Through her business, Hastings Pocket Full of Sunshine, Gemma Hancock is adding a touch of class and a whole lot of cute to children’s bedrooms and playrooms far and wide. What child wouldn’t love his or her very own personalised dream catcher or wall decoration! Check out Gemma’s social media pages to view some of the other gorgeous products she can design and make …
Hi Gemma. Tell us a little about yourself, family and connection to the Greater Port Macquarie area …
Hello, my name is Gemma. I live in Port Macquarie, along with my two gorgeous children, Riley and Aston. My whole family lives here – we are true locals.
I have lived in Port all my 23 years of life and don’t plan on making a move anytime soon! It’s a beautiful place to raise a family and call home. I am a Dental Assistant in the area, working along with a great team. I returned to work early this year as a casual, as I am a proud owner/creator of Hastings Pocket Full of Sunshine.
Where did your interest in craft begin?
I have always been a craft person. When I was in school, I loved art class and textiles. Whether it was drawing or sewing, I loved it – anything that inspired me to create something. I was rewarded with one of my artworks being presented alongside many other artworks from local schools at the opening of the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie.
I remember watching Art Attack as a child; it was my favourite show. I was inspired and would copy the creations made out of household materials.
cI believe everyone is creative in their own way – find your passion and don’t give up what you love doing. I hope I have/can inspire many others.
How did the concept for Hastings Pocket Full of Sunshine develop?
It all started when my firstborn, Riley, was four months old. Being a mum at home, I wanted to keep in touch with my creativity. I was into kids’ nursery interior decorating at the time, as I was forever changing the style of Riley’s nursery. I made a dream catcher for his room and posted a photo of his nursery on social media. I received comments, “Where did you get that dream catcher”, so I thought I could make more for people interested.
After making a couple, I started to make up spontaneous designs, putting together different textures and colours – and from there I just fell in love with creating different designs.
I decided to make my own Facebook and Instagram page called Hastings Pocket Full of Sunshine. The idea for the name came from my son, Riley – he was my pocket full of sunshine – so bright and happy and full of wonderful things. It took a lot of time and practice for me to be happy with the quality of work, but I never gave up, and neither did my wonderful customers.
The pieces you create are beautiful. Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
This is a great question. I spent many hours studying and searching looking for popular colour choices in kids’ nurseries and bedrooms, so I could accommodate and keep up to date with the latest trends and colours. Instagram is a big play in my ideas for colours and in trend pattern and textures; the rest is in my own hands, to put it all together with the right mix of materials and creativity.
What are some of the most popular items you make and sell?
At the moment I’m selling mostly custom name dream catchers; they are a beautiful design of wooden names placed in the centre of the dream catcher on either a traditional webbing or lace centre, with your choice of colour. Pink is the most popular colour, mixed with white, finished with flowers and feathers.
And the unicorns – who does not want a unicorn! They are amazingly pretty, magical, and a great wall piece.
As a busy mum, how do you manage to juggle motherhood and creativity?
It’s all about balance and routine for me. Some days it’s a walk in the park, and others it’s walking in Jurassic Park (laughs). No, it’s all routine, and any spare time I get I’m making my creations. My boys are still having day naps, and they have a bedtime routine, leaving me some time of a night to make my creations. I try my best to only make the dream catchers when I am in good spirits, as I believe it has a play in how the dreamcatchers work. I am lucky enough to have close family and support to help me when needed.
What’s the process for readers who have a concept/idea they’d like you to create?
I love getting new ideas. I always ask people if they have an inspiration, photo of colours, or a description of what they would like.
Anyone who has seen my page can see I love creating with all the pastel colours, so stepping out of my comfort zone – for example, into bold colours, is a challenge for me. But, if it’s something I think I could create within my own quality of sale, I will give it a go!
Or, I can send through colour choices of materials and textures I can use, to ensure we are going in the right direction. I’m always reassuring my customers, to make sure they are all 100% satisfied with what they are purchasing.
Where do you source the majority of the materials you use?
I recently wanted to expand my dream catcher range and found a local business I teamed up with to make the name plates for me. Hastings Laser Cutting does a wonderful job and have made these custom for me, exactly how I wanted them made. I had a lot of trial and error buying online; some quality was not made to meet my standards. I source the majority of my materials here in Port Macqarie. Spotlight has a great range of materials.
How can we contact you/purchase your creations?
I take most of my orders through Facebook. You can search for my page Hastings Pocket Full of Sunshine or on Instagram @hastingspocketfullofsunshine
You can send me a message through the pages to make an order. My goal is to have my website created by 2019. Thank you for reading – hope to hear from you!
Interview: Jo Robinson.