Creating handcrafted keepsakes that you can hold in your heart forever
Why am I so passionate about creating keepsakes for your family?
If you’ve loved someone and they’re no longer with you.
If you’ve experienced a life-changing event that’s changed your world forever.
If you want to share something of your past with your future.
Then you will understand where my passion for creation comes from.
When you have a special connection with someone – be it a child, parent, grandparent or mentor – they will be forever in your heart. They will always have a piece of you, and you will always want to keep those memories alive.
But in an ever-increasing disposable world, I fear we’re losing the ability to create keepsakes that can be passed down through the generations. Mementos that hold memories and stories and tales of the past. Items that are beautifully hand-crafted, with attention to detail and the love of the work poured into them. This is why I created Keepsakes by Nicoleta.
How did Keepsakes by Nicoleta come about?
Keepsakes by Nicoleta started before I had children of my own and long before I knew I wanted to share my ideas and my craft.
It began with a little girl, growing up in Romania, being raised by my grandmother and being taught to sew. It was endless hours sitting beside her, listening to her stories. Hearing about the world that was, and how it had changed and where my place in it was going to be. It was making things we could use every day or keep forever to treasure.
But I didn’t pursue design or fashion when I grew up. My creative side was purely for enjoyment and relaxation.
I qualified as an accountant and loved using the other side of my brain that explored analytics, investigation and a thirst for knowledge. When I moved to Australia in 2010, I completed a second degree in Business as I knew that one day, I wanted to work for myself. I just didn’t know in what capacity.
It was when I had my first baby, Kathryn, that I had the chance to see how I could combine the two sides of me – the creative and the practical. I was on maternity leave and I wasn’t used to not working. I also wasn’t used to not being financially independent, so the desire to create a business that would work around my family was strong.
My little girl was growing up so fast. I had all of these beautiful clothes that held such wonderful memories, that I couldn’t throw them away. And I wanted a way to find something that would honour my Grandmother. She was such an important part of my life, that I wanted to bring her memory into our growing family.
So, I created my first keepsake bear – two actually, because Kathryn had so many clothes and I couldn’t decide which one to use! I showed them to a few friends and their response was overwhelmingly positive.
I started taking orders, thinking if it didn’t work out, I could always return to my corporate accounting role. But word of mouth is a wonderful thing and I soon realised there was a great need for what I could create.
As each new customer handed over the clothes that were to be used to create their keepsake, I heard their stories – of love, of loss, of heart-swell and heartbreak. Not all orders were filled with the joy of a newborn outgrowing their clothes. Some were of babies who grew their angel wings too early. Some of parents or siblings who had done the same. But each one is created with their stories in mind. Each stitch holds the memory of a smile, or a laugh, or a tear.
These days the business has grown to incorporate other ways to keep hold of memories that may be forgotten. From jewellery to art. For women and for men. But as I hand over each keepsake, I ask the owner to close their eyes and hold it tight. To feel the love that’s captured in it – not only from their memories but also my passion to create something that will last for generations to come.
Why choose Keepsakes by Nicoleta?
Finding someone you trust with your treasured memories isn’t an easy task. You want someone who cares about your items as much as you do. You want them to have the time to listen to you – your story, your ideas, your heart. And while most creators mean well, not everyone does this well. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to receive so many thank-yous for the keepsakes I’ve created. And here’s why I think Keepsakes by Nicoleta has continued success:
- Experience. I’ve been sewing for over 30 years. Not just on machines, but hand sewing, embroidery, lacework etc. I know exactly how many stitches you need to keep a button in place and where to reinforce seams to handle extra wear. I create my own patterns and templates that can be adapted to suit materials and embellishments. I know what patterns and colours work well together to make a piece that’s not only practical but stylish.
- Quality. Keepsakes by Nicoleta has always been about quality – whether it be workmanship, materials or service delivery. It means that my treasures are not for everyone. Yes, I’m booked out a way in advance. Yes, you can find someone to make it for you cheaper. But if you want a keepsake that will become a family heirloom, my advice is always that you get what you pay for. I don’t send your things off-shore to have them made cheaper. I don’t use cheap haberdashery to make more profit. And I don’t provide you with an unrealistic expectation, so have to compromise on workmanship to meet the delivery date.
- Honesty. From the day I started my business, I made a promise that I would always be honest with my clients. I place a little piece of my heart into everything I make, so I want them to look amazing for you. I will always tell you if you something won’t look right with the material you have, or if the design is a bad idea. For me, the final product has to be as close to perfect as it can, so I can hand it to you, knowing you will love it as much as I do.
- Trust. Opening your heart to a stranger is hard. Especially when it’s about times in your life that are filled with big emotions. I understand. Having suffered a deep loss, I know how painful it can be. Having experienced great joy, I know how emotional you can feel. But the telling of the stories is an essential part of the process. As you speak to me, it helps me to picture your keepsake in my mind. Please trust in me that your stories are safe and that I want to hear them.
- Kindness. Compassion and empathy are two characteristics that are essential for this work. I like to connect with clients, to truly understand them and where their hearts are at. As we work through the process, I am truly grateful that I get to help people in this way. It brings much joy to use the skills I have to bring you joy.
What do others have to say about Keepsakes by Nicoleta?
Here’s what our clients say about us. To read more feedback, head to our Testimonials page.
“I can’t thank Nicoleta enough for helping my sister and I keep my mother’s memory alive with our beautiful bears. We had three bears made with our mothers clothing and Nicoleta made the process so easy and simple.
From the moment I placed the order to the final product, Nicoleta has been so easy to deal with and has included me every step of the way.
I can’t thank her enough for what she has created for my sister and I to share with our daughters. It’s something to cherish and have forever in our families. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.”
Belinda Rooks | Handmade Keepsakes | Sydney, Australia
“Using my beautiful Dad’s ashes, Nicoleta crafted 5 beautiful beads for various members of my family. Nicoleta takes the upmost pride in her work and is extremely professional and compassionate during the whole process. We can’t thank her enough for sharing this talent with our family. Our beads are a timeless reminder of our Dad. Thank you, doesn’t seem enough.”
Melissa Cameron | Keepsake Jewellery | Sydney, Australia