How I Turned My Passion Hobby Craft Into An Online Business

Why online a business you ask?   Well for me it is able to offer the flexibility I am after with my two kids, work when I can, wherever I want to (so it depends on the sort of work hobby).  I love to see the world and be able to travel, so an online business where I don’t have to be going to work to open a shop and  I can do my “work”  from wherever I am is ideal for me.

These Days anyone can start their own business with a little or no help from others.  We have a vast amount of helpful tools and websites available on the internet to do that.  All we need is some time…

Kookki Designs is my hobby turned business.  You can visit my Etsy shop for a bit of a look!

My goal was to do something that I had control over while being able to give my time to my family.  I wanted to do something that felt right in my heart to earn some money to support my families growing needs while having enough time to travel and see the world with my kids as well as teach my children the values I believe in.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”-Steve Jobs

A bit a bout my online business

I design and create a wide range of jewellery and accessories for kids, women and men to suit any occasion including weddings. Each piece is made in my home studio in Melbourne, Australia. The range of products I make include cuff-links, earrings,  necklaces, pendants, rings, hair clips.  Each piece is made at my home studio in Melbourne, Australia.

My Home Studio

Many of us living in the developed countries have most basic things that humans “NEED” and much much more, I have always treasured the priceless moments in my life are that became beautiful memories later.  With my jewellery I capture one’s memories in the form of a place, a person,  word/s etc.  I get to spend time making this wonderful item for some one special with so much care.  I can be rewarded with knowing that my item can give someone that warm fuzzy feeling called happiness.  Not only giving something special is rewarding for both parties giving and receiving,  it will also mean so much more purely for the fact that the time and effort spent in getting something really unique handmade especially for a loved one.

Kids Photo Jewellery
Kids Photo Jewellery
Kids Photo Cufflinks
Kids Photo Cufflinks

That is exactly what I love doing with my jewellery where I help people either freeze a moment in their life like a birth of a child, a wedding or to create one of a kind super special gifts for the ones they love. The fact that I am able to let someone feel such a strong feeling like pure happiness or appreciation (by receiving of giving something that no words can convey) is truly a rewarding and emotional privilege.

At Kookki Designs my favourite designs are the one’s I create for someone with much meaning behind it.  Whether it is a special photo of a person or a place or a scan of their kids drawings or a special saying for their husband or wife (to be) or a parent.  These are the ones that I get a real warm fuzzy feeling about my self.  I feel in doing what I do I manage to remind ourselves that we are simple creatures that enjoy simple pleasures of life and if we support each other we can make this world a better place keeping the harmonious balance on this planet.  I take my hats off to the Etsy community that is building in numbers.  Most of the Etsy sellers are following their hearts and using their talent to help them live the lives they believe they should.

Personlised Jewellery

By Having my own  Etsy store I get to treat every person that comes to my shop and contact me with love and care with my goal of making the world a happier place (while being able to be an old-school mother to my children).

I love what I am able to do with my jewellery and I sincerely hope I get to make your moments extra special by capturing them in a wearable accessory which will give you a warm fuzzy feeling every time you see them.

“There is an undeniable happiness one can obtain by making someone else happy.  That is what I call rewarding!”- Shani

Here is a guide to starting your very own online business with my experience selling handmade jewellery

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Photo Challenge Wall: French Wall stories

French Walls that tells stories….

Here are some photos of walls taken while in France with an iphone.   Sadly I have lost all my other amazing wall art photos  taken in Melbourne Australia along with  all other photos I have ever taken with my digital DSLR since 2005 (yes including all my children’s new born pictures) in a hard-drive accident.   I only have these photos taken by  the iphone left from my travels which is not much, but I still get to enjoy some memories when looking at these:)

I love old walls, they must have seen so much that we can not even imagine…  Especially these ones in France where the history is so colourful compared to many other places.

Photo Challenge Wall!

6 Tips for going Shopping with Toddlers

Who knew going shopping needs tips? Well it can be a mission going shopping with your toddlers, trust me I know first hand!.  I’ll get straight into it…. Below are some tried and tested rules that I have for  myself.

