FK talks to Lillie Toogood from her brand new label, GOOD&CO
Can you tell us about your label and the stories behind some of the scarves?
GOOD&CO was officially launched it in April this year. I design giant 100% silk, digitally printed scarves, featuring my photographs from my explorations around the world. Each scarf is almost like a souvenir. A snap-shot of each location, as seen through my eyes and frozen in silk. The scarves all have their own name and a little ‘story’ that give a small insight into where the image was taken and what was happening at the time. For example: BERLIN CALLING – The east side cranes join you for a dance as you stumble home at dawn.
What do you love about photography and what do you look for in the places you shoot?
My first camera was a green wind-up plastic thing that I bought with my pocket money when I was about 11. Since then I’ve always been a photo person. I’m a hobby photographer so the photos I take are for my own pleasure. Its super geeky but I’m in love with the satisfaction of taking a ‘good’ photo, or the excitement of getting a film developed. When wandering with my camera, I’m always drawn to textures, colours and patterns in the everyday. I like to capture the buzz of cities and towns, and people going about their daily business – and translate them into patterns and shapes within the frame.
What is your background and how did you come up with the idea for the label?
A very talented and creative family + 1 x graphic design degree + 7 years work experience with NZ and Australian Fashion designers (throw in lots of travel) = me! I used to have a tshirt brand in NZ under the name brand name “GOOD” (a shortened version of my surname) which was great fun. The name was instantly catchy. About a year after arriving in Aussie (after a stint in the UK), I had a “its-now-or-never-moment” to finally get the wheels in motion to make something really happen with my own ideas, with the plan to grow it into a full time venture. It made sense for me to continue under “GOOD”, but I wanted to pull it up a few notches from the t-shirt industry, and also acknowledge all those other people who you work with, and who support and promote you (i.e great friends, boyfriend and family), in the “& CO”. Ta-da! Please meet GOOD&CO.
What do you find the hardest about having your own label, and what is the most rewarding?
Currently working two jobs! I still have a full-time graphics job so am up pretty late most nights and working through lunch breaks to try and juggle the two roles. I at that point where I need to free up some more time, but still need the stability of a regular pay cheque. VERY SOON I’ll be totally self-employed. The long hours aside, running your own label is incredible satisfying. Watching it slowly grow and evolve, and being rewarded for all the hard work is a great feeling. Especially when I have see and meet excited and happy customers! Its worth all the hours when you can see the results. I’m also learning so much about the other side of business (accounting/book keeping etc) which is essential to understand the full picture.
What do you love to do on your days off to get inspired?
Days off?! I have a day off every once and a while… its best to get away though, otherwise I get really restless and I find myself being pulled back to my scarves to my scarves. There’s always something to do whether its write invoices, pack orders or put swing tickets together. My boyfriend (a very talented web designer) and I are keen ‘wanders’ though. We are quite happy to head off on foot, cameras in hand, and roam the back streets of the city we live in. There’s a lot to discover if you jump off the main tracks. We’re also big fans of exploring new parts of Sydney we haven’t discovered, looking for the perfect bargain at the weekend markets, or just cafe hopping and reading the paper.
What are you looking forward in 2012?
My new website… thank you IMPERO DESIGN. Turning some very exciting new design ideas into real-live products. Welcoming some great new retail stockists, and working with an amazing company to launch GOOD&CO into Japan…. Lots to look forward to!