Nailed It. Creative business success story
Here at Digital Fabrics we love finding a new and interesting success story on a brand or business that is inspiring to the creative community. We thought it would be useful and informative to find out how these creative businesses nailed it, lessons learned on the way and tips they might have. We have asked them to share important “How to’s” and growth hacking tips for start-ups and emerging designers. Read it, get motivated and nail it yourself!
We are back for 2019 and we have a fabulous designer to get your creative juices flowing and your mind ticking! To get the year going we are chatting to Stavroula Adameitis, the artist and designer behind the fabulous label ‘Frida Las Vegas‘ an Australian brand known for its bright colours, pop art themes and humorous work with a big kitsch kick and homage to the 80’s. We had the pleasure of asking her a few questions about how she is nailing it and what she has learnt along her journey so far.
Firstly, please tell us about how Frida las Vegas was born and how you came up with the very fun name?
The name ‘Frida Las Vegas’ was given to me by a dear friend when I unceremoniously signed up for an OKCupid.com profile some time in 2012 and didn’t want to use my real name on screen. I stayed on the platform for a grand total of 10 minutes before getting creeped out and leaving the online dating world forevermore but I noted the name ‘Frida Las Vegas’ had a catchy ring to it. I felt the combination of artistic feminine expression a la Frida Kahlo with a side order of tack-a-rama Las Vegas glamour really summed up who I was and what I wanted to express, so it was perfect to create work under this name a year later!
Your artwork is uber unique! What messages are you trying to share and what does your brand represent?
Thank you! My work is super nostalgic and reflects my personal obsessions with icons of popular culture, architecture, fashion and memory – many of which are distinctly Australian, which I feel is missing from the pantheon of Pop Art. Glamour and humour are central to the FRIDA LAS VEGAS ideology as these terms usually contradict themselves and I don’t think they necessarily should.
Visually, I’m interested in creating a universe that exists in its own timewarp, like a mash-up between art deco linework, 1980s Memphis Milano graphics and 1950s atomica. Ultimately my brand represents the self-actualising power of positivity, colour, confidence and humour.
Your colour palette is bold and bright, do you ever see this changing or is it integral to your work?
My colour palette is somewhere between a Barbie Campervan and a bag of mixed lollies and I can’t see this changing too much across mediums. I connect with bright colours on a deep level as they give me energy. If I ever use black as a major colour, I’m pretty sure will only be used as a background for multicoloured neon lights!
Do you work on Frida las Vegas full time? If so how did you make the transition and what experience have you found most valuable on the way? What advice can you give to fellow creatives thinking about making the leap?
Presently, I work freelance and split my time between clients, agencies and my own work under the FRIDA LAS VEGAS label. It’s all a juggle but I love constantly learning and evolving. There’s no roadmap through a career and I’m excited to see where the path twists and turns as new technologies and opportunities present themselves in the future. It’s important to stay open and flexible, regardless of your medium or industry.
Do you think you have a specific demographic, if so who are they and what do you think they love most about your work?
Anyone who appreciates vintage-inspired styling, a keen sense of humour and a love of colour is probably going to connect with my work. I’ve been told by customers that wearing FRIDA LAS VEGAS makes them feel fabulous and confident, which is the ultimate double-whammy compliment in my books and also the reason I do what I do!
Sydney is a BIG source of inspiration for you (obviously, because she’s fabulous dahhh-ling). Can we expect to see any work inspired by any of our other glorious Aussie cities?
I adore Sydney and feel incredibly inspired to call Sydney home, but am equally pumped to explore the mythologies, signs, symbols, faces and places of other Australian locales – especially the Gold Coast (so gloriously tropical and tacky!) and Adelaide always holds a giant slice of my heart, as that’s where I grew up and spent my first 25 years on the planet.
Who are your biggest inspirations and who tops your dream collaboration list?
