Mimi is the Melbourne creative behind Kaktus Craft, a one stop shop for all things green and spiky! Her designs are absolutely beautiful, a testament to her amazing sewing skills (she was taught by her Mum). She has found a way to make ornamental plants eye-catching and unique which is super cool. Mimi speaks to us about textiles, ensuring her business is as environmentally friendly as possible and her plans for the future! Take a look!
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do? Hey! I am the kaktus mama, Mimi. I have been living in Melbourne since 2017. After working in the advertising industry for a decade, I am continuing my professional life as a freelance brand consultant. In addition to that, kaktus.craft is my beloved side hustle project. Also, I am a Pilates lover, my best friend is a dog and I love nature.
Why do you do what you do? I grew up in a household where I watched my mum sew and knit. As a kid I loved playing with those fabrics & materials; enjoying the colourfulness of it all. Then, as an adult, creativity has become an integral part of my work. So, the kaktus is a melting point of those two sides of my life: creating things with colourful fabrics.
How did you first get into making handmade fabric “Kaktus”? I am a plant lover. But unfortunately, real plants do not live long in my space. On the other hand, artificial plants are not my thing. I hate seeing plastic, unrealistic/fake-coloured plants in living spaces. So, I’ve created my own solution and started to sew realistic fabric cacti for my home. After getting so much positive feedback from my friends, I’ve decided to share my plants with other people.
Does it take a long time to make a “Kaktus” & what does your creative process look like? Yes, it does, actually! My main aim is to create a realistic looking kaktus, as good as possible. I am inspired by real cactus plants in nature. So, the process of forming the right look and shape takes a long time to achieve that aim. After the forming process, the next step is finding suitable fabric. Fabric changes the whole appearance…that is why I always use cotton fabrics to avoid a toyish look. Then comes the sewing and filling process and the final step is potting. Voila! Kaktus is ready!:)
Do you incorporate any sustainable/environmentally friendly practicesinto your small business? It is always challenging for a small business to incorporate environmentally friendly practices as they might increase costs. However, this is an issue I constantly reflect on, and as a result, come up with solutions. For example, the bases that I use for the kaktus are re-used cardboard boxes. So, I’m able to both reuse and reduce. In addition, soon, the filling of the kaktus will be 100% biodegradable material.
What do you enjoy most about attending suitcase rummage? Oh! Where should I start? First thing first, it was so fun to be in Suitcase Rummage. Displaying your items in a suitcase or on the ground was so practical. The concept makes you more creative about showing products. Challenging? Yes. But the outcome was perfect for me.
Can you offer any tips for setting up a rummage stall? I recommend categorizing your items that you want to sell. Visibility is so important, so make sure that people can understand what you are selling. Your pricing strategy is also important. Don’t forget the concept of the Suitcase Rummage. Target consumers are literally thrifting so your prices should be reasonable. Prepare a pricelist for your items. Finally, the most important thing is to always smile and be open to having a conversation.
Do you have any dreams or exciting plans for the future of Kaktus.craft? Of course. I’m always working on how to create new styles, shapes, and forms with various fabric patterns and colors. Soon, I’ll launch a keychain line. And for the summer, I am working on a series where the kaktus will have essential oils in them.
Where can we find your work?
You can find me on Instagram, please follow @kaktus.craft
My website is www.kaktuscraft.com