WaCreationStudio – Interview

One of the most powerful social media tools – Instagram – has helped me get to know and fall in love with a number of local, South Australian businesses. It’s a truly special feeling to be a part of someone’s business venture, someone’s personal journey, someone’s passion to success and while it may primarily be a virtual connection that is created with businesses nowadays, there is still a sense of connection that resonates through maintaining regular interaction with the business owners / managers. One such beautiful business that I recently had the pleasure of getting to know is WaCreationStudio! With the upcoming Gathered SA Markets this weekend, WaCreationStudio will be one of the many local vendors that will be engaging in a fun-filled weekend of market festivities. Catching my attention with their unique and crafty crane earrings, I was so intrigued to learn more about the face behind this cute little business. After having a friendly exchange with Noriko Farrelly (owner of WaCreationStudio) a couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to get an e-interview, where I learned more about her and her business – have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Who is the face behind WaCreationStudio?
Nori: I am Noriko, the creator of Origami jewellery at WaCreationStudio. I was born and raised in Japan, so Origami was naturally a huge part of my childhood. I have been in Australia for more than 10 years altogether. I have 2 gorgeous daughters and a supportive husband. We used to live in Sydney and in Japan, but moved to my husband’s hometown (Adelaide) in 2016.


Tema: How did you come up with the name of your business – WaCreationStudio?
Nori: “Wa” means Japan, Peace, Circle and Harmony. I wanted a name that reflects what I hope to offer through my creations. Authentic Japan, a calm peaceful feel, a circle of friends a circle of life, a harmony that balances modern Western culture and the traditions of Japan. “Wa” is a short word with so many different meanings!

Tema: How long have you been in business for?
Nori: I started in August 2017, so just over a year. Not much happened in the first six months – it was primarily me finding my way around running a business. I was nervous to talk to customers at markets, and very desperate to make sales to cover the stall fees. Once I started to really enjoy the market experience and not worry about each sales (or non-sale), things kind of started working. I’m happy with my achievements so far and thankful for everyone involved.

Tema: How did you decide on setting up a business that sells such beautiful and uniquely crafted jewelry?
Nori: We moved to Japan for almost 3 years when our eldest was 3.5 years old. So, naturally she started to embrace Origami. Upon returning to Australia, she started school in Term2 with very limited English. As a way of introducing herself, she folded Origami animals for everyone in her class. She was so determined, proud and happy! A few weeks later, we got invited to our first play date, and this new friend still had the rabbit origami on her table. I realised that what I took for granted was actually very special to many, and my daughter revived my joy of being a creative soul! So, I decided to do something with Origami, as a way of introducing a piece of culture to Australia (and a bit of pocket money!) as we started our new life in Adelaide.


Tema: What made you decide on creating origami earrings in particular?
Nori: When I first started, I was selling more crafty things like handmade cards,or Origami flowers. I had Origami jewellery, but they were only a side dish! And believe it or not, there were no crane earrings until much later on! I always thought of the crane design as “trying too hard to be Japanese” and avoided it for the longest time. But I got requests, so I had to started making crane earrings. I also make other types of earrings, as I try to show the beautiful colours and designs of papers. I want people to think that Origami can be modern and cool, not daggy!

Tema: What are you hoping for your customers to experience, when buying from WaCreationStudio?
Nori: Quite often, people talk about their recent trips to Japan, exchange students they’ve had, family members studying the Japanese language, grandchildren who love doing Origami, making 1,000 cranes for wedding….they talk about their connections to Japan. It really thrills me that customers who buy my jewellery not only buy it because it looks good, but also because they feel a sense, a connection to the culture! I’m hoping that my pieces of jewellery will ignite conversations and hold memories.

Photography by Nicole Fang

Tema: Is it true that you source your Washi from Japan direct?
Nori: Yes, I source most Washi ( traditional paper) from Japan. Although, if I see beautiful paper here, I cannot resist getting them, so I cannot say 100% from Japan. Whenever I go back to Japan, I spend hours choosing papers. Textures and colours are very unique and I’m fussy when it comes to Washi. When I run out of Washi, I contact my supplier in Japan (that is, my father!) to send some more over. Many Washi are quite big, so he cuts them all into my desired size – he is (hands down) the best supplier!

Photography by Nicole Fang

Tema: How long does it take (typically) to create your origami earrings?
Nori: This is the most common question that I get at markets. It normally takes me 3 minutes per crane to fold. I have had people watching me fold the whole process. I often say I should start train my daughters soon (6&8 years old) and I’m only half joking! I apply 4 layers of 3 different coatings, so as to let them completely dry. Each steps can add up to about 4 days or so in total. Washi is delicate and absorbs liquids much more than normal craft paper, so it takes time making sure the coatings do not change the original colours.