I’d love to collaborate with Black & Gold or Home Brand, but this is definitely a pipe dream as they are both very elusive and exclusive! Fashion-wise, I love the work of Elio Fiorucci, Jeremy Scott, Thierry Mugler, Gianni Versace and 80s Barbie, amongst others. Cinema is also a massive passion, especially costume and set design – which is truly creative across the spectrum and allows filmmakers and their teams to construct entire ‘worlds’, something I find really appealing.
Ethical manufacturing is clearly very important to you (yass!). As another local business supporting the ethical fashion movement we’d love to hear what your motivations with this cause are.
Ethical manufacturing makes perfect sense. From a production perspective, it’s more efficient to foster relationships with local suppliers whom you can jump on the phone and workshop ideas with in the same timezone rather than dealing with overseas companies by email. My artwork celebrates Australia in all its forms, so it’s only fair my clothing truly reflects that celebration in how it is produced and constructed. I’m a big believer in practicing what you preach!
You recently entered the world of fashion with a product list growing fast! What led to you designing and creating these pieces and what might be next?
I’m always motivated to design what I personally want to wear and can’t find on the market. I’m not interested in trying to reach a mass audience, which gives me freedom to follow my instincts and design without boundaries. Presently I’m on the hunt for the perfect swimsuit that is fun AND flattering, with no luck from what’s on the market – so I’m working on making that happen!
What projects are on the horizon for Frida Las Vegas for 2019? Can you share any juicy plans or new product launches?
I’m working on an exhibition of neon and acrylic art that I’m MEGA pumped about, which is shaping up to be an extravaganza of extreme 80s glamour!
What is your advice for creatives at the beginning of their journey? Perhaps they are not sure on the product to create or the path to go down. If you could go back and give yourself advice, what would it be?
The best way to do is by doing. Skill up. Tool Up. Bar a few established professions, the concept of a career with a capital C is 100 per cent in flux right now – so stay ahead of the game with real, practical, hands-on skills that render you valuable and flexible for a changing world.
Find your own unique style. Don’t seek to emulate the work of one or two of your favourite artists. Instead, find inspiration from the random things that TRULY speak to you. Aim to ‘channel’ your influences rather than ‘copy’. Creating a style is all about how you mix up the mediums, styles, symbols and feelings of the things you love to create a product that is more cohesive than the sum of all its parts. Do this with your own personal flourishes.
Social media now consumes so much of our time and mental space, how do you manage this area and do you have any tips on how to stay relevant and fresh?
Social platforms are purposefully addictive by the nature of their interface design. With minimal ‘exit points’, it’s important to maintain boundaries with yourself and not get lost ‘in the scroll’. I strive to share my work in a tone that is authentic, relatable and not-too-serious. If a photo or video takes more than a minute to write a caption, I don’t post it because it means I’m probably thinking about it too much. Ultimately it’s important to not take social too seriously or let it define you – we are all human, not numbers!
As a business owner these days you have to have the ability to wear lots of hats, what is your favourite and least favourite hat to wear and why?
Posting orders at the post office isn’t my favourite part of the process but I’m trying to find beauty in the banal and see it as a chance to leave the computer and stop ‘n’ smell the (Cadbury) Roses!
Thanks Stav, what a fun and inspiring read!
You can follow along with what Stavroula from Freda Las Vegas is upto Website, Instagram,
We have another very exciting addition to our fabric range which we are dying to introduce. Please meet our newest polyester fabric, the Chevy! We think this will be a particularly exciting launch for those with budding summer fashion projects!
Chevy is a polyester / spandex blend (92% polyester / 8% spandex) which provides the fabric with a little stretch. The small amount of stretch provides the fabric with some give, making it a really comfortable fabric to wear.
The fabric has an off-white base, with a chevron weave and a matte finish. The fabric’s composition and finish, results in strong colour reproduction when printed, making it an excellent choice for projects with bright and deep colours.
Chevy is a mid-weight 170 GSM fabric that is both durable and smooth to touch. Chevy is ideal for fashion garments designed to have structure to their form, whilst still being super comfortable to wear. We think the Chevy will be perfect for light suit jackets and blazers, bomber jackets, pants, culottes, shorts, skirts and dresses.
Whilst we think this fabric is most suitable for fashion applications, it’s durability, printed colour results and resistance to creasing would also make it a great choice for some interiors and events projects, such as tablecloths and banners.
Sample swatches of Chevy are available now through our Sample Pack Order Form. Get in touch with any projects you think our Chevy would be great for!
Snippets’. Chats with Creatives. We are back with series two! Here at Digital Fabrics we love everything print, pattern and colour and we love to know what makes designers tick. This second series is all about asking some fun and different questions and learning about the inspirations and ideas behind the artist and their work. We hope to inspire others by sharing snippets of these creative stories. We gave the artists and designers featured a varied and different set from series one list of questions to choose from so we will learn something new from everyone involved, should be fun!
Today on snippets we are talking to Bianca from Bianca Smith Designs who creates artworks that are about empowering women and combine her love for theatre, ballet and beauty in a majestic and magical way. Her style is very unique and she creates a variety of artworks that translate across mediums.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your brand/label name what your creative practice is, how and when you began:
My name is Bianca, known affectionately by friends as ‘Bi’, which I also use to sign all of my work.
I’m a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist by trade and I am based in Adelaide. I’ve been a Graphic Designer for close to 20 years where I am able to use my flair for design, but my true passion is art, so over the past 10 years I have invested every moment I can into refining and developing my visual art skills. I love to draw, paint and create. My utopia is producing art all day every day!
My art work always addresses the empowerment of women – almost a goddess status. Bringing together my love of theatre/ballet and beauty, I try to capture the strength and beauty of my characters in an almost theatrical way. I take inspiration from the novels that I read featuring female heroines as well as the inspiring women that I meet. My use of dramatic light and beautiful models assists in portraying the strength and resilience of women.
Drawing from my other love, fashion, I did a series of illustrative for Australian Fashion Labels. My works focused on capturing the strength and confidence of the girls that wear their clothing, whilst portraying the playful essence of the brand. By mixing monotone drawings with a splash of colour, I aimed to change the tone and strength, creating images of women who are powerful yet delicate. This is universally at the core of what I produce.
Where do you call home?
What 3 words best describe your creative style.
Illustrative, Modern, Contemporary.
Which part of the creative process is your favourite and why?
I love the conception of a piece of artwork. The tumbling of images in my mind, which eventually form and crystallise from an idea, a concept, into a clear vision. That vision then becomes an obsession, a desperate struggle to be formed with exact replication. I obsess over sharing my image with precision and that drive continues throughout the process, that desire to replicate perfectly is a bitter, sweet scuffle.
How would you describe your work, and what influences your style?
Although my artistic style can, and does vary, depending on my life and surroundings, I’m also heavily influenced by fashion illustration and my own passion for clothing. The textures, the colours, the cut, and the design all inspire me. I predominantly work in pastel and watercolour and although I create every piece of artwork by hand, I then use the finished original image, together with various digital techniques to create a series of pieces, combining my art with my design skills.
Fashion and women heavily influence my style. I love, love, love fashion, perhaps another personal obsession!
What does a typical creative day look like for you? How do you stay on plan and organised?
After getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise and then get my kids ready and off to school, I usually start my working day with a much-needed coffee and the checking of emails. Unfortunately, the reality of life means some days I don’t leave my computer, but whenever time permits, I surrender to my obsessive desire to escape to my studio and create.
Depending on which stage in the process a piece of artwork is, you will either find me upstairs in my studio drawing life into an image or enhancing that original piece of art in Photoshop as I design something for my unique collection of diary covers, pillows, cards, and homewares.
I’m a deadline kind of a girl, it’s the only way I can stay on task. That’s why I love projects where there is an objective and a deadline. I thrive under pressure and produce my best work with adrenaline, conflicting priorities and a little chaos.
What would your dream creative project look like? Who or what is your dream project, client or job? Tell us about why you would love to collaborate with them and what you find inspiring about their work.
