Meet Eleta – the owner and creator of The Bunny, purveyor of fine handmade goodies that have a hint of quirkiness and individuality, achieved by using a clever mix of vintage and new elements. This online store (and now real-life summer market stall) was established in early 2011 and has already started making a ripple amongst Perth’s fashion and accessory lovers. I came across The Bunny at the Illuminites Night Market just before Christmas and was immediately drawn to its girly yet playful aesthetic made fashion forward with its bold pops of neon colours and inclusion of difficult to find objects such as unusual collar tips and Fifi Lapin pendants.
I got the chance to find out more about the lovely lady behind the concept – how things all began, what motivates and inspires her. It was so much more than an interview, we ended up chatting and I shared just as much with her about my dreams and aspirations as she did with me. I was truly inspired by this young woman who has built a small business upon her natural gift for finding and making beautiful things, an almost entirely instinctive business sense, and an underlying and big-hearted desire to share her good fortune with others. Take note! The Bunny donates 10% of all its proceeds to charities and causes it supports (thusfar, Oxfam, Unicef and Zonta) – an admirable venture indeed.
So! How did The Bunny concept all start? What inspired/motivated you?
Well, it really all started off at a very young age – in fact, at the age of ten when a friend and I started making friendship bracelets and realised we could sell them and make money! (Sarah: Wow, such business acumen at a tender young age!) Hahaha…Really I’ve always enjoyed making and creating things with my hands for as long as I can remember, and have always been fascinated by fashion and trends. I don’t have a particular muse or style icon, but glean a lot of inspiration from travelling and people-watching – I collect so many trinkets, fabrics and vintage what-nots during my trips, and love coming home and creating something new with them. So the natural marriage of all these things resulted in creating my own accessories, and ultimately into starting up my own online store!
It hasn’t always been this way. I actually have a background in teaching and taught specifically in the area of special needs kids back home in Singapore. I loved it and found it very fulfilling. But when I moved to Perth after getting married, none of my certificates were recognised and I found myself very bored and idle. So I started doing what I know and love best, i.e. making jewellery, and I made more and more until I was almost drowning in it! Naturally then came the idea of selling it – and the rest is history!
What’s it like owning a small business? Highlights/lowlights?
I don’t actually have any formal business training so actually everything I’ve done so far is pretty much based on gut instinct and, of course, trial and error. So far so good! A highlight has really got to be the recent Illuminites Night Market that was held in Northbridge. Sales were really successful (S: They were! The stall was swarming with excited ladies and I had to fight my way through!) and such an encouragement for me. I’m looking forward to setting up more stalls in the future!
In terms of lowlights, there haven’t been too many, but I did go through a slight rough patch with my husband when I was just getting overly consumed with the shop and not spending enough time and attention on our relationship. Thankfully, we realised this and although I still have a passion for running my little business, I definitely make sure I’m not neglecting my friends and family.
What are your favourite picks from your current collections?
Oh, without a doubt my favourite has to be anything from my Fifi Lapin line of accessories. Particularly the one I’m wearing today! (See the pics below!) The illustrations are just so cool…
Thanks for talking to me! I’m sure this won’t be the last time we meet – I had too much fun. 🙂
Be sure to check out The Bunny and say hi to Eleta at the upcoming Laneway Night Market, presented by OnWilliam as part of the Fringe World Festival. The markets will take place on both Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January from 4 to 10pm, tucked in Hook and Lock Lanes. Be there or be so very sad…Because you would’ve missed out on nabbing some major goodies!
Also don’t forget to check out the Fringe World Festival program which kicks off on Friday 25th January – too good to miss!
Gratuitous self-shot! How could we not?