Tell us a little about you self and what you do.
My name is Elizabeth Cook and I am the owner of Frolic in Fabric. I love to sew and create using beautiful fabrics both new and vintage. In 2004 and I began making clothes for my own children and people would often ask where I bought their clothes from and so my business started. I began making clothes and accessories for friends and then selling them at the local hand-made markets and local boutiques. I feel very privileged to have been able to be at home with my kids during their preschool years and somehow manage to run a small business. It just goes to show that if you are passionate about something anything is possible.
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
They say necessity is the mother of invention and I find I am constantly inspired by my fascination with new and recycled fabrics to design pieces I know my children would love to wear or to create accessories to decorate my own home. In the process I have discovered there is a market for my designs amongst a widening circle of friends, acquaintances and local boutiques.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you design?
My inspiration comes from many sources. Quite often it is the fabric itself that is the inspiration. Other things could be from photos and magazines, books, patterns, seasonal trends, architecture, my kids, nature just to name a few.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Hospitable, passionate, creative, patient, friendly
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
When I was twelve years old I started working in a family run drapery, known as Caba’s Draperyselling fabrics, manchester and uniforms. As it is today, the drapery back then had a warm, welcoming feel with quality products. For me it was not really like a job, I loved learning about different fabrics, reading patterns and helping customers choose fabrics for that special garment. (The only problem was that I would usually spend my wages buying fabrics and patterns!). I held this job throughout high school and my first year at Uni. During school I thrived on Textiles and Design and went on to do a Bachelor of Business. After working in the Tourism industry for about five years my passion for textiles and design re-surfaced and developed into an income earning alternative. I began selling my designs at the local hand- made market and several local boutiques. Now my home studio is almost complete, providing me with a creative space to run workshops and sell my pieces.
The studio will provide me with a dedicated space to create individual garments and accessories currently on order. This sunny, well lit environment will be well equipped with everything I need to teach my craft on an intimate small group basis.
Describe a typical day in your studio space?
My time in my studio is such precious time for me so I have to make every minute count. My day is all about achieving the goals I have set for myself for that week and prioritising each task. At the moment it is split between setting up and completing my studio with designing and producing products for my existing customers.
As a designer, what is your biggest frustration?
It would have to be juggling the constant urge to create with meeting the needs of my young family.
Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.
The best way to prioritise my work is to write everything down into a daily and weekly schedule – One thing Vinh has really helped me with. Having a studio adjacent to my home allows me a lot of flexibility. I can access my work space quickly and easily whilst also separating work from home. I dedicate specific times in my week to planning and setting goals, the creative process, meeting budgets and filling orders.
Since you are working at home, can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
Living in a major regional centre exposes me to a range of local artists and designers from Coffs Harbour to Bellingen. I also attend fashion, home-ware and craft exhibitions and am a dedicated blogger and internet browser.
Tell me how do you manage to study, work on your business and looking after your family as the same time?
I am currently completing a course in fashion and design. My youngest is almost school age and so I can attend the course on the days she is at pre-school. Beyond that I structure my time carefully, try to be organised and cram in a many late nights along the way!
What advice can you offer other creative people and particularly creative mums who are just starting out and following their passions?
Raising a family can stretch you in so many ways making it seem almost impossible to find the time or energy to pursue ambitions beyond them. But I find if you can pursue a goal where your passion lies, you can be flooded with inspiration and energy for every aspect of your life. It’s a tricky balance but one your whole family can benefit from as Mum is more excited about life on a daily basis.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I love to spend time with my family and am very reluctant to miss a moment of their childhood. I am aware of how quickly this stage will pass us by if we don’t guard this wonderful opportunity. I am eager to watch them develop and pursue their own goals and dreams, guiding them in line with their passion. I would love to travel together overseas.
What is your proudest moment so far?
Being happily married to a great man who I adore and who loves and supports me.
Who do you most want to meet and why?
My Mum for coffee- on a regular basis to assist in maintaining my sanity.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
To have a solid foundation in your faith which helps direct me towards good relationships and successful decisions.
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
Joyce Meyer- “100 Ways To Simplify Your Life”.
Where do we find you and your product?
My website: http:http: www.frolicinfabric.com.au
My blog: www.frolicinfabric.blogspot.com
The Vintage Nest (Bellingen)
Magnolias Home and Gift (Inverell)
Jetty Harbourside Markets (Coffs Harbour)
Frolic in Fabric Studio (Coffs Harbour)