handmade cans, handmade love, handmade glory

The map! The map is on fire!


The CBD map is heading to the design team.

I’m so excited.

Watch this space! Kate from The Power of the Pallets is helping out!! HOORAY!

ps We can take last minute nominations for businesses! Hit me on Small, quirky, local, funky, LOCAL!!


Guess what!!?

images (3)

TBC Designs has been asked to appear in another shop.

I’m so excited!

Is this how you feel when you get asked to stock the Can??


T x

FNQ Handmade Industry – Working Group INVITE!

So, we got to thinking after Friday night. Where to from here?

Well, we think it’s time to get real yo.


It’s time to take things to the next level. Second base.

So Rob Pyne,MP for Cairns, floated the idea of an industry association. And I thought, why the hell not!

With the handmade industry growing, getting more coverage, getting more skilled, we think it’s time to step it up. To work together. To use the power of many.

So let’s do this. Let’s create a FNQ Handmade Industry Association. 

A few advantages I can think of straight up –

Funding – for training, for industry development, for advertising.

Professional support – to drive our industry to be the best of the best. To implement best practice, to pop some guidelines in to support handmakers and handmake supporters.

Insurance – to lobby for a cheaper insurance rate for members.

Legitimacy – gone are the days when handmade was shabby.  It’s an economy now. A professional group of small/medium business people. Your business needs recognition. Your skills need recognition.

Events – to support each other around events, and work together to secure long term funding support for these.

Philanthropic support – to help keep handmade skilled, and the traditions for traditional arts alive. Everything old is new again!

You prolly have more. Join us and talk about it! 

Longdog Creations is coming on board to work the administrative side of this. We are going for the whole of FNQ – to mirror the footprint of the awards night.

You are welcome to join the working party. In fact – please do.

Meetings will be via skype so we can cover the distance. Participation will vary in time commitments – discussions will be fabulous! Let’s grow together.

HOWEVER if you plan to come in and be a knocker – don’t bother. This group is about building the movement – not destroying it. (So sad I have to say this – but after the behaviour of some in the last few days, I’m drawing a line in the sand and working where the energy is. You wanna be a hater – go hate elsewhere!!)

Find the starter group here – I just started it so it’s fresh!

Let’s do this. Let’s work together and build a legacy!




Well we did it! Well, Joey from Sweet Florence did it! The awards are done. People have cheered. We celebrated. We got dressed up.

Want to know who won? Find out here ….

We are looking for feedback for next’s years event. I’ve heard Joey is on the email working throught gathering the feedback together. Constructive comments welcomed!

I cannot rave enough about the great night I had! Steve from Lights and Things did too – word is it was the best night of his life. WTF. I’ve given birth for that man. Twice. And winning an awards was the best night?!?!


Anyhoo, moving on.

It’s the Christmas season madness starting soon. The shop is overflowing. I’d love for you to choose us to do your shopping and gift buying this year.

