Archive of ‘Canberra’ category

8 Canberra food blogger’s advice for eating your way through the National Multicultural Festival

8 Canberra food bloggers advice for eating your way through the National Multicultural Festival

There is only three more sleeps until the National Multicultural Festival is on again.  As per usual the food program will kick off at 4pm on Friday afternoon (the 17th) and continue until 5pm on Sunday.

After attending a number of Multicultural Festival’s I know that the KEY to an enjoyable time is planning ahead. Half of Canberra will be there wanting their fix of German beer and chips on a stick so be prepared. Last year I had a list of where I wanted to eat and a map printed with the locations highlighted (map available here). Having a game plan makes the Multicultural Festival a lot less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

So more importantly where should you eat? Well for that I turned to Canberra’s food bloggers to get you the very best advice!

The meat and rice pilaf from the Iranian Food stall. I found that the spices and herbs like saffron, parsley, dried pomegranate and dried lime in their dishes offered a different and unique taste. The meat was also very tender. – Rose from Travel and Beyond 

Hungarian Lángos will be available at the National Multicultural Festival at the Gyongyosbokreta Dance Group stall. Lángos is the quintessential Magyar street food: luscious, deep fried bread dough brushed with crushed garlic and sprinkled with salt and shredded cheese (the recipe for Lángos is in my new book available on my website and selected Canberra bookstores). I also love the Middle Eastern stalls, with their complimentary stuffed dates, peppermint tea, strong brewed coffee and exquisite sweets. – Liz from Good Things

If you were even questioning getting the Lángos…

The Hungarian stand hands down. Every year they are the first stall I look for. Lángos is delicious and their sausages are fantastic. Always my favourite pick for the festival! – Kristy from Tales of a Confectionist 

Basically DO NOT under any circumstances skip the Lángos!

The Sicilian Tent’s ricotta cannoli and the sfogliatelli. And from Latin America, Arepas washed down with a non-alcoholic Guarana Kuat from Brazil. – So Frank Social 

The Taiwanese Association of Canberra Australia stall will be serving Taiwan beer and Taiwanese non alcoholic beverages, fried chicken and hot chips with plum powder. I also recommend trying the ‘Otai’ – a refreshing Tongan drink with coconut cream/milk, pineapple pieces, watermelon pieces, sugar and water. So delicious and usually only $5 per cup. –  Eileen from The Food Avenue

My favourite part of the festival is the amazing variety of BBQ and the exotic foreign beer. – Elias from CBR Foodie

As a vegetarian, I always love the Nepalese momos. Plus drinking cocktails straight from any sort of hollowed out fruit – coconuts, pineapples, all of the above. Super kitsch, but I love it. – Bec from Inexplicable Wanderlust 

Loukoumades from the Greek ladies are always on my ‘must have’ list! – Lisa from My Capital Plate

I would love to hear what your favourite National Multicultural Festival food stall is in the comments below!

Photo credit: ACT Government 

10 reasons to go to The Commons Street Feast

Commons Street Feast

The time has finally come, The Commons Street Feast is currently happening in Commonwealth Park until the 18th of December. I went Friday night and headed back again this afternoon, for you know, research purposes! This festival is honestly such a treat, the food of course is amazing but the atmosphere and space is also spot on. So if you are anything like me you don’t need a reason to check out a food festival but just in case my ten reasons you should go…

  1. There is plenty of seating! One thing I hate about some food festivals (cough the Multicultural Festival) is there is absolutely no where to sit and you have to try and juggle your food and drinks while somehow trying not to lose the people you went with. There are loads of picnic tables as well as space for your own picnic blanket.Commons Street Feast
  2. Mary’s Burgers. Enough said. If you haven’t had one before drop EVERYTHING and go immediately to Commonwealth Park and have two. I personally prefer the Mary’s Burger over the cheeseburger.
  3. Happy as Larry Margherita pizza, simple and delicious, sweet tomato base and the perfect cheese ratio.Commons Street Feast
  4. Lines and crowds (from my experience) are completely under control the longest we lined up was less then 5 minutes. There is a really relaxed atmosphere.
  5. BBQ’d meats there is absolutely no shortage of BBQ’d meats but I am hanging out for a bucket of ribs from The One.Commons Street Feast
  6. You can hire a butler! Even though the lines aren’t long if you want to completely treat yourself you can hire a butler for $50p/h who can order and deliver all your meals for you. They are also happy to pose for your Instagram photos which we all know is very important.
  7. They’re dog friendly! I am a crazy dog lady so the fact that the Commons is open to our four legged friends on Sunday the 18th, don’t even mention the costume competition, gets a big thumbs up from me.Commons Street Feast
  8. Pialligo Estate cheese and meat plates, oh em gee the blue cheese is out of this world and while you are there you muse well get a wine from the Rogue Wine Caravan.
  9. The homemade chocolate brownie and passionfruit slice from The Grace Caravan, yum yum if you are a cake fan.
    Commons Street Feast
  10. Ok, ok it has to be Messina, my favourite flavour is the American Chow Down, drool peanut butter!

Tell me have you been to the Commons Street Feast yet? Let me know what your favourite food was in the comments below.

*I attended the media launch of the Commons Street Feast on Friday 9 December – all opinions are my own.

Three tried and tested Canberra truffle experiences

There is only one month left of the Canberra truffle season, so many truffles, so little time (and money). Don’t worry though I have done some of the “hard work” for you and tried and tested three very different but unique Canberra truffle experiences to make your choice a whole lot easier. Even better all three restaurants featured source their truffles from right here in Canberra from Jason at The Truffle Farm Canberra.

Three tried and tested canberra truffle experiences

Trevs @ Dickson


I have been a fan of Trev’s “Taste Collective” for a long time (you can read previous posts here and here) so a visit to try the truffle based spin on the popular breakfast menu was a no brainer. What is the Taste Collective exactly? It is basically a breakfast tasting plate, no need to choose between sweet and savoury as you get a little bit of each. The Truffle Collective is obviously supercharged with Canberra truffles!

The Truffle Collective includes a porcini brioche slider slathered with truffle butter, truffled spinach eggs benedict and to finish truffled honey french toast. You also get a freshly squeezed juice of the day to wash it all down. Every element of the Truffle Collective was delicious but a week later I am still thinking about the porcini brioche. Mushrooms with truffle and butter really is the perfect combination.

The best thing is that Trev’s Truffle Collective is a super affordable way to take part in the Canberra Truffle Festival – the Truffle Collective is a very reasonable $25 which I personally belivee is great value for everything you get.

The Truffle Collective is available for weekday breakfast and weekend brunch.

Three tried and tested canberra truffle experiencesHelix Bar & Dining, Vibe Hotel


Forget what you know about restaurants in airport hotels; Helix Bar and Dining is modern and sleek with warm and hospitable staff and most importantly good food. Helix Bar and Dining changes the truffle menu every two weeks throughout the Canberra truffle season to compliment locally available produce. When we visited the standout dish for me was the truffle and artichoke soup ($21) – the two ingredients complimented each other perfectly in the creamy soup served in a flakey, fresh cob loaf. It just shows that simple is sometimes best!

The truffle menu is available from 6pm daily.

Three tried and tested canberra truffle experiences buvette2

Buvette, Bistro and Wine Bar


Buvette is quickly becoming one of my favourite Canberra restaurants and the truffle dinner only went on to further cement my love affair. I love the fresh and modern fit out, the friendly staff but also that their is a really relaxed, fun atmosphere despite being a top notch restaurant. The standout dishes from the truffle menu were the Double baked comte soufflé & truffle ($30) and the Warm cremeux D’argental, truffle, sourdourgh ($20). Can you tell I like cheese and truffle?

I highly recommend going with a friend and sharing the four options if you want to taste a little bit of everything. You can even try a truffle Bloody Mary- while I am not the biggest fan of Bloody Marys I could appreciate the earthiness of the truffle with the traditional Bloody Mary flavours, still not quite converted though.

The truffle menu is available from 6.30 – 9.30pm every Tuesday to Saturday evening.

*I ate as a guest of these restaurants, all opinions and recommendations are my own. 

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

Now that I work for myself on Thursdays I have a little more flexibility with my routine. This includes the ability to take the occasional midweek road trip with my best #ladyboss friend Zoe. Last week, despite the rain, we decided to drive out to Collector to try Some Cafe. Some Cafe only opened five months ago but has already been appearing all over social media. Some Cafe has been very clever and positioned itself as the perfect stop-off on the way between Canberra and Sydney. With no Sydney trips in the near future we took matters into our own hands and made a special trip.

