Being a person and a business, and keeping your opinions to yourself

No doubt, if you follow me on any social media, you have noticed that I’m not great at staying silent about social inequality topics like marriage equality & homophobia. And because my label is just me, that opinion gets declared on my instagram, twitter & facebook feed. I have noticed that some people keep their opinions on issues like this very quiet, and I have had one woman make a vague reference (was I supposed to take it as a threat? LOL) about not shopping from people who make political posts on their business pages… but you know what, that lady? I don’t want your money if you don’t support marriage equality. Go buy your fashion from someone who is passionate about your causes. May I suggest that Guy Who Loves A Dress, Cory Bernardi, be your inspiration, and good luck to you. Yeah I get it, it sucks hearing about stuff that you don’t care about. But some of us do care. We care mightily. And for those who are directly effected by all this? You can bet your backside they care.

I decided early on with this venture that how I feel about this, and other social issues, is integral to me and so by extension my brand, my label, it’s part of who I am and so of course it inspires my creative pursuits. Social inequality in the fashion world is, after all, one of the major reasons that Joolz exists as a fashion label. If there were a bunch of fashion houses already supplying the plus size market with all the things I wanted to wear, then I wouldn’t have had so much reason to make, and later start selling my own clothes.

So this is really two fingers in the air to those who have decided to play it “safe” and in doing so, not give their wholehearted support to the members of our society who need it most. That’s a privilege that those this directly effects can not afford to do, and I choose to support them. But it’s mainly two fingers up to that ridiculous woman who thought I would give a rats about courting business from obscene dinosaurs who haven’t got the cognitive skills to find their way into the 21st century.


Sometimes you just have to let go of an idea

I don’t get back to this blog as often as I should, I know. But I find running my own business, all the online work, keeping things photographed and updated on etsy, making sure I post on instagram and facebook and twitter and (let’s face it, only every now and then) tumblr, and looking after the online shop, is quite enough web stuff to look after thank you very much. The blogging is something I love the idea of, but never get back to regularly. I guess this is why I’m not an author, huh?

The label has grown and changed quite a lot in the past year. I have lots more designs and lots more prints and lots more work to do! My last collection was nautically-themed, which was fun to create. I thought it would be interesting to have people vote (anyone could vote, not just existing customers) via facebook & instagram for their favourite prints from a series of options. I would select the top favourites to make up my collection, plus a couple extra designs that I really wanted to include. But I discovered, again, that what people say they want, and what people actually physically buy, are two very different things. It is interesting indeed.

In the same vein, I had learnt from someone who used to work for big loyalty card program (those programs exist purely for data mining, btw, not to reward your loyal custom) that people say what they think you “want” to hear, or what they think the “right” answer is, but then many go on to purchase completely differently to their stated intentions – and I certainly have learnt that to be the case. This dynamic apparently is very true in respect to eco-friendly, green, locally-sourced, ethically- or locally-made products. Lots of people say they want these options, but almost no one actually buys them. Sad, huh?

With Joolz, I’ve been trying to have a locally-sourced, locally-made label, which can be very challenging and frustrating in practice. Having everything done locally has proved to be very difficult. And it turns out that apparently zero of my customers care about my garments being made locally. The only place that it really matters is at one of the markets I currently do, and yes, I will have to give that market up if I take my label, or even part of the manufacturing of it, offshore, but that is looking more and more likely if I want to stop having so many headaches.

Running your own business is a huge job, and having a micro-indie-label, like I have, means it is also not a high-paying job. Major headaches around local manufacturing quality control, months-long lead times for tiny orders, high minimums with even higher prices if you want to be treated decently, is just getting to be too much for me. I love my job, but all this stuff is causing me angst. I think it’s time to make the leap and go offshore. It’s a shame, as I would have loved to keep it all done in Australia, but the local businesses that I have dealt with recently have done nothing to make me feel like that’s an enjoyable prospect. It will end up costing me more to manufacture overseas. I know everyone has this idea that taking your business offshore saves money, but when you have to pay for all that shipping back and forth, which just keeps going up and up and up, plus things like import and export taxes that foreign manufacturing leaves you open to, and with the prices of materials not being any better than locally sourced fabrics, it actually means this will not be as good for me economically. But it will save me some headaches around production, I hope. We shall see.


Getting into the COTD spirit

So as I might have mentioned (can’t remember), I’m part of a style group on Facebook and Instagram called COTDStyle. It’s a colour challenge group, and every day we all get two different colours to wear together as the challenge for the next day. That’s what happens most of the time, except on Texture Tuesdays when we get a texture and a colour instead.

So this is a really great thing to do if you are bored with wearing the same old thing all the time. It really gets you to shake up your wardrobe. Yesterday the colours were yellow and maroon. I NEVER wear these colours together, as they are my home state’s sporting colours, so they are pretty much reserved for those events only, as I don’t want to look like some weird Queenslander who wears their state colours with pride wherever they go. BUT now I may very well become that person, because I LOVED the outfit I came up with for this challenge! has a great range of plus size fishnet tights, and I have been missing out on wearing mine as I just keep not thinking of them. So having to find yellow was the greatest nudge to dig these out, and I LOVE them SO MUCH with this outfit!!! In fact I love this outfit so much that I went straight back on to their website and ordered a few more in different colours. This is going to make for some seriously fun winter outfits 🙂

All Aboard!

