Creating softies to be loved for years to come
For 10 years Mel Groenewald has been hand making dolls, animal softies and other things for her nieces, nephews and younger cousins.
After some encouragement from her family she started doing markets and for 6 momths she was sharing a stall with her mum while she tried to find the right fit. After those 6 months she came up with Honeybee Creations, that was 4 years ago and she's been in business ever since.
Mel joined our market family back in 2018 when the Ripley Markets first started and not long after that she joined the Springfield Market and she's been a valued member ever since, creating friendships with not just other stall holders but with us behind the scenes as well!
Lets dive into her interview and get to know her a bit more:
Why do you do it?
I love seeing the looks on the children's faces. The ones that come back market after market just to check that the doll they are after is still there while they save their pocket money. The ones that get so excited that they then walk around the market snuggling with their new dolly. Seeing someone get that excited over something that I made just makes me so happy.
Whats been the biggest challenge?
Self doubt on a new product – I always get nervous if its going to be well received. Especially when I create a new character. Its always reassuring when people pick the correct character that I was aiming for! Pricing is always a challenge for me and people understanding the value of handmade. Making dolls and toys there a lot of people that have said to me why would I pay this price when I can just go into BigW/Kmart etc and get the same thing for half the price. That’s always hard to hear. It always makes you question if you have overpriced your items but then at the same time the person straight after can be telling me that my prices are too cheap for the item I am creating so you can’t win
What's your most popular Item?
The girl dolls are always a top seller at markets but most popular items are the custom dolls where we make the doll based on a photo of someone or maybe a character that you can’t get anywhere else.
Why do you think your customers keep coming back?
Because the dolls are handmade so each one is unique and able to be personalized and customized to meet the needs of each different person
What would you tell someone whose just sarting their business?
Have patience, everything takes time. Not every market is going to have amazing sales but buy being there you are building your product and your customer base.
Take a look at some of our other vendors: