Monday, August 16, 2010
Creative business - 'Cloth'
A quick shot of Cloth's front window
On the weekend I had a quick visit to the Cloth shop to buy fabric scraps to use for some projects I have in mind. The artist/designer/owner Julie Patterson happened to be there. I've watched her business grow and noticed her pop up in the media now and then, and always admired her style. She's a design icon to me. Once I got over a bit of shyness I asked her some questions about creativity and business.
The many beautiful fabric designs created by Cloth...
Including Australian native plant designs
I'm always curious about how people started their businesses, how they keep motivated, where they see the business going, how they balance creativity with the boring stuff like admin, all that sort of stuff. But as I didn't want to monopolise all her time I kept it brief, and what she told me I found both inspiring and disheartening.
Yes she loves what she does and wouldn't do it if she didn't. I can tell from her work that her heart's in it. Her inspiration seems endless and she appears to delve into all sorts of artistic pursuits. But, as expected, she said it took a long time until the business was really doing well, and it's an uphill slog to keep it that way, or something to that effect.
Small pieces of screen printed fabric in hemp and linen, and cute covered buttons...
... and a scrap bag ready to be turned into goodies - I'll show you what I end up making with it
My future work/life balance, career and family life is always on my mind. I know I can't go back to what I did BC (before children) as it's not family friendly enough, and also I don't want to - I'm ready for a change... but how do I try to be creative, look after the family and earn some money at the same time? That's my dilema. It was interesting to get Julie's opinion on having a creative business based on art and design. Plenty for me to think about...
If you have any tips or thoughts I'd love to hear them.