Designed a new tunic. Feeling a little Freddy Krueger in it. Totally freaked out one poor soul at the market who found it way too horror-esque.IMG_0360

Wear your leggings however you damn well want

Ugh. If I have to read that bullshit line one more time I am gonna scream. To all those “leggings are not pants” fashion nazis, you are boring me with your boring rules and your boring selves.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK! OOOOH THAT’S RIGHT! THIS FATTY IS SO SICK OF YOUR STUPID RULES & SHE’S WEARING THEM AS PANTS WITH A CROP TOP! And I look cute af with my fake green hair and my ittybitty sausage dog leggings. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

If anyone else wants to wear leggings HOWEVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE feel free to go right ahead. It’s your body and they are your clothes.

(The Doxtooth ones I designed & am wearing are found here:

Fake it til you make it

I have been struggling these past few days. I have three bulged disks in my lower spine and tendinitis in my right arm, normally I manage them quite well with osteopathic treatments but this weekend was hideous. Stress and not making it in to see my osteo soon enough have taken their toll.

I learnt this trick from my Nanna for when you are feeling grim – dress up!

I don’t always do it – I think if I tried to do it every time maybe it would lose its magic or something – but I dressed up on Sunday.

I have been working on this dress and I feel like I nearly have it where I want it – I just need to lower the neckline a little and raise the hemline a little. But I LOVE the fabric and the shape already. So that’s what I picked to play dress-ups with. I decided against heels because I didn’t want to upset my back any further so I chose these cute little maryjane flats from John Fluevog. I love his shoes.

Anyway it worked, I had a few hours of feeling more like myself on Sunday 🙂
Fingers crossed that I get in to see my osteopath soon and help it all settle down.

That time I did a photoshoot in Cuba

I travelled to Cuba last November. It was as amazing as I’d hoped it would be.

While I was there I did a couple of photoshoots. Everything about Cuba is so photogenic, so why wouldn’t you want to take pictures of yourself all over the place?

cuban cars2.jpg

Pictured is the awesome 1957 Chevy that we got driven around Havana in.
I’m wearing my Purple Poe leggings and my charcoal linen cowl tunic (ideal in Summer, let me tell you!). You can find them both here.

January Madness + New Skirts

Well, it’s been a crazy busy week as I try to get everything finalised before the sewing crew take some time off. I have my fingers crossed that everything I wanted to be done, is now going to be finished and ready for photographing for the next stage of the process.

I did manage to pick up a couple of samples this week, that I was really looking forward to seeing in their final incarnation. I have been working on the first design for a few months now, and the second design was the last one that I included in the collection.

These two skirts signify different ways of looking at nature, for me.

The first one, showing a collection of carnivorous plants, is nature when she’s being both beautiful and deadly. And the second, showing a baby joey, is when she’s being all fluffy and cute. Both elements of nature are pretty awesome, I think!

Hoping I can share some more of these soon!

Colors of the Day (COTD) Style Challenge

I’m part of a group on Facebook & Instagram which challenges you to wear two particular colours each day. The colours are given out each evening, Portland Oregon time, as that is where the couple who started the whole thing live.

It began as a fun little game they shared, with Andy giving Mercedes two completely random colours each night which she had to then incorporate into her wardrobe next day. I’d have to check with Mercedes & Andy on the exact origin story, but I think it was in response to her being bored with her wardrobe, or saying she had nothing to wear one day perhaps? Anyway, this game was invented by Andy as a way for Mercedes to reinvigorate her existing wardrobe. She would post the resulting outfits on Facebook and a few of us liked the idea of joining in, and the group has grown from there!

I like playing along, as it does a couple of different things for me. It gets me out of my “comfort colour zones”, for one. I’ve had to try to combine colours that I’d never considered remotely possible to pair together, let alone wear it myself! Meeting a challenge like that feels both rewarding & liberating! Plus, I get to see what other people come up with for the same challenge. Of course everyone’s style is different, so there’s never two looks the same, which is great! So much inspiration is really great for invigorating your own wardrobe. 

Oh, and one last thing: the gals & guys who play along with the daily COTD challenges are really lovely folks. It’s a no-shame zone, everyone is encouraging, and nobody ever tells you that your choices are stupid, or the colours don’t suit you, or what you’re wearing isn’t flattering, or anything like that. That’s a pretty great bunch of people if you ask me!

This outfit is what I chose for today’s COTD style challenge colours of “Safety Orange & Mustard”. My shoes are mustard & black but they have been massively outgunned by my neon orange knee-high socks! 

So anyway, if you’d like to join in the fun you can find us playing along via @cotdstyle on Instagram, or COTD Style on Facebook 😃