Anarashii is a word I have coined myself - incorporating two different languages even! By combining Ana (being me!) and -rashii (a Japanese suffix meaning "-ish" or "-like") you get something "Ana-ish" or "a piece of me" ; )
....exactly how I like to think of my unique Asia-Pasifika infused Crochet and Knit Fashions!
Things have been silent on here for too long! Thought I should break the silence by letting you all know about my Giveaway which unfortunately ends tomorrow night - there's still time!
Here's a peek at what's up for grabs:
For more info head along to the Ami Ana FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Anarashii
The button-up Baby/Toddler Scarf pictured is not the one available in the Giveaway Prize Pack - the Button-up Scarf in the prize pack is a nice Beige unisex shade :)
I consider myself a passionate supporter of Indies/Handmade and NZ made, although admittedly I am guilty of habitually buying $10 jeans and shoes at The Warehouse. I am also passionate about supporting and helping others who support, nay champion the NZ Indie cause, but lately I have noticed some little things - comments and attitudes of purported Indie champions - comments and attitudes that to me, are in actuality indicative of not supporting NZ Indies and it really gets my goat! So....I came to the conclusion that this necessitated a Ranty post, so here goes...
For me, being a passionate supporter of NZ Indies is not just all about the Arts, Design and Craft of it all - loving, complimenting, promoting and purchasing the end products that is. It is about supporting the Indies - Independent Designers, Artists and Crafters - themselves. Unconditionally supporting them. This means that we do not undermine Indies' work or value by using such terms as "bargain" and "cheapest" in association with them, or in general attempt to affix a price limit beyond which it is insinuated that an item would be ridiculous and impossible to market, or haggle with Indies over their prices to fit your definition of "agreeable". Those who do this are NOT Indie advocates, although they certainly like to purport themselves as such.
Just this morning I was reading a fab article on "Craft being cool" on stuff.co.nz posted by Lucy of Felt. I was reading along thinking what a great and favourable article it was - that is until I got about halfway into the article and hit THIS line - "The cheaper something is and the more time you spent making it yourself, the better." Seriously?! That one line ruined this article for me. Here was an article supposedly celebrating Craft and Indie Design, and simultaneously undermining it with that one surreptitious line. What's the big deal you say?! It's all about changing attitudes folks! And we can't change attitudes when so-called advocates are the ones promoting and at the same time undermining us. Those "advocates" need to realise what they are, perhaps inadvertently, doing and make a change before we can change the attitudes of others - both of Indies and the public.
Here's a few quick points that I think need to be made -
First, how is it possible to associate Handmade/Indie Design with "cheap". As an Indie Designer myself - one who buys cheap shoes no less - I KNOW that cheap does not last. As a Designer I painstakingly seek out and test run various Wool and Yarns - be they natural fibres, blends, man made synthetics. I am dedicated to finding the best materials for my items because that is what I would want and I want that for my customers. I take a lot of things into consideration when selecting materials and trying them out - cost is only one tiny part of that. The big deciders actually are whether materials are made in NZ, also comfort (softness, weight, warmth), potential to irritate and tendency to shed/pill. Next I will consider colour. And lastly, I consider cost. I certainly do not scrimp on quality to save a few bucks.
Second, I KNOW my stuff. I know the materials I have used and what works and what doesn't. And if I don't I am prepared to do the legwork to find the right material for you specifically. You will not get that kind of driven, individual service anywhere else. I think not just about how an item will feel but how it will look. I try to think like a customer and if for instance a customer requests an item made with cotton I know that it will be harder to hide secured ends away and that this may concern them, that it is a fine material so it will not fill an item out, it will droop and be flimsy, and if the item in question is say a Poncho I know that because cotton has no body to it, it will potentially look stringy and unappealing in a hanging item. These are the things I think about. These are the things I can advise customers about. I bring not just skill, but educated foresight and expertise to the table.
Lastly, because I said this would be quick - typically Indies are sole traders. This means they do everything themselves - but let's just consider that by the by for now and focus on what I really want to point out. What we do is a job. As much as we love what we do it is a job. We are skilled, dedicated workers. For that alone we deserve to be paid and paid well. But most importantly we are our own BOSSES and more often than not Indies are not considering Profit in their prices, and we pay ourselves worse than poorly paid employees - in fact we're probably paid a tad more than Mothers.
The thing is that things are starting to change. Indie/Handmade and NZ made are appreciated, are sought after and loved and that is great. What remains to be done is to change this perception that Handmade is expected to be cheap or a bargain. Consider - would you want to be paid the way we are paid for delivering such dedicated and specialised service - and that as an employee, let alone your own boss?
