August 01, 2014

Meet Gail...


13 Loves
By: Little Majlis
Meet Gail...

1. The lovely Gail in all her crafty glory...
Do you feel that there is a crafty creative person inside of you just itching to get out and get busy? Gail, the talent behind Little Majlis boutique 'Scrappy Doo Fripperies' is that person that did something about it, and now she is bringing us gorgeous handmade paper crafts that will inspire you... either to get making or to get buying, but either way it has to be good for you!

So we would like to introduce you to Gail - who was a trooper in our virtual chat, and her enthusiasm has worn off on us, so beware (from experience!) you'll be down at your local craft shop, or frantically writing notes in your ideas book, before you have time to hit the 'Love' button at the bottom of this post...

2. Gail in paper craft mode; loving making and making with love!

What sort of products do you market?
I’m a paper lady! I love papercrafting! I make scrap book memory and photo albums, paper bag albums, exploding box albums, altered Moleskine notebooks, as well as decoupaged birdhouses and anything else paper-y!

3. - 6. Gail's crafty notebooks might be practically small, but their detail certainly packs a punch...

When and why did you decide to start selling?
I started scrap booking last year- after trying and failing at all things crafty in the past- I can’t knit, sew, paint, draw and believe me I’ve tried! I was at a fair in Oman and saw a lovely lady selling scrap books and thought…as usual… I could do that… and guess what I could!

I was making the albums for family and friends as gifts, carried on making more and then ended up with 30 made- I was addicted. I wondered if I could sell them- did a market and sold out! I was so nervous and never expected the reaction I got. Selling the books and albums means I can make more and continue my passion, otherwise I’d have a house full. 

I am so happy to finally have a creative outlet that I am good at and get so much enjoyment from. I have a full time job, so this is more of a self-funding hobby - the more I sell - the more glue, paper, ribbons and gems I can buy.


7. - 10. These scrapbooks are out of this world! They make the perfect gift, especially as Gail offers a customised service - just drop her a message at her shopfront and she'll almost certainly rise to the challenge...

What's the best thing about setting up your own brand?
I’ve enjoyed building things as I go - I even got a branded umbrella made recently for when I do markets- little things like that make me happy! My background is in marketing and PR, so I have to try to keep this fun without becoming too serious. I try not to treat it too much like “work”, as that would take the creativity out of it but, of course, I am highly professional when it comes to delivery of goods, quality etc.

What are some of the challenges you've faced?
Getting the materials here can sometimes be a challenge and they are so much cheaper in the USA and the UK but so few websites deliver here. I’ve found a couple that will deliver and managed to negotiate discount with a couple of shops here so it helps to keep my costs down. The beautiful vintage papers I use can be so expensive.

As I work full time I have found that some of the markets can be too long, I don’t mind 4 or 5 hours over the weekend at one but not the 7, 8 or 10 hour ones- they’re fine if it’s how you’re making your living but just wish there was a shorter time length option for some.

11. The paper goodies that can be found Scrappy Doo Fripperies - we quite like the look of that big box of mentos Gail!

What do you love about selling online?
I love selling online as I can showcase my wares as soon as I’ve made them- not wait for the next fair or market. As soon as I’ve finished one I take the pics and get them in my shop - it’s instant. I can also customize the albums and take special requests online. It’s easy for people to pay too and I use a courier service to get the products out as soon as possible. It’s also great for people to find me when I’m not at a market and to send my Facebook followers to if they want to buy something.

Where do you source your materials?
I am always on the look-out for materials whether locally or internationally. I’ve bought things on trips to Singapore and Europe and my dad runs a collectables business in the UK so he’s always on looking out for things for me like antique buttons, ribbons and jewellery that I can use as embellishments. I like to recycle and upcycle things too so I am always stashing things away.

What sets your products apart?
I would have to say it is because each one is unique… there is so much creativity that goes into each album. I spend a long time matching the paper and trimmings and picking out inspirational sayings for them as well as planning layouts, sizes and materials.

The albums take me about 6 - 8 hours to make and each one is a labour of love. I lean quite heavily towards the vintage style and make things look older and antique- they’re a little bit different and quirky.

I’ve done some really great special requests- my favourite was for an engagement; the album was the story of them from past, present and leading to the future with the proposal part! How romantic!

