Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Yeap, you read it right, I am hosting a giveaway for monaluna today!! Not only that, she agreed to do an interview with me for my readers. I know she is one busy person, thank you so much for your generosity Jennifer!
Before we start, let me tell you a little bit about her and her design...
Back in May I was at an International Quilt Market and met so many designers that I admire... Can you picture me being so happy and overwhelmed at the same time? Anyways, back in to the main subject... all of them that I talk to are so nice. One of the people that left an impression on me is Jennifer.
She is the talented designer and owner of monaluna. After the market we did some emailing back and forth and she has been so nice and sweet, I have this feeling anyone who meets her will want to become friends with her.
Her design is modern and fresh. I love her color pallet and hint of nature in the design. My favorite collections are;
I wish I had a little baby boy at home, so I can use fabrics from Monaco to make a special quilt for him. They are just so adorable!
Are you ready to get to know Jennifer? Here is the fun part!
1. Have you been sewing and designing for a long time? When did you decide to become a textile designer?
I have been sewing for a long time, though I had a bit of a rough start with it. I loved hand sewing as a kid, but my first few attempts at machine sewing were really frustrating and I swore off it for years. Then, I decided to sew some pillows for my apartment, and I fell in love with being able to create unique designs for myself. After that, I tried all kinds of things, with varying levels of success. A couple years ago, I even sewed my own wedding dress, using 26 yards of dupioni silk – quite a project!
As for textile design, that happened almost by accident. I had worked in various aspects of design, including surface design for children’s clothing, and I’d also done a fair amount of artwork for print houses, which supply the artwork for apparel and accessories companies. In 2007 I was working as a freelance designer when things really started to slow down. With time on my hands and a number of sewing projects in my head, I started to think about using some of my prints for textiles. I got in touch with a number of fabric companies, and was able to license a number of my designs to Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
After designing several successful collections for Robert Kaufman, I felt determined to pursue my long-time goal of printing my designs on organic cotton. I had missed being involved in the whole product development process, and after a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to branch out on my own and start my organic fabric business.
2. Work and family life, how do you manage them all? Is there any secret you would like to share?
Ah, it’s a constant struggle! Some days, it doesn’t seem like I’m managing at all. My first collection of fabrics arrived about 3 weeks after my daughter was born, so the last year has been full of some steep learning curves. There was this beautiful time until she was 7 months old where she wasn’t moving around much, and I actually felt like I could really work and watch her at the same time. Now that she’s crawling and walking, all bets are off. It’s probably time to get childcare and really focus on the business, but I’ve been enjoying getting to spend this time with her. If there’s one secret, I would say it’s to do work that you really enjoy. That way, you resent it less when you’re up at midnight finishing something you didn’t get to that afternoon. I almost always look forward to my work, and that’s a wonderful feeling.
3. Where do you get inspirations for your design?
All over! I feel most inspired by nature, and my favorite way of inspiring myself is to go for a long walk or hike and really LOOK at things. There’s so much that we don’t see in our everyday life, and I like to be able to really focus and notice the patterns and beauty around me. One of the best ways for me to do this is to travel to new places. When I’m out of my usual environment, whether it’s another country, another city or just a new hiking trail, I notice my surroundings more keenly and clearly than I do at home. Even the smells and the light and sounds of a new place are clearer and special.
4. What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you since you started your company?
Well, it’s always very exciting when new shipments of fabric come in, but I think my favorite thing is seeing how the fabric is used by other designers and sewists. I love seeing the things that etsy designers have made, or when people send me photos of things they’ve sewn with the fabric. I also really love shipping it out to other countries. Last Friday, I shipped fabric to Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Australia, and I prepared fabric swatches to send to Chile. If I can’t travel to those places right now, at least my fabric can!
5. Where do you think you and your business will be 10 years from now?
That’s a very good question! The usual idea is that you want to grow and expand, but I really love the size of my business right now. I am able to have a connection with my customers, and it feels really personal. I know it needs to grow, but I think it will be gradual. I would love to use my prints on different products, like stationery or wall art, but for now I’m still getting the hang of fabric. It will be very interesting to see where the organic market is in 10 years – I hope by that time it’s more the norm than the exception!
6. What are your favorite activities when you have any free time (if you have any at all!)?
Lately, I haven’t had much of what I think of as “free time”, but when I’m not working, I’ve been landscaping the yard of the 100-year-old house that my husband and I bought a year and a half ago. I love to garden, and have always wanted a big yard to work on, but now I’m realizing just how much work it can be! I’m hoping to build a chicken coop in the next couple of weeks – I’ve been wanting to get chickens for years, and now I finally can! I also really love to hike, dance, cook, entertain… but admittedly haven’t been doing as much of that as I’d like this past year.
7. Do you have a favorite quote to live by?
I have a friend who uses the Gandhi quote “You must be the change you wish to see in this world” as her signature. This one always rings true to me, and I really like the sentiment.
As I read the interview answers, I became a bigger fan of her and her creations. Again, thank you so much for your inspirations Jennifer. I hope you enjoy the interview too. :)
Here are the giveaway rules;
1. Visit her shop first and come back here to let me know which one was your most favorite collection. (1st entry)
2. Become a follower on my main page. (2nd entry)
3. Blog about this giveaway, tweet, become fan on Facebook. (3rd entry)
I will run the giveaway until midnight of the 30th and post the winner on 31st.