Hello everyone! Call me Heart.
I live in Central Victoria, in the land of kangaroos and koalas – Australia. Though I’ve always been a city girl, I love the relaxed pace of this city, not to mention also the old world-ish architecture, amazing food, and the friendliness of the locals.
I learned to bake cakes and pastries before I was in my teens, thanks to my aunt, who made party cakes as a side job. I learned to hand sew as a kid, because I idolized my grandma, whose BFF was her sewing machine, but it was my mum who taught me to sew using the machine a few years later. Because of this background, I told people I wanted to be a dressmaker or a baker when I grow up…until a school teacher told me off for having such “low” ambitions. Hey, I actually meant a fashion designer or a pastry chef. My vocabulary just didn’t include these terms back then.
I ended up studying Architecture (because I was such a Math geek – the kind who would arrive 5 minutes late to a Calculus exam and still end up with a perfect score) in a nice university – the only place that offered the course in that city. Along the way, I also played chess and basketball and managed a retail shop over the summer, until my parents made me quit because the dust outside the shop brought a good number of pimples to my face. Hahaha! Because of my background in architecture, I get to play connect the dots for a living (a.k.a. dealing with survey points on AutoCAD and turning them into something more understandable).
“Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good”, because I ended up marrying this awesome, talented guy who also cooks and is passionate about arts. So you can just imagine our home – whoever’s not busy or feeling chef-y at the moment cooks dinner (yep, not an all-wife chore), and we’re often borrowing each others pencils, paints and brushes. Oh boy, wait till the kids arrive.
So…how did this party decors/props business came to be?
It all started with having lots of dolls and not much playmates at home…blame it on my sisters who are 8+ years older than me.
When I was very young, out of the blue, I decided to organize little events for my dolls. Out of whatever scraps found at home, I made them evening gowns, swimsuits, sashes, a tiara, and a stage fit for a beauty pageant – teen doll edition. At the end of the school year, I thought, why can’t dolls have their own graduation ceremony too? So I made them graduation gowns, graduation caps, paper medals, and decorated a little ‘stage’ for the pretend event.
In my teens, youth leaders at church thought my talent in design was something, and often asked me to make invitations or posters for various church events, or to be part of the event decoration committee.
A bit later, in my twenties, I progressed to designing and creating costumes for children’s events at church. I was still involved in organizing events, such as craft workshops, young single adult formal dances, musical plays, sports fests, etc.
After decades of organizing events for friends and for fun, I decided to combine my creativity in designing and event planning. In 2014, I started an online shop selling printable party decors. That shop became The Quirky Briars, which name is a playful combination of my name and that of my husband, Bri, plus an ‘s’ at the end because there’s two of us in this portmanteau, so it should be in its plural form. Also, occasionally, hubby’s hair also looks like briars…lol!
The Quirky Briars continues to sell printable party decors, with designs ranging from the basic patterns to the more creative themes, with new items and designs being added every now and then. Most of the products in the shop are designed so you can download, print, cut and assemble them yourself, thus saving you a fortune on your party decors. Recently, we’ve also opened another shop which sells physical party decors and craft supplies, including party tableware, paper drinking straws, balloons, handmade backdrops and much more.