I love a bit of online shopping just as much as I love checking out what is on offer at our local markets here in Brisbane. However, I don’t always have the time to explore our markets as much as I would like to. So, I was pretty excited to hear about Next Door Artisan, a new online retail outlet recently launched by Brisbane based Canadian entrepreneur, Colleen Canivet. Next Door Artisan, focuses on local, handmade products all at fingertip reach! The store aims to connect customers with local small business, designers and artisans working with a range of mediums with each product being hand selected by Colleen herself.
I spent two minutes with Colleen to get to know her and of course learn more about what Next Door Artisan has to offer us.
BG: Hi Colleen, thank you for spending two minutes with Barbara-George. Before we talk about Next Door Artisan, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? In particular, being Canadian, are you enjoying the Brisbane lifestyle?
CC: Hi Barbara-George, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I have lived in Brisbane for nearly 2 years and absolutely love the lifestyle! I really enjoy the number of public events, markets and festivals available within the city and the way everything is so accessible. I live really close to South Bank and it’s such a gorgeous public space with so much to offer. For me, Brisbane is the ideal city. There seems to be new cafés and bars opening regularly enough that there’s always something new to do, but not so fast that things are unfamiliar. I grew up in Toronto, and absolutely love Toronto as well, but there’s something to be said for being able to walk across the CBD in half an hour AND being able to do it all year round. It’s hard to be away from my friends and family at home and I miss the snow and being really cold, but I do love Brisbane.
BG: You recently launched the online store, Next Door Artisan. Congratulations! Can you tell us how the idea came about?
CC: When I began Next Door Artisan I was helping my partner out with the online store for the craft beer brewery he co-owns with his brother, Little Brother Brewery. I was really enjoying learning about the ecommerce platforms, their functions and analytics, and was even learning a little HTML coding. Having always thought the technical side of opening an online retail store would be too difficult to learn, I was quite proud of myself for how quickly I was picking things up (truth be told, many of the ecommerce platforms I’ve looked at are very user friendly). Around the same time I was working on the online store, I was also looking for a few gifts on Etsy. I became discouraged with Etsy when I found the same product on multiple stores, pulling into question the authenticity of the handmade and local nature of the product, and was repeatedly finding stores ‘located’ Australia that were actually featuring handmade items, handmade in factories overseas.
BG: The online store features locally designed and handcrafted items, all of which are hand selected by yourself. What do you look for when you are choosing a supplier/product?
CC: The first thing I look for when selecting a supplier is the motivation behind the maker. I have been completely blown away by the artists, designers and makers I’ve met and the passion they hold for what they do. I’ve also been fascinated by how much the makers know about their craft and have been lucky enough to have conversations about their processes and production methods, all the while learning about the unique and subtle techniques involved in creating. Before going through this process, I never once thought about how my leather was tanned, but know I can’t look at leather without thinking about its tanning method. It’s really important to me that a maker has taken the time to get to know their materials or medium, and how the elements of their materials and designs work together. I think when a maker has a passion for what they do, that love carries through. When selecting a product, I really appreciate timeless pieces as well as pieces that are fresh and contemporary.
Bullhorn Leather Hand Made Luggage Tag
BG: How can an artist or creator get in touch with you to join your community?
CC: The best way for a maker to get in touch with us is via our website’s About Us/Sell With Us page , or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask the creator to tell us a little bit about their products, processes and materials, and ask that they include their contact details. We’re really focused at this stage on expanding the number of suppliers, and I get really excited about the idea of meeting new makers!
My Humble Collection Handmade Bracelet
BG: Your partner Andrew is also an entrepreneur with his own photography business and craft beer brewery. What do two entrepreneurs do to unwind here in Brisbane?
CC: Work, ha ha! When we’re not working we love getting out to local markets, and checking out new small galleries or studios. We really enjoy going to events that have a creative or inspiring aspect to them, and we love learning about what other people are doing and why. Being around other creative people really gets us thinking and fuels our own creativity. Another one of our favorite things to do is take our push bikes out along the river, or bike around the city and pop in to a small café or craft beer pub on a Saturday afternoon. There’s always something to keep us busy in Brisbane!
You can visit and shop Next Door Artisan right here. With over 100 products available finding that special something is just a click away all while helping to support local creatives – win! Happy Shopping 🙂
A big thank you to Colleen for spending Two Minutes with Barbara-George
All pictures via Colleen Canivet, Next Door Artisan