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Poppies for Grace

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 24th July 2012

Alana Waterson and Sara Dickens of Poppies for Grace.  Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green.

Poppies for Grace artwork and paper decorations – Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green.

Fabulous paper tissue ball decorations from Poppies for Grace!  Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green.

So we’re not always about brand new things around here… today’s little story is another one that’s quite overdue!  Poppies for Grace aren’t a brand new business – in fact they’ve been peddling their sweet stationery and paper decorations for nine years!  Jeepers that’s twice as long as I’ve been writing TDF!  RESPECT.

The Melbourne-based duo behind this super popular local brand are Alana Waterson and Sara Dickens.  Poppies for Grace was born during Alana’s time studying screen printing at RMIT. ‘My paper lecturer suggested I approach some stores with the cards I designed for an assignment, I did – they bought them, yay!’ says Alana.

In fact it wasn’t quite that simple – whilst her designs were popular, Alana quickly realised she needed some help with the business side of things – ‘I had no idea what an invoice was!’ she recalls. Inevitably, Alana approached her Sara Dickins (her ‘bestie’), who was working in finance at the time.  As the months passed, Sara drew up more and more invoices for Alana’s orders, and soon enough this collaboration became a little business.

‘We started the business in a 100-year-old falling-apart-at-the-seams weatherboard, on an orchard in Warrandyte’ recalls Alana.  ‘At the time my husband was working on the property, and we’d watch him driving the tractor up the hill pulling a load of apples, it was a rather dreamy time. He is now a vineyard manager, so we still get the romance of wide open spaces. We are now based in a suburb called Croydon – or if you want to be fancy we are on the edge of the Yarra Valley!’

Poppies for Grace design an extensive range of stationery including cards and gift tags, sticky notes, party bags, wedding stationery and more.  They also sell the CUTEST range of paper decorations in their online store… those fab hanging tissue balls look so brilliant in kids rooms, and are usually very hard to find!  Aside from their paper creations, Poppies for Grace also have a few brand new designs launching this week – sweet pillowcases and cushions embellished with pretty painterly watercolour patterns.  Super cute.  You can find Poppies for Grace products in their webstore, and in select boutique retailers listed here.

As is the case in so many small creative businesses, both Alana and Sara are working mums – in fact each have two kids and Sara is pregnant with her third.  Excellent multitasking, ladies.  As you can see by the photographs included here, both Alana and Sara are very inspired by their young kids, and create super fun, colourful designs with both little kids and big kids in mind!

Poppies for Grace proudly support other women in business in developing communities through Kiva loans (‘which are AMAZING!’ says Alana).

NEW sweet printed cushions by Poppies for Grace.  Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green. (that wall chart is by Blink Designs – stylist’s own).

NEW painterly polka dot pillowcase by Poppies for Grace, and tissue balls hanging above.  Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green.

Alana Waterson and Sara Dickens  in the vibrant Poppies for Grace studio with their various kids / pets!  Photo – Armelle Habib, Styling – Julia Green.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 24th July 2012

37 comments

  • Mary Anne P 2 years ago

    Love Poppies for Grace. I remember buying a letter writing set from them years ago at Magnolia Square when it first started. I remember the girls being young and I was surprised they now have kids. By hey – I have kids now too!! We’ve all grown up! My mum lives out near Croydon so that was interesting too!! Is your Studio open for the public???? Thanks girls and Lucy for a great interview!

  • Brianna 2 years ago

    Oh I was literally thinking just last night that you need to feature Poppies, you read my mind Lucy! I am such a huge fan of their work – they did my beautiful wedding invites and I’ve stocked up in lots of pretty tissue paper balls and confetti Lolly bags for my son’s 1st birthday! My heart literally skipped a beat when i saw the new polka dot pillow case – off to buy it now!!! Thanks for this story, made my day x

  • Laura 2 years ago

    Love this story, very inspiring!

  • Cathg1g2 2 years ago

    Love their bright and happy stuff.

  • Matt Dickins 2 years ago

    Wow, i love the colour and bright styles they use- what a fun place to work and have your kids involved in. They’ll probably take over he business and be uber colour kids in the future!

