I’m always interested in what it is that makes people change direction in their lives or careers. From the outside change can seem quite sudden & perhaps drastic for some. For others it may be more of a progressive transformation.
About this time last year I knew I needed to do something with my “career” as a commercial textile designer for a large retailer. Having always had a stable, full time job it was a difficult decision but I quit my day job & took my husband & young son off to Cape Town, South Africa. It seemed like a good time to visit the city of my birth again as Cape Town was the World Design Capital for 2014.
Not having much of a clue what to expect I decided to throw myself into attending & participating in as many seminars & creative events as I could. At the very first talk I attended called The Design Dialogues V5.0 “What I Learned The Hard Way” I was delighted to find Heather Moore the designer/owner at Skinny laMinx was one of the inspired speakers that evening.
Nervously I approached her after the talk … Heather was lovely & so kind as to allow me to spend a day helping out at her beautiful studio & little shop in Bree St, Cape Town. I was thrilled to be able to handle a rainbow of fabric prints inspired by the simple & everyday & be submersed in such a warm & welcoming environment that is Skinny laMinx.
During my short time at the shop/studio, I found there was such a wonderful sense of connection not only with the designs & the products (that are all sewn by hand on the premises) but also the Skinny community ... that not only includes customers & other businesses on eclectic Bree St but importantly the whole Skinny laMinx team. Truly an inspiring creative business!
So how did Heather go from a potential career in teaching, to textbook illustration, to blogging, to designing textiles & running a creative business? She took some time out this weekend (at a hugely busy time in her calendar) to tell me more about her fascinating transformation & the newly released range called “Diggi Dot”.
How did you come to design & designing textiles in particular? Were you always creative?
I studied English and Drama at university, and then trained as a high school teacher. When I moved to Cape Town after my studies, I had vague notions of helping run a puppet theatre, but not much more of a plan than that. I fell into illustration work while doing my postgrad teacher training, when I did illustrations for a textbook one of my lecturers was writing. The publishers liked my drawings, and started commissioning more and I ended up being an illustrator for 10 years.