Maker of the Month: Carly Spiteri, Owner & Founder of Oopa Handmade

Hi friend-of-Nimki, meet Carly Spiteri! 

The friendly founder & mindful maker behind Oopa Handmade.

Carly is a Melbourne based, textile wiz with a love for dopamine dressing & all things colourful and expressive.

We found one of Carly's cheerful, one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy, where fabulous locals can be found like magic when you pop a few keywords in the search bar. 

Woosh! There she was. Just doing her thing. And of course, as colour enthusiasts & dopamine dressers ourselves, we were instantly swept off our feet the moment our eyes clapped upon her Etsy store.

Whether they're made to caress your locks or hold your shopping, Carly's pieces are ready to lend a helping hand & make you feel all warm n fuzzy while you go about your day.

Her selection of vibrant, playful fabrics are designed by local & international artists that share her love of bold patterns & colourful designs that celebrate the joy in being alive. 

When she’s not whipping up designs in her home-based studio, she's also a mum of three who loves spending time outdoors with her family & enjoying the simple things in life. 

Keep on reading to learn more about this wonderful human & her colourful keepsakes we can't help but fuss over.

"I'd say as a whole, that I love life, find appreciation for as much as I can and love to make people happy".

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hello! My name's Carly and I'm from Eynesbury in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. I've always loved visualising, designing and making. I studied visual merchandising at RMIT for a short time before getting married & having three kids.

 During this time my love for sewing grew and I enjoyed finding colourful fabrics designed by local and international surface pattern designers! 

I'd say as a whole, that I love life, find appreciation for as much as I can and love to make people happy.

When did you discover your love for working with textiles?

From the first sewing lesson I had at high school I knew I loved textiles.   From fashion designers, to magazines from illustrating to sewing, I loved the whole industry.  Over the years I've been able to focus on what really gets me happy and that's colourful artwork on textiles.  

What's the story behind the name of your biz?

I created OOPA when my first son was born as I was making baby items like bibs and blankets, so I decided to name my little brand after him, his name is Cooper. 

What's your creative process like?

It's quite straightforward really! I don't have much time on my hands so have to streamline what I enjoy doing the most with Oopa.  

It starts off with finding fabric I love and then choosing what things I make to suit that fabric. Then I have to get creative with how I sell! 

Taking photos and styling my makes is a big part of the process that I really enjoy. Branding is a lot of fun!

Carly from Oopa Handmade wearing one of her handmade, twist knot headbands with fabric designed by Deb McNaughton
Image from Oopa's​​ Instagram

What's your fav part about what you do?

After finding the wonderful fabrics, sewing up my makes, listing them on Etsy, then scrolling through my Etsy shop, that's what really hits my heart.  I also love meeting handmade buyers, along with fellow dopamine dressers.  I feel like we all have similar souls; colourful and kind!

What are some of your favourite things to do away from textile design?

I really love outdoor adventures with my kids like camping, riding our bikes & gardening. We have a hobbie farm that we maintain together as well. 

Do you have any tools or tips for staying creative & inspired?

I practice having an open mind & being grateful everyday. Finding the beauty & lessons in everything; and then weaving that into my work to express my joy.

I also love seeing my life through the eyes of my kids. No judgement, no fear, just pure curiosity and that keeps me in a consistent urge to be creative!

Do you have any new projects you're working on at the moment or things you're looking forward to creating in the New Year?

I can't get enough of remnants, off cuts and second hand fabrics. I've always been a thrifter, op shopping and heading to markets, so I want to try and incorporate this more into Oopa.  I'll be looking even deeper for vintage colourful fabrics and dedicating a section in my shop to upcycled makes!  

Ready to fill your wardrobe with colour & whimsy?

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