FK talks to Katie from Brisbane Fashion Label, Mother Maria. Mother Maria will be debuting at the upcoming Brisbane Markets.
Tell us about your brand, Mother Maria.
Mother Maria is a clothing label inspired by nature, friends, music and art. It is for the lady with an independent spirit, a good heart, and a will to be different. Alot of our clothing is made from organic and recycled fabrics which makes each piece unique and a little bit cleaner in amongst an industry of mass produced and very polluting productions. I named the label after my late Polish grandmother who was an inspiration to me and my family.
What inspired you to start your own label?
I’ve always loved the idea of making something from nothing. I used to grab pieces of clothing that no one wanted anymore and re-sew them into something I wanted to wear. This lead to people asking me to make them pieces, which then went on to me selling at the markets. A few years later we started wholesaling to stores. It was all a bit of a snow ball effect. I don’t think I ever intentionally meant to get into this business!
What is your workspace like?
I am currently re-vamping my work areas with more shelving as I don’t have alot of room. I work from 2 bedrooms. One is my cutting room, and the other I have my sewing machines. I put alot of local art on my walls, posters from Frankie magazines, Illustrations from my artist friends, and I have alot of vintage fabrics in neat piles all over the place! This gives me inspiration every time I look them. The space I have is very small, but cosy, and I am really lucky to have some amazing sewers in my local area in which I am able to commission some of my work out to so I don’t get snowed under.
What was the hardest part about starting your label?
Not having the money to back myself. It’s been really hard to keep up with orders from stores when there is so much outlay with making clothing. There are machines, cutting tables, cutting machines, fabrics, threads, elastics, zips, and the list goes on that you need to purchase before you can even start sewing a garment. And then there is your time. Sewing is very time consuming which many people don’t realise. It’s hard to price your garments accordingly and keep in mind that you should be paying yourself per hour like any other job. The influx of mass produced clothing makes it very hard to stay competitive.
What do you love about Brisbane and how does it inspire your work?
I think Brisbane in general is a very vibrant city. There is always something going on, and my friends here are all creative, inspired, intelligent and amazing people. I’m not originally from here, (I grew up in NSW) so I feel pretty lucky to have befriended so many talented musicians, designers, and generally good people here in QLD.
What are your plans for Mother Maria in the future?
I’d like to keep the label running alongside some other projects I am conjuring up at the moment. I would really love to help other young designers get their work out there and am constantly approached by people wanting advice and work experience. I’d like to