Angelina's art stemmed out from something she did for fun, and she walks us in on her journey in being a craftswoman
What was your inspiration behind starting Angel Wings Workshop?
I enjoyed crafting during my leisure, this was my way of de-stressing while I was working full-time. I had been making accessories and sock toys as Christmas presents for my friends and colleagues for many years.
How did this hobby of yours develop into something much more?
Once I made few sock toys for my nephews to give to their teachers on Teacher's Day and posted the pictures on my Facebook, my friend saw it and asked me to try selling them at MAAD. MAAD is where I first started my business 4.5 years ago, the response has been good after the first session so I continued making new designs and bringing in more products.
What is your motivation and driving force in maintaining Angel Wings Workshop?
My main motivation is my passion in making crafts which people appreciate, and I enjoy interacting with my customers too whenever I am doing pop-up events or artisan markets.
Why did you choose socks as the medium for your art?
When I initially started my business, there were only few crafters in Singapore making sock toys. I found socks to be very colourful, and function as one of the basic “accessories” people wear in different occasions, so I figured it would be interesting for them to find out this simple sock can also turn into some adorable toy. I have also made baby bolsters, wrist rest, next pillows, stress balls, etc. out of the socks as some of my customers prefer to have a toy that can be put into some use too.
What sets you apart from other designers in the market?
The key difference of my sock toys will be the varieties of the designs I have and the colour options available for them to choose from. I will source all the socks personally from local and overseas market and we bring in 100+ new designs/colours each year, especially during the Christmas season.
If you could give advice to budding artists out there, what would it be?
Determination and doing market/sales analysis after each event are important. When I first started, my sales had been slow for a year. After trying a few places and events, you will get the feel of what events work better for you and what items sell better. The market needs time to accept your products especially if your idea/craft is still new to them, don’t be discouraged if sales is bad at one event as there may be many reasons behind it and some of them is not within your control.
Being quite the experienced MAAD merchant, we also interview Angelina on her experiences with the event
Tell us about how you first started with MAAD
I got to know about MAAD through Amie from DeCandle, and I started having my stall with MAAD since Nov 2012.
How has MAAD affected your art and craft as a designer?
This is the only place I go to for selling my sock toys as I find MAAD has the right crowd for my stuff. Besides getting the chance to meet up with other creative people and customers who appreciate our creativity at MAAD, you have a live band performance and it is close to the prime office buildings. This attracts more people especially those working at Shenton Way area who wants a Friday night chill out. They may not buy on their first visit but at least they know where to go to if they are looking for some special items/gifts.
How are your developments as a designer since joining MAAD?
As I only started selling my sock toys last year, I am still at the budding stage. I hope to get more market demand for my sock toys so that I can work with few charity organizations to make the toys.
Share with us your favourite memory during a MAAD event
I was approached by a charity organization to work with their less privilege families, they will help to make my sock toys and get paid. This helps to improve their family income and most importantly they get to learn a new skill which may be able to turn into a business for them in future. I think this is great.
As a regular with MAAD, what do you think we can work on, to make this an even better community and platform for all?
Maybe MAAD can consider having some themes for its events with some advanced notice to the participants, this helps to differentiate you from other flea market operators and it "forces" the participants to get creative. I know this may not be possible for all stalls to participate but you can work with few regular participants to get their support. More media coverage will help to promote your event too.
In Dec, you may want to run 2 events such as having another one in mid or 3rd week of Dec to cater for the last minute shopping crowd. I got few queries when closer to Christmas but the buyer prefer to see the stuffs before purchase, MAAD event was over then so I didn't manage to get the sales.