It’s finally the weekend, a Foughtful (Thoughful) Friday – and it is my pleasure to talk Paulie Aulie with you today. Ann Ni, who founded Paulie Aulie, is a sweet, sweet girl with one of the best ‘eyes’ for colour and lines that I’ve seen in Klang Valley craft circles. Here she is, in all her petite glory:
I knew I absolutely had to write about her when I saw the image of an owl she put on a tote.
I’m not going to go into her admirable skills in geometry, line density, anthropormorphism and how she can be trusted to do simple, yet beautiful things – but I will show you some of her work, and share an interview with Anni, which I truly enjoyed working on.
Glowdown (GD) : Was Paulie Aulie named after anyone?
Ann Ni (AN) : Polly, was a screen name I registered online for chat rooms and games when I was a kid, it has stuck with me for 10 years now. So when I was trying to brand my products, “”Polly”” naturally popped into my head. I decided to give it a twist, by combining my father’s name, Paul with Polly, making it: Paulie. And the initial of my name is A, for Anni. So I wanted to come up with a word that starts with an A to go after Paulie, and Aulie just came by so naturally. Making it Paulie Aulie!
GD : What’s the first item you ever made for Paulie Aulie?
AN : It was a card holder made from felt fabric.
Felt, needles and thread. That’s where I started.
GD : Your tagline’s Bohemian Handmade Accessories: What drew you to ‘boho’?
AN : I really had no idea, it just came naturally when I didn’t know I was doing it.
I designed the logo, a white feather inside a green triangle, not knowing these were boho/hipster elements. But I went on with this art direction I was feeling which also showed in my products.
AN (cot’d) : I didn’t have a brand identity when I started. I just wanted a medium to sell my stuff. It wasn’t till my customers and friends told me that they thought my products were very “boho”, as they would say, that I realised the connection.
Maybe I wanted to create that kind of look because I’m a true beach girl at heart. I love wavy, messy mermaid hair with maxi dresses paired with sandals, a tote bag and exotic-but-organic looking accessories. It says “comfortable, chic and on a holiday by the beach”.
GD : You’ve chosen turqoise/teal as Paulie Aulie’s colour. Why?
AN : Turquoise is my favorite color. It was a personal preference. Because it describes the Aquarian in me perfectly. Never more blue than green, never more green than blue: Which is it?
GD : We hear you’re a graphic designer : how did your journey into design begin?
AN : *hahahhahaha*
I started when I was 14, when I took a 3-month course on Adobe Photoshop in high school. I mostly played around with it to edit my profile pictures *chuckles in embarrassment*, where I did tons of experimenting with tools and filters, which I find amusing because my familiarity with the tools come from this. I also did some graphics for my high school’s year books and event program books.
As soon as I graduated from high school, I worked as a graphic designer at an event company for 3 months. That’s where I learned to use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop more professionally. I really learned a lot from the staff there.
GD : Who is your design hero?
AN : Leann Marshall, winner of Project Runway Season 5. I loved her collection for the runway competition she did on the show. She was inspired by the flowing water, where a lot of her clothes had waves and were in turquoise and blue tones. I’m a true beach girl at heart, so my heart pumped with excitement when I first saw her collection on television.
GD : What gear do you use?
AN : I use a Coda, my Nikon 5000d. Adobe Photoshop, all the time!
As for lighting, I like shooting it by the window where the sunlight comes in, or sometimes, I’ll use a table lamp to shoot objects.
GD : What social media platform are you most comfortable sharing on?
AN : That would be Instagram, because I’m a very visual person.
AN (cot’d) : Yes, my website is a Tumblr site. I’m not a very Tumblr person, I just enjoy the convenience, simplicity of their post-upload generator and their sleek and nice layouts.
GD : Do you do giveaways?
AN : Oh yes, I am working on that. But that will come later on, after I have settled with the new website layout and new collection of tote bags and zipper cases.
GD : You have such precise control! Where did your steady hands come from?
AN : Aww, why thank you. They come from lots practice, a little bit of Chinese Calligraphy, piano playing, cooking and tons of doodling.
GD : What would your superpower be if you could choose one?
AN : To be invisible! So I can travel over boundaries, all over the world without needing to suffer the consequences of paying for air tickets or being robbed or kidnapped.GD
GD : What do you collect?
AN : Photographs of lock paddles, door knobs/handles and light switches.
And conceptual thoughts or interesting knowledge that I come across, which I jot down in a notebook.
GD : What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
AN : Shrek. *hahhahahah* I love how the (fairytale) fantasy world is story-told in Shrek.
GD : What are your favorite sort of pens to write with?
AN : Ball Liners, because it makes calligraphic handwritting look “messily nice”.
GD : Coffee or Tea?
AN : Tea. I drink green tea a lot at home in my Japanese mug.
GD : Mac or PC?
AN : PC *haha*
GD : What are you listening to right now?
AN : Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”.
GD : I hear you’re an Optimist. Why aren’t you a Pessimist?
AN : I’m a night person! A lot of my ideas come to me just when I’m about to sleep at like, 11pm – 2pm. And then I get so hyped up that I get out of bed, to my notebooks and start jotting down ideas. The best part, everyone and everything is silently asleep, so my attention is not needed elsewhere.
Yes, I am an optimist. Optimism to me, means to be positive, to be hopeful, strong and to persevere through challenging times. It’s to believe that things will work out and you working towards that vision.
Pessimism is *sooo* boring and flat. It is so unadventurous. The feeling of being upset is not something I enjoy. Allowing yourself to have negative thoughts is very dangerous. Not only will it not push you forward, but it will keep you in a loop filled with negative emotions.
So being a visual person, I love the hype where I am constantly on the search for new inspiration/experiences, to keep moving forward, towards optimism 🙂
As for my totes, they’re a new product and I’m really having fun painting on them. I painted 16 bags over two days, I was so engrossed in painting. Hahahaha. The things I paint on the totes are things that I like, which I would like to inspire other people with. So even if some designs are complicated and take up more time, I still do it, because then the bag will be a more inspiring object, and that’s what I want my products to represent.
(GD: love this about your dedication to detail!)
GD : It’s rad that Paulie Aulie has a proper birthdate. What would you tell yourself on November 29, 2011 if you could go back in time?
AN : Oh really? I put it there to remind myself how far I’ve gone. This is only my second year. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to just have fun and take the most from this learning experience.
GD: Thank you, Anni, for being so game to talk to us. We’ve loved chatting with you!
Everyone, here are her totes:
Share this post with everyone, y’all.
Let’s get our crafters well on their way to doing what they love all the time.