  • Kimmy 2 years ago

    LOVE Poppies for Grace, remember seeing their stuff many years ago and loving it then. Great to see they are still going strong and bringing some brill new products to the fray. :-) xxx

  • Ingrid Weir 2 years ago

    The colours of the paper flowers & balls look like they’re in a sweet store! Something very optimistic and full of life about them.

  • Nick Young 2 years ago

    My two favourite ‘Poppies’ Brilliant!, Amazing, and Cool! Aremelle’s done a great job for you both. Put your feet up and enjoy reading all the great comments, you’ll get today! Well done to you and your sisters and husbands!

  • Tess 2 years ago

    Ahhh… I love these girls! xx

  • leanne 2 years ago

    oh fabulous, i’ve been following poppies for a while but i hadn’t twigged on the cushions, pillow slips!! oh, poor mr credit card… xx

  • Jo 2 years ago

    Yay! I love, love, love Poppies for Grace. And the peak at their new cushions and things has me very excited! Being a Ringwood girl, I got a giggle out of their Croydon reference to edge-of-the-Yarra-Valley. Why not! Keep up your wonderful work ladies.

  • alana 2 years ago

    Jo- Ringwood can be the edge too! HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Hannah 2 years ago

    I have always admired this amazing small business! Mums are always super talented! BTW is the blue + white striped quilt/dooner cover in one of the cushion photos available for purchase? Goes do well with the polka dot cushion!

  • Jo 2 years ago

    Thanks Alana, I’ll take that. Especially if it helps me sell a few more candles. Ha! Love a good marketing angle.

  • Tali 2 years ago

    I’ve bought their stationery kits as presents so many times! Such lovely designs. It’s great to see they have branched out into other products too. Those paper balls are so bright and fun!

  • Fine & Sunny 2 years ago

    Oohh sneak peek! Can’t wait for Life In Style!!

  • Kirstyeckard 2 years ago

    Lucy I’m loving these creative features you are doing this week. So great to hear people’s stories! x

  • Kath W 2 years ago

    So very sweet. Clearly so much heart in this venture.

  • This is inspiring for every small business owner. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Lakshmi 2 years ago

    A lovely play of colors. Loved the polka dot pillowcase and printed cushions. The paint colors on canvas is a great idea to keep kids busy. I’m just thinking of extending the concept to rainbow colors :)

  • jem 2 years ago

    wow. these pics are so full of joy & beauty. how special that they support other women to create and flourish too. i’d not heard of Kiva Loans before. thanks for this post … it’s inspiring on many levels.

  • Julia Green 2 years ago

    Congrats lovely ladies on a brilliant write up today – you deserve every bit of success that comes your way – you are super clever people !! Looking forward to seeing you again at life instyle !!!

  • Alana 2 years ago

    Thank you all for the incredibly sweet & kind comments. It’s made for quite the day! We are ever thankful for your support. This really has been a treat of a day. Now to get painting those pillow slips! FUN

    With joy,
    Alana & Sara
    xx

  • Monique 2 years ago

    I’m a huge fan of Poppies for Grace and I love the new cushions. A great interview, thanks Lucy!

  • Siri Hayes 2 years ago

    Lovely colour and beautiful flowers:-). I know a few other stylin girls from Croydon too. Maybe it’s the edge of the Yarra Valley and that good mountain air- not so far from the Dandenongs either:-)

  • Anne 2 years ago

    LOVING the paper cut out flowers on the wall in the first pic. They’re so beautifully done!

  • Maria 2 years ago

    great color inspiration! Love it!

  • Antoinette Murray 2 years ago

    What gorgeous, simply stunning styling on this shoot! Beautiful paper lanterns & I adore the pillowcase!

  • Bridie 2 years ago

    Does anyone know where to get stools like the ones in the photo studio?! I’ve been looking for ones just like them but can’t find them anywhere…!!

    All gorgeous and fun stuff by the way – makes me want to throw a celebration!

  • Sara 2 years ago

    Hi Bridie,
    The stools are made by the talented Daniel Barbera – http://www.barberadesign.com/UCCIO_seating.html
    x sara

  • Tessa 2 years ago

    Love those girls… Very inspiring x

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