Featured Designer: Aunty Cookie

FK chats to Shannon from her Melbourne label, Aunty Cookie

Tell us about your label, Aunty Cookie and what we can expect to discover.
AuntyCookie is a crafty little label I created about 6 years ago. What started with illustrations quickly grew to screen printed fabrics, limited edition cute stuff, cushions, patterns, kits and craft panels. My products are available online aswell as through retailers australia wide and overseas. My aim is to creates fresh and graphic wares with a sense of humour, all handmade and totally not precious!

What is your background and how did you get started?
I have had a few jobs which have most certainly influenced the way I work – although at the time I hated most of them!! I have a Bachelor of Fine Art where I majored in drawing from Victorian College of the Arts. Straight after uni I started working in the advertising & marketing department for a big fat fabric company creating their junkmail. From there I worked for a Nursery Company creating kids bedding, it was there that I started creating patterns and really learning how to design commercially. I left there to have my oldest daughter and began freelancing, doing pattern creation, corporate design, food packaging and book illustration.
As cliche as it sounds I needed a creative outlet and blogging filled that space. My freelance work has always been so  client directed that making things for myself or my kids has been a nice break from that. I also hadnt drawn in the eight or so years since leaving uni – so starting a blog was forcing me to draw again. So I started the auntycookie blog and things kind of grew from there.

We love your typographic style! Who or what inspires your work?
My design influences come from everywhere – I am inspired by so much stuff I see! Blogs, Blogs and more blogs, walking about my neighborhood, flicking through kids books at the library, getting lost in peoples photographs on flickr.com, loitering in the newsagent. I am endlessly inspired by my real life by crafty mates, by handmade wares, by music & TV, by stupid conversations – anything! I lean towards the graphic and typography so I’m attracted to signage and text based artwork. Im not a ‘take a walk in nature and collect leaves’ type of gal! I flick through a lot of craft & design blogs daily so I have instant access to new trends, colours and products from around the world instantly. Its so easy to get lost amongst it all. I would say that a small part of each of my fabrics designs and products are influenced by web trawling.

Whats the Aunty Cookie label best known for and where have you grown from there?
It would be best known for the Ampersand Cushion I guess – thats my most popular item. I have a hard time keeping it in stock and its been around for over a year now.
The label itself and my approach to it as a business has definitly grown and matured over the past few years. I am focusing now more on homewares where as at the start is was more kiddy cute kinda playful stuff.

Growth wise – I am pretty damn happy to be moving away from working for others and am able to concentrate on my own brand. I am lazy in terms of business plans or having much direction! My vague yearly plan is a new fabric design per year – maybe 2-3 new homewares products and then little bits and bobs in-between.  Theme wise I am moving more towards my whole range working well together. So items all have elements of text, the colours match and fit together.

What do you love the most about Melbourne?
The weather. The food. The fact I can walk everywhere. The laneways. That all my family & mates are here!

What are your plans for Aunty Cookie in 2011?
Well I’ve just had my third little girl – Harriet. So my plan for next year is to hang with her, create some new designs – hopefully get some work done on the side and pretty much just keep chugging along. Maybe picking up some new retailers along the way maybe doing a few markets!


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