While at Melbourne University I supported myself by maths coaching and making handcrafted objects. First it was candles, tie-dyed and batik shirts, simple bead jewellery and leather bags. The clothes label and recycled wood furniture came later.
Then in 1971 with three others we opened a craft studio in Glen Iris called Ishka. By 1974 I was sole proprietor. It grew to become a wholesaler to a wide range of outlets.
In the 70s travel became affordable for ordinary people. You could fly and end up in an interesting country with very little tourism. Often you were the only foreigner and you had to live like a local. Before improved communication you were undisturbed. I loved this adventure and the confronting cultural discovery of new crafts embedded with exciting ideas and world perspectives.
All societies, including Australia have extraordinary creative people involved in arts and craft. I love buying from them as well as adapting their traditional skills to create unique items that Australians can enjoy.
We all win when trade in handmade goods occurs. Village families gain financial independence, the Australian public get to see vibrant wonderful new cultural product. I have enjoyed a lifestyle that excites me. With all the changes this is still true today. I hope you also enjoy this worldly vision.
Owner and Founder of Ishka, Mishka Tribal Impulse