Creative space: Beattie Lanser

We are very excited to kick off a new category on our website! Creative spaces is where we visit designers & artists all around Australia and capture the beautiful spaces and surroundings in which they create. Our first creative space profile is on the lovely Fairlight based fashion designer Beattie Lanser.

Tell us a little about your label and your combined work & shop space?
Beattie Lanser is a clothing and accessories label for men and women that contains the craft of hand stitching, quirky textile designs, classic styling and quality workmanship all designed in-house and manufactured locally in a little shop on Sydney Road, Fairlight [just up the hill from Manly Beach]. I moved into the shop in November 2010 after working on my label part time for a few years.
The shop is divided into two spaces which I share with my architect parents. My half has a big window onto the high street and recycled painter’s planks made into shelves and clothing racks, designed by my architect sister in Melbourne. I have antique wooden filing drawers and cupboards to store all my haberdashery and fabrics and extra stock, and I hide my sewing machines and fabrics out the back on the architect’s side.

What do you love about your new shop and work space?
It is a dream come true to have my own range of clothing and textile designs in my own Boutique, and to be able to work and design in the same space. It is old fashioned, slow fashioned, and hand fashioned at its best. I have grown up around this area and it is so nice that the locals are embracing creativity and individuality and the arts more. I love designing and making and selling, so this really is a great spot to be in. It is also great that I have a space now to display all my collectables and my coloured enamel and succulents.
After years of slogging it out in the furniture and fashion design industries and the early mornings setting up at the markets having this space feels quite decadent!

What things surround you when you work?

My shop is pretty eclectic. I change the things around me quite regularly, and I always have my latest mood board for my collection. This is vital to keep me in the mood for the season and to visually get connected to my sewing: scraps of my latest test prints and fabric colours hang up on the wall: paper patterns are in piles on the desk or hanging off hooks: there are bowls of my handstitching cottons in my latest colours: the floor is often littered with fabric scraps and ends of threads. I always have a fresh flower on my work bench and usually some hand embroidery or crochet doilies to display my accessories and hot pink stationery supplies – the pinker the better!
I usually have a cup of jasmine green tea [you know the ones that uncurl from their balls as they heat up, so beautiful!] in a Marrimekko mug sitting beside me, and old vinyl of my folks that I grew up with playing on the record player.

What is a typical day for you at work?
Before I get to work I have walk or swim and have a coffee at my favourite spot Belgrave Cartel. I usually get to the shop about 8 to put out my pots of succulents and water them, check my emails, blog, look at my favourite websites, do some accounting and cut out garments I want to sew that day. I open the doors at 10am, have another coffee from the ladies next door and get stuck into some sewing before the clients roll in. I then mix it up throughout the day with sewing, handstitching and patternmaking or fabric designing, or styling the shop. And all day I chat away to the beautiful people that walk in the door and help them try on my clothing.  At lunch I try and sit outside on a stool in the sunshine, watch the cars roll by and check my emails again. At 5 I close up shop and may continue doing some of my label managing and then I take the garments I have made that day home to wash before selling them in the shop tomorrow!

How do you find balancing serving customers, to designing and managing your label?
Balance…it is tricky sometimes when I have an order to go out to a stockist or I have a deadline for my textile prints and I just want to be out the back on the computer or the sewing machine! But usually I just plan out what I want to get made that day and then I work until I hear the door open and then I duck out from behind the curtain and do my hand stitching on the bench while I chat to the customer.  My Mama minds the shop for me if I have to go and pick up fabrics or check on my textile printing or do my banking or attend a market. She is great! I always come back into the shop and she has styled up the mannequins and put different combinations together and added her latest hand knits and crochet pieces to the range.

Where do you go for inspiration for your studio & shop?
There really is so much inspiration around you just have to open your eyes. Sometimes it is overwhelming.
I like travelling in Australia or overseas to really open my eyes.
I have things everyday that I look at that inspire me on the internet. My current favourites are: The Design Files, Lena Corwin, Fine Little Day, The Sartorialist, Intelligent Clashing, DesignSponge, The Blue Hour and Sandra Juto.
Then there are shops that inspire my clothes and studio: Sydney Road Antiques – Balgowlah, Industria – Fitzroy VIC, Neck of The Woods – Manly, Doug up on Bourke, Koskela.
Magazines: Vogue, Rush, Lines & Shapes, Man about Town, Inside Out, Apartamento, Wallpaper, Selvedge.
Books: Marimekko, Tricia Guild On Colour, French Interiors, Caribbean Style, Printing By Hand, Gentleman.
Music and art and photography and Films also really influence and inspire me.