Photography by Nicole Fang

Tema: Is your business primarily run through Etsy or do you have a storefront as well?
Nori: Primarily doing markets at the moment! I am very fortunate to have a dozen stockists, who were brave enough to take on this “something different” jewellery that they’ve never seen before. They are very supportive and more like mentors. As I cannot mass produce, I can only distribute to limited stockists, which gives exclusivity. You can check your nearest stockists and upcoming markets on my Instagram.

Photography by Nicole Fang

Tema: Do you offer other forms of jewellery or accessories, in addition to earrings?
Nori: I offer necklaces, brooches and I also have hair clips and hair ties for children. I also had a pleasure working with young local talents in fashion photo shooting recently. I created headpieces, giant crane earrings and belts for Kimono inspired couture. It was out of my comfort zone, but a worthwhile experience. It really challenged me to express the possibility and beauty of Origami in different form.

Tema: What does the creative process look like? How do you gain the inspiration to create each item to make it look like a one-of-a-kind?
Nori: I have cardboard cutout in different shapes to decide which part of paper I make into jewellery. Sometimes I have only one piece of 10cm x 10cm paper, so deciding the perfect cut is a fun process. Talking to fellow creatives across different areas is very inspirational and also customers always come up with great suggestions! That is why I keep going back to markets – to see and hear what customers are after!


Tema: What markets are you currently involved with and how did that collaboration come around?
Nori: You can often find WaCreationStudio atGathered, Gilles at the Grounds, Chicks at the Flicks at Event Cinemas Marion by Etsy. Also I’ll be at Japanese related events. Recommendations from other stall holders are always helpful, especially since I am still learning the ways of running a small-scale business in Adelaide.

Tema: What do you think has been rewarding about being a small-scale local business here in Adelaide / South Australia?
Nori: I think South Australia has this great sense of supporting local small businesses like the I Choose SA campaign. People are interested in knowing how it’s made, where it’s made and who is making it. My hometown – Kobe – in Japan also had a “Let’s do it together”, “we are all creating our community together”, kind of similar mindset. The welcoming, supportive environment has made me feel like WaCreationStudio has become a part of this great SA community.


Tema: What do you think has been challenging about being a small-scale local business here in Adelaide / South Australia?
Nori: I suppose small businesses can be affected by events and festivals. Although Adelaide has a lot going on, it’s still quite seasonal and relying on SA locals. Let’s be honest, not many international travelers choose to come to Adelaide on their short holiday! Imagine being at Rocks market or Bondi Beach market…the amount of spontaneous foot traffic and exposure is what we don’t get on a weekly basis in Adelaide.

image1 (1)

Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like your customers and our readers to know about WaCreationStudio?
Nori: It is my great joy and has been a priority, that I can contribute to create closer ties at a grass-roots level between Japan and other countries. So even if you don’t purchase anything on that particular day, please feel free to just stop by to test your language skills, tell me your favourite Japanese food, show me the photos from your trips! You are already helping me to achieve that goal. Also, as gifting season fast approaching, we have limited number of paper or tin gift boxes available for a gold coin donation. I will then donate this money to a charity so people in need can have a slightly happier and healthier festive season. When you give gifts from WaCreationStudio to your family, friends and loved ones, you are not gifting once but twice!


Social media
Facebook //Instagram

With thanks to WaCreationStudio + Nicole Fang for the images!

Adelaide Central Market: Stories, People & Recipes

With thanks to JP Media for the information + images

When I first heard about how there was going to be a book around the stories of people and businesses of the Adelaide Central Market (ACM) family, my heart did a little happy dance! The ACM is such a tight-knit community and it is no secret that there is a lot of love and passion that goes towards keeping this little family as local and true to their beliefs as possible. The market space is filled to the brim with a diverse range of products and services that are available to the public – it makes sense why it attracts locals and tourists alike, because there’s always something to do and explore at the Market!

And after months of spending the time and energy on their little baby, co-authors Katie Spain and Fiona Roberts are finally letting us have the opportunity to get to know and appreciate this project, where we can learn and celebrate what makes the Adelaide Central Market such a vibrant and social hub.

Launching their 1st ever hardcover book that is due to be released just in time for the ACM’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Adelaide Central Market Stories, People & Recipes will bring together an eclectic mix of stories about this iconic heritage location.