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

Some cafe is open Thursday to Sunday which makes the most of the weekend traffic. The cafe is well signposted, you would struggle to miss it as you get to Collector, just off the Federal Highway, about 50kms out of Canberra. The Cafe is beautiful, light and bright and we were warmly welcomed by owner Oliver. A counter full of baked goods, is at the front of the cafe and a row of chairs and tables line the other wall. The small kitchen can be seen through a window next to the dining space. There is also a larger room out the back that would be beautiful for functions.

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

The menu is small so that it can change regularly to accomodate local produce that is in season. We shared a cheese,tomato and ham toastie on sourdough with a pickle on the side. For our sweet tooth we shared the waffles with strawberries and ice cream. The food was simple but delicious. You could tell that high quality ingredients had been used. For example the ham on our sandwich was thickly cut leg ham and the sourdough bread was thick, crispy and fresh. Also our waffles weren’t sickeningly sweet, just the right amount of maple syrup and ice cream was used. Our chai and coffee was also spot on (they have Bonsoy so get a double thumbs up from me). I didn’t take note of the individual prices of our meals but it was about $30 for two hot drinks and our meals, definitely country prices!

A weekend roadtrip, Some Cafe, Collector

We couldn’t leave without grabbing a brownie for the road, the cake cabinet was just too tempting! Some Cafe is a beautiful modern cafe with country charm in the small town of Collector that I will definitely be stopping back at next time we are travelling to Sydney… or just next time a midweek mini road trip is needed.

Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

On a cool and cloudy Canberra afternoon I made my way out to Tanbella Orchard in Pialligo for the very first Harvest Society event. As we arrived at the Orchard we were greeted with sparkling apple juice by the two vibrant creative’s behind the Harvest Society, Lean and Kate. It was hard to believe we were only minutes from the city as the apple orchard rolled out in front of us. I love that after living in Canberra for ten years there are still places I don’t even know about.

The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

We received a linen bag, handmade by Kate to go and pick our apples. Tanbella is the only orchard in Canberra where you can pick your own apples. Rachi, Bec and I had a great time choosing our apples, taking numerous photos and then weighing our apples at the beautifully styled weighing station.

The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

It was then time to feast on the beautiful picnic set amongst the apple trees. Toffee apples, beautiful cheese from the Essential Ingredient, fresh breads, a delicious fig spread and not to mention radishes topped with butter and sea salt. As we ate delicious food, we had great conversations about current life, future plans and connected over important things like Instagram and Snapchat. As the rain started to settle in it was time to go but not without  vowing to return for the next Harvest Society event.

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The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

I am so excited for the many more future Harvest Society events the ethos of which is to gather ‘creatively diverse yet like-hearted individuals together for beautiful, seasonal and immersive events in celebration of our local harvests.’ It is often hard to find ways to connect with like minded people and the Harvest Society provides the perfect opportunity to do just that whilst also enjoying seasonal produce in a beautiful location. I love watching the Canberra creative community to continue to grow!

The Harvest Society, Autumn in the Orchard

If you want to find out about the next Harvest Society event you can email hello@harvestsociety.com.au to be added to their mailing list.

Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar’s Petite Feast, Barton

Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar's Petite Feast, Barton

A few weeks ago I was invited to try Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar’s ‘Petit Feast’. at The Petit Feast takes place on Saturday’s between 11.30am and 2.30pm. For $65p/p you receive two courses, a selection of savoury followed by sweet treats and a glass of rose.

Buvette is located under Hotel Realm in Barton. The fit out of Buvette is sleek, white and bright with tables on the outside lined up against the windows so you are looking out onto the street, ala Paris. I can definitely imagine spring days being spent out on that balcony with a glass of sparkling watching the afternoon pass by. Despite the sleekness of the fit out the atmosphere at Buvette is relaxed – there was a mix of diners including families with young children, couples and groups of friends eating.

Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar's Petite Feast, Barton

On arrival we were served a glass of Mount Majura Vineyard Rose. Despite not being a huge Rose drinker I have to admit this was the perfect wine to have over lunch, light and fruity. To start we were served two natural oysters – Brendan doesn’t like oysters so I was able to have them both to myself. They were fresh and salty, a perfect start. The oysters were followed by the arrival of our first course, the savoury board. The board included numerous pastries, including quiches, meat pies and finger sandwiches that are made on site at Buvette. There was also charcuterie, cheese and olives that came from a range of locations both national and international.  The serving was extremely generous and everything was fresh and presented beautifully. We are both savoury people and impressively nearly finished the whole plate.