My absolute dream creative project would be working collaboratively with a ‘fashion house’ to illustrate their models and garments for window display and the associated promotional campaign. Having unrestricted access to their design method, the inner workings of a label and seeing their creative process unfold would be nothing less than inspirational. To then have the honour of representing that in art form, bringing that vision to life is my ultimate goal.
If you could spend a day in another artist’s studio shoes who would that artist be?
Kelly Smith of ‘Birdyandme’ fame, works with all the top fashion labels around the world and I’m a massive fan of her work. If I could be in her shoes for a day I would honestly be living my dream. Or Gabriel Moreno – who is an AMAZING artist overseas. He has a remarkable ability to capture the delicacy, strength, and sensuality of women in his drawings. They are just astonishing! I would love to even have a day in his studio to watch him work.
What would you say is the biggest challenge when working for yourself ?
Staying positive about your work!
Social media can be a double edge sword as it both inspires and intimidates. It is full of people posting about their successes and digital platforms have a knack of focusing on the positives whilst minimising or eliminating the negatives, the sacrifices, struggles and setbacks. It is easy to assume “their” life is perfect, easy, and unattainable when there a no posts about failure.
The truth is, for every success there has usually been many challenges, rejections, and disappointments. It’s important to learn from them all and allow it to fuel your growth, stretch you, and inspire you. I often question my skills and direction, but sometimes you just need to believe in yourself and your vision. And then of course practice, practice and practice some more until your craft is refined to its full potential.
If you could go back and tell yourself one hot tip or piece of advice when you started out what would it be?
Believe in yourself and follow your heart
What has been your proudest creative business achievement to date?
Doing an artist residency with Australian Fashion Labels. I worked from their creative hub in Adelaide City for 3 months, putting together a dedicate exhibition, which was then displayed in their store windows throughout SALA (South Australian Living Artist).
What projects or collaborations from last year stuck out, good or bad and what is coming up this year that you would like to plug!
The project that stood out for me last year was doing all the illustrations for the wine labels of an established winery in Mclaren Vale. They will be launching very soon, I cant wait to share them.
You can follow what Bianca is up to: Website, Instagram, Facebook.
We’ve been really committed of late to sourcing gorgeous new fabrics to offer all of our customers, and are very pleased to introduce the second NEW addition to Digital Fabric’s polyester range – the Whisper. If you’ve been dreaming of a fantastic alternative to silk, with a hint of stretch and zero sheen, then this dreamy fabric’s for you!
Whisper is a light-weight fabric with a matte finish and a bright white base, which provides excellent colour reproduction when printed. The fabric’s smooth textured surface makes visible the fine details of designs making it perfect for prints with lots of elements and / or texture.
The fabric is a polyester / spandex blend with a good amount of stretch, and has an ultra-fine surface. Whisper’s feel and flexibility makes it a perfect choice for fashion garments and accessories as it is really comfortable to wear, and soft to touch. Whisper’s slinky, liquid-like drape makes it a great matte substitute for silk, and is most similar to our Dilly fabric. We think this fabric will be just perfect for scarves, skirts, dresses, blouses, lounge-wear, undergarments and soft accessories.
Sample swatches of Whisper are available now through our Sample Pack Order Form. Get in touch with any projects you feel the Whisper would be fabulous for!
Lately we’ve been committed to finding gorgeous new fabrics that we can offer to all of our customers! After plenty of research, sourcing and testing we are very excited to announce that we have a NEW fabric! Introducing Digital Fabrics’ newest polyester fabric – the Oliver. For those looking for a new fashion fabric the Oliver is definitely something you’ll be interested in.
The Oliver is a lightweight, 127 GSM Polyester Spandex blend (95% Polyester / 5% Spandex), which provides the fabric with a little stretch, making it a really comfortable option for fashion garments. Oliver has a bright white base with a matte surface, which results in strong colour reproduction when printing! The fabric is breathable, super-soft to touch and has an excellent drape.
