done, that one book can then be enjoyed by many different people in their day to day lives, and its precious stories can live on with each creation. My aim is to use the entirety of each book with nothing going to waste, and I’m constantly brainstorming new ideas and new uses for left over book pages.
Why do you do what you do? Repurposing is my passion! As a lifelong lover of books, I find it heart breaking that so many books are discarded and end up in landfill each year. I wanted to give these books a second chance at life, a new purpose, while also creating something unique for my fellow book lovers to enjoy. That moment when someone picks up one of my book wallets and realises it’s not actually a book, it’s in fact, a WALLET — !!!! —that moment of excitement is why I do what I do.
Who are some other artists, crafters, creatives that you love? And why? I find all creative people in general so inspiring! At the moment, I’m really loving the adorably quirky felt brooches and whimsical illustrations by Hannakin (@hannakinart on Instagram) the little felt creatures she makes are so full of personality and each handmade and hand stitched – she’s a very talented lady. I also love the intricate wooden jewellery made by Laliblue containing tiny pop up art scenes. I especially love their collection of jewellery inspired by fairy tales and classic stories. The amount of detail and thought they put into their work is astounding and each piece is truly a piece of wearable art.
What excites you? Anything to do with woodland creatures, water colour paintings, Peter Pan collars, discovering a new favourite book, or finding that perfect dream dress at the op shop and it fitting!
We think of a rummage stall as a mini shopfront, how do you make your rummage stall your own? I lay out my upcycled creations on some lovely vintage floral corduroy fabric, a treasure I thrifted many years ago. I find the deep burgundy really makes the cream book pages pop. I stick to the underlying theme of repurposed books so everything in my stall looks cohesive.
Can you offer any tips on setting up a rummage stall? I’d recommend keeping your set up simple and neat, with clear prices and sections so it’s not too overwhelming. Try to have a few different price points to appeal to more potential customers. My number one tip would have to be, bring an umbrella and a cool paper fan (and plenty of water), they’re absolute lifesavers in the hot summer months!
What do you like about attending Suitcase Rummage? As a small creative business, I absolutely love how easy and stress free it is to set up a mini market stall. I don’t have to worry about lugging tables, stands and a marquee around, which is FANTASTIC. The general vibe of the market meshes well with my brand and on a personal level — it’s great being surrounded by likeminded people who find value in second-hand and supporting handmade. Plus, I enjoy seeing so many different, cool and quirky fashion styles, I get so much inspiration each time I go! (And I always leave with a few new additions to my wardrobe).
What is the next step for you? What does the future hold? I’ve recently become obsessed with brooches, so unsurprisingly I have some designs for bookish brooches in the works. They’ll be making their debut at a Brisbane Suitcase Rummage soon! I also have plenty of other new ideas I’m hoping to develop in the future as well. Stay tuned. I’m planning to attend more full scale markets and events this year and generally continue to grow my small business. The Suitcase Rummage has been great in building my confidence as a seller and given me the opportunity to test out new designs and get feedback from the general public.
What’s your favourite place or thing to do in your city? I love a good fossick through an OP shop or two…or three! You never know what treasures you’ll find!
Where we can we find and follow you?
You can follow me over on Instagram @geeekalicious (www.instagram.com/geeekalicious) Visit my Etsy store: www.geeekalicious.etsy.com I regularly attend the Brisbane Suitcase Rummage. If you’re a convention goer, you can find me at the next Melbourne and Gold Coast Supanova Comic Cons coming up in April.