Following our first course was the important decision of whether or not to have another drink? The bottomless mimosas ($15) were definitely tempting however we decided that a glass of sparkling would be the perfect accompaniment to our sweets course.

Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar's Petite Feast, Barton

Our sweets course included a selection of 8 mini desserts each. They were presented beautifully and it took me a few minutes to decide what to try first. The desserts included mini tartlets, profiteroles, friands, macaroons, tiramisu (my favourite) scones and chocolate tartlets.

The only thing I would change about the experience is that while the number of cakes is impressive and makes for beautiful photos, there is probably too much. I was saddened to look around and see all the wasted food people were leaving (I took our leftovers in a doggie bag). Instead maybe asking people what four (five?) cakes they would like to try would go some way to lessening the amount of waste and would still look beautiful and be very good value in my eyes.  Otherwise encouraging people to take away their leftovers would be another great way to minimise wastage.

‘Petit Feast’ at Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar was an indulgent afternoon that I cannot wait to spoil friends or family with in the future. The food was plentiful and of extremely high quality, I was extremely impressed with the service and the attention to detail.

*Brendan and I dined as guests of Buvette, opinions are my own.

Murrumbateman Village Market

Murrumbateman village market www.thegirlhassparke.comMurrumbateman village market www.thegirlhassparke.com

Murrumbateman village market www.thegirlhassparke.com

Murrumbateman village market www.thegirlhassparke.com

Murrumbateman markets www.thegirlhassparke.com

Murrumbateman markets www.thegirlhassparke.com

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Murrumbateman markets www.thegirlhassparke.com

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Is there anything better then waking up on a Saturday morning and heading to the farmers markets? The smell of fresh coffee and baked goods welcomes you, people are friendly and up for chat plus all that fresh, yummy produce! I always leave the markets feeling like I have accomplished something before the weekend has barely begun.

A couple of months ago I headed out to the Murrumbateman Village Market and then back again this weekend. Despite living in Canberra for eight years I had never been before and now that I have discovered how sweet the markets are I am kicking myself for not going sooner.

The Murrumbateman Village Market were established to provide and support a viable and self-sufficient market that provides fresh produce and local handicrafts, art work and quality goods to the Murrumbateman community as well as an opportunity for local and regional suppliers and local community groups and to come together to sell their wares and provide information in a community environment.

The markets are obviously smaller than the markets in Canberra but still packed full of fresh produce and all the other bits and pieces you expect from a market stall. The bonus of being smaller is that the crowds are also smaller and you can get around the markets easily and quickly. There is fresh eggs, bread, pastries, wine, all the good things you would expect from a farmers market. There is also a great little juice van, Juicie Lucie that serves fresh juices but since it was so cold this weekend we got a yummy real chai and kicked ourselves for already eating breakfast as they were serving porridge and hot soup, plus another stall had fresh belgian waffles… obviously we will go back next time prepared to eat!

One of my favourite things about the market is the community stall where people can bring in produce they have grown and swap it for produce that they need. How great is that? It is elements like this that drive the feeling of community at the markets as well as the fact that every stall holder is willing to chat to you about their produce and stock, or just about anything really.

Be warned though you need to take cash. The ATM at the Murrumbateman store was out of action when we visited and the pub was closed so go prepared as there is definitely lots you will want to buy!

The essentials:
The markets are held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month from 9am – 1pm.
Murrumbateman Showground, Barton Hwy, Murrumbateman

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

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Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

IMG_0183 Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com

Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.com Capital Wines Epicurean Centre www.thegirlhassparke.comI clearly remember the first time I ate at Grazing. It was nearly four years ago. My friends and I had just completed our “play at home” version of My Kitchen Rules and the winner got to decide where they wanted to be taken for a celebratory dinner. Their choice, Grazing in Gundaroo. This was a time when most of us were uni students or starting our first post grad jobs – we had little money and were more accustom to two minute noodles then fine dining.

When we arrived at Grazing we got our own private little room (Grazing is located in the old Royal Hotel so is a little rabbit warrenish) and being the middle of winter the fireplace was roaring. We drank good wine, ate amazing food and were treated like royalty. The whole night is such a warm memory (pun intended) and to be honest probably the start of my obsession with food.

