“From an early age I used to love gathering things together and setting them up in small displays in my bedroom”.
It takes courage, vision and more than a little bit of creative flair to start a new business from scratch, especially when that business is not found on a large shopping strip, but is hidden away in a delightful little street far from the busy cbd and the madding crowd. But these are qualities Morgan Willis from the Crafty Squirrel has in spades. We catch up with the indomitable Morgan in Issue 8 of Junkies to find out more about her and her wonderful shop.
In the article we explore how Morgan began her own business and found her dream location to set up shop.
“I started my handmade business in 2006 when I was on maternity leave from my job in Event Management”, Morgan tells us. “I’d studied and worked in Interior Design and Furniture Design previously and had always made things. When I first started my textile business I made baby blankets, scarves and dolls from upcycled and felted woollen jumpers, but over the years I have also made jewellery, cards, clothing, cushions, various craft kits and limited edition items – many from repurposed materials ”.
Morgan moved with her young family to Ballarat from inner city Melbourne in January 2011. “We found the perfect place where I could move my wholesale business and open my studio store”, Morgan says.
Morgan’s dream property was a little corner shop built in 1885 that had once been a bootmaker and a butcher. In the 15 years prior to Morgan and her partner buying it, it had been a clothing alteration shop. “One of the best things about the property was that there was a space for me to have my office and a big studio out the back that was originally the horse stables”, Morgan tells us. “It was also a fabulous place to raise our children”.
Morgan confesses that she’s always been a collector. “From an early age I used to love gathering things together and setting them up in small displays in my bedroom”.
Morgan is formidably creative. "I've always been a maker, a crafter, a gatherer and creator. Often the things that I collected and gathered I would save in a shoe-box and use in my craft. I made a lot of dollhouse furniture and small textile items, and always loved to sew and make".