On Sunday 6 November 2011, over 60 creative ladies gathered at Harvest Textiles' studio workroom in East Brunswick to hear Lara Davies, Emma Byrnes and Jess Wright talk about their flourishing textile product and designer workshop business.
The girls were super-organised (much to my delight!) and prepared an in-depth but casual presentation, complete with slideshow.
It quickly became clear that these girls are some of the nicest and smartest businesswomen on the block. They each bring a unique skill set to the table - Emma's background is in journalism, design and animation, and this sees her in charge of the business marketing, communications and the Harvest blog & website, while Lara's experience in teaching, arts retail and her fine art skills combine with Jess' commercial graphic design experience to bring their product and textile designs from concept to reality. The girl's core values - sustainable practice and a flexible working environment (Emma, Lara and Jess each have children under the age of 5) - are inbuilt into their business model and help shape every new project they embark upon.
They sang the praises of Craft Victoria's mentor program in helping guide them when setting up their multifunctional studio space, allowing it to remain flexible as they expand and grow. Finding the studio space wasn't a quick or easy process, but their perseverance paid off. The studio now has a retail space (which has housed a number of short-term 'pop-up' retailers this year, such as Popcraft and Monolog), studio spaces for fellow artisans such as Dawn Tan and Emily Green, the gallery/workroom where they hold regular classes, space for their 11-metre yardage printing table, AND a fully-functional kitchen and dining area, perfect for events or just keeping the kids fed and happy!
Harvest have a lot more exciting plans in the pipeline for 2012. But you'll have to stay tuned to their blog for details...
In the meantime, enjoy these snaps of our post-talk afternoon tea, provided by Tea & Sympathy. There was lots of chatting and networking to be had over cups of black assam, a tasty green tea and a soothing lemongrass & ginger tea. Thanks Angelina and Jen for treating us!
Thanks to Michelle for these photos!
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