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Saturday, 13 February 2010

Who's That Girl?

Is it normal to have a girl-crush on your studio assistant? I'm not sure but I know that I have been having so much fun going to work lately along with super-versatile assistant, Natalie Lane.

On Thursday morning when Natalie came to work, I announced that we were going to do a photo-shoot with me as the photographer/stylist and her as the model.

Natalie is such a great sport as we took our fabrics and draped them all over her in the local skate park at Alexandra Hills, while attracting the attention of a few teenage boys (not sure why they weren't in school)
and with amazing results, don't you think?

I have updated our homepage with this same picture. The caption reads "surround yourself with organic goodness". The image will also be used in a couple of ads that I am designing, one for eco-fabulous Peppermint Mag and the other for Mixtape Zine.

I love that Natalie likes doing all the things that I don't necessarily enjoy such as mixing ink colours and testing them until we think they are the right shade. Much more time-consuming than you may imagine. And yes, she is this cheery all of the time!

I first met Natalie when we both won Memento awards in 2007. The awards, now longer in existence, were given for Australian-made souveniers. Natalie won one for her "Down Undies" digitally printed gift pants and I for the Brisbane Skirt.

Natalie actually attended one of my screen-printing workshops and began working part-time for me soon after, in 2008. I trained her to print large screens for fabric yardage with me.

I was so excited when Natalie called me before Christmas, after returning from a long European trip, as previous assistant (and cousin) Eleni announced that she will be concentrating on full-time studies this year.


The above images are from a project Natalie worked on called 2 Series. The plastic earrings were recycled from discarded domestic packaging. Natalie is a crusader for the environment and this is something that was important to me as an employer.

So who is Natalie Lane? Well, let's ask her.

1. What are some of your achievements to date?

In 2008 I graduated from Griffith, Queensland College of Art, with a Bachelor of Design - Majoring in Product Design. I was proud to receive the Design Studies Medal for outstanding academic achievement in my program. In 2007 I received a first place at the Memento Australia Awards in the Emerging Queensland Designer Category. This is actually how I met Thea as she won an award for her Brisbane Skirt the same year.


2. What do you do outside work? I started dancing when I was a ‘little one’ and still do. This year I am teaching Tap Dancing to kids and hopefully soon beginner adults. Tap is my favorite style because you’re creating a visual performance and sound too.


3. Share something interesting that people may not know about you? Hmm, I didn’t really grow hair until I was three!


4. Why did you choose to work at Thea & Sami? Thea and Sami was appealing for a number of reasons. I was impressed that they used organic fabrics and water based inks for the environment and came to realize that they also much nicer and less toxic to work with. I enjoy creating things by hand so studio work is perfect. As Thea and Sami is a small business, I get the chance to perform a variety of tasks (from mixing colours to modeling) so my days are never dull.


5. What are some of your other plans? I am also in business with my friend Melanie Foote who I met in first year at university. We are currently in the early stages of developing a product range made entirely from recycled household plastics. The first product is cabinet/door knobs! We hope to supply these to interior designers, furniture manufacturers and home renovators. We just thought of the name ‘waste-not-want-knob’ which gave us a laugh.


Thanks Natalie! I'm sure that your name will be one to watch out for in the near future.

I'm saying a quick hello to Holly and fellow students here from my Blogging Your Way class as this interview also counts as my homework this week :)

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17 comments:

Miss B said...

This was done very well! And so nice for a boss to appreciate their assistant, you are obviously amazing and if I lived in Australia I would want to assist you too!

xo,

Miss B

Curlyhead said...

Exciting stuff. I can't wait to meet Natalie :)

Posie Patchwork said...

How much fun are you having in the studio!! I love having an assistant, mine is Melissa & i love her too. She was a customer, friend, then employee. She also likes all the things i am not in love with doing like cutting & sh is my card maker, oh her patience!! Enjoy & have fun next week, love Posie

flowing moments said...

you are so good !!!! I love how your post unravelled, you sense of humour, your beautiful words, the interviews is great, it is lively ... loved it :) and the idea of "surround yourself with organic goodness" touches me, I love saying that sentence again and again and the idea !

juliette said...

nice feature! it's cool to see people who are behind the scenes because it also shows more of your personality at the same time!

Nikki Cardigan said...

The photo is great Thea. I am sure that you will both inspire each other... what a great environment to work in.

Lisa said...

That photo with all the fabric is so cool! It conveys such a sense of fun - and I love that all that lovely fabric is organic. I've been expressing an interest in screen printing on organic fabric/clothing/etc. for about three years now - without much result. I guess I need to narrow my interests and focus ;-).
I love to hear about people who love their work - You and Natalie are very fortunate - and inspiring!
Also, thank you for the magazine (Peppermint) recommendation. I will definitely check it out.

vineeta said...

This is a really interesting idea for a post- wow! And I'm not going to ask 'how did you ever think of it?' with Natalie right there in front of you. The pictures added 100% to this post. I dont ever post people pics on my blog & I think I might want to re-look that unwritten policy of mine.
I really liked natalie & how lucky are you to have someone like her to work with :)

GOSIA said...

In SUCH a place I'd like to be an assistant, too. It looks as if you have a lot of fun there + so much crealivity in the air. I envy you!!
Unfortunately I can't even make it into your shop/studio... too far away.... Say hello to Natalie from me, anyway;)

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling, wishing you a love filled Valentine’s Day, full of laughter, good food and great company.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

Lana said...

Lovely interview and post and your first pic is great! Your studio looks like such a creative and fun space to work!

Sophie Munns said...

Great post Thea....
loved reading about Natalie and your projects and then the interview with her...
wonderful stuff....
good working!
S

yardage girl said...

Great post, Thea - love the photo and the interview - a great read top to bottom. Nic

Beach Vintage said...

Wow Thea , that picture of Natalie 'lost' in the fabrics is just amazing.

Exquisite Accessories said...

Thats great Thea you sound like work is a fun place to be & why not! ;) will enjoy watching the ride, I finally posted about meeting you, how bad am I to take so long, hopefully when I next come down to Brisbane I can do one of your workshops! Elaine x

Curiouser & Curiouser said...

Thea & Sami sounds like a fantastic place to work. You sound like you enjoy your job and look forward to going to the studio. If you need any more help in the studio let me know, I am in Brisbane.

Catherine Lowe said...

Loved it! How fun. And yay to enjoying the people you work with. Go girls! :)

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