Interview with Earthd

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. 

Amy and her beautiful family

 

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.

All snug in a botanically dyed sunshine gold wrap

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. 

The plant dyeing process in Indonesia

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)

My family

Coffee. All the coffee. 

Amy & Noah

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. 

Beautifully plant dyed wraps in gold, blush, terracotta, forest and indigo

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. 

Check out Earthd at @earthd_ on Instagram and shop online at www.earthdco.com.au Amy has kindly offered 15% off all orders using the discount code NATASHA15 at check out.

The gorgeous Earthd indigo blue wrap, 100% cotton muslin

Interview with Apollo & Artemis Kid’s

Artemis and Apollo Kid’s is an Australian designed and owned children’s textile label by Isabella Colman. Her designs are inspired by bold, fun, exotic and magically detailed illustrations and techniques. Artemis and Apollo captures the gypsy, carefree spirit without compromising comfort and style. Bella’s clothing label has a strong emphasis on having eco friendly printing, an ethically minded business approach and letting kids be kids! Read on to hear about this emerging, young textile designer with a heart and passion for design, vibrant patterns and music!

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey guys! My name is Bella and I’m a 25 year old Melbournian Textile designer! 

Tell us about your textile label, Artemis and Apollo Kids and what inspired you to take the step into this industry?

While studying a Bachelor of Arts – Textile design at RMIT university, I nannied part time and really grew an obsession for baby/kids patterns! I was always pattern obsessed but honestly never thought much about kidswear until that point. I’ve also always been very passionate about the world and our environment but never really understood how I could make a difference with my passion for textiles until I decided to start Artemis and Apollo and therefore control every aspect of production. I also hope to one day run projects through Artemis and Apollo to help children who are less fortunate. 

Bella and two little gypsies.

What are the biggest trends you are seeing in the kid’s clothing industry at the moment?

To be honest, I don’t really follow the baby wear/kids wear trends. When I first started thinking about doing Artemis and Apollo I decided I didn’t want to be constricted. I wanted to just design whatever I wanted and just let myself be inspired by my travels and worldly textile history (ignorant 22 year old!) Luckily so far so good haha! But currently there seems to be a lot of basics, which is possibly good for me as most of my pieces are very far from basic, I think kids need to be kids – and kids love crazy and colour.

What do you love the most about your work?

Just getting to do whatever I want, whenever I want to (within budget obviously). It is a bit risky/scary ordering shipments of my designs without knowing how they will go. It’s always a surprise really, things I think will go crazy are calm, and the things I nearly cancelled go crazy. Working for myself also means I can spend the afternoon at the beach and work into the night instead, which is great for me!

Artemis and Apollo’s designs are made for kids to be kids!

Who inspires you and why?

Obviously Spell… Camilla, Arnhem, anything pattern crazy really! 

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

I hate myself for the first two – but phone, laptop, beach and boyfriend (can I do 4? That’s too hard to condense!)

What do you do for self care?

I am pretty beach obsessed. I also love reading, time with my cat, looking after my plants, yoga and obviously drawing! My partner and I make a lot of time for each other, we love adventuring or going to trampoline parks/water parks and being big kids. We are also very into music and spend way too much on gigs/concerts/festivals.

Taking some time out for self care at the beach

When is your favourite hour of the day and why?

Too hard to decide between sunrise and sunset! Either way, if I am home I will always run across to the beach to watch the sunset over the sea.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in your industry?

There’s way too many of us, unfortunately its gone a bit mental. You’ve got to stick out or else you’ll just get left behind.


Thanks to the beautiful Isabella for sharing her journey as the owner, designer and visionary for Artemis and Apollo Kids! Check out her website! For more details about her design process, patterns, photoshoots and more, go to Bella’s Blog. Don’t forget to show her some love on Instagram too! Let’s be women who support women @artemisandapollokids

Create from your heart

Interview with Urban Gypsy Collective

Gerry and Rachelle. The bohemian queens who are the face of the online store, Urban Gypsy Collective. Both ladies inspire the online fashion community with their whimsical, effortless style that is practical yet luxurious. Their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion led them to create a beautiful store that can be shopped from anywhere in the world. Sharing their experiences from Sydney to Singapore, I had the pleasure of interviewing these two ladies.  

We would love to know a bit about the two founders of Urban Gypsy Collective! Tell us about yourselves.

Gerry: Hey, I’m Gerry Capablanca. I’m a Sydneysider who’s been living in Singapore for the past 7 years. I’m mumma to 3 awesome boys, Jack, Jedd and Judah, wife to Joey and co-founder of Urban Gypsy Co.

Rachelle: I am Rachelle, the other half of Urban Gypsy Co and I am a born and bred local Singaporean.