Ok! Back to the books



Hi nominees and guests!  Welcome to your all information FNQ Handmade Industry Awards email!
The purpose of this email to ensure you guys know exactly where to go, what time to be there, and some of the happenings of the night.  Squee!
Firstly….. about you.
At Sweet Florence, we love what you do.. that’s why you received a nomination!  Please equip yourself for the night to meet new people, network, and make new friends!  We are a community, and we want to value one another in the sense that we all love the handmade industry.  Lets unite and get to know one another!  Bring business cards and your passion for your craft!
Social Media
Lets really make the most of this night.  So many handmade businesses in one place! HASH TAG!!!  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter even Pinterest.  Do your thing and share with your followers!!
Hash tags to use on the night:
If it’s ok for us at Sweet Florence to use your social page images on our online profiles, please include #Sweetflorenceblog  in your posts.  We would love to share your businesses during and after the event 🙂
Wear handmade!
If you can.. wear something handmade!  Name drop when asked who you are wearing, this is our industry, let us be proud and show peeps why they should follow us and shop locally and handmade. Support your fellow creators and of course your biz too!
The press
I have done my ABSOLUTE best to invite as many local press entities as I possibly can.  Oasis magazine will be there with BIG BELLS on.  We have our own private photographer also who will be taking photos to showcase the night and winners and businesses for our blog.  I have invited all TV channels, newspapers and magazines – even the radio stations!  We don’t know who might turn up – it’s the nature of the beast.  The press release went out 6 weeks ago, and a follow up went at the start of this week.  So look amazing!  Practise your pose and be at the ready to look amazing.
The award winners
Well isn’t this just the best part?
If you are nominated, fee free to prepare a little bit of a speech.  It does not have to be long at all.  Be proud of what you have achieved.  We know how hard this industry can be  creative experimentation, hits and misses, time away from your kids, a reason to supplement the income.. we totally get it!  Be proud of what you do and own it.  We would love to hear a few words from you if you win the award.  Please don’t be shy, let us hear who has helped along the away and encouraged you to create great things.
Also, if you are nominated, and you can’t attend PLEASE nominate someone you know who is attending to receive the award on your behalf.  If there is no one, let me know at the very latest Friday morning.  It would be really sad not to be able to present it to someone.
Time!!!  The event starts at 7.30pm.  So PLEASE arrive between 7pm and 7.15pm….  the earlier, the better.  We want to give the press as much opportunity to photograph you at our media wall as we possible can.  This is where our photographers are stationed until the event starts.   You want the main entrance to the lobby/foyer at the Shangri-La on Pier point road.  You will see two handsome gentleman out the front with FNQ HIA signs.  Look for the thumb print!  They will direct you inside to the media wall – all guests get photographed.  Practise those poses friends!!!
Tanya and I will be at the wall so we can meet and greet everyone as you all arrive.  I can’t wait to put faces to names and businesses!  After your photo is taken, we will move you into the venue and you need to register at the registration table.
You will meet Sasha from Sweet Florence who will check your name off the guest list, and will wrist band you to ensure you can order from the bar.  Please do not take it off, or no more drinkies for you!  There is a selection of beers, wines and champagne on offer.
Also, you can enjoy a couple of deliciously prepared FNQ canapés.  I hope you love them as much as I know I will!
And we’re done!
Well, that’s a wrap for the night.  It’s so exciting, I can’t wait to share it all with you!  It’s been an absolute pleasure organising this for you all, I have been overwhelmed with the talent expressed in FNQ, I just can’t wait to write about it and share it with the public.
We at Sweet Florence are launching our first E Mag in November and the awards will feature heavily!  We have an exciting campaign in December that will showcase a few of your businesses ready for the silly season, and have been working on a large social media push campaign that involves you all.  Love the hash tag, love local business and LOVE HANDMADE!
Thank you for all your enthusiasm, encouragement and kind words.  I am so excited and I look forward to meeting you all.
Any questions, please feel free to contact me via email or Facebook 🙂
Thank you kindly,
Joey Pollington-Stepp
Sweet Florence The Australian Handmade Blog


One.more.sleep. One more fucking sleep! The hills are alive with the sounds of squealing. Excitement. 

The FNQ Handmade Industry Awards are here. Finally. Time to recognise the creative people in our handmade world. So under celebrated. So fantastic!

Joey from Sweet Florence has outdone herself. She saw the vision. She made the vision happen. She’s all about building you up. Taking everyone with her. Making things wow. 

I’m super excited. Super super excited.

We will try and keep you updated through the night if you can’t be there.

T x

ps I am back kinda. I’m still feral. Getting there. Will check emails soon.

You can lean on me.

So, in case you’ve missed it, I’ve had a little wee stack the last few weeks. I’ve dropped the ball a bit. I’ve lacked passion. I’ve lost focus.

Luckily, I am able to lean a little. Joe Hockey – fuck you – leaning is ok sometimes! Also – dodgy last speech. I so thought you’d be a good leader too. Not my leader of choice. That’s prolly Penny or Tanya. But a good enough right wing offering. Too bad the power broke you.

I digress. It seems I have fallen on my feet. My tribe has spoken. They booted me out of the shop and into the wilderness. To regroup and gather myself. To focus and refocus. And I’m ever so grateful.

The truth is, we can’t do it all. Not all the time anyways. And sometimes it’s all too much. And you just need to breath.

So I’ve breathed. I’ve turned 41. I’ve drunk cheap cocktails in the pool (seriously $7.60 vodka slushies thanks to the QT discount club thing). I’ve walked. I’ve beached. I’ve sunbaked (sorry to the people who saw….) We’ve laughed.

Now, I’m not through it all yet. I’m at the cranky stage. I’ve been a yelly cow the last two days. Bitch hell. I’ve moved every piece of furniture I could.. and mopped, scrubbed, reorganised. I’m not happy with the house yet. Or is that just a metaphor?

But then….

Something awesome just happened. Your Fitness has invited me in to train with them. Quite frankly, if you’ve known me for a while, you know there is no other gym for me than Your Fitness. I’ve tried them all. But I always come home to the lovely atmosphere, lovely change room, and great atmosphere at YF. I’m back there.. tomorrow for RPM. Watch this space. I’ve got some shocking before pics taken when my bro popped in the other day. Gross central. I’m keen for you to join me – I need to be accountable. Also, you can come sweat with me. If you are keen – let me know. I’ll see you there!

And I’m feeling loved. Very loved.

And now, I have a bed to make and the green arrow to walk.. We tried yesterday but neither little one was keen. Even to get carried up there. WTF. Kids!

Take this post as a thank you. And as an offer. If you need to lean, I’m here. The Can Fam are here. This is more than a business. It’s a journey. An exploration. And it’s beautiful.

T x

Did you know?!


Bones and Jones is at 47 Shields Street – 157 steps from Cairns Central. I counted.

We stock amazing handmade stock. Created by amazing people.

They are small business. They live in our community. You might know them!

We have great coffee! And cakes. And pies. All locally sourced!

We can host workshops/launches/staff meetings/stitch and bitches.

We hold events and workshops – check them out here.

We do great beauty (by Siv) on Monday and Friday by appointment.

Polly reads tarot in store on Friday. She is sweet, soft, and accurate. 

We offer small business support – though meetings, workshops and marketing assistance.

We are a great place to brainstorm – particularly if find a Can Fam in the house – they are full of good ideas. Don’t be strangers. 

We have a website

We have a blog

We are on facey at bonesnjones and handmadecans 

We are on insty too!!!

We are a small business, supporting small business. 

We only exist when you visit us. Your support means everything to us. 

Please think of us for gifts, festive season pressies, end of year teacher prizes.

From this week – Mrs Jones/Dapper Jones Kerri will be in on Wednesday – from 9 to 3, and Izbits World Siv in on Friday. Stevo works the machines on Saturday. He’s known to be the best barista in Cans 😉

My market tips – by the delightful, freaking awesome Siv!!!

I’ve stolen this post from Izbits World’s blog – have a read – but please click on the link so she gets the blog hits!!!!

My market tips

So I’ve been doing markets on and off since highschool. I also love going to markets and seeing what everyone is selling. I thought it has been long enough that I could probably do a blog on my tip and tricks to market success from both sides.

I’m not saying I’m the guru of markets but this is my observation of things that can work.

As a market shopper, I hate when a stall looks too cluttered. Huge looming racks of 1000s of clothes squished into a small space scares me. I want to see what I’m buying and if there is too much then I dont go in. I will walk away and find someone else with a brighter less looming stall. I am in no way saying you can’t take a billion items of clothing. Just buy a bigger stall. Or rotate your stock. Dont take summer stock if the weather is still too cold. Have a few items then anyone interested can be pointed to your facebook or website. I have a bunch of shorts from last year that I havent taken as it has been colder. I also have a bunch of long sleeved things its probably a little too warm for.


Stock rotation is also a great one. I dont expect the same stuff every time I walk into a mass produced store, I expect it even less in handmade. You are in charge of your stock, You know what is selling, whats a hit, whats a miss. You can cater your brand towards that. You should see as the seasons change your stock will move differently. This I find doubly important for stocking markets. If I go to a stall a few times and they have exactly the same stuff I stop going to look. If there is one or two dresses new amongst all the old stuff, I dont go to check. I dont really notice. I like when there is something amazing and new out the front and obvious.

Dont sit/play on the phone/read a book. If I walk up to a stall I want to be able to see the stall person, talk to them, know them and buy from THEM. I want my money going to someone who is freakin excited about being there and what they make. I want to make friends with the person (in that clubbing toilet friend way. when you help each other and are best friends for the 15 mins you are both cuing for the toilet.) I see too many people hiding amongst their wares or they start to get disinterested and then as a shopper I get disinterested.

BE YOUR BRAND. if you make clothes, wear them. headbands? wear them. jewelery? load your body! if your product isnt good enough for you it isnt good enough for me.

Dont follow trends. There is a fine line you need to tred. You can do things that are “on trend” at the moment its floral and vintage. I dont really do either, it isnt my style. I pull out a few things now and then but mostly stick to my style. I dont want to build a following that I dont want. Im not going to make lots of floral or pleated/puckered things so I dont want customers who are into that. I want my customer base to be into the same things I am. I follow businesses that are catering to what *I* want. If every handcrafter makes the same floral things I will be sad and my children naked.


Think like a shop. Set up your stall like a shop. Know your tastes/brand/style and work with it. Dont fight it to be “cool” embrace whatever makes you YOU and your work unique. Even if the person visiting is another market stallholder be bright, bubbly, say you are having an amazing day. Didnt do many sales? thats a shame. what else went awesome? For me I focus on the fact I’m out of the house and dont have my kids. I love them both but I must admit it makes for an amazing day when I can sit and eat breakfast on my own without anyone else poking me in the eye or spitting half chewed weetbox into my hand. before the market starts my day is made and i treasure my monthly quiet meal. Financial ups/downs aside. A bacon and egg roll is pretty much good enough reason for me to do markets.


makeup! you dont need to look like a model. we all know markets are crazy early starts. I also know advertsing photoshops everything and now I know male undie models have a slice of bread down their pants to add bulk and hide what they obviously have in their pants. None of these actual facts make me  believe the lies any less. that girl modeling the shoes and bag is really that thin and pretty. that undie guy really has a package that bulky and you do really look that refreshed and excited to sell me things.

I’m sure I can think of other things but now I need to go and have handfulls of chewed up breakfast given to me. (see how little things can be a days high light)

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