Mural 2 (from google)

The book is packed with pages that detail everything that you can possibly envision, when thinking of the ACM – from the memories of former + current traders to a delightful selection of over 130 recipes that have been shared by the Market’s passionate stallholders (think of Comida’s famous paella and Asian Gourmet’s laksa for a start – is your mouth watering already?). Family favourites from local and regional producers, such as Maggie Beer, Adam Liaw, and Simon Bryant will have you feeling like you’re a master chef in the comfort of your own home! What’s better is that these recipes also come with tips and tricks to seriously step up your culinary skills and inject a sense of the multicultural community of the Market simultaneously.

Wild Loaf-15

While there may only be a limited number of copies of this book available for purchase, people will be treated to 500 pages of pure storytelling, stunning imagery, and mouthwatering recipes that will make it worthy of a spot in your home.

“The Adelaide Central Market has been feeding our city, body and soul, for nearly 150 years. This book brilliantly tells the Market’s story from humble beginnings to a world renowned cultural and culinary cornucopia.” – Dr Nick Begakis (Adelaide Central Market Authority Chair)

Pre-orders for the Adelaide Central Market: Stories, People, and Recipes are now available here and will be delivered around early December – make sure you jump on this ASAP or risk missing out on one of the greatest books to come out this year!

Promo image

Eat. Drink. Shop. At the Bowerbird Design Market

With thanks to information supplied by Neon Moose and images supplied by individual food vendors

Market season is upon us and what better way to make the most of this gorgeous weather than to step out and explore what small businesses across Australia have on offer!?

Image by Public on Franklin Street (Adelaide)

The Bowerbird Design Market will be hosting a 3-day community affair at the Wayville Showgrounds, where visitors can expect to enjoy a bit of everything – think of artisan-made food, craft beverages, contemporary fashion, art, and design (to name a few). Notable businesses that will be making an appearance will include:

antipodes_line_up_summer_2017 copy
Image by the Antipodes Gin (South Australia)

Grab a couple of friends or plan a family outing at the wonderful Bowerbird market! With Christmas around the corner, it’s the perfect excuse to go and stock up on all the gifting essentials – be it for yourself or for your loved ones! And make sure you check out the incredible food and drink vendors that will be around to fuel your energy, as you wander through the ever-so-vibrant Showgrounds!

Event details
What?             Bowerbird Design Market
When?            November 23 – 25
Where?           Wayville Showground
What time?    4pm – 9pm (Nov 23) | 10am – 5pm (Nov 24 + 25)
How much?    $5 (adults), FREE for kids

Social media
Facebook || Instagram


Primrose Hill Set Candles – INTERVIEW

Interview by Fatema Sitabkhan
Photography by Michael Hartwick

Instagram is such a brilliant social media tool that has helped increase a level of networking and connectivity with individuals; both locally as well as globally.

It is through this powerful form of media that I was acquainted with the lovely business Primrose Hill Set Candles. A gorgeous South Australian business whose name is a homage to the A-list approach towards a renegade essence, Primrose Hill Set specializes in creating ethical soy wax candles that aim to replicate a sense of sensuality and substance.

Having supported each other via social media over the last couple of months and making an appearance at popular community events and markets, such as the Creative Design Markets, Port Winterfest, and Gathered SA, I was fortunate enough to score an interview with Rachel de Brenni-Burnard – the founder and owner of Primrose Hill Set Candles:

Tema: Who is the face behind PHS?
Rachel: Rachel de Brenni-Burnard – I am the founder and owner of Primrose Hill Set 100% soy wax scented candles, creating vegan friendly and ethically made candles, hand poured in small batches.

Tema: How long is the process to make your beautifully scented candles? What does the process involve?
Rachel: The process of creating a soy scented apothecary jar candle includes hand-washing the glass jar and applying the safety label.  I then stick the lead-free wick into the centre of the candle. The correct amount of melted soy wax is blended with the premium scent and hand-poured into the jar. The candle is left to set until it is perfectly hard. Depending on the weather, this normally takes approximately 2 hours. Each candle is then hand polished and a fragrance label is attached.

Tema: What would you like a first-time customer to know about PHS?
Rachel: Each Primrose Hill Set candle is handmade in South Australia, using GMO-free high-grade soy wax with premium Australian fragrances and hand-poured using lead free wicks.  We pride ourselves on creating uniquely blended scents creating unforgettable and original scented candles.

Tema: Whereabouts are your candles made? How do you source your ingredients to make the candles?
Rachel: All Primrose Hill Candles are proudly made in Mile End, South Australia.  All our premium fragrances are sourced from Australia. We use the finest 100% soy wax from America (one of the biggest producers of quality soy wax in the world). All our wicks, safety labels and containers are bought from Australian companies.  Our fragrance labels are designed and printed in South Australia.

