We chat with the delightful Natalia, the designer and maker who runs Melbourne fashion label Wolf & Mishka. After a smashing weekend at our Melbourne event, Natalia will be making the journey to west for our inaugural Adelaide market, taking place in just a few weeks time!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
After working in commercial fashion for many years, I knew the time had come to begin creating something that was my own, with a focus on local production, and not designing for the masses! Shortly after making this decision I was given a family heirloom – a book of Russian nursery rhymes that had been lovingly created by my great-grandmother almost 100 years ago. I decided I wanted to create a label focusing on what is special and unique, and like my Russian book, made with love and designed to be treasured for years to come.
The result is Wolf & Mishka, a Melbourne-based label passionate about creating locally made, unique pieces to wear and for the home. We make digitally printed clothing and accessories, as well as hand crafted ceramic jewellery and homewares, bags, cushions and knitted blanket throws.
What would be one piece of advice you would give a first time seller at The Finders Keepers?
Be true to your brand. Try not to be persuaded by what others are doing, and never be afraid to try something new – whether it’s a new product, a new craft, or your stall set-up. And always make lists! There is so much to consider when preparing for your first big market, and making sure everything is out of your head and on paper (or these days on an app!) makes a huge difference to the final outcome.
You can never be too organised! It can be such an overwhelming experience, but remembering that sometimes mistakes can lead to a more beautiful outcome, or even a new product or concept, can help take the pressure off a little and ensure you really enjoy the process leading up to the big event!
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Wolf & Mishka in the next 12 months.
Creating new prints is always such an exciting process, so I’m very much looking forward to releasing the Cumberland River Range later in the year. Also in the pipeline for 2017 is a pop-up store of our very own! It will be so nice to finally get our workspace and storefront alongside each other – and of course an opportunity for anyone to come in and say hi.
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
I would have to say, without a doubt, it is the amazing community of creative businesses around Melbourne, which have been invaluable to Wolf & Mishka. We have such an abundance of local organisations that supports creatives. It’s a great feeling to have these resources at your doorstep, and a great feeling to do things locally.
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
It’s a hard one, because you do end up falling in love with everything in the end! But I would have to say I love our caterpillar necklaces! Each bead is rolled by hand using a mix of stoneware clay, and each has a unique design and texture. Knowing that no one piece is like any other makes for a truly special piece.