In This World Of Fast Fashion, She Chooses To Knit Her Earrings By Hand

In This World Of Fast Fashion, She Chooses To Knit Her Earrings By Hand

In recent years, we’ve seen designs replicated almost as soon as a new collection is released. With several online stores to choose from and fuss-free online payment methods, fast fashion has been on the rise. Factories have been more efficient than ever, producing several copies of the same design each day.

That’s why I was so intrigued by Eezycraftzy, an online store which offers hand-knitted accessories. I caught up with Estie Tan Yi Zi, the youthful, artistically gifted girl boss of Eezycraftzy.

Yi Zi, who turns 23 this year, is an artist, designer and entrepreneur all rolled into one. Apart from running Eezycraftzy Studio, she’s working as a freelance graphic designer and managing a social media platform for a client. She’s also investing some time into her personal side project with a friend.

Photo by Eezycraftzy Studio

A Passion For All Things Handmade

The designer and entrepreneur started Eezcraftzy Studio in July last year. The cheerful 23-year-old tells us that she has always been a crafty person since she was young, with a love for handmade things.

Yi Zi always had a nimble pair of hands —” I started knitting at a very young age,  and the first couple of things I knitted were clothes for my Barbie dolls!”

As she grew older, she enjoyed crafting handmade gifts and things for her friends.

“Couple of them had been asking me if I have ever considered selling them to others; truth is I have but I didn’t know when would be a good time to start”, explaining that she did not feel ready to start her own business then.

Eventually, it dawned upon her that “there would never be a perfect timing because one will never be prepared enough to be holding the weight of an entire business all alone.”

Taking a leap of faith, she was determined to make Eezycraftzy happen in 2017, even though she would have to figure the details out along the way.

Why Make Everything From Scratch?

Photo by Eezycraftzy Studio

There are plenty of accessories labels out there, but what really distinguishes EezeyCraftzy from the rest is that every single piece is crafted by hand. That’s right — each piece is handmade, so every item is one of a kind.

However, such uniqueness comes at a price — I wondered why she didn’t take the easy way out if she wanted to start her own accessories label. After all, there are many suppliers out there with competitive prices, and she’d be able to save a substantial amount of time.

The bubbly designer acknowledges that while making each piece by hand can be time consuming, she “really enjoys the process of making” and finds it “really rewarding and enjoyable”. She finds joy in “creating something from nothing, making it completely from scratch.”

Making A Difference With Her Hands and Heart

The design process is not an easy one. Designs are inspired by Yi Zi’s imagination, and she tries to integrate the whimsical world in her head with the environment we live in. She first creates digital sketches of her ideas, then explores with colours she might work with.

Following that, she makes a prototype of each design and works to improve the design and colour scheme, brainstorming for other styles or alternative combinations that are possible.

Photo by Eezycraftzy Studio

In doing so, Yi Zi hopes that the items she creates “are able to come alive through colours, expression and them evoking some sort of emotion.”

She also admits that she didn’t fancy the typical accessories sold in stores, considering them “really classy and very serious.”

This can probably be attributed to her self-proclaimed “quirky” personality, coupled with her penchant for colourful things, exaggerated prints and practically anything unconventional.

“I find that things that are handmade are a lot more unique,” explaining that it helps stretch her creative limits. “I enjoy creating something that speaks of my personality, bringing joy to the people wearing my products and people around me. It feels like I am able to make a tiny difference in their life and bring happiness to them through the things I make.”

Planning And Time Management Is Key

Juggling a list of commitments is definitely no easy feat. In addition to running the business side of things, Yi Zi has to complete each order by hand as well.

She is unreserved in her response when I ask her if she faces any obstacles. “I would say I struggle in terms of having to do everything from the planning, ideation, prototyping, making accessories, shooting of products, editing images, planning and managing my social media.”

Photo by Eezycraftzy Studio

Think that’s a lot to handle? Eezycraftzy’s girl boss even gets busy with the post processing of visuals, something that “consumers do not see unless they are also in the same industry.”

As Yi Zi isn’t a fan of last minute work, she cites planning and time management as key factors in ensuring that she’s able to complete everything.

“I usually plan my week and list down the things I need to complete and do. I would say that it is always good to plan and be ahead of your time.” It’s clear that her systematic and organized way of working have paid off.

Appreciation For Handicraft In Singapore

Photo by Eezycraftzy Studio

Apart from the online Etsy store, Yi Zi also sets up booths at events like Public Garden, MAAD Red Dot Museum and Sota Maker’s Market.

When I ask her if Singaporeans have been receptive to her handmade accessories, she reveals that Eezycraftzy has received a positive response so far. “I’ve received really supportive and encouraging messages from my customers, most of them love how adorable and colourful the items are,” she recalls. Customers continually cheer her on, asking her to persevere in her passion.

“I’ve even been told by a couple of people that the earrings are so colourful and adorable that they look like candies and they feel like popping them into their mouth!” she laughs.

According to her, the past 2 years have seen an increased frequency and a growing following for art markets, creating more exposure for local creatives.

“Many brands are also seen collaborating with local artists to handcraft a part of their product or marketing collaterals. From this, we can definitely see Singaporeans moving forwards and being more receptive and appreciative of handcrafted items.”

Focused on The Future

 

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Yi Zi aspires to grow her label into a lifestyle brand, something that can be “a part of their (consumer’s) lifestyle.” She eventually hopes to expand her product lines, venturing into the creation of other products as well.

Her advice for like-minded artists?

“Everyone’s got to start somewhere. Never stop creating things, as this leads to constant progress and improvement. Be brave in experimenting, as these experimentations really do take you by surprise sometimes.”

Eezycraftzy will be at Carouselland on from 11-12 Aug, The Local People event in August as well as at the Public Garden on from 29-30 September.

Have an interesting story to tell or know someone who does? We’d love to hear it. Drop us an email at editorial@yellowpages.com.sg

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