Paper-Ya loves local handmade items. This is our snapshot interview with one of our very own, Emi at Noei Designs!

Emi, where did your brand name, Noei, come from, and what does it mean?
Noei comes from using a letter from each of my family's given name. I can't see them often because they live in Japan, but my heart stays with them.
How long have you been creating these pouches/pocket mirrors/wristlets etc.?
5 years.

Where did the idea come from?
I learned to use a sewing machine as a part of my school curriculum in Japan. My first project, a drawstring pouch wasn't successful, but it made me want to try harder. Since then, I have explored sewing on my own. I have never received any professional training. 
How do you choose your fabrics and designs?
All my items are designed by me. I usually start sketching, then try the pattern many times until I am completely satisfied. I visit lots of fabric stores to see new designs, colors and textures.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their own line of handmade items?
I am still new with what I am doing and am learning every day. I can't give you much advice yet, but all I can say is that if you have something you're passionate about, start planning now. Life is shorter than you think. Just enjoy what you like.

Emi has been a Paper-Ya team member for nearly 6 years, and we're lucky to offer most of her wonderful products!