Marcus is the creative brain behind Jellybean the Pug. He has an amazing understanding of yarn and fibres, turning them into playful and wearable pieces that are aesthetically gorgeous to look at and no doubt feel! There is something so nice about mastering a technique that has been around for a long time and the precision and care taken by Marcus is a testament to his talent and respect for the process. As we move into the cooler months we are so inspired to take up a craft and feel the satisfaction that comes with creating something unique with your hands. Read our interview below and get ready to love his dogs! If there’s even been a cuter pack it’s these guys/gals!
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? I am pretty much just your regular 24yo guy, my names Marcus and I work as a full time baker, I grew up in Far North Queensland and then in 2015 moved to Brisbane to hopefully further my career goals which is where I started down the path of becoming a Baker which has always been a dream of mine. I have always been into arts and crafts from a young age so it has always been a hobby of mine, from baking sweets at home to making little knick knacks. I was even a little too much into Rainbow Loom bands when that was trending. I first opened my Etsy store and further my Instagram account for JellyBean the Pug late 2019 after months if not years of my mum saying that I should really try selling things and that people would love them. She has always been my biggest fan and is always telling her friends of my little crafts, which is really what got me into making what I do now from baby sets for her friends new babies to a scarf someone saw and would absolutely love to have. From that point on my confidence has grown so much and I really enjoy just making new things whether it’s to put something on my shop or just a cute little jacket for my dogs.
How did you first become interested in sewing and knitting? I was about 12 when my Nana tried to teach me how to knit, although I never actually picked it up and still cannot knit so I ended up teaching myself to crochet! Although it’s quite similar I find crocheting so much easier and straight forward as it only involves one hook and your yarn and has so many possibilities; I have even seen people throw beads into their crochet! I picked up sewing in the first couple of years of high-school Home Economics, there was an assignment to make a simple drawstring bag and suffice to say from that point on I was hooked! (Haha! Crochet joke). I have since been both sewing and crocheting for about 13 years on and off, although I have really gotten serious about it in the last 5 years where I’ve been making things for family and friends.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start sewing or crocheting, or creating their own products? Honestly there isn’t really anything straight forward other than to just give it a try; there are so many helpful creators out there whether it’s on YouTube, a personal blog or even in-person classes. I always like to say that you never know what you can do unless you try! So even if you think you won’t be good, give it ago because you might find that even if at first you get frustrated and don’t like what you’ve made, it will get easier! That’s where I started and now I can’t get enough. Places like Spotlight and Lincraft sometimes have really good kits that work great if you’re just starting. I was in the shops not too long ago and saw a very nice kit where you can make a Boho shoulder-bag and matching pillow, which I think would be a great place to start!
What kinds of ideas and things are you working on at the moment? I actually have quite a few things on the back burner at the moment as I always like having something to work on as it keeps me nice and busy! As of writing this I have several orders and stock that I am making, some of which include new colours of my crochet velvet scrunchies, several different scarves now that the weather has started to cool off and one particular order—which I am very excited to start—is a little toy frog with long floppy arms! I’m always finding new things that I would like to try so the list never really ends! Although it isn’t something I’m going to be offering for sale/at the markets any time soon, I am actually making two different crochet vests for a close friend of mine and I’m super excited to see how they come out as I’m not very great at making wearable’s that aren’t hats or scarves! Always more room to learn and grow though so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
How did you come up with the name Jelly Bean the Pug? It’s actually the name of my second dog! I figure this is going to be something I do that is showcasing something that I love, so why not name it after something that I already loved and the little bugger was sitting their staring up at me so I thought why not!
Originally I was going to go with Jellybean and Friends, to include my two other dogs, however there did seem to be some other media out with similar names. Talking with friends and getting their suggestions, another great contender was going to be “Marky Mark and the Scrunchie Bunch!” but again there is already a quite popular company called the Scrunchie Bunch so I wanted something that was a bit more unique to me and my family.
You seem to have some excellent pets at home, can you tell us about them? I have three dogs at home, two being mine and one my partners! We have Sam and he’s a funky mix of Jack Russell, Border collie and Kelpie, Jellybean the one and only who is a Pug but also 1/8th Chihuahua—if we’re getting technical—and our littlest boy, my partners lil guy Pancake the Dachshund/Sausage dog who we rescued as a meek little bag of bones! I got Sam 5 years ago and have had him since he was 7 weeks, being along my side through several moves and is just the greatest dog. Once I started working full time after moving to Brisbane I had been considering adopting another dog for a while and thought it would be a great time to give Sam some company, so I looked into it further and after a year and several months found and fell in love with little Bean and he came home at 8 weeks; the two of them were instantly best friends and still terrorize the house! Pancake was actually a little bit of an accident as we weren’t planning on getting another dog especially another puppy for quite a while but about a month after Bean came home my partner got word from a friend of his that they knew of a little scared and potentially abused Sausage puppy that needed a home and so now we had two puppies running around our feet, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Where do you do most of your time creating? Can you describe the space you work in? Currently living in a little 2 bedroom house that has what amounts to a study that I had converted into a craft room, though it is still used mostly for storage. I do spend a lot of time in here when it comes to sewing and wrapping up orders as it is where I keep everything and has my tables set up with my machine and all my packaging. Although when I am focusing on my crochet projects I do tend to just set up in our lounge room, throw a show on the TV and get down to business! In the future I would definitely love to have a much larger room where I can have everything in one place and a nice little corner to get comfy in while I work on projects but, until then I’m looking into a few more shelves so I can organize all my yarn and fabric a bit neater as I only have a singular shelf right now and some rolling sets of drawers! Currently I have my two desks set up along two corner walls where I sew and cut all my fabric as well as where I take photos of products and package all my online orders. Next to those tables there’s a small bookshelf where I store most of my yarn and a few storage tubs and next to that I have more of the larger lots of yarns/cakes/bulk yarn packs I buy with whatever future project I had in mind buying it.
Can you tell us about your creative processes and rituals? How do you come up with your ideas, get into the creative zone, and stay productive? I get a lot of my ideas through friends and talking with them about yarn I have purchased or would like to buy as well as keeping an eye on social media. Not to mention over the years I just personally accumulate idea I would personally like to have or make! It can get a bit tricky sometimes when I get a bit of a block and can’t really think of anything, which is where getting custom orders can be a huge relief as I love to work on a personal level with someone and making something that they love and specifically want can really get me back into the flow of things! I find one of the hardest things can be to stay productive, as when you start a big project or something that’s going to take longer than usual, it can be hard to stick to it. Usually when I have this happen I find what works best is to have a little break from it and make something simple so you get that satisfaction of finishing something which makes that bigger project a little less daunting. Just solider on through with whatever you find works best but just remember to be kind to yourself!
Who are some other artists, crafters, and creatives that you love? And Why? I have so many creators that I love from Yolanda Gampp a cake creator to Hobbii yarn I absolutely love their team and all the creative things they put out!
What tips can you share about being aware of your impacts on the world? Our house has always been pretty big on recycling but we are always trying to be that l
ittle bit better whether it’s buying fruit that’s isn’t wrapped in plastic or buying sustainably scoured food/products. We have now fully swapped over to reusable bags and have a huge back log of them from those first few weeks of forgetting them and having to buy one or two at that shops but now we will never run out! One thing I like to implement in my shop is packaging, always trying my hardest to reuse what I can and buying either recyclable packaging or something that has already been recycled. One of my main products the market bags are all made out of 100% eco-friendly cotton as well.
Where can we follow you? The best place to follow me would be my Instagram although I am also on Facebook and Etsy under the same names!