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    Laura Thomey, Designer



    Laura Thomey

    Designer
    Mina + Oli
    www.minaandoli.com 

    What is your professional or training background?

    I studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. When I graduated I went travelling and didn't stop for 6 years until I settled down in Melbourne after falling for one of Australia's handsome men!

    In London I worked as a stylist assistant, I have worked in retail, racked up lots of fashion show experience in various roles and most importantly heaps of practical life experience!

    What do you make, create or do?
    I make handbags and accessories from preloved leather under my label Mina + Oli. A name inspired by my grandmothers nick names. All of the linings and lace used is preloved as well.

    I source all of my materials from op shops; this incorporates my love for op shopping (treasure hunting) with the feel-good aspect of supporting the op shop causes and upcycling materials giving them a new lease on life.

    What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time?
    I love being creative and would like to explore many new things, from fixing up old furniture, photography, quilting, to expanding my knitting knowledge past the knit stitch!

    But for now I'm just focusing on establishing and growing Mina + Oli. Although I would like to add some leather jewellery into the mix one day.

    What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
    I have the entrepreneurship spirit, design and creative skills needed to run my business. I would like to develop the bookkeeping, sales and marketing side more.

    It's challenging wearing all the hats when you are a one woman show but I'm learning! 

    List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
    + My Family - My dad who tells it as it is and my mom who is always supportive, encouraging and loves everything I create in the fantastic way only mom's have!

    + The Boss Of You - A great book and website about every thing a woman needs to know to start, run and maintain her own business. I'm on my third time reading it! www.laurenandemira.com

    + My Creative Friends – Who I can talk shop with: Monica (www.monicamcnab.com), Naomi (www.naomilingerie.blogspot.com), Felicity (www.felicityjanelarge.com.au), Mae (www.maemaemaemae.com) and Jane (www.twolayersofcells.com)

    + Blogs – Jak & Jil (for street style) Design Files (new products) Design Sponge (before and after posts), The Selby (a peek into other peoples homes)

    + The Multicultural Women's Sewing Group - I'm a sewing instructor there and the women inspire me with their kindness, stories and creativity.

    Contact Laura via info/at/minaandoli.com

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
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