Hi I'm Barbara from Dunedin, New Zealand. I'm in my fifth year of running a small business venture Whimsy, which started out as a pop-up shop in my brick single garage (hence the website name).
Now my focus is on a small online store, offering a selection of gift ideas that are unique and lovingly made by me, or made in NZ. I do have a dry sense of humour and Whimsy offers me the chance to bring joy by providing colourful, whimsical, unique gifts which will brighten your mood. I'm no hippy but the products I make and sell have to be ethically sound in an effort to negate this "throw away society" we find ourselves in.
Repurposing helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is put into landfills, while also reducing the amount of virgin materials that are used to make new items.
I enjoy crafting Little Golden Book notebooks out of pre-loved books I source from charity shops. I've always loved children's book illustrations so what better way to preserve a little bit of nostalgia from a simpler time. For Whimsy it had to be 100% recycled paper for the pages and I chose not to buy new books but rather to re-purpose old ones. And yes I do find myself looking at the pictures. My favourite Little Golden Book illustrators are Richard Scarry, Tibor Gergely, Mary Blair and Eloise Wilkin.
Even though nearly all textiles are recyclable, only about 15% of the 14.3 million tons of textile waste generated in the U.S. every year gets recycled
The book cosies came about after conquering my fear of zips (which a lot of sewists avoid). They are padded with pre-loved woolen blankets and are fashioned from pre-loved natural fabrics, making each one a one-of-a-kind design, and environmentally sustainable. These can be used for devices as well, or for anything else that needs protection. I source a lot of fabric from Dunedin's own fabric swap shop Stitch Kitchen.
It is estimated that 100-200 million disposable cups are used each year in New Zealand. Around the world 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year.
Cuppacoffeecups are one of those products that Whimsy has championed for years now. They are one of the few reusable cups made in NZ, commissioning designs from NZ designers. I love the generous variety of artwork and always have two on hand at home for car and cafe trips.