One Busy Sloth and the Creative Soul

One Busy Sloth and the Creative SoulThere lived a creative tribe.

A family of dreamers and makers named Chan in Singapore. Granddad had apprenticed to a tailor, daddy dreamed up and made amazing lantern designs – ones that could roll on the floor 😍 that he would sell during the mid-autumn festival in Chinatown. Mommy held her own: sewing dresses and kimono-styled nighties for her children, four lively girls, on a Singer treadle sewing machine. She had even sewn her own wedding dress!

The said lively girls were, of course ☺️, my sisters and I. We loved drama, amusing ourselves play-acting and singing in mum’s lovingly made kimono night dresses. And we grew up creative people, loving design and working with our hands – like our parents.

One Busy Sloth, an oxymoron

In her own words, my sister, Jo, “was the laziest person One Busy Slothwhen growing up”. Doing as little as possible, like a sloth. These days, as a mother of two, she could not be more different. Productivity is the rule of the day; she would have ants in her pants if she had to sit around doing nothing 😮. So she is now One Busy Sloth!

The Creative Soul

Like many makers who ventured into starting a small creative business, Jo started out happily dabbling in all kinds of crafts; starting with scrapbooking, card making, then jewellery making. One fine day, Jo found herself staring at her Ikea easy chair and the tired looking cushion cover peered sadly back at her. She decided it was time to learn to sew. It was dad, who taught her how to sew on a sewing machine, on her next visit home. Jo bought her first sewing machine 3 months later, a 2nd hand 1970s Husqvarna. Then she was just unstoppable. One Busy Sloth-2

One Busy Sloth: beautiful bags for practical souls was born 3 years later. Jo handcrafts every single item from both her MadeIt store and her Etsy store. From the shopping for fabrics (which she finds terribly addictive!) to the sketching and design of a new range for her brand – that could take weeks or months to tweak, to seeing the finished product: each process brings joy, challenge, and a satisfaction so immense that dear Jo simply cannot put into words.

Community and Joys of the Creative Life

Apart from the joy of handcrafting all her gems from a little studio amongst the gum trees, with the sounds of kookaburra laughing (in a beautiful suburb of Sydney), her business has introduced her to an amazing new world of creative souls out there, some of whom Jo is privileged to call friends. One Busy SlothShe is now a long time member of the Handmade Cooperative: a collective of like-minded business women working together to celebrate the best in handmade for kids. Last weekend, Jo was delegated to attend the Etsy Captain Summit in Melbourne, a two-day workshop where she was overjoyed to connect and bond with fellow leading Etsy entrepreneurs and administrators as they discussed ways to thrive and grow their businesses together.

“A creative life is an amplified life” as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear quipped. “It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life … Living in this manner — continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you — is a fine art, in and of itself.” 

Sharing this creative, enchanted life with Jo are her wonderful husband, two vivacious kids, and her very grumpy but gorgeous old cat, the Dowager! (Not forgetting the cockatoos and kookaburras too.) Sleeping DowagerI must add here that my family and I have been the  happy and grateful recipients of many of her hand-made gifts: from Christmas cookies, cards and jewellery back then, to bags, quilts, purses, and pouches now. Yipee! 😜 

If you would like to see more of my sister’s work and keep in touch with One Busy Sloth, why not follow her on Instagram or join her Sloth club here 📬.

Here’s wishing you reader, a great start to the week! I hope you were inspired in some way to live your own creative life too, so what’s your creative outlet? Leave me a comment.

Till next!

  22 comments for “One Busy Sloth and the Creative Soul

  1. Jo
    May 23, 2016 at 13:22

    Heart-felt and beautifully written Anne. Thank you so much. Gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling from start to finish!

  2. May 23, 2016 at 18:07

    I enjoy following Jo on Instagram and seeing her beautiful products come to life. Lovely to learn a little more of her journey – and yours too!

  3. May 23, 2016 at 18:16

    A wonderful read!

  4. May 23, 2016 at 18:39

    thank you so much, I loved reading this. I consider Jo to be one of my favourite Etsy (and Madeit) friends, a kindred spirit and an inspiration. I was thrilled to meet her at the Captain’s Summit and could spend a lifetime talking with and learning from Jo.

  5. Anne Smith
    May 23, 2016 at 18:43

    . A truly beautiful read. What a life you have been privileged to share. I am proud to call Jo a friend. We are yet to meet but we will one day. I have loved watching Jo’s journey on One Busy Sloth. Her products are amazing.

  6. Nicole Barros
    May 23, 2016 at 18:44

    What a great read! I have bought many of Jo’s awesome purses, pouches and not to mention my custom made pencil case that is just perfect.! 🙂

  7. Cori
    May 23, 2016 at 19:04

    A lovely read =)
    Jo rocks! I’m another of those Madeit friends, and I feel privileged to be so. An all round beautiful person, inside and out, so it’s no surprise her products are beautiful too

  8. Donna Griggs
    May 24, 2016 at 14:07

    A beautiful read about Jo who I am privileged to call a friend. I thoroughly enjoy seeing her latest creations all of which are beautiful. I hope to meet Jo in person one day.

  9. May 27, 2016 at 21:09

    Thank you Donna! I’m sure you’ll meet my sister one day 🙂

  10. May 27, 2016 at 21:10

    Thank you Cori! And I’m privileged to be her sister too!

  11. May 27, 2016 at 21:11

    Thank you so much Nicole for your support!

  12. May 27, 2016 at 21:11

    Thank you Anne so much for your compliments!!

  13. May 27, 2016 at 21:13

    Thank you so much Starry, and I enjoyed writing this post too for my dear sister 🙂

  14. May 27, 2016 at 21:14

    Thank you Kate!

  15. May 27, 2016 at 21:15

    Thank you Karen! It was a joy for me writing about our journey 🙂

  16. May 27, 2016 at 21:19

    You’re most welcome, Jo!! Thank you for all your handmade gifts over the years 😍

  17. Blue Banshee
    June 19, 2016 at 20:36

    I am the other sister, .and yes, I’m so very proud of Jo’s creativity and beautiful creations! The wedding quilt she made for me gives me such pleasure and comfort whenever I use it. Nothing says patience and love like a handstitched quilt… and I enjoyed your article, Anne. I was just thinking…..Jo is more like a sloth on speed! She is definitely NO lazy sloth! LOL!!!

  18. June 19, 2016 at 23:38

    LOL!! Thanks sis!

  19. June 20, 2016 at 04:35

    I love your writing style. The personal information you shared about your family got me interested in reading the rest.

  20. June 20, 2016 at 23:20

    Thanks Barbara for dropping by with your compliments! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this labour of love!

  21. Ivfy
    July 15, 2016 at 23:26

    Hi Anne! Love your blog and stories! God has gifted you with a talent for writing and you’ve done it beautifully! I love the flow of your writing and the way you express your thoughts in such a soothing and creative way! God bless you!! (:

  22. July 16, 2016 at 02:00

    Hi Ivfy, thank you sooo much for dropping by with your kind words and affirmation! God bless you too 🙂 and I look forward to writing more!!

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