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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

BIG FREEZE: Northern Rivers struggles through coldest night

The Northern Rivers has had its coldest night of the year.

The cold snap hit the region in a big way overnight

The Hard Word: Ballina freezes over

Meridian Theory at Ballina Hotel for the Hell Freezes Over festival. Photo Asagai Images

There was more going on in Ballina than just cold temperatures.

‘Fish and chips, not fish and ships’ at Yamba

Yamba residents join with Greens to protest Iluka mega port.

Pop-up protest at Yamba today against Yamba port industrialisation

Latest deals and offers

Lantern Parade Volunteers

Volunteers load lanterns for the parade.

Lismore Lantern Parade 2016

Experiencing t he dancing, music, and lights of the 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade.

Samba Blisstas drumming crescendo

Percussion collective the Samba Blisstas rip out the beats at the 2016 Lismore...

OPINION: Should we give up the great Aussie dream?

Generic housing Rural View.

First home buyers are struggling big time

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.