Sunday, February 1, 2009

getting to know you #4

It's week 4 of getting to know you, and today we have a friend of mine, who I've never met. I contacted Amy after seeing her amazing fabric on Etsy, and you will probably recognize it from our tandem project. The blankets are still available at Rose and Radish. Please also notice her amazing cut-outs.

please tell us who you are, and a bit about your business/art

My name is Amy, I'm from Australia and I design screenprinted fabric under the name Umbrella Prints. My friend Carly Schwerdt and I worked together to create Umbrella Prints. We both have different styles which compliment each other and we can explore our own groove and help each other under the one business name. Umbrella Prints is about beautiful imagery and pattern. We use organic hemp/cotton which is soft and strong-a bit like us really (!)

Describe your creative process/creating process.
Wow, big question Ive never thought of it as a process as such. As a visual artist my process is cumulative with ideas growing bit by bit over time and through playing with materials-it is a creative mess which pulls together at the moment the final work is complete. With Umbrella Prints the process has to be different because there is two of us and its a business. Luckily Carly and I tend to come up with similar thoughts at the same time and we both trust and admire one another's view on design so can boss each other's aesthetics until it all fits together as a collection. We have so many thoughts and ideas that our creative process is often a matter of culling and refining than needing to create!

what are your favorite places to shop?
Every cent goes back to building our business so not much shopping happening right now except in my imagination. I work on the Etsy shop for Umbrella Prints and have built up quite a list of favourites which are pretty indicative of what I would be buying if I was shopping up a storm. I often scroll through those lists and smile at the beautiful different things people are making. I love music shops, gardening centres, homewares and tool shops, jewellery, markets and any interesting shops with patterned or sparkly things.

how do you describe your personal style?
A collage. I often wear plain clothes but open my wardrobe and you will find a cornucopia of coloured, patterned clothing from the 50's, 60's and 70's and sparkling ridiculously girly high heels.

what is your top piece of advice for someone trying to run their own business?
Too many! Um! Don't talk about it do it. Get strong and get educated. If you have an idea grow it and present it as best as you can don't be wishy washy.
Use your instincts and ask for help. Don't wait to be discovered.

five things in your daily routine?
Until my child goes to school there is no way I can have a proper work routine. I work in windows of about 5 minutes throughout the day and then I go to bed.
Daily jobs are phone calls, emailing, updating internet, sketching, collecting bits of colour, photographing, jotting down notes, answering questions, picking up and dropping off. It might be surprising but when I say I am a textile designer well its more like administrator when you weigh up time spent designing and time spent selling and merchandising and organizing.

What is your ideal day?
An ideal work day would be waking up slowly at 10am, having breakfast whilst reading a new Italian Vogue on the verandah. Finding a gazillion orders for fabric in my inbox which our assistant would diligently pack whilst we do some sketching for a design brief (MIssoni have called). Our latest fabric arrives perfect from the printer and I do a huge a new window display which causes a frenzy of fabric shoppers to arrive and we sell everything.......that'd be nice!

tell us something about yourself that we might find surprising.
When I'm not wearing my glasses things are a bit fuzzy I have had a number of new design ideas from totally misinterpreting what I am seeing!

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