When I got the opportunity, in March to head back out to Grazing and check out the Capital Wines Epicurean Centre nestled behind the old hotel, I jumped at the opportunity. The Epicurean Centre is set at the back of Grazing and works as the cellar door for the Kyeema Vineyard located just outside of Murrumbateman. The thing that sets the cellar door apart from others is that you can not only taste the wine but also opt for a epicurean tasting which includes four matching plates to accompany your wine tasting for $40.

On the day we visited we received a deliciously fresh caprese salad (made with tomatoes and basil, fresh from the chefs garden, that you are free to walk around), a scrumptious pork belly, then my favourite dish a Bungendore smoked cutlet with a creamy Doodles Creek (yes you read that correctly) mayo and finished with a Bungendore chorizo. All the food was modish and full of fresh flavours, a tasting of what is on offer at Grazing. The stand out wine for me was “The Whip” riesling from the Ministry Series, so refreshing, crisp and clean as well as affordable at $19 a bottle.

The epicurean tasting brings together two of my favourite things, food and wine, whilst also getting to learn about Canberra region produce (get me some of that Bungendore Doodles creek mayonnaise ASAP) in a gorgeous setting. Seriously how often can you literally be eating out whilst looking at the exact place the produce on your plate has come from?

I enjoyed my experience so much I took friends back two weeks later so we could sit on the balcony, enjoy some beautiful wine and test out the cafe menu. The cafe menu is good but you really cannot beat the value and experience of the epicurean tasting, I look forward to sharing it with many friends and family in the future.

I enjoyed the Epicurean Tasting compliments of Capital Wines and Yass Valley Tourism as always opinions are my own.

 

Canberra Centenary Trail challenge – Section 3 and 4

canberra centenary trail_ www.thegirlhassparke.com

I am definitely not the fittest person but there is one thing I am good at and that is walking. Give me a good pair of shoes, a bottle of water and I will walk from dawn to dusk. This year, in an effort to push myself physically and to see more of the ACT, I have decided to try and walk the entire Canberra Centenary Trail by the end of the year. The trail is 145kms and broken into seven sections – the plan is to complete a section every six weeks. I managed to coax some friends into joining me and so far we are having an absolute ball – discovering places we never knew existed as well as seeing our home town in a completely different way. We started at section three and are making our way around the trail anti-clockwise.

canberra centenary trail_ www.thegirlhassparke.com

Section 3 Forde to Hall (completed 22 February 2015)

We started section three from the car park on Mulligans Flat Road. We entered straight into North Mulligans Flat (the side where you park). As you enter the Flat you head straight up to the top of the hill. Technically you are not on the trail here but at the top there is a gate to your left as well as a path leading to the right – go through the gate, you are then on the track. If you head right you do a loop back around to the car park adding three kilometres to the walk (two of our friends who separated from our group accidently did this).

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From here the path is well signposted as you make your way along the track. You head over the top of Oak Hill and into the Northern Border Campsite before making our way to One Tree Hill. To be honest the scenery is pretty similar the whole way along the 16kms – mainly bushland with the occasional view of Canberra from the higher points. Despite this it is an enjoyable walk and a side to Canberra I hadn’t experienced. The terrain can be pretty tough in some places with pretty steep inclines but achievable for people with moderate fitness if they take it slow and steady.

We went on a particularly hot day and by the end we were pretty pooped, most of us skipped the walk up One Tree Hill but I plan to go back and do it from Hall one day (about a 9km round trip). It took us four hours all up with a break for snacks and a toilet stop at the campsite. By the end we felt as though we well and truly deserved our burger and cider at the Wood Duck Inn.

canberra centenary trail_ www.thegirlhassparke.com

Section 4 Hall to Black Mountain (completed 4 May 2015)

We are back at Hall again but this time doing a 19km walk to Black Mountain. This route is far more urban than section three as we make our way through Hall, Gold Creek and into the Belconnen town Centre. If you had a whole day you could make this a little foodie hike (Hall Markets, Adore Tea in Gold Creek, a cocktail and cup cake on Lake Ginninderra before lunch in O’Connor) but we are on a mission and power past all the yummy options and instead enjoy the beautiful Autumn day we have been given.

