Business

Byron designer named finalist in prestigious Etsy awards

INTERNATIONAL HOPES: Artist and designer Carla Dawes is a finalist in the Etsy design awards.
INTERNATIONAL HOPES: Artist and designer Carla Dawes is a finalist in the Etsy design awards. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BYRON Bay designer and screenprinter Carla Dawes is a finalist in the Etsy Design Awards, with a trip to New York City up for grabs as the major prize.

Ms Dawes' textile design label, Bubbles at the Head, is among 58 finalists chosen from more than 1000 entries, catapulting her into the spotlight ahead of tens of thousands of Australian crafters and designers who have online shops in the renowned handmade marketplace.

Even more impressive is the fact Carla, 42, finished her SCU visual arts degree only three years ago, making the leap into full-time art after working in catering for close to two decades

>> Etsy is giving away a $250 gift card for people who vote in the awards

"I fell into food when I was in my early 20s, but food, design and art has always been in me," she said. "You have to live what you love."

After finishing her arts degree she opened her studio in Byron Bay's Arts and Industry Estate, with her screenprinted designs wholesaled across the country as well as being sold online.

"I originally started my Etsy story for embroidery designs, then I started adding my fabrics around a year ago," she said.

Her cushions, napkins, teatowels and purse designs are printed in eco-friendly ink on natural fibres with the designs inspired by her overseas travels to destinations such as Paris, California and Spain.

"When I return from travelling, I look at the photos I have taken and draw my designs from them, using the architecture as inspiration," she said.

Each design is drawn by hand using a caligraphy pen in indian ink and then screenprinted by hand on to fabric and sewn by Carla into homewares in her studio.

"Wherever possible I source sustainable and eco-friendly materials to print on," she said.

"My base cloths include a sustainable hemp and cotton blend and 100% linen.

"I use water-based, solvent-free fabric inks that are mixed by me in my studio."

Discovering she was a finalist in the awards alongside designers she had admired for many years was "unexpected and an honour", Carla said.

"I really love the fact that our consumer trend is to choose a lovely handcrafted item over the sweatshop, mass-produced item."

The Etsy Design Awards are being judged by singer and actor, Claire Bowditch, interior stylist, author and blogger, Jason Grant, and Editor-in-Chief, Inside Out magazine, Claire Bradley.

Finalists stand the chance to win prizes designed to promote their creative businesses - with the ultimate prize, the Community Choice Award trip to NYC determined by the public.

Topics:  byron bay



VOTE: Should cats be kept inside, even during the day?

A Goonellabah resident is concerned about feral cats killing wildlife in the area.

This Goonellabah woman is fed up with cats killing wildlife

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Carefree photo gets judges jumpin' and captures prize

SUMMER FUN: Winner of 2017 I am Summer competition, Everybody was jumpin jumpin, taken by Bridie Schmidt.

Photographers sent us photos depicting what summmer means to them.

Local Partners

Back to school: Get your family ready

IT'S that time of year again: School holidays are drawing to a close and term time fast approaches.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ahoy! The Wooden Boat Festival is on its way

Members of the Richmond River Rowing & Sailing Club admire Mark Pierce's boat Northbridge Junior, ahead of the 2017 Wooden Boat Festival on Australia Day. Back row, from left, is Mark Pierce, Jacqueline Heap, Commodore Phil Robbins and James Kalaf. At front, from left, is Tony Pullyn, George Renault, David Bowler, Geoff Benson and Maurice Renault.

Australia Day event a must-see for fans of timber craft

Northern Rivers murder mystery takes out award at Flickerfest

MURDER MYSTERY: Northern Rivers young actress Yasmin Honeychurch in a still from the award-wiining film In a Canefield by Emily Avila and Coralie Tapper.

Finding'little star' brought film shoot to the region.

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of Ballina show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

6 new estates to build a home on the Northern Rivers

Land estates are available now on the Northern Rivers with some stages opening up soon.

Looking for a place to put down roots and raise a family?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!