Monday 21 April 2014

My Inspiration Monday - Pandemonium & Kotsu

How did your business come about?
I (Tali)  moved to NZ in January 2013 with a husband who works irregular hours and two small children so I was eager to do something that would be flexible and allow me to work from home. In Australia, I had been working for my lovely friend, Carly Schwerdt, teaching art in her studio, Nest Studio.

Nest Studio

Photo Credit - Jen from Utterly in Love

I had also started making things for the little shop attached to the studio – jewellery, lino prints and children’s clothes. The move to NZ pushed me to finally act on the design/business ideas that had been floating around my head for the previous 3 years. Pandemonium and KOTSU were born, sating my love for fun jewellery and printmaking! Originally, I was just going to make for markets but both brands took off and I now sell to HAPA in the Re:Start mall and online at the Hazel Loves Design Emporium.

Where did the names come from?
I have a habit of writing down words that appeal to me and “pandemonium” caught my eye some time ago. I remember thinking it would be great name for one of my brands because everything is always crazy in our house! 

KOTSU is a combination of my maiden name, Koto, and my friend’s name Sue. Initially KOTSU was going to be a collaborative effort, but then Sue’s candle business (Kandle Co.) took off and the name stuck. In Japanese it can mean to hone a skill, so that seemed like a perfect name for a new venture.

How long have you been crafting?
I’ve always enjoyed art and making just seemed to go with it. I’ve made my own jewellery for as long as I can remember but I’ve been making with a view to selling since 2011.

Where does your inspiration come from?
As a child, I loved the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods and I think that has definitely influenced my love of line, form and strong positive and negative spaces. Sometimes I feel like my brain takes mental snapshots of all sorts of different things in real life and online and then after a week or so, spits out an idea that I then act upon! It’s often quite a sudden realisation of what to do next, or how a particular design should look. I also spend a lot of time experimenting with different materials, shapes, colours and textures. There’s a whole lot of process before the final product is released!

What do you love about what you do?
I really love the designing and making process. It’s exciting and cathartic in equal measure. Having a flash of inspiration and following it all the way to final production is a fantastic feeling, especially when others appreciate the results!

Where do you find time to craft?
The only times are when the kids are at Kindy or when they are asleep. I try to maintain a balance between mothering and crafting by limiting my work to those hours, although it doesn’t always happen!

Photo Credit - Jen from Utterly in Love

What’s next for you?
With Pandemonium, I’ve been working on some new colours for winter and some new necklace shapes, while also experimenting with different materials. KOTSU will have a new product out in time for the next Encraftment market in June and I’ve been playing with some new designs. The biggest thing I will be working on this year is getting a website up and running! It seems like such a huge task but I’m all about baby-steps this year and trying to work smarter not harder!


Tali has a shaped necklace of  your choice - either a circle, hexagon or square in either navy/gold, peach/gold, turquoise/gold or white/gold for one reader to win. Exciting!

To go into the draw tell me in the comments below which one you would like to win - simple!
- one comment per person
- you must live in New Zealand
- giveaway closes on Monday 28th April

For an extra entry head to the Pandemonium facebook page and have a look around, and click 'Like' while you are there.


- make sure there is some way for me to contact you! Leave an email, or have your name clickable to a profile or something.  If there is no way for me to reach you then I'll have to draw another entry!! This has happened previously, so I wouldn't like to do this and disappoint someone!

Images used with the kind permission of Tali Ingram