Finders Keepers has been around for over a decade now and in the process has been lucky enough to watch countless artists, designers and makers take on the world with creativity and commitment! Made590 is one of those stories for us. We first spoke to this iconic Newtown corner store back in 2009 so couldn’t wait to catch up on their journey to 2018 and what’s on offer for Finders Keepers this weekend!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Sydney this weekend Nov 30-Dec 2, make sure you visit Made590 for fabric fun at stall C01.
We first interviewed your label in 2009 here, wow we are showing our age! Tell us how you’ve evolved as a label since then.
A lot has changed at made590 since 2009, which seems like a lifetime ago now. We have faced a lot of challenges trying to keep the made590 range diverse and have found the saddest part to be the dying-off of big fabric houses we used in the past to source our fabrics from. This seems to be mainly due to the lack of demand for fabrics locally which has been created by the rise in Australia designers taking their entire production offshore. This forced us (in the best way possible) to strive for a more diverse range of prints we now design in-house (thanks our amazing design team and our fabric designer extraordinaire Kirbee Lawler!), which means we can truly cater to everyone’s tastes and make really incredible prints. The hardest part is that it takes a lot more work juggling lead times, production costs, higher fabric minimums and of course finding the time for our super clever designers to create all the amazing prints for us! The easiest part of course is the ideas, there is always an absolutely endless list of ideas!
Tell us about your new range Every Body Clothing, what’s the inspiration behind it?
Our Every Body range was created to be a size inclusive extension on what we already do, offered to a wider audience. We make in sizes XXS-4X and the inspiration behind it is our customers really! We found through interacting on social media, doing markets (such as the amazing Finders Keepers) and through chatting with our customers in store, that people felt there was a real lack of sizes in most brand’s ranges. The feedback we received from customers was that they wanted to buy small brands, support locally made production and wear amazing prints, but the sizes just weren’t being made to cater to them. Our head graphic designer Kirbee had been pushing for extended sizing for years, but the time finally felt right to take the leap, so we started with a small range of our best selling shapes, and the popularity grew from there! We also felt it was important to represent a variety of women on our website, so we always use a range of sizes, ages and body shapes to model our clothing, all of which are either made590 customers or staff members. We now release pieces in the Every Body range almost every month and feel it’s a real step forward for inclusivity, body positivity and Australian made fashion!
What would be one piece of advice you would give a first time seller at The Finders Keepers?
The main bit of advice we would have would be use social media wherever possible! It is so important to draw your own crowd at a market and promote the events you are part of. Having an online presence is so important in the current retail climate and showing the day-to-day ins and outs of what you do is what customers find most interesting. Make an effort to build your following, share what makes your brand unique and promote the events you will be at to ensure you have a successful market! We would say secondly that it is incredibly important to provide a range of products with thought put into your price point at markets. Every customer may have a different budget in mind when shopping and it is super important to have products that are accessible to a wide audience. We always strive to have a range of garments, men’s tees and homewares at each Finders Keepers to ensure that no matter what your budget we will have something fun you can take home with you or gift to a loved one!
Is there a Finders Keepers designer who you admire?
There really isn’t a designer we don’t admire, because Finders Keepers is always the perfect selection of the best local talent! But if we had to choose one to rave about it has to be Andrea Smith! We have had the pleasure of working with Andrea for at least the last 10 years and she was one of the first artists we worked with to create our very own fabrics. Andrea’s signature style is created using paper collage and its completely mind-blowing when you realise she hand cuts every single tiny piece of paper to create her finished artworks. This style lends itself perfectly to not only our fabric designs but also her beautiful range of stationery and prints often with an Australiana theme. Andrea’s use of colour is what first attracted us to her works. As you can probably tell, we love colour and Andrea’s pieces always bring joy to the eye. You can find Andrea at the upcoming Sydney Finders Keepers with her very own stall and we will also be featuring her new fabric design “Celebrations” in clothing, it’s a true visual feast of all the special things that we enjoy around party season!