Tell me a bit about yourself & how you first got into weaving. I was an art teacher for a long time. I was looking for a hobby and I found an old loom in my art store room. I gave it a go and it all worked and I just started on my weaving journey. It was destiny.
What were you doing before you started weaving professionally? What made you ultimately decide to branch out on your own? I was just weaving for fun and for my friends and family. I was sharing my progress on IG and one day a local design blog, The Design Files, happened across my feed and it all took off from there.
You recently relocated from Melbourne, Australia to New York. That’s quite a move! How has the move influenced your work & business? I have been able to meet up and collaborate with other weavers. I can visit art galleries and museums with textile exhibitions for inspiration. I have also been able to share my craft with so many more people via my classes. I have been able to branch out into kits, too. I now have an assistant and an intern.
What inspires you? Do you also draw inspiration from your personal style to create pieces that are uniquely you? I am inspired by everything! It is hard not to be I think! I started selling vintage clothes because of my love of fabrics, prints and textiles. It was an easy move to create textile based art. I am totally influenced by vintage everything – architecture, fashion, homewares, art, music.
Tell me about the weaving process. What materials do you need to get started? I have my loom and the warping cord to begin. Then I bring in anything that I might want to use in the piece so that I can see it whilst I weave – yarn, roving, metallic thread, leather, brass plates. I usually have a rough sketch, but I almost always deviate from the plan. I am so inspired by the materials that I work with, that they often dictate the direction of a piece. It is important to listen to your materials and be open to allowing them to take the lead.
What has been the most challenging part of working for yourself? Taking on too much. I now have a three person team and we are still struggling to keep up. I cant believe it took me so long to bring in more people! It has really allowed me to focus on weaving and given me time to work on my craft. I now have time to experiment! Luxury!
You love teaching. What is it like to share your passion with others & watch them learn? It is really incredible. I love weaving and I love teaching. I always set up a hashtag so that my students can form a community after the class and continue to support each other with their learning journey. It is inspiring to see how they progress. I do always feel like I have so much to give and at the end of my 3 hour class, I am still trying to ram in more learning before they rish out the door!
What is your advice to fellow creatives hoping to turn a hobby into a full-fledged, financially viable business opportunity? Find what you love and just do it! Do it for your self and do it for your loved ones. Make gifts for your friends and local businesses that you love. Just keep doing your craft. Offer to give it to people who you admire. Just enjoy the process of creating and giving. If it eventually turns into something that people are willing to pay for, the customers will come to you. They will notice it at your Mums house, or at that cafe that you like to go to. Just keep giving it away.
What is your dream for the future of your business? It is funny, but I don’t really plan. Everything has grown so organically. I guess now that I have some assistants, I will have more time to think about it.
Song you can’t help but dance to? Modern Love by David Bowie
Cake or pie? Pie… meat pie!
Favorite smell? Cut grass in Spring, signaling the beginning of Summer.
Guilty pleasure? Fashion-based reality TV
Favorite corner of the world? Victorian Coastline – where the forest meets the sea.