This fabric is ideal for fashion applications, especially for those designing easy to wear, relaxed garments. Oliver is perfect for dresses, skirts, tops, soft accessories and loose-fitting Activewear.
Sample swatches of the Oliver are available now through our Sample Pack Order Form. If you’ve got an idea you think the Oliver might be perfect for, we’d love to hear from you!
Thank you to everyone who entered our ‘Palm Springs’ design competition, we had so many great entries and loved all the different design styles and mediums used to create them. It was a difficult decision choosing the winners but we are happy to announce them today!
The top Ten were chosen by you the public :
The team at DF have chosen the following designs as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners:
1st Prize goes to Tyago BK – This design was inspired by photographs taken of Palm Springs landscape and architecture.
2nd Prize goes to Sandra K Stewart – This design was inspired by it’s shopping district, vintage boutiques and fashionista vibe including the Coachella festival.
3rd Prize goes to Lang Matkovic – This design was inspired by a pastel coloured palette and the palms of palm springs.
The prizes are as follows:
1st Prize $250 worth of custom printing and a 45cm x 45cm cushion with the winning design artwork on it.
Sandra K Stewart
2nd Prize $100 of custom printing and a 45cm x 45cm cushion with the winning design artwork on it.
3rd Prize $50 worth of custom printing and a 45cm x45cm cushion with the winning design artwork on it.
Thank you to everyone who entered, we are always blown away by the talent in the designs. We shall of course do another one next year so keep your eyes peeled.
Digital Fabrics is the proud sponsor of 8Create: The Wearable Art Challenge.
If you are fashion designer and love to test your skills, apply today. Eight lucky entrants will bring their original designs to life in a three-day fashion workshop at Westfield Warringah Mall. Each will create a custom piece of wearable art in response to a design brief developed by our competition mentor: `
Henry Roth – Host of Project Runway Australia.
The winner will receive:
• A two-hour exclusive mentorship session with Maticevski at Westfield Bondi Junction
• $2000 in Westfield Gift Cards
• $500 gift voucher from Digital Fabrics for custom fabric printing
Check the Westfield website for more details
Mark your agendas because Digital Fabrics will be part of the Dlux Sartorial creative event on Wednesday, 21 September! Super talented creative teams working on bringing different elements sound, light and fashion together into wearable art pieces. Sydney people, come and join us!
Experience the future of #fashion with Dlux Sartorial on Wednesday, 21 September from 7pm at 74-76 Pyrmont bridge road, Annandale. See how artists and designers weave technology into clothing. Tickets $15. For more details visit the Dlux Sartorial website.
The beauty with fabrics is what you can make with them. Creative DIY talent Oaishe created a gorgeous DIY pleated bodice and circle skirt dress using the TEA ROSE cotton sateen fabric
In her tutorial she shows us how to beautiful details of how she creates the pleats in the bodice and then how you can create and attach the circle skirt to create a unique dress. For this DIY project you need about 2-3 yards/meters of fabric.
Did you know that printing fabrics with us is super easy? Create your design, Upload and pay, Receive your fabric! Our minimum order is just 1 m.
We are introducing our new fabric designer JeliRAD. JeliRAD won our Winter Blooms fabric design competition and her winning design is for sale our fabric shop!
Her Double Exposure print is a beautiful romantic floral design that is great for a dress or swimwear and is easy to wear and implement within various fashion garments.
JeliRAD is a passionate surface designer her work is inspired by surrounds and nature. She lives in beautiful Byron Bay surrounded by pristine beaches, sunshine & rugged wilderness.
She made this design using 35mm double exposure photos. They are of her husband, her daughter, & landscapes that are overlapped with pink & purple flowers from all over the island.
Do you love this design? Support JeliRAD! Pick this design and print on any of our stock fabric, whichever is suitable for your project!
And for a limited time only, we are offering an introductory prices. Don’t miss the chance to buy JeriRADs Double Exposure fabric, use INTRO promo code on checkout and get 10% off. This offer will last till the end of this month only!