Hi Fabiola, please tell us about your stall.
Here at Smallprint Mornington Peninsula we handcraft a range of precious silver jewellery that captures special moments in time of your loved ones using their prints. All the jewellery is uniquely handmade and hand engraved. Making every pendant unique and precious. Let us help you preserve your memories.
Our fingerprint range is uniquely precious as we take your loved ones' prints directly into silver - so what they touch is your pendant.
Hand/footprints are taken on paper, resized to fit the pendant size you choose and therefore is an exact replica of your loved ones' hand/footprints.
We also can transfer your loved ones' drawings/writings onto silver - we can design these together!
Choose from a range of charms, pendants, cufflinks, key rings or earrings with your loved ones' fingerprints, hand or foot prints, children's drawings, words or names.
How did you begin your business, and why?
Smallprint is a franchise. I was lucky to have been able to purchase my Smallprint Mornington Peninsula business 6.5 years ago from Danielle Peebles. At the time I was looking for a way to be at home and earn an income working around my kids. My corporate job at ANZ was requiring me back full time - 6am-6pm 5 days a week (including travel) - which was not ideal with 2 kids under 3. So being at the right place, at the right time, Danielle offered me this amazing business, did the maths to see if I could afford the purchase and I have been running it ever since.
I have absolutely loved the journey. It is definitely the best job I have ever had. I get to create some very unique precious jewellery that my customers treasure forever. I make all the jewellery from start to finish. Seeing the customer's faces on the pick up of their jewellery is the highlight of my job!!
Having this business has also meant that I have also been able to be available to my kids for drop offs, pick ups and all of their school and activity needs. It has been a fabulous journey and I look forward to making more jewellery pieces for families as time goes on.
Where and how did you learn to create such pieces and what drives you?
Smallprint are a fantastic franchise to be a part of as they give you the tools to run as soon as you purchase the business. Full training on how to make the jewellery and all tools and materials are a part of the purchase cost. I was very nervous taking those first few prints and as time went on and I learnt how to make each piece and quality control my work, I have become very proficient at my work and feel so confident in what I am able to do.
What is even more fabulous is not only have I learnt to make the jewellery, I have learnt to run my own business - running social media advertising, taking photos, answering customer enquiries, working the markets, taking appointments and so much more. It has been an amazing journey and has taught me so much more than just working a PAYG job.
Learning to budget for business materials, whilst still earning an income to support my family has been incredible too. I have absolutely loved running this little business and thanks to the support of family and friends, it has given my family and I the lifestyle we could only dream about.
Can you elaborate on your creative process? How do you make your items, and what sets you apart from other stalls?
I hand make every pendant from start to finish. We use sterling silver clay and mould fingerprints, hand/footprints etc into the clay. Once dried, I hand engrave it - took me ages to learn to get my writing neat and even!! The clay is then fired in a kiln and incredibly the clay burns away and you are just left with the silver. From there the jewellery is polished and boxed into a Smallprint box and bag.
Polishing jewellery is so much more than I envisioned! I have learnt the process of using a dremel after the jewellery comes out of the kiln to polish the jewellery and make it look pretty and shiny! The confidence I have now in making each piece is incredible. I have had the privilege of making bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cufflinks (including soldering) and keyrings.
What do you love most about being a stallholder at CMA?
During COVID pandemic I have absolutely missed being at the markets. The best part is not only seeing the gorgeous customers and having a good laugh and chat - but getting to know the other stallholders and making some life long friends from the journey.
Visit the CMA Virtual Market and support our stallholders!
What was your experience becoming a small business owner in Australia?
I have learnt so much about small business! Running my own little business has helped me realise how much work goes behind the scenes of handmade work. That the price is worth every penny when you purchase from a handmade business in Australia.
I have a massive appreciation for any item that has been handmade. It has also made me realise that working for yourself is so much better than working as an employee. You have more passion and love for your work as you know that it is a reflection of your business.
What are the challenges and rewards of being your own boss?
Getting to a point of being very comfortable making the jewellery has been the most challenging part for me.
Describe your perfect weekend!
Spending the day at the market with my lovely customers on a perfect sunny day. Spending the evening with my kids afterwards and having a lovely dinner together.
What do you see for the future for you, and your business?
I look forward to meeting more beautiful babies and mums and making more precious jewellery.
What do you love about Melbourne and Victoria?
What other stalls are you looking forward to checking out at our next CMA market day?
What advice would you give to someone interested in setting up their own small business or stall?
Do it!! It is an incredible experience.
How did you adapt and overcome the challenges of the past year?
Have had to move most of my work online and via messaging - which has been challenging but still have managed to survive during the pandemic :D
Visit my site here - www.smallprint.com/fabiolacuravic