Tema: What do you think helps your candles stand out from the rest?
Rachel: What makes Primrose Hill Set Candles stand out from our competitors is that we blend scents that are based on memories creating refreshingly different scented candles. All our candles are vegan friendly, non-toxic, kosher certified and cruelty free. Made in small batches, our candles are freshly made and are a delight to burn. Our 100% soy wax candles burn 30-50% longer and do not contain the toxins that paraffin wax candles do.

Primrose Hill Set Fresh Figs & Honey soy candle _1.jpeg

Tema: What are some of your popular / best-selling candles and why do you think that is the case?
Rachel: Our best-selling candle is our Cucumber Gin and Tonic soy scented candle.  It is a zesty blend of cucumber, basil, grapefruit and lemon fragrances. The inspiration behind this candle is that many years ago, I had the most fantastic cucumber gin & tonic drink and I remember the smell and taste being incredible!  I have a long memory for scents, so I recreated that memory in a candle form. All our candle fragrances have been created to capture a special memory in my life.

Tema: For someone who doesn’t know the first thing about appreciating the beauty and aroma of candles, what would you suggest to be an ideal experience of getting the most out of PHS?
Rachel: Burn our apothecary jar candles for two hours at first, to make your candle last longer – this will allow the top layer of wax to fully melt, ensuring an even burn when next lighting your candle.  It is very important to trim your wick so that it isn’t longer than six millimeters in length. The longer the wick, the quicker your candle will burn. Our candles have a strong fragrance load; therefore, the scent will linger in your house for many hours for yourself, friends and family to enjoy!

Primrose Hill Set Coffee Creme Caramel soy candle_3.jpeg

Tema: What have you found to be rewarding about being a small business in a state like SA, where the #ichoosesa movement is strong?
Rachel: I am finding that more people are increasingly interested in supporting local businesses and wanting to know how the products that they are purchasing are made. Going to markets has become very popular and I have noticed that people making more informed choices regarding non-toxic and cruelty free artisan wares. Campaigns like #ichoosesa are fantastic to keep the message of supporting local businesses in the forefront of people’s minds.  

Tema: What have been some of the biggest challenges that you have faced as a small business and what do you do to overcome them?
Rachel: The hardest part of being a small business is that sometimes, you can feel very isolated and alone, especially when working from home by yourself.  It is important to wake up everyday with a positive attitude and to remain true to your business vision. I have luckily experienced wonderful support from my husband and son, who have believed in my dream from the start and have supported me – both financially and emotionally – to follow my passion for making candles.  I have also found that other small business market stall holders have been a source of wonderful encouragement, as well as family and friends.

Tema: What inspires you to come up with your beautiful selection of candles, such as the fruity ones as well the more unique ones, such as Roses and Sunshine (!!!)
Rachel: When creating the scents for our soy candle range, I have had the pleasure of revisiting scented memories from my life that our candle range fragrances evoke.  Our Roses and Sunshine candles were blended to capture the essence of walking through the Adelaide Hills which is where I grew up. This candle has the fragrance combination of rose, fir needle, geranium and blackcurrant.  For so many people this scent reminds them of beautiful childhood memories of playing in family rose gardens. That is the beauty of scented candles, they can truly transport you back to happy times shared or be part of creating your own new special memories.

Roses & Sunshine Apothecary Jar close up image

Tema: Do you have your own shopfront, or do you primarily conduct your business online?
Rachel: Primarily, our candle sales are conducted via our website with a link to our Etsy shop.  We do ship all our candles worldwide and offer our wonderful Australian customers free postage Australia wide.  We are also stocked in The Field Wholefoods at the Brickworks and Golden Grove. Otherwise, we are popping up at quality markets around Adelaide. We love meeting customers and finding out what their favourite candle scent is!

Tema: What are some regular markets that you make an appearance at?
Rachel: You can find Primrose Hill Set Candles at the Gathered Design Markets (Queen’s Theatre), Creative Design Markets (Plant 4 Bowden) and Posh Market events at Hart’s Mill (Port Adelaide).  Check us out on Instagram for updated market stall information and come smell our lovely candles!

Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like your customers to know about PHS?
Rachel: The Primrose Hill Set is a term commonly used to describe the infamous group of ‘A’ listers who lived in and frequented the Primrose Hill and Notting Hill areas in London during the mid-1990’s. While the Primrose Hill Set pays homage to the renegade approach to style and fashion by Kate Moss, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Sadie Frost and co., the essence of our brand lies within the moment in time that was created by these pioneers of style.  The Primrose Hill Set coined an atmosphere where every night was a celebration, where whimsy and fancy were the norm and endless possibilities abounded. It is with that pioneering spirit in mind that the Primrose Hill Set candle range is founded.

