Frank & Dollys continue to inspire us with their designs influenced by music, travels and family. Creative couple Joel and Rachel have mastered a lifestyle shaped around happiness and wild adventures leading them to create, in their own words, ‘pieces with soul’. We touched base with Joel recently as the duo continued their travels around the world, nurturing their wonderful business.
Frank and Dollys will be a part of the full East Coast Tour of the Finders Keepers Spring Summer Markets.
We can’t wait to see their new range Bella at the Melbourne Finders Keepers this Friday 19th October.
Your 2018 journey has been pretty special to watch unfold on Instagram. Tell us what it’s been like operating a business remotely while traveling the world?
I can honestly say It has been the most exciting year of our lives, not only personally and as a family, but absolutely for the business! Prior to departing, we were running a very busy Flagship Store, along with the Label, and everything that entails (Design, Distribution, Stockists, Shoots, Campaigns, Events etc).. So even though it was a super hard decision to close the store, we actually felt a freedom to truly focus on our Label, and to focus purely on the designing, the making, the creating and the capturing of our Collections! We feel like we have so much clarity on the Frank & Dollys offering, and this year have had the space and time to really dream and use our time in a whole new way!
Traveling has always been a big part of our business, and pretty much for the last 10 years, we have been overseas every year to find new inspirations, to learn from different cultures and traditional ways of making, and also to place ourselves in places where our creativity can keep expanding and growing. So in a way, I feel like we have been prepping ourselves for this moment, to travel full time and to run our business from all over the world! We have become very time-wise, to make sure that we can do all the things that need to happen in a day.. Run the business, homeschool our daughter and explore the area that we are in! But of course, this all gets thrown out the window when we arrive in places like Barcelona, and end up spending all day and night weaving our way our the colourful streets, and dancing ourselves silly in the little alleyway fiestas… or when our house in Italy has a private waterfall, so days are spent lazying by the water, drinking coffee and eating gelato.. But other than that, we are very time-wise!!
We worked really hard to design and create the years worth of Collections all within 2 months, so that our beautiful fabric makers could have the year mapped out, and could send us the samples as we landed in each new city! So this took a lot of planning and good communication, but to date it has flowed beautifully! We are actually amazed all the time with how much can be done from the other side of the world!
Tell us about your upcoming new collection BELLA. What was the inspiration behind it?
BELLA is so much fun, and we had the best time making it. It’s the first time we used screen printing in the fabric making process and we really loved having the ability to layer and build up colour. There are 8 processes in the fabric making before it hits the sewing machine, so they really are pieces with soul! The Flower motif was inspired by Spring, and the lines and shapes that are formed when a flower begins to bloom.We were in Ubud when Rach started sketching, and the nature around us was big and bold and colourful.. So that was also a big part of the inspiration! And once it came to life, and was printed on the soft voile, it just looked so beautiful! We love bold it is, and yet so femme and dreamy.
As a seasoned market professional, what would be your top tips for stallholders who are ready to try an interstate market?
We love going interstate for so many reasons. Firstly, it’s the best way to meet a whole new world of customers, and for them to meet you.. And it also gives people who are already following and engaged with your business, but are interstate, to meet you in person, and in turn, for you to meet them! The community of Finders Keepers is so wonderful, and like-minded, so the more markets you can attend, the more you will engage with, and be a part of, the wonderful Australian creative community.
Some other tips:
– Embrace the city you are in. Stay close to the market, so you can enjoy being in the city whilst being close to the market everyday! Document your time interstate on your socials, so that your followers know where you are, and what is happening.
– Be smart when it comes to packing, because you cant jump on a flight home mid way through the market to get more stock! Think about what things you can pick up locally so you don’t have to lug them up from interstate (Store displays, fresh flowers, bags, stationary etc)… which will then allow more room to pack extra stock!
– Be social. Take the opportunity to meet new stallholders as you never know what friends, collabs and opportunities will arise!