Toni Coles - ideas in design
Toni Coles has worked in the design industry as a print designer and academic for all of her working life. She has worked and studied design in Australia and the UK.
Toni made the big move from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast in 2002, after a decade of managing her own graphic design business specialising in branding, advertising and book design and working for corporate clients. Since 2009, in addition to graphic design and teaching, she’s had a stall at the renowned Eumundi Markets selling handmade beaded products.
She is a self-confessed serial creative, who is passionate about design, typography and colour. She dabbles in photography, mosaics, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, papier maché and more recently her interests lie in both beading and creating useful products, such as Bookbands®.
Website: Coming soon!
How long have you been making Bookbands® and beaded products?
I’ve been making Bookbands® since January 2008. In recent years, to keep up with demand, I have enlisted a highly creative friend, Jo Mercer to design and make Bookbands® as well.
How did you get started?
I’ve always encouraged my children to give handmade gifts. At age 11, my son, Brendan designed and made the first beaded flexible bookmark as a Christmas present in December 2007. After receiving this unique gift, together with my sister (who was visiting from Melbourne at the time), we all sat down and modified the design slightly. We added a charm and more beads, developed a brand and sustainable packaging, and the rest is history.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Colour and design in nature is my greatest inspiration—I love the colour combinations, and the layering of shapes and textures. I particularly love the colours in tropical fish.
What is the greatest challenge to owning and operating your own business?
Procrastination is probably the biggest challenge. Being a creative person, I am always coming up with new ideas. Starting a task and following it through to the end without distraction can sometime be difficult, but when I do finish it is always rewarding.
What is the best thing about owning your own creative business?
The feeling of accomplishment when I have designed and made something from scratch; the freedom to express my creativity; and being my own boss.