The path is extremely flat until we make a wrong turn on College Street in Bruce and walk straight up the side of Gossan Nature Park – we should have went further up College Street and turned at a different point but the signs were a bit confusing on this section. We manage to get back onto the track at Heydon drive and over to CIT but then manage to get lost again going from CIT to Bruce Ridge. We end up hiking our own way across the ridge and once again manage to get back on the path at Dryandra Street. We then call it a day and head down to The Duxton in O’Connor to celebrate again with burgers and cider.

http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/attraction/canberra-centenary-trail

http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/attraction/canberra-centenary-trail

Despite walking an extra 3 kilometres this walk seemed much easier then section three. It takes us a little under four hours to complete the 19kms. The track is generally flat the whole way, weather conditions were near perfect and because I could see familiar landmarks I could gauge where I was and how far there was to go. This walk suits all fitness levels and if 19km is a bit overwhelming for you then you can easily break it down into smaller parts.

http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/attraction/canberra-centenary-trail

Next up is section 5, Black Mountain to Stromlo – I think it is going to be a tough one! If you want to do part of the track yourself, check out Visit Canberra or the TAMS website for more information or other things to do in Canberra.

Independent business spotlight: Little Papeterie

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

I have always had an obsession with beautiful stationery. My first blog, Time after Tea, was predominately focused on letter writing and stationery and despite the fact my hobbies have changed over the years my obsession with perfectly curated pieces of paper has remained. So when Canberra based Little Papeterie (papeterie is french for stationery) appeared on my instagram account a few months ago I knew I had to meet my stationery soul sister behind the brand and Intan was happy to oblige me by answering a few questions about designing her products and being an online retailer.

 

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

The Inspiration

I don’t have any formal design or art related qualifications. I find inspiration for my designs from things that I like to see as well as from the people around me whether it’s friends, family or social media. I am particularly drawn towards chic and clean design.

My product design usually starts from wanting something specific, for example, creating the meal planner to fit the needs of my family.

I’m a “lister” so naturally I also like my meals to be pre-planned and plus it reduces the headache of having to think each day of what to cook (haha). So I went ahead and design something functional for my home.

 

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

The design process

I don’t always follow the same process. Once I come up with the first draft, I normally distribute that to friends and family to get feedback, which I use to refine the design. Then I print a few samples so I can test the product myself. Usually I will also give some samples to my close friends so they can also test the product. Once I’m happy, I finalise the design and send it to the printers.

 

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

Social media

My experience of social media is mostly with Instagram. It is a great tool for small businesses to use to build their brand. I’m lucky to be starting now because it is easier to get your name out there compared to years ago. Of course, it’s still a lot of work. You have to be really diligent. For example, you need to make sure you upload enough photos, but not too much that you’re spamming and to make sure you use the correct hashtags to reach the right audience.

Social media is also an effective tool to encourage feedback from real people. When you’re building a business and creating products, you need that unbiased opinion. I just love Instagram and its sense of community. Everyone is so nice and encouraging, and you become friends with these people even though you’ve never met most of them in person.

 

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

 The  Business

The best thing about starting an online store is that it’s flexible. You can start small and do everything from home. The hardest thing about starting an online store is actually getting started. It can get pretty overwhelming especially if you’ve never done it before. You just don’t know where to start and what to focus on first. Sometimes you find yourself focusing on the wrong thing but not realising it until later on.

I find that when you’ve been working on something for awhile, sometimes you need to take a break. Otherwise, you could potentially slow things down. For example, when I was designing and putting together my online store, I spent a lot of time on it and worked non-stop that in the end I kept changing my mind, which actually stopped me from launching the site.

 

little papeterie thre

The Future

Product development is definitely my main focus this year. I’d like to introduce more stationery items but not limit myself to just that. So perhaps you’ll see new Little Papeterie products in the future that are not stationery but still closely related to it.

 

Little Papeterie www.thegirlhassparke.com

Advice

Be determined and don’t give up. There are times when I don’t believe in myself and want to give up. It is then I remind myself (or a lot of the times my husband has to) why I started this in the first place – for fun. Also, talking to people is very important. Often when I need design advice or just someone to run my ideas by, I talk to my good friend, Daniel from Made From Good Deeds. I find it really helpful, not only because of his background as a graphic designer but also because he’s on the same boat as me, a small online business owner. It’s great to be surrounded by this kind of people because you can bounce ideas off each other, and after each catch-up, I normally go home feeling encouraged and full of ideas.

You can find the Little Paperterie store here and also on instagram and Facebook.

All photos are from Little Papeterie.

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