Official website

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

Mekko Market & Cafe

You know what’s better (more dangerous) than just dining or just shopping?

Combining the two in one truly historically gorgeous space!

Mekko Market & Cafe on Prospect Road has been gaining popularity since they opened in May earlier this year. Not only does their space offer a beautiful combination of modernity mixed with quirky elements in the form of their mismatched yet complementary furniture and fittings, but also, they bring the best of both worlds together, where diners can enjoy a bit of a splurge at their second-hand market, which is saturated with preloved clothing that won’t break the bank!

I was so impressed with the concept of this unique cafe and market that I was fortunate enough to score an interview with the owners of Mekko Market & Cafe – have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Who are the owners of Mekko Market & Café?
Tom Nilsson, Irene Kollanus and Marjukka Wilson. Irene and Marjukka come from a Finnish background and Tom is Swedish.

Tema: What made you decide to open up a café with a difference; where customers are also given the opportunity to experience the market atmosphere?
We wanted to do something different. We weren’t sure if there was a market for this kind of concept, so we wanted to be the first ones doing it. Our café and clothing market support each other very well, as our customers love them both.


Tema: How does the process of hiring a rack here work (cost / length of time of renting out the rack, etc)?
Our rack rental is available for $69 (single rack) /$99 (family rack) for 2 weeks. We don’t take any commission. You can top up your rack anytime within your rental period. Sharing a rack with someone is also good way of sharing the rental cost. If you would like to book a rack, the best way is to pop in to our market and we can check the availability for you.
If you book a rack with us in September, you can enjoy having the 2nd week for free!

Tema: Who is the mastermind behind the menu items? Who is your head chef? How do they find inspiration to create the beautiful and delicious items on your menu?
We do all the masterminding together as a team! We do lot of resourcing online and also use our background as Scandinavians, to bring a Scandi twist to our meals. Our head chef / co-owner Tom Nilson then puts all our thoughts together and creates tasty meals.

Tema: What kind of food would you say Mekko Market & Café primarily serves?
We have an all day menu and a separate dinner menu for Saturday nights. Soon, we will also be open for dinner on Fridays. Our food is modern Australian with a Scandinavian twist. We are listening to our lovely customers, who are hoping to see more Scandinavian food on the menu. Our new menu is now more Scandi than our previous one.


Tema: What do you hope for customers of Mekko Market & Café to experience when visiting / dining / shopping here?
We hope everyone who comes and visits us can have a relaxing and fun experience in our cosy café. Our menu is like no other, with a Scandinavian twist. Our Alfresco area is very European, with a relaxed lounge setting and colorful lanterns that decorate the space. We hope that you will feel like you’re on a little holiday! In our market, you can shop like nowhere else. There are lots of great brands at very affordable prices. Our Market is also open Saturday nights for our diners. Where else you can have a glass of wine while shopping?

Tema: What is a dish that you would highly recommend from your menu?
On our updated dinner menu, we have the pan fried Barra with traditional Finnish apple & potato salad, broccolini, spiced pea pure, crispy enoki, raddish and herbs. We also have very tasty fish tacos.

Tema: What is a highly popular dish that is on your menu at the moment?
Our most popular meals at the moment are the smashing pumpkins and our Mekko Burger. We also have lot of Vegan and Gluten free options on our menu as well, like the chickpea tofu omelette and the Vegan burger.

Tema: How would you describe your space / business to someone who hasn’t been before? What do you hope they can expect on their first visit?
Our licensed Café/Restaurant & Market offer a great combination of great food, good coffee and shopping. All 35 racks in our preloved clothing market are full of beautiful clothes and the prices are very affordable. We guarantee that the whole stock will be new and fresh every fortnight. We have spacious indoor and outdoor seating areas as well, so you can enjoy a bite while you shop!

Tema: How frequently will your menu change (will it be seasonal / will there be some items that are permanently on the menu, etc)?
We listen to our lovely customers and do little changes to our menu all the time. We change the whole menu with seasons. Some of the best sellers are permanently placed on the menu.


Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like our readers and your customers to know about Mekko Market & Café?
This beautiful Art Deco building was originally a police station and a court house. With our renovations, we wanted to respect the building and preserve its aged features in the best manner possible.

Official website

Social media
Facebook // Instagram

89 Prospect Road,
Prospect SA 5082

Opening hours
Monday (closed)
Tue-Fri 8.00am-4pm
Sat 8.00am-LATE
Sun 8.00am-4pm