Thursday, September 7, 2017

CUTENESS ALERT!!! BABY PANTS!







Pretty sweet, right?! This photo shoot was so much fun. We had the lovely Cory Marie Podielski taking the pics and she was so good. Making sure the kids were in a nice pile and the parents were feeling happy. Catching these moments that just run by as quick as a lighting! For the people who don't know Corie Marie, she's one of those amazing renaissance ladies who are pros in so many areas - in her case at least photography, graphic design, pottery and dance! And, she is so witty and fun to be with. I had the chance to take her belly dance classes last spring and it was soooo fun!

In these pics I specifically asked for a white background, so that it would fit the general visual look of what we do, but also to make it possible for me to play with the pictures later in Photoshop. I started out experimenting some already, but I'm feeling a bit rusty and a bit shy, so those images will be published here a little later ;)


Monday, August 28, 2017

GETTING INSPIRED IN FINLAND!


The fall is knocking on the door and we said "Good by" again to the sweet, precious Helsinki. We got to spend almost 2 months there this summer, which means we had time to hang out with family and friends, welcome a new baby-friend to the world, build a kitchen to our summer cabin, and oh yes, see some super inspiring indie fashion!!!

The jacket is by St.Malandra, a Finnish indie business, combining colorful clothing and yoga :) Sounds familiar, right?! It's so nice to come across some like-minded, friendly and interesting companies, and people behind them. And I have to say the name is just genius! Anybody familiar with capoeira or brazilian culture would know that malandragem is a thing - in a lack of a better translation, the name of the company would be in english maybe something like Saint Mischievous. Isn't that great! St.Malandra sews everything in Helsinki and gets their material by traveling in different places in the world. They just seem like they want to make the world a happier place, by sewing and selling cool clothes and teaching yoga. Makes so much sense!

The theme of my summer, spying on european people (haha, I'm becoming a foreigner!) was definitely prints. Colorful patterns in kids and adults clothing, crazy leggins with asymmetrical prints and different colorful prints combined together. The amazing flower pattern below is by Uhana Design, another Finnish company manufacturing their clothes in Europe (in Finland and Portugal). This is the pattern that has gotten so much inspiration in me that I can barely wait until I have time to draw and draw and draw, and then do some sweet photoshopping!

The fish pattern is from a baby shirt made by Vimma Clothing, a Finnish company making mainly baby and kids clothing, with some extremely nice pattens. It so happens, that while having brunch with some friends in Helsinki, I learned that a friend works as one of their designers. And according to her, the lady behind Vimma is a super sweet person - always smiles and sends really happy and motivating emails. And she has 6 (!) kids. Cheers to that!!!



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A SUMMER OF A SPY (getting inspired in England, Estonia and Finland)

My double life as a Finnish woman living in the States, traveling home every summer, gives me great opportunities to learn about indie design in different parts of the world. Where ever I go, the goal is to see if the city has their "young indie designer stores" ready to be explored. This summer I have found some definitive niceness and cool surprises in a small town called Evesham in England and in Tallinn which is the capital of Estonia. And the adventure goes on here in Helsinki as we speak! I google "indie design", "young designers", "local indie crafts/fashion", "sustainable fashion", "slow fashion" or "indie fashion store" and just try to find as many leeds as possible. Sometimes the internet doesn't help, and the best way turns out to be the sweetest: just walking around the town and asking people. Often finding one store or a studio helps in finding more, since indie designers seem to be generous about telling about their co-designers!
The pink and yellow is a shirt that wanted to move in with me from Evesham, England. The store where it used to live was a sweet little co-op of many (8 if I remember right) different style indie crafters or vintage lovers. This particular shirt was made by a beautiful lady who happened to be in the store as we visited. I love the bright colors and the fact that she makes it all out of scrap pieces, left overs or second hand fabrics, and uses tricot, like me! Also, the simple arches just make it somehow very pretty.

