Amy Francis is the Creative designer and Owner of the eco conscious, ethically made and natural plant dyed company, Earthd. Instagram in all it’s weird and wonderful bot fuelled wisdom connected us! I have loved learning about the design, plant dyeing and manufacturing process for Amy’s carefully, artisan made pieces. Each one is made with the preservation of the earth in the forefront of her mind. It is a pleasure to receive a carefully considered and created piece for my family. The colours from the plant dyes are so rich and I am still amazed at the vibrancy of the amber, mustard, indigo and forest hues! But what attracted me to Earthd, was the story behind the makers. Enjoy this interview with Amy and let me know whether you have ever tried botanically dying fabrics at home!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I’m Amy, mamma to the sweetest little boy, Noah (3), partner to Brent and fur mamma to the cutest whippet, Zeus! We live in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia.
Earthd is a beautiful name for a thoughtful business, tell us about Earthd!
My business is Earthd. We make earth friendly,ethically made linen and clothing for little ones! The best part is that all our products have been plant dyed/botanically dyed with plants!!
As a Mum to a toddler and fur baby, life is already busy! What led you to start your own business from home?
I am always creating something, it keeps me centered and is something I do for me! I am a really artistic and creative person with an active mind, so when I do “arty stuff” it helps bring me back to “earth”again! I started dyeing some cot sheets and singlets of Noah’s with avocado pips and skins, and then began really interested in natural dyeing and started creating my swaddles in my kitchen/laundry at home! My first two dyes I began to use were madder root and indigo.
It’s amazing you can use botanically sourced colours to dye your fabrics. The colours are so vibrant! Can you tell us a bit about the plant dyeing process?
It’s a very lengthy process! But extremely fascinating. The colours that can be produced are endless. Natural plant dyes have been used dating back to ancient times well before the “synthetic” dye was created. Basically the dyes are made by extracting the colour from plants,leaves, roots, flowers, seeds. The fabric is then scoured to remove any chemicals, pre-treated with a mordant and then dyed. Usually this process can take up to a week! Plant dyeing means that there are no harsh synthetic dyes being used, therefore it is better for our skin but even better for our earth!
When I started Earthd. I was doing the dyeing myself.As mentioned above, the two colours I started with were madder root (which produced a blush colour) and Indigo (a stunning blue). I wanted to offer my customers a wider range of colours, that were also consistent. I decided to outsource my dyeing to an ethical Plant dye workshop in Indonesia run by a family that have been doing plant dyeing for many generations. Not only has this enabled me to provide a wider range of beautiful tones, it has also enabled me to spend more time with my family and focus on expanding my little business! The other great thing about this workshop is that it is completely eco friendly! Because the plant dyes are non toxic, the “waste” runs off into a local field and straight back into the earth!
I visit the workshop every 3-6 months and have developed the most wonderful relationship with the men that take so much pride and care in creating my products.
It is a daily juggling act between all the areas of life. How do you balance mumlife, business and self care?
I only recently realised how important this was,another reason I outsourced my dyeing, I was spending every night, some nights until 2-3am in my kitchen dyeing swaddles. As well as all weekend. I really began to see how little time I was giving to my partner and little boy, and I knew something had to change. I also work 3 days a week in an admin role! So I am extremely busy! I try to plan my groceries and meals for the week on aSunday, I write lists, lots of lists! And make sure I am getting plenty of rest as well! I spend my two days per week off, keeping on top of house work,and nap times for business planning, responding to emails etc…. it’s a bit of a juggle most days, but it seems to be working well!
Your work is unique and inspiring. Who inspires you?
I have met so many women on Instagram who are mums, just like me running beautiful businesses on Instagram.I am inspired by anyone that is driven to achieve their dreams, and just keep going with it. I have made some incredible friends through my little business and I am so thankful for it. One amazing woman and business mamma, Jame, of @earth.blended inspires and motivates me everyday to keep doing what I’m doing.I truly value her and the friendship we now have. I am also inspired by my partner Brent, he has been through a lot in his life, but is the hardest working person I know, with the most pure heart. He always encourages me to just keep pushing on.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
Chocolate (even though I’m dairy intolerant)
Coffee. All the coffee.
Being a mother to 3 year old Noah, what has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Wow. I have learned SO much about myself from being a mother. I have struggled with self identity combined with mental health issues for a long time. I never felt I had purpose before becoming a mother. The second my son was placed in my arms, I just felt I finally had a purpose. And all the tough times I’d been through, not knowing who I was or why I was here…. it just all made sense in that split second. Motherhood has been the most beautiful thing, it’s been challenging, really, really challenging… but becoming a mum has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m learning more about myself and about life every single day and I am so blessed to have the most amazing little boy and supportive partner. I am so,so blessed.
Between mumming, your day job, managing Earthd and more….What does a typical day in the week look like for you?
Monday’s I’m at my admin job! Business attire, packed lunch bag and copious amounts of coffee. Same as Wednesday and Thursday.
Tuesday’s and Fridays I am usually in faded overalls or gypsy florals- or let’s face it, my pjs.
I’m lucky to have a great partner and baby daddy who takes care of daycare drop offs on work days. I do pickups.
Days off are spent generally eating too much coconut yoghurt and long nap times with my little man, spending time forming relationships and maintaining relationships with the amazing people I’ve connected with in the IG world, post runs, dreaming, emails and general small biz stuff!
Thanks Amy for sharing an insight into your small business and the process behind the production of your beautiful linens.
I just want to thank anyone who has or is going to take the time to check out my little biz! It really is my heart and soul (apart from my family!) I value each and every one of my customers so, so much. You are the ones who are helping me take each stepping stone towards my dreams.