Etsy Maker: 10 Things About YiliYuli

Exactly one year ago, our Malaysian creative community had the privelege to meet some of the people behind ETSY when they were visiting the South East Asia region. Not long after that, ETSY released an ETSY Resolution Boot Camp to help local artists and makers, boost their creative business profiles and encourage makers to 'Be Your Own Creative Boss'. The boot camp was conducted online, featuring professional Etsy entrepreneurs such as Jemima Callaghan from LostPropertyHongKong and Vincci Ching from Angee W. At the end of the boot camp, we asked one of the instructors (and they kept an eye out the whole time) which 'student' caught their attention. Of course, we had to ask because we had to find out if we guessed correctly. We sure did!

To commemorate ETSY meet Malaysia, we kept the chosen 'student'  of #etsyresolution 2016', YiliYuli to feature in our post this month. Literally saved the best for last!

Here's a quick interview feature with Evelyn from YiliYuli, a talented handpainted jewellery artist and mother of two. She also leads the pack as captain of Handmade in Malaysia, a homegrown creative community on Facebook.
Image credit YiliYuli
1. What is your day-to-day like as a creative person? How do you juggle your tasks, projects and personal life?

As this is a hobby business, I only paint on Saturday.  However throughout the week, I pay a lot of attention to my surroundings, read a lot of books, and do around 1 hour marketing a day.

2. All creative people have their own toolbox. What’s in yours and what are your favourite tools?

I have more than 10 toolboxes as most of my work involves mixed media. My favourite tool has got to be my magnifying glass that enables me to check the intricacy of my work.

Image credit YiliYuli
3. Describe your creative work with just 3 words:

Heartwarming, Intricate and Arty.

4. Name your top 3 favourite books for ideas:

My top 3 favourite books for ideas has to be:
1. French Inspired Jewellery by Kaari Meng
2. The Complete Lifestyle Magazine- Country Living
3. The Nyonya Kebaya, a Century of Straits Chinese Costume

Image credit YiliYuli
5. How do you organize your creative ideas & inspirations for reference?

I carry a notebook and plan my seasonal collection.  I still prefer the pen and paper as opposed to ipad.  I usually start with a theme, then develop what goes into where.

6. What is your favourite place to go to for inspirations?

In Malaysia, I love visiting Malacca for their Nyonya Heritage and the Portuguese Settlement.  When I go back to UK, I usually hang around in antique shops, tea rooms, heritage attractions, and even dark attractions (like places where they organise ghost walks at night, caves, etc).

7. What was the most difficult part of running a creative biz?

There are so many talents worldwide, and to have a niche and be good at it is tremendously hard.  Only recognition will help an artist to succeed in my opinion.

Image credit YiliYuli
8. What sort of life lessons have you learned from this creative experience?

Do what you love,  Love what you do. Be humble, always and Jack of all trades, master of none, so stay focus.

9. Any goals for yourself as a maker and your brand?

To have my collection in London Retail, like Liberty and Selfridges will be a dream come true.

10. If you didn’t discover this creative interest, what would Life be like for you?

I guess I will just be watching more TV and work harder for my main business.  This has widened my horizon as I make acquaintances with a different circle as compared to before, purely on professional levels.


Want to see more of YiliYuli handpainted jewellery? Follow Evelyn on Facebook and Instagram or Shop YiliYuli on ETSY.

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