So what can be done? We can unconditionally support and champion our NZ Indies by believing in them, their amazing-ness, their amazing Art/Designs/Crafts, their fantastic expertise and most importantly by believing in the value they place on what they do. And we can change the way we think and speak and appreciate all the work and research that has gone into assembling just one item and see them for the gems they are - and we can also start saving up our pennies!
Drum roll please.... It's you Widge! Bridget Whitteker you are the lucky winner of this Ami Ana Giveaway - my email address is included in my profile info attached to this Blog or alternatively you can PM me your mailing address on Facebook - Thank you to everyone for participating and sharing! And Thank you so much for letting me know what Ami Ana goodies were on your Christmas wishlist - great for me to know when "throwing" together a prize pack for next time! ; ) G'night!
As a BIG Thank you to all you wonderful friends and fans of Ami Ana, I am having a Giveaway - Yes, Finally!
And in thinking up a Theme of sorts to make selecting the Giveaway items easier I found myself thinking of expectant mothers and Baby Showers. Baby Showers? Yes. Baby Showers - you know, those party things that people throw for you that apparently "All for the Mum" - eh, no they're NOT - it's just a bunch of stuff for the baby that people say is for you, the Mum, but REALLY isn't! And the things that supposedly are intended for the Mother - well, they're always highly scented bath items that you can't use till well after the baby has grown some - that is if you haven't developed an allergy to some ingredient c/o pregnancy! ; )
So here's a Giveaway with Mums in mind - that's REALLY for Mums - you're welcome.
Firstly, there's the 100% Merino Frilly Neckwarmer in a delicious shade of Burgundy - the Button-up version obviously - not the kilt pin fastening one ; )
Keeps you snug, stretches comfortably with wear, doesn't get in the way like scarves, Babies love chewing and playing with the buttons - just as an added plus, and of course it likes fantastically Victorian-esque chic.
Then there's the amazing Unisex pair of Ami Ana Baby Uggs (Sought after item, right there!) in a Silky Soft 50-50 Blend of Merino and Alpaca with equally Soft Bright Red Sheepskin Soles - yes, these are for the Baby, BUT they're Unisex, So so Soft, Light and Warm, Fab for Boy Babies, and Baby can wear them from birth to up to 8 months at least - with all those agreeable features they're practically like a gift for the Mum!
Last but not least a little fun extra somethin' - what could be better than Santa and Elf Hat Egg Cosies!!! Great for Hard/Soft Boiled Egg lovin' kiddies in the future - and just as much fun for the "Big Kids" now ; )
AND it's getting close to Christmas!! So, why not?!
Now for what you're REALLY after - how to Enter - SIMPLE! Just be a Facebook Fan (there's a link to the right of the Blog just a little scroll down) and leave a comment - either here on the Blog on the Ami Ana FB page - perhaps, let me in on the Ami Ana Fashion(s) that you're secretly coveting (you never know, someone struggling with Christmas pressie ideas for you might see your comment and take the hint!) and you're in to win! And another Entry for a Share on FB. And that's it!
The Giveaway will run for a week and finish Wednesday November 7th 8.30pm NZ Time. Thank you to you all and Good Luck!!
Ami Ana's Tabetaichai Childrens wear Sale Starts in mere minutes! All you need to know is that it starts 5pm NZ time Friday 19th October and Ends 9am NZ time Tuesday 22nd October! Oh and the coupon/voucher codes for both my Etsy and Felt Stores might just come in handy! ; ) The details: The Sale is on ALL Childrens Items including already discounted Items, but excepting Customer Order Items and Patterns - however, I do have a very limited amount of current stock in some of my Custom Order Items - so pays to ask! The codes: Simply enter TABE15 at checkout for a 15% discount - there is no use limit per customer for those discount code and there is no limit to purchases with this discount code. TABESUGI25 is to be used if you get a little carried away with yourself! Enter this code at checkout for purchases of 3-4 or more items and receive a 25% discount! Enjoy!
PS - the codes are the same for both the Etsy and Felt Ami Ana Stores - in case you were wondering ; )
I am a blissfully married Mother of 3 boys and a self-confessed Amizuki (Crochet Nutter). My "obsession" with Crochet has resulted in me inadvertently becoming a Crochet and Knit Fashion Designer culminating in the creation of Ami Ana and Anarashii! Coincidentally I also happen to live in New Zealand which comes in very handy with all the sheep roaming about...
Anarashii is all about me and my Crochet/Knit obsession ie. my "job" aside from being a Mother.
Whilst on the other hand Salivations is a space for me to rave about all the things I LOVE - or mourn/regret not having got! /sigh.