The black and grey is a super stylish shirt from Reet Aus, an Estonian designer who's work is just perfectly interesting and beautiful. She has a clear style to her designs, she uses industrial waste in her production, and is basically making fashion in a way that makes sense for the earth. She did her doctoral research about "the possibilities of implementing upcycling within the fashion industry and mass production" and so, is a total rock star. Now she's using what she learner in her own company and design work, and spreading the word to other designers and companies. This is what we need in the world instead of all the scary, cheap, poisonous fast fashion brands! Be sure to check out reetaus.com for some style and inspirational reading. Hurray!!



Monday, May 29, 2017

PANTS WITH BIG STORIES

During the ten or so years of making these funny pants out of used tees, there's been a couple of really memorable moments that make me feel extra lucky, happy and proud of my work. Used tees aren't a thing of great financial value, or usually considered as a fine arts/crafts material. For some people it might even seem too weird to have pants made of tees that somebody else has already used. Unless that somebody is a person you love, or in this case, somebody you really loved and who no longer is with us. Then, the value actually is incredibly big, and the material turns into something irreplaceable and beautiful. 

A couple of years ago a dear friend was cleaning up her late husband's closet and getting rid of some of the clothes that used to belong to him. Some clothes could be passed on to friends, some given to the thrift stores, but what to do with a bunch of t-shirts left from a number of marathons that he participated in? You know what happened, right? Yes, she asked me to make pants out of them. Two pairs for her and one pair for their daughter. I remember clearly how my friend was saying that "these shirts don't have any value - except for me". Pretty. Sweet.

This spring another wonderful lady came to me asking if I would be able to make a pair of pants for her, and that she might have something I could use as a material. We met at my studio, and with her she had a black t-shirt full of random, different color paint stains. That t-shirt used to belong to her adult son, who passed away more that 10 years ago. He was an artist and he would use this shirt while painting. You can clearly see some places where he has swiped and cleaned his fingers, and it makes that material crazy unique and super special. 
I know I'm not healing anybody's cancer or preventing wars from happening, but I definitely feel like what I'm doing is positive and important. And that feeling keeps me going during those moments of doubt and insecurity! This is about love, respect and being real.

Monday, March 20, 2017

SPRING BUSINESS

New retail shops, new shows and new products, and of course the kickstarted pants will make sure I'll be busy the whole spring! And I'm so glad it's happening! 
Here's a pile of baby and kid size pants in progress. Colorful, circusy, spring-happy. And way faster to make than the big adult ones. :) These little pants are made of the scraps that I make while cutting pieces for the adult pants. That way I can be faster with both - constructing adult pants of tiny pieces like this would take forever and create too many seams, but for kid size they give me the chance to combine the colors nicely. 

Then, one might ask, what happens to the scrap pieces left behind from making the baby pants.. Well, they get put inside the mediation pillows!! And hurray, we're making close to zero waste! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

MAKERS SUMMIT in Greenville, SC.


Sometimes it happens that a girlfriend decides to celebrate her birthday in a conference for makers and small business owners. And what can you do? The price was pretty high and the way there some hours of driving, but something told me this is what I need to do! And yep, it was awesome. So inspiring, so interesting and so well organized. The speakers were great - super open and clear about their experiences and advice. The place was impressive and the schedule was well-thought. And the treats for breakfast and break times were incredible. All in alignment with the event theme, using local small businesses and cooperation. Very cool. 
I wrote down pages and pages of notes and thoughts and ideas that now, a couple of days after, feel like little treasures that I can enjoy and take advantage of. Thoughts about how it feels to be a creative business owner, and how it sometimes can be overwhelming. How surrounding yourself with people who believe in you makes all the difference. How talking, sharing experiences and getting to know more small business owners will help everybody. And how healthy and fun it is to do it in real life instead of only online. How so many of us struggle with similar challenges, and how that's ok and normal. And how having the vocabulary to talk about business and social media and brand stuff helps a bunch. And how inspired, determent and happy I feel after a full weekend like that!! Thank you Makers Summit Greenville!




We did it!!! Kickstarted super successfully :D

It's a small step for he human kind, but a fairly big one for me!! Thank you everybody involved in the project. The ones sharing the links, telling a friend, helping with the making of the video and the site, and backing the project, you're super.