In this age of social media, the concept of handmade or do-it-yourself (DIY) has steadfastly become a part of mainstream culture. It is often the cute and the kitschy that catches the eye and this trend is not lost on the sultanate.
With tutorials being readily available online, an individual can learn any skill under the sun with just a mere touch of a button, giving rise to a new generation of crafters that are ready to flood your feed with everything that is darling.
ScarletCJnA: The Charm Crafter
Sabrina Mohd Daud, sits on a desk in a corner of her home, amidst an array of craft supplies, painting delicate roses on the small pieces of brightly-colored polymer clay, molding and shaping her business: Scarlet Charms Jewelry and Accessories (ScarletCJnA).
Whether they are crafted into flowers, geometrics-shapes, or cute animal characters, she will put her heart and soul into every piece that she makes.
ScarletCJnA began in 2014 out of a hobby of creating intricate and dainty pieces of jewellery from polymer clay. The name of her jewelry brand originated from her love for the colour red and roses.
The self-taught artist has always enjoyed creating handcrafted goods but had never thought of turning her jewellery-making hobby into a business until she sold her first piece in late 2014.
“My first customer was my uncle who wanted me to create a customised gift for his then fiancé. He requested a macaron-shaped keychain with their initials. They loved it and from then on, I received requests from my friends and family,” she shared.
The 26-year-old is also a part-time tuition teacher. Coming from a family of teachers, she said she grew up constantly wanting to learn and teach new things.
Sabrina learned jewelry-making techniques through social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube serving as a source of inspiration for her.
Sabrina graduated with a degree in science and math from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) but for her, art has always been an important part of her life.
The mother-of-two loves the idea of creating something artistic and creative — but also wearable.
“I wanted to combine my love for painting and fashion together. That’s when I found out about polymer clay materials,” she shared.
Whether you prefer earrings, necklaces or bracelets, we’ve found something for every jewelry lover out there.
Her crafts are not limited to just jewelry. One of her favourite memorable pieces was a challenging and intricate bridal headdress.
“It took me two weeks to complete it — the longest so far. It was time-consuming because there were a lot of tiny details and twisting of wires that go into it but it was worth it,” she said.
According to her, every aspect of jewellery-making is done from scratch, from the rolling, cutting and baking of polymer clay to the wire wrapping.
As her own teacher, she shared that during the creation process there have been some trials and errors, but she has learned a lot from it.
The 26-year-old does everything herself, aside from asking her husband to help her with the delivery.
As for future plans, Sabrina said she plans to expand the business by exploring different types of jewelry and accessories. She also plans on conducting crafting workshops in the future.
“Not only do I want to create but I also want to share my knowledge with others out there,” she said.
Bubelephant: One stitch at a time
Insert the hook into stitch, wrap the yarn over and pull, these are the three steps Halima Syahani would always have in mind while crocheting adorable Pokemon characters.
A year ago, the 21-year-old barely knew how to hold a crochet hook, that was until she came across tutorial videos on YouTube and was immediately hooked.
“I started experimenting with different patterns and designs every day. My first complete creation was a crochet beanie,” she said.
Halima, who is also studying Software Engineering at Laksamana College of Business shared that she loves the process of crocheting because it is very relaxing and also meditative.
“The repeating patterns calms me down,” she added.
Halimah was later challenged by her mother to create a ‘Chinese doll’ out of crochet, which is where she explored amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting.
Putting her crocheting skills to the test, she started off by creating a ‘magic circle’ which slowly formed into a head, arms and a whole body.
“My first ever amigurumi is Baby Yoda from the Mandalorian”, she said, combining her passion for crocheting with her love of science fiction.
When asked about the favourite part of the crocheting, she said: “I love putting the eyes as the finishing touch.”
What started as nothing more than a hobby for the 21-year-old, now turned into a budding crocheting business.
In 2019, Halima started her first crochet business @bubelephant on Instagram where she has been making customised designs for commissioned orders.
Halimah also experiments with new designs and patterns every day. From start to finish, it takes Halima about two to three hours, depending on the size and design.
“The biggest Amigurumi so far I have made is around 60 to 75 centimetres tall,” she said.
According to Halima, last year she received almost 200 amigurumi orders. “This year, in January, I have already received 132 orders,” she added.
The budding crochet artist also shared that every business presents its own challenges; something that she is still learning.
Halimah shared that she has dealt with customers changing their minds post ordering.
“Sometimes customers would change the order or cancel it last-minute without acknowledging the effort and time that goes into details,” she added.
As for future plans, with Bubelephant slowly growing, Halima is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store where she could not only display different types of crochet for customers to see up-close and touch but also for her to share her love of crochet and conduct workshops.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN