Makers for Makers: Knotty Bloom
Nalani of Knotty Bloom is a maker based out of Tauranga, New Zealand. Though very far a part, we luckily crossed paths through other makers through Instagram. Her hand crafted macramé plant hangers are items that help cozy up a home with their integrate details and and timeless designs. After learning from her mother, Nalani took to practice as a way to relax and meditate in her down time. What draws me in most about her though is the support she pours out and shares with other makers. Nalani seems to always chime in when you are in need of some encouragement. Her love for the creativity flows right through her words to others and also into her own pieces.
Nalani's story is unique and beautiful—just like each of ours—so I encourage you to have a read and support Knotty Bloom on its journey through the makers movement!
Tell us about Knotty Bloom.
Knotty Bloom is a studio based in New Zealand with a focus on modern and mindful design. As an interior architect, I like to view this creative outlet as an extension of my work. Currently it is a space used to hand craft macramé pieces made with locally sourced New Zealand made materials.
What made you realize you needed to bring this dream to reality?
I grew up surrounded by a very innovative, artistic and build-it-yourself community. From my parents building our house, to my father and his business partners building their sailing boat, to the many handmade objects that filled our home and now having two very creatively focused siblings and one super handy partner. All of this shaped me into someone who has endless appreciation for handmade. So of course I had always dreamt of channeling my creative passions into something viable.
However, Knotty Bloom initially began as a side project when I first moved to New Zealand. During the early stages of setting up our home, I was reminded of the importance of physically creating something with my hands in order to connect with my surroundings. So it wasn't that I consciously decided to start a business, instead it happened rather organically. Then before I knew it, my days were consumed by this new venture and I loved it.
What are the core beliefs that drive your company?
To create honestly made and lasting products that strive to embody a sense of comfort, care and visual aesthetics. I hope my pieces bring meaning and life into their spaces. My wish would be for them to find forever-homes in which to be passed down and cherished for many years to come, instead of becoming temporary-trend pieces.
What was your biggest obstacle when starting out?
Attempting to charter the unknown waters of starting a business alone. Once I made connections with other makers, creatives and even customers, the whole process became less intimidating and more enjoyable. I cannot emphasise the importance of being part of a supportive and positive community.
Do you have any makers you admired that have inspired you?
There are an amazing amount of makers out there who endlessly provide inspiration, encouragement and kindness. Just to name a few:
Sam of @handmadesammade (himmeli + air plants)
Marion of @rekersdreesdesign (illustration + paper goods)
Kira of @antlersandhoney (illustration + water colours)
Andreia of @and_gom (hand weaving)
Haily of @b_for_brian (woven wall art)
Jenny of @livingpattern (botanical art)
Sarah @sarahkbenning (contemporary embroidery)
Katie of @ceramicmagpie (ceramics)
Sammy of @makersmovement (creative support + community)
Grace of @larkandarrow (macramé)
What does your typical day as a Maker look like?
At the moment my days look something like this. I wake up early and have coffee with my partner before driving him to work, most often this includes a trip to the post office. Then I set aside some time for administrative tasks and answering emails. The rest of my day varies and I tend to just flow with what needs to get done first. I also try to take a couple small breaks throughout the day, such as tending to our garden, watering plants, playing with George (our cat), a little yoga, or just getting out of the house for a wander. In the evenings is usually when I am most focused so sometimes I end up knotting away into the night.
What do you love most about being a Maker?
I love the freedom to express my vision using my own two hands while aspiring to bring some lasting-happiness into other peoples spaces. Additionally, one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects is being part of a larger collective filled with genuinely supportive makers.
What advice do you have for Makers just starting out?
Don't be afraid to begin something you believe in. Also to remember that creativity isn't a competition and you are stronger as a community than as an individual.