HANDMADE LOVE: Rachel Brown with the fibres she uses to make the macrame products.
HANDMADE LOVE: Rachel Brown with the fibres she uses to make the macrame products. Jann Houley

Yeppoon mum turns old fashioned art into a successful career

IT STARTED off as a fun workshop to get out of the house but now more than two years later, it has become Rachel's job and source of income.

Rachel Brown, 47, grew up in Mount Morgan until the age of 12 when she moved to Blackwater.

Two years ago she moved to Yeppoon for a new job but unfortunately after the six month probation she was let go.

Mustard is a popular trend in today's market.
Mustard is a popular trend in today's market. Jann Houley

Rachel's confidence was kicked around and she went to a local macrame workshop for something fun to do.

She loved it and starting to dabble in the hobby, making things for her four adult children.

A friend had a shop that was struggling in the downturn and she asked her to put some products in there - and to her surprise they sold.

From there, Rachel decided to "run with it while it was red hot”.

Fast forward to today - she spends her days making products, does markets most weekends, takes on custom orders and offers her own workshops.

Reflecting on how far she has come, Rachel said she was never a creative person at school.

"I never thought I would click with something I would never get tired of doing and just sit doing and doing for hours,” she said.

She's also come a long way in her work. "My daughter has one of my first ones and I always say I will burn it but it is reminder of how far I have come,” she said.

Rachel describes macrame as a basic knot with a formation of knots that form a pattern. The depth of the pattern used determines how difficult it will be.

"I am still learning some stuff now of how to do different things,” she said.

"Some people struggle to pick things up but that depends the way your hands move - you feel like you are all thumbs.”

Neutral candle and jar holders with macrame.
Neutral candle and jar holders with macrame. Jann Houley

The old fashioned art has evolved greatly from the old iconic plant hanger in the '70s and '80s. "They are more pieces of focal points in houses now,” Rachel said.

What has made them stylish again is the rise of the boho feel and trend.

Rachel was recently commissioned to do a large macrame frame for a wedding backdrop at Clermont.

She felt blessed and honoured someone entrusted her to create a piece of art for their big day.

"It just turned out stunning ... I even had a tear when I put it up,” she said.

Over the years she has seen many repeat customers who like to buy her products for themselves or gifts for all their families and friends.

"I had someone tell me there's a little bit of Rachel in every room now,” she said.

Handing over one of her products means the recipient is getting something unique.

And Rachel's heart is poured into each one.

"It's a little bit of me in every piece,” she said.

"Even though I can do 10 of them, each one will be that different.”

Rachel's new take on the old fashioned plant hangers.
Rachel's new take on the old fashioned plant hangers. Jann Houley

And the feeling of when they love it is so heart warming.

"It's great when you finish them, if it's not local I send a photo, and the comment that you get back is very rewarding... "It's turned out better than expected, it's beautiful,” Rachel said.

As a way to keep growing and changing, Rachel tries to add more products to her range all the time.

She has just changed her stall theme to suit more of a summer and spring style.

"There is so much room for growth, the new rainbows and the dolls is something a little bit different,” she said.

"You've got to be up with what is going on as well, decor and colour schemes.

"You can't just do the same thing over and over - because people will just walk past.”

Rachel would like to keep building her business.

"More workshops and just continue to grow, see more growth and expanding what I can do,” she said.

"To get to a point where I can say I am living off and that's my business and I am comfortable.”

COLOURFUL: Rainbows, dolls and key chain hangers are some of her newer products.
COLOURFUL: Rainbows, dolls and key chain hangers are some of her newer products. Rachel Brown

But most importantly, Rachel said she wouldn't be where she is today or be able to move forward without the loving support of her extended family.

Her children are involved in helping her with the business whether it be setting up the market stall, picking her up when she is feeling down or social media, along with her parents and brother and his wife. "I wouldn't be able to be where I am without them or do what I do,” she said.

"I am very fortunate to have them all and to continue to encourage me.”

FIVE KNOTS HANDMADE BY RACHEL

  • Find her at the Rivernites markets on September 20
  • Follow her on facebook and instagram
  • Handmade macrame and fibre art


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