The next installment of the Wandarrah Files is featuring one of our longer standing teamies (who’s had a couple of shops over the years), Airdre of Joolz Fashion. She creates funky clothing and leggings for women of all sizes, and I must admit, I’m a huge fan of her new Golden Girls print!
On with the interview!
1 What is the first thing you EVER made?
Probably a finger painting, I’d say. I also remember painting macaroni to make one of those highly desirable necklaces for mum, and of course sewing outfits for my Barbie!
2. Do you come from a creative family?
Yes, I have lots of artists, and writers, and readers, and bakers in my family.
3. How long have you had an Etsy shop?
I opened my first Etsy shop on 14 Nov, 2007.
4. Would you say your work has changed or improved since you started? In what way?
It has definitely changed. I guess I could say improved as well if you look at it in terms of market desirability. I don’t think I sold very much in that first year or two!
5. Who is your absolute favourite designer/artist?
Sarah Hickey from Brisbane. I absolutely love her art. I have a tiny little one on my wall (it was a greeting card) and I look forward to being able to afford a great big one!
6. Where do you gain inspiration for your work?
Everyday life. There is inspiration all around us, all the time. Melbourne is a wonderfully creative city, it must be said. All the music, street art, fashion. I love it here.
7. Do you reduce, reuse or recycle as part of your creative process?
Yes I do. I upcycle fabrics, I alter secondhand clothes, I re-purpose all sorts of random things into jewellery. I love taking something that’s been discarded, or finished with, and breathing new life into it.
8. What is your studio space like?
Incredibly messy. There are rolls of fabric, piles of beads, boxes of craft supplies, packing materials…. I am not a remotely organised creative person. I am always working on at least ten ideas at once.
9. Do you have a favourite thing to make?
At the moment my very favourite thing is fabric / pattern design. I love it. I can just feel the ideas pouring out of me whenever I sit down to create a new fabric design.
10. How did your Etsy shop name come about?
When I grew up, I made things all the time and my family’s name for my creations was Mizzie Products. I considered and discarded that as my “grown up” shop name, and was talking to a friend of mine about it. She suggested Joolz. I was primarily making jewellery at the time, and my second name is Julia. So Joolz it was.
11. Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I’m working on expanding the fashion line, and testing out ways to coherently present my jewellery and my fashion creations together on one website.
12. Do you have a Favourite quote?
I have a LOT of favourite quotes actually. But this is one I just posted on my instagram so it’s the one at the front of my brain right now:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
13. What is your favourite handmade item that you have ever bought?
A beautiful little green teapot that I bought in Myanmar. It is so pretty.
14. Why do you craft?
It is as important as breathing to me.