Interview

Interview: Jess van Den – Epheriell Designs

Posted by Penny on February 27, 2012
Australian Design, Interview / 5 Comments

Jessica van Den is a busy and super-cute lady. I first ‘met’ Jess online several years ago on Etsy.com where she was selling jewellery and I was selling purses. Since then Jess has created a wonderful blog, Epheriell Designs, full of design, vintage cuteness and business tips. (Seriously, go check it out.) Jess created and edits the crafty & handmade zine, *bespoke*. She creates two jewellery labels, Epheriell and Vintette, and you’ll find interviews and columns by Jess about the internet. And she has great hair. I asked Jess a few questions…

 

How did you get started making jewellery?

Well, kinda by accident, really! I started crafting back in 2008, which began with knitting and crochet. Then, I started making simple beaded jewellery. But it wasn’t until I first started working with silver, hammer and an anvil that I found my true passion – silversmithing!

Cloud Ring by Epheriell

Your jewellery is predominantly made of recycled sterling silver – can you explain what recycled silver is and why you use it?

Recycled sterling silver simply means that no newly-mined silver has been used in the refinement of the metal I use. Instead, the silver has been refined from old jewellery, old photographs, and other industrial processes. So, what was once waste metal is made new again, and turned into something beautiful!

It’s just as ‘pure’ as newly-mined silver, as it is processed in the same way, to the same level of silver purity (in the case of sterling silver, that is 92.5% silver).

*bespoke* zine issues 3 & 5

Your creativity has journeyed from jewellery beginnings to creating and editing *bespoke* and blogging daily at Epheriell Designs – how did it all happen?

I could tell you the epic tale, but I’ll go for the short version ;)

I was blogging and running my Epheriell store as a hobby from 2008, but in late 2009 I got married, and my husband and I decided to buy a van and convert it into a camper. We were going to make a year-long trip around Australia! Alas, I started having serious dental issues in early 2010, and – long story short – we were delayed going on our trip month after month. I had quit my previous job, and so, while we were delayed, I decided to throw myself into my ‘hobby’ full-time. Fast-forward to now, and it’s all turned into a thriving full-time business.

And no, we never did get to go on our dream trip, but we’ve done plenty of shorter trips in our beloved van!

What’s next in 2012?

Well, I’ll be releasing 2 new ranges of Epheriell jewellery – in Autumn and Spring – and I’ll still be blogging daily at EpheriellDesigns.com. I’ve got a few other projects in the works, but whether I can carve out the time to make them reality remains to be seen!

 

Thank you so much Jess! Can’t wait to see your Autumn collection for Epheriell! Check out more from Jess on Epheriell Designs – keep up to date with Jess’s about page too!

Image of Jess from Epheriell Designs (thanks!)

Rummage Style: Interview

Posted by Penny on February 06, 2012
Australian Design, Fashion, Interview, Recycling / 2 Comments

Rummage Style Dresses: SS 11/12

I am definitely a fan of reusing fabric (especially when it’s as pretty as these fabrics are!) I’m also a fan of gorgeous Summer dresses. And, just looking at these photos, it’s easy to see why I’m a fan of Rummage Style. Created by Theresa Evans in 2007, Rummage Style has been clothing stylish ladies and bubs in beautiful clothes, all made in Melbourne ‘from vintage, recycled, donated, salvaged and rescued materials‘.

Personally I think part of the charm and draw of using salvaged or vintage fabrics is that, unless you uncover the holy grail of a warehouse full of fabric, you’re only ever going to have enough of each fabric to make a few garments. This makes Rummage dresses even more special – they’re truly unique.

Theresa, in amongst running her wonderful business and looking after her kids, was kind enough to answer my questions for Oh My Green.

 

I love the vintage & reclaimed fabrics you use (especially the adorably sweet baby collection) – how do you find your materials?

Fabric hunting is the favourite part of my job!  I guess that it has become kind of like an addiction and the thrill of finding an extra special piece is what keeps me interested and always with a keen eye out!  There are so many places where I find my fabrics but probably the most fruitful is from opp shops.  There are so many great opp shops around and they often have a section completely dedicated to material.  I also always check out the manchester because as far as I am concerned fabric is fabric regardless of what its previous use….bed sheet, tablecloth, curtains, all can be turned into fabulous dresses!  I also am at Camberwell Market every Sunday morning and get there at the wee hours of the morning to hunt through the stalls in search of fabric.  Sometimes I find nothing at all and other times I come home with a massive haul.  It all depends on the luck of the day.  I also have various friends who are always keeping an eye out for me and an ear out!  Recently a friend’s mother of mine who is in a sewing group was asked by another lady if I would be interested in her friend’s stash of fabric that had been in the garage for decades.  It eventually made its way to me and the four garbage bags I was given were full of untouched fabric from the seventies….each piece was amazing and I couldn’t wait to get sewing that day.  Often people don’t place any value on these old pieces of fabric but to me they are so special and I never let any of it go to waste.

Rummage Style Baby Collection

Why do you prefer to use reclaimed and vintage fabrics than new?