Rachelle and Gerry – Urban Gypsy Founders

Urban Gypsy Collective is an exciting new venture for you both. Tell us more!

Urban Gypsy Collective is an online store based here in Singapore which stocks some amazing Aussie boho and coastal labels like Arnhem, Rowie, Lack of Color and more. We launched Urban Gypsy in July 2018 so we’re still fairly new and still navigating our way through being business owners and running an online store.

What led you to start your own business?

Rachelle and I are both fashion fanatics and opening a store was something we’d both thought about for as long as we can remember. So one day we got to talking and decided we should just do it! We wanted to stock products we’d love to wear ourselves and we seemed to always be ordering everything from Australia. So we decided we wanted to be the first in Singapore to start stocking these Aussie brands.

It has always been at the back of my head, but at that time I wasn’t ready to start a business alone. Once I met Gerry, as they say “the rest was history”. We’ve always wanted to bring the concept of quality and sustainable bohemian and coastal fashion to Singapore, and then we decided to just take the plunge and do it!

Gerry, how do you balance mumlife, business and self care?

It’s tough, I won’t lie and I’m still trying to learn how to balance everything. Being a mum sometimes leaves no time for anything else let alone running a business and finding time for self care. But I’m extremely blessed to have a very encouraging and supportive hubby and I’m really thankful to have a great business partner in Rachelle. I think the most important thing I’ve realised becoming a Mum is that I need to take the time to look after myself. A friend once said to me ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ and it really hit home for me because it’s so true. I’ve come to realise I first need to look after myself to be able to be the best I can be for my family (and also in business). I find when I’ve made the time to simply go for a run or swim, or to just take some timeout, it’s rejuvenating for the body and soul and then I can be a much better Mum and wife. I’m able to give more of myself and get things done.

Rachelle, how do you balance work life, business and self care?

Compartmentalise, no matter how busy it gets, always don’t let it get in the way of self care. Everyone gets tired out– it’s always important to pamper yourself and be refreshed with new ideas!

Who inspires you?

My family are my number one inspiration. They make me want to always do my best. And there’s so many women out there who I’ve never met before but I know through social media whose posts, blogs and stories inspire me daily. It’s so uplifting to see positive and empowering messages from other women doing what they love, standing up for what they believe in and just keeping it real.

Victoria Beckham has always been the longest fashion inspiration for me. I have always admired her passion for her work and her dedication to her family while juggling a fashion empire.

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

My family, chocolate and Summer.

Family, friends and candies.

Rachelle & Gerry at their first Pop Up Event

Gerry, what has motherhood taught you about yourself?

It’s taught me I’m really much stronger than I thought I was and that I’m capable of loving unconditionally. It’s also taught me to savour every season because these days go way too fast.

What does a typical day in the week look like for you?

Well it depends what day of the week we’re talking about but generally Monday to Friday I’m running around on Mum duty – making lunches, driving my kids to classes, helping with homework and trying to squeeze in a workout here and there. Weekends revolve around food and relaxing!

The typical adulting stuff, I go to my day job and then usually wind down after work with dinner and drinks with friends!

Any tips for someone starting out in your industry?

I’m no expert but my biggest tip would be to take the plunge and ‘just start’! Start researching, start reaching out to people, start asking questions, draft out a business plan… just take the first step and start. There’s really no better way to start than diving in head first.

And starting your business based on a passion, something you believe in or what you love, I think is the key – the benefit being you’ll know why you’re doing it and its essentially your passion that will get you through the more challenging times.

Do not be afraid of failure, give your best in something that you love to do and you will eventually find your way and flow.

So for my jet setting readers, any hot tips of where to go, eat or shop in Singapore?

Food is life. I really love eating and Singapore has an abundance of amazing foods. If you ever find yourself in Singapore a must try is Singapore chilli crab and my fave place for crab is Jumbos. On nights out we’ll usually hit Ann Siang Hill and Club Street areas for intimate restaurants, bars galore and hidden speakeasys. Weekends we love going to Tanjong Beach Club to just chill, drink cocktails and listen to cool tunes while the kids swim in the pool overlooking the beach. They also do yummy seafood!

For a true Singaporean experience, I would highly recommend going to Tiong Bahru Market in the morning where they have a selection of hawker stalls that sell a wide variety of affordable local food.

Thanks to Gerry and Rachelle for their insight into starting out in the fashion industry, following their passions and finding the balance in it all! They have kindly offered 15% off your first online order at Urban Gypsy Collective. You can use the discount code NATASHA15 at checkout to receive this generous offer. Thanks ladies!

You can find their online store at www.urbangypsy.co/ and on Instagram at @urbangypsy.co Follow them to find out more and join their journey!

Singapore fondly referred to as the “Little Red Dot.”