What things would you love to add to your creative working environment?

More storage, more walls, more antiques and collectables, an array of changing artworks, A bigger work bench with storage for my fabric rolls underneath [doug up on bourke has one I am lusting after!], a few more vintage mannequins, a washing machine to dye fabrics and a printing table with screens and colours galore!

What do you love and recommend to others to do & see in your surrounding area?
Manly has really grown up a lot in the past year: it is not just a beach, bushland and backpacker Mecca, it also has some great bars and shops [apart form mine!]. I am currently working on a little map of the area but my top 10 things to do in Manly are:
1. Swim from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach – about 1k.
2. Have a coffee and Green Eggs and Ham at the Belgrave Cartel.
3. Go snorkeling at the Bower or Fairlight Beach.
4. Go surfing at North Steyne.
5. Have a handcrafted beer at 4 Pines Brewery – they brew their own and make great pub grub.
6. Get an Octopus Salad from Fishmongers and watch the sun go down on the Manly Wharf side.
7. Hire a bike [or borrow one!] and cruise around popping into Neck of the Woods, Pulp Creative Paper, Mint, Desire Books, Mr and Mrs Smith, Humphrey’s Newsagency, Heritage Surf or Nordic Fusion.
8. Grab a stool on the pavement and BYO beer at Garage Pizza North Manly.
9. Have a cocktail at Frankies Number.
10. Sit and relax or dance your heart out at with the locals at The Steyne Hotel Sunday arvo sessions 5pm till not too late.
Visit Beattie!
P// 02 9948 9557

All the wonderful photos featured in this post are by Renee Anne and are exclusively for the Finders Keepers!


  • Steph L says:

    I love the idea of the mood board and the fresh flower. Miss 5 would kill for the pink stationery supplies.

    The ‘singer’ sewing machine brings back memories. My Mum had one when I was little (probably still does) that was only pulled out for fixing stuff (no wonder none of us kids are into sewing)


    Gold Coast

  • Emma says:

    I bought a great Beattie dress a couple of years ago at Finders Keepers… So happy there’s now a Beattie shop! Sounds lovely… Will definitely have to cross the bridge and pop by!

  • Georgina says:

    your post is very inspiring. great to see creatives giving it a go in an actual shop front. all the best!

  • Jen says:

    ummm hello? is this the cutest shop ever? UNDOUBTEDLY!
    My favourite dress is a velvet one by Beattie,it’s handstitched on the edges and tied off at the end. details!! and I love the photo of beattie cutting out more seasonal coloured silk velvet. She is truly the master of hand made, feel good fashion.
    Her shop is a breath of fresh air…and she’ll make you laugh:)
    love love love!!

  • David says:

    Beattie is running a tight show up there… clever designs with a smile. If you have not been in there yet then quit wasting your life and make a move… She even makes stuff for tall guys!

  • Kj says:

    Love your fashion and life style. It seems like you really know how to live and create with heart. The new season prints are amazing and I especially like the beige and white.

  • Beattie says:

    Do I really work here?
    It is such a beautiful post. Thankyou so much ladies for showing my space.
    and for all your lovely comments people.

  • GYpsy Jacket says:

    I love this part when Beattie said “There really is so much inspiration around you just have to open your eyes.” Its SOOOOOOOOoooo true. You are beautiful and inspiring Beattie Lanser. Can’t wait to see your winter range, from what I’ve heard, it’ll blow my mind!

  • Bonnie Geronimo says:

    I love the creativity that flows from you Lil Beat, and love seeing people living and loving in your garments. Every boyfriend needs a boyfriend jacket!

  • evie says:

    gorgeous post. love the images and the enamel pot in the first pic! what an inspiring work place and label. love the line, ‘It is old fashioned, slow fashioned, and hand fashioned at its best.’ x congratulations

  • Luke Sutton says:

    Some beautiful pieces, really unique.

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