Meet the Maker – Mel Novakova

In meet the maker we set 10 tricky questions to a creative mind and see what we get returned to our inbox.
In our first Meet the Maker we’re meeting Mel Nováková, who is the creative mind behind the fun and quirky world of Tegn og Trall. Baby sign language and cute creatures combined in to an enchanting course for parent and child.
Your project in 5 words please: Sensory toys, colourful, patterns, baby signs, music.
1. Where did the idea come from? I made sensory baby toys and teddies for my sing and sign course, Tegn og Trall. I wanted the course to have a homemade, cosy and unique feel to it. The teddies were popular with both the babies and the parents, so i decided to make more and sell them. I also thought it could be a good way in which to promote my course, as I really want to spread the knowledge of baby signs in Norway, so more parents can experience the wonderful feeling it is to communicate with their preverbal baby!
2. How long does each item take to make? That’s difficult to answer, as the only time I have to sew is after my three kids are sleeping 😉 I usually don’t manage to finish a teddy in one go. It also depends on what kind of teddy, if i machine knit, croquet or sew. One of my sewn bigger teddies, I’m guessing, takes about 3-4 hours.
3. Strict working hours or flexible? Flexible!
4. Silence or music/ background tv when working? Both, silence and music. No tv, I get easily distracted. If i listen to music it would usually be something classical or easy listening/jazz. But very often I need silence after the buzz of the day 😉
5. What tools can you not live without? My knitting machine, sewing machine, scissors, needle and croquet needle.
6. Are you schooled or self-taught? Self-taught
7. Do you feel social media is an effective tool for marketing your items? If so, which social media platforms do you find to be the most effective? I´m only just beginning to learn about the social media possibilities. So far i’ve got people for my course though the social media (Facebook), but I haven’t sold much. So I´ve still got a lot to learn! I only just made myself an Instagram account a week or so ago.
8. Do you sell your items outside of Norway? No
9. Do you have any advice for others who would like to start selling their handmade items? I wish I did 😉 When it comes to selling, I’m a novice myself. My only advice would be, stick to what you love doing, creating, and don’t give up.
10. Recommend someone for the next ‘Meet the Maker’ I’m loving the gorgeous handmade teddies and dolls of Roxy Urbonienè. They have such character! I so want to snuggle with “Grå mus”! The mice remind me of one of my favourite programmes as a child, “Bagpuss”
Thanks to Mel for being our first Meet the Maker candidate. You did a fine job Mel! I’m sure your story will encourage and inspire others to follow their creative dream and work with the thing they love.