Have A Stroller Handy
Have A Stroller Handy

Rule 1: Do not forget the stroller!!! If you have a Tot that complains about his/her tired legs when having to walk, it is a life saver to have your child strapped in the stroller as you walk around inside the shops.  They can be kept entertained by giving them a toy to play with, hanging clothing items, women paying attention to them and of course you playing peekaboo here and there.  It is also easier to keep them in a stroller if and when you decide to try on clothing.

Rule 2:  Have toilet breaks for older potty trained Tots.  Well generally 1st one being at home just before you leave.   Do not forget to ask and get them to go after a couple of hours shopping when you see an opportunity, even if they say they may not need to go 🙂  It’s better that they go in a toilet than having to do a marathon run to a toilet when they can’t hold it anymore.

Happy Shoppers
Happy Shoppers

Rule 3:  Get them involved in the shopping fun.  Listen to their questions and answer them, tell them what you are looking for, and ask them questions as well.   This will let them know what you are doing at the shops which can help them stay calmer and understand whats happening a bit better.  This way you can turn shopping into an educational learning experience for them (as with anything you do) which will make the whole shopping activity into a bonding activity where your little one will feel like you are listening to them and are spending quality time with them (which you are!).

Rewarded with a healthy snack for good behaviour

Rule 4: If you want to reward them with a ride for their good behaviour (or just because you do), do this activity at the very END when you are about to leave the shops to get back in the car.  It is also a good idea to prep them beforehand,  saying if they behave well during shopping they will be rewarded with one ride.  Rewarding can work miracles, now the reward does not have to be a ride or a food item it can be a positive praise for behaving so well, yes it also works if not better because they feel so proud to hear that mummy/daddy thought so highly of their behaviour and that may work next time too (fingers crossed).  we sometimes stop at a play ground or have a healthy snack as a reward and generally they work well.  Be careful of those shopping center rides and buying reward toys, if they get used to that habit they can work against you as you go past those items.  It is always good to keep varying your rewards to avoid possible tantrum situations.

Babyccino Break
A Babyccino Break

Rule 5:  What works well with my children is breaking the trip up with little breaks where you spend some time with them changing the scene  a bit.  May be a little babyccino stop, or a little play stop.  Of course set the limits before you tell them to go have fun at the play area,  that it is a 15minute play session and that when you finish your coffee we are getting back in the stroller for another walk.   As long as you prep them well the resistance you get from them will be less.  If you hear them complaining remind them what you mentioned earlier and say that was the rule.

Rule 6: Stick to your rules (most important rule for a parent to adhere to!!).  If you told them you are going to put them back in the stroller after you finished the coffee do it.  When kids know you are serious and you keep to your word they respect what you say and listen to you.  If you are going to give into their demands then you will always have to put up with tantrums and feel tired and exhausted at the end of it.


But there are times when your child is absolutely tired and none of these rules work.  If all they want to do is cry and throw tantrums it is better off getting that tired little person to have a nap and postpone the shopping trip to another day when you know they will be well rested.   But  if you must go shopping on that same day do it after giving your little one time to have a bit of a rest, it will make such a positive impact on the whole shopping experience for both the parent and child.

I hope this helps you handle that (sometimes) dreadful trip to the shops with your little bundles of joy.   Just go with your gut feel, no point in making yourself or your child get stressed out over shopping:)

ONE Launches #PovertyIsSexist Campaign to improve the lives of women worldwide

We can overcome world poverty if everyone in this world opens their eyes and hearts…..



“It’s about time someone said it. Being born female in one of the world’s poorest countries means your life will be harder, simply because of your gender. Unlocking the full potential of girls and women wouldn’t just transform their own lives, or even their families’ – it could help end extreme poverty for good”. – ONE

“Being born female in one of the world’s poorest countries means your life will be harder, simply because of your gender”. I often think about those words. As an American woman, who is healthy, educated and has been blessed with amazing opportunities to see the world, I wonder what my life would be like if I’d been born somewhere else. Like India or Chad or Afghanistan.  Would I just be a number?

The more I see and learn about the world, the more I realize that life is unfair in…

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