Where do you get your inspiration to be creative from?
I stare at a computer all day, so for me being crafty is a pure creative outlet and I’m doing “work” in the real world with my hands. I am inspired by things I see on Pinterest, crafty magazines, when out and about at craft fairs and sometimes I just dream things up. If I could spend all day crafting I would!


12. - 14. Gail's crafting kit in her workspace - jealous? We could certainly find some inspiration with those tools on hand...

Who's your favourite designer?
From the papercraft world it’s got to be Tone Finnanger, creator of Tilda. She does amazing designs for fabric and also for scrapbooking papers and accessories. I buy every single paper product she does! Her vintage style matches with me perfectly and the things I make using her papers always sell out really quickly. 

Tell us 5 words to describe yourself.
I’m bubbly, hardworking, fun, happy and crafty!

15. Gail in her workspace... looking happy and crafty as she works hard on her scrapbooks!

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Mitch Albom’s new book- The First Phone Call From Heaven, if it’s anything like Tuesday’s With Morrie I’m going to be in tears soon.

When did you last laugh?
I laugh all the time… life’s too short to be sad!

What keeps you awake at night?
Worrying about my day job and if I’ve watched too much Crime & Investigation channel- I get scared!

Do you have any regrets?
No, I never regret anything I’ve done. At the end of the day you made the decision that felt right at the time for you- it’s too easy to look back when you are in a different place and think you should have made a different decision. So, never look back and ever onwards is my philosophy.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d love to be thin!

Who would you most like to meet?
From a crafting point of view- it’s got to be Tim Holtz. He’s a genius and also cute! I love all his products especially his range of inks and stamps.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Any of the Kardashians.. . they really annoy me!

16. Gail making a lucky escape...

You're throwing a fantasy dinner party. Who do you invite, alive, dead, real or ficticious?
Oooh I like this one- ok here goes…

Simon Cowell- there’s just something about a powerful man with no dress sense!
Miranda Hart- she makes me laugh so much and I kind of resonate with her as I’m tall and geeky too
Alexander Skarsgård (aka Eric from True Blood)- have to have some eye candy for me and Miranda
Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms- car crash TV show but I just want to hear her say “Everyone’s replaceable” in real life, then feed her chocolate
Stephen King - I have all his books and would love to have a chat with him

Do you have any pets?
I have a crazy cat called Ping Pong, she’s a Siamese and “talks” non-stop. She loves to watch me crafting and I have to keep my ribbons out the way… oh and my glue gun… caught her trying to lick at some cooling glue once!

What is your greatest aim in life?
My aim has always been to be happy and to make others happy.

My crafting aim is to go to the mothership one year- that’s the CHA- Crafts & Hobby Association annual showcase in America. It’s like the Comic Con of the crafting world! I think I would literally explode with all the paper-y goodness!

How many foreign languages do you speak?
My degree was in French and German so I guess that’s 2… but it was such a long time ago I’m very rusty.

What are your 5 favourite finds from the Little Majlis market?
LulaBeau - I met the lovely lady behind this shop last week and went spent hours talking about crafting and being creative. Like me her products are handmade and she spends nights sewing buttons on cushions whilst bringing up two kids- I just have a cat to contend with! 

Goldfish Photography - I’ve done lots of work with the guys and girls from Goldfish and they are amazing photographers, they really capture the moment.

Vumba Mist - I admire anyone who has the patience to make jewellery and the safety pin bracelets are totally epic!

The Little Soapery - I love all their products and they don’t use harsh chemicals in their products and I love their fragrances and packaging 

Sixpence Wedding Design - such beautiful accessories, makes me want to get married again!

Some of Gail's favourite finds from the Little Majlis market: Photography wall art from Goldfish Photography. Luxury and all natural handmade soap from The Little Soapery. Daisy headpiece from Sixpence Wedding Design. Safety pin bracelet from Vumba mist. Customised name button cushion from Lulabeau.

Thanks for chatting with us Gail and sharing the crafty story behind Scrappy Doo Fripperies! We can't believe you only started scrap booking a year ago - your goodies are divine and the perfect gift, especially with the customised option.... now, who do we know that we can get you making for....