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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm Erin Hung, designer, maker and founder of stationery and lifestyle brand BerinMade. I'm also author to Paper Parties- a book containing 50 beautiful projects for every celebration. I believe that life is worth celebrating with our loved ones, and each party is made more special with personal, colourful touches.
Tell us a bit about the book?
My main love is paper, so you'll find paper projects in the book in a range of difficulties. Some crafts will be classics reinvented, such as our Nordic Christmas crackers; while others will be a fresh and fun combination of old techniques with new ideas, such as our Flower Power Party Poppers. Each project is styled in to 9 party settings too, so as to make sure my readers can take inspiration from party themes to colour schemes, and how to implement these practically into their celebrations without a hitch.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I am inspired by celebrations. Our company started as a wedding stationery design company, and we produced custom event stationery for our brides and grooms. I began to see that couples really loved to put their personal spin on wedding traditions and express that in their Big-day, and that this concept began to infiltrate their everyday lives after the wedding.
People really respond to creative, colourful ideas that can be made personal and not just replicated for the sake of it. I thought, a book packed full of ideas of how to make beautiful, functional party crafts presented as a timeless coffee table book would be a really resource to have!
Which is your favourite project?
The Flower Power Party popper is one of my favourites- it's so easy to make and packs a punch. It's just a very fun concept to have a flower pop out in confetti! It's very versatile too. You can change up the flower colours according to season, or even make a different kind of flower popper altogether. For Christmas, we made a Poinsettia version which was featured on Kirstie Allsopp's show Kirstie's Handmade Christmas on Channel 4, and it went down like a treat.
What is your craft space like?
Well, they are very different! My craft space is always messy. I'd really love to work on getting it tidy but find that it doesn't lend much to creativity! I am lucky enough to now lead a few crafters in our team to bring our ideas to life, and often our projects are worked on simultaneous to put together multiple projects at the same time. It's a lot of fun! We put on the music and just get our craft on while I oversee the creative vision. My writing space needs to be quiet- I mostly do writing at home, in the evenings, like right now after the work day is finished and my daughter's gone to bed.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I suppose so! I was the child staring out the window in the classroom. My parents called me a dreamer. As I got older, I learned to pick up skills to get myself organised, do my maths exams, learn about business and working in a commercial world. So yes, I was mainly creative but I would say that I've had to work hard at the non-creative things to get a business running.
When did you first start crafting?
Oh gosh, I wish I could remember the first thing I made but it was probably something unexciting from Kindergarten with loo rolls and paper plates like everyone else!
However, I can remember when the magic first happened and craft clicked into place for me. When I was planning my own wedding, I discovered that there were plenty of things that I could have made myself instead of buying, such as our photoprops, centrepieces, favours, etc. I realised that there was a scope to make design-led crafts look elegant and professional, and the results would be better than anything store bought because they are personal and well-made. That was really the starting point for me and how I put craft and design together.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Martha Stewart, without a doubt... I love how she's built an empire around lifestyle, incorporating things like home, decor, recipes, crafts, and just breathing life into these very traditionally drab areas with colour, trends and personality.
Where do you find inspiration?
We try to travel a lot to keep our perspective and eyes fresh... Last year, we went to Japan, China, Thailand, Macau, and with Cambodia missed off the list because I got pregnant! We look at nature, architecture, local culture and crafts, the colours people use. Of course, then we come back to consolidate them into moodboard and practical things we can make, the collections we can build. But there's certainly a starting point of seeing something with fresh eyes.
What's next for you?
We are looking forward to the arrival of our second baby in two weeks! Beyond that, you'll see a lot more projects and collaborations popping up over the course of the year, as well as our stationery and goodies being sold across the country in stores such as Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters. Watch this space!