There are so many reasons why I prefer to use reclaimed materials rather than new.  Most importantly is the environmental aspect.  I love the fact that I can make a living out of people’s rubbish essentially.  The fashion industry can be pretty dirty and I couldn’t justify it to myself if I was to play a part in that.  There is just so much fabric out there that it’s just not necessary for a dirty factory to be producing new fabric for me to run my business.  I love recycling and try to do it in all areas of my life and to be able to run my entire business through selling a recycled product is the ultimate for me.  So, on my side of the business I am able to be completely environmentally guilt free, but for the person on the other end buying the product, I am offering an item that really is sustainable and green and so I am giving the customer a good option to buy responsibly.

There are many other reasons behind using reclaimed materials outside the environmental factors.  The fact is that newly produced fabric today is largely not of the same quality that it used to be.  Often new fabric doesn’t wash and wear well or is completely destroyed after one go through the washing machine – all a result of cheap mass production.  So, by using reclaimed materials that have been used and washed many times I can be sure of the quality and know that that dress will look the same after it comes out of the wash.

Another big reason for using recycled materials is that it makes for one off garments.  Each season I design a range and then  produce it all in different fabrics making each item a one off piece.  It is more work for me in that I have to cut each garment separately but at the end of the day there is a lot of value placed on unique one off clothing.  In a world of mass production having something that is so individual is rare and treasured!

Rummage Style Dresses: SS 11/12

Rummage releases two collections per year – do you have a favourite style or season?

I produce two ranges per year and I guess that it all follows a certain style that makes it clearly Rummage Style.  I really just design what I would like to wear and by doing that I know that I am being true to myself.  I try to keep an eye on what is in fashion at the time but also like to keep it unique.  The people that buy my clothes don’t want to look like everyone else on the street!  I am really excited by the new range coming up where I am trying to go a little more tailored and classic,  not in a conservative way, but by taking ideas from beautifully made vintage garments and using more from my collection of old buttons and trim.  You will have to wait and see!

 

Thank you so much Theresa! I’ve got to say, I can’t wait to see the new collection, I always love seeing tailored and classic styles in really fun and different fabrics!

To purchase Rummage Style, check out these stockists, or email!

Sapling Child: Interview + Giveaway!

Posted by Penny on January 23, 2012
Australian Design, Babies, Interview, Organic Cotton / 22 Comments

Sapling Baby Clothes – photo by Oh My Green

If a Sapling onesie isn’t one of best gifts to give a new baby then I don’t know what is. Sapling baby clothes are ticking all the boxes – they’re certified organic (which means fair pay for workers, too!), a great price, and cute as anything (except possibly the baby you’re giving it to). The owls are my favourite – and rightly so, for what’s not to love about owls?

Peta & Charles, creators of Sapling, were lovely enough to answer a few questions for us. Plus, scroll down for the giveaway!

L. Bird in Tree Girls Bodysuit, R. Bird in Tree Pants – photos by Sapling

 

How did Sapling begin? How long have you been in operation for?

Technically we’ve been in operation since the end of 2009. It took us two years to do the designs, create the perfect fit, find a fabulous manufacturer who shared our values, find the perfect materials and to pull it all together! We finally finished that process in 2011, and our first batch of goodies started arriving in stores in December 2011. So although we’ve been working away for a long time, we are brand spanking new to the market!

How do you create your gorgeous designs?

Our designs are inspired by nature, and by our own childhoods. We wanted to create designs that reminded parents of their own childhoods. It’s a tough process with lots of to-ing and fro-ing between our selves and our graphic designer until we feel that everything is perfect. Infact, I’m pretty sure I drive the graphic designer batty with all the teeny tiny adjustments I ask her to do!

L. Owl on Branch Short-Sleeve Bodysuit, R. Camping Bear Boys Romper – photos by Sapling

Your range is made of GOTS certified organic fabric – why is this important to you?

Keeping our range organic was very important to us. We did a lot of research before we had children and discovered that babies skin is really very sensitive. It’s also quite thin and much more porous than ours which means their skin absorbs things quite easily.

An incredible amount of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides are used in the regular production of cotton. Not to mention all the chemicals and nasties that are used in the dying and print part of cotton production as well. We didn’t want all those nasties rubbing up next to our babies skin, so we made the decision to use organic cotton.

However, we found it quite difficult to find cute organic baby clothes that were printed with organic dyes, we thought it was pointless to buy organic clothing that had chemicals infused into it from the use of chemical dyes. So, we decided to use 100% organic vegetable dyes (which means our organic fabric isn’t hurt by the nasties in regular chemical dyes). We also noticed that many existing organic brands out there were quite expensive, and we wanted to create something that was accessible for everyone (and cute too!).

Sapling Baby Clothes – photo by Oh My Green

I’m definitely excited to know what new products you’re planning for 2012?

We have some new goodies coming out hopefully in Feb. Some beautiful little girls dresses, cute bloomers and a new range of basic babywear! When we get closer to the final product I’ll send you some pics for a sneak preview!

 

Thanks so much Sapling! To get your own Check out Sapling’s website  &  Facebook,  or email info[at]saplingchild.com for your nearest stockist. (To buy online, try Lime Tree Kids or Belle & Elle!)

 

The Giveaway: Details

Take a peek at the Sapling range on Facebook, give their page a ‘Like’, if you like, and then leave a comment letting us know what you love about Sapling. One super lucky winner will receive a gorgeous Sapling outfit for their favourite bub!

Leave your comment by 30th Jan so we can choose a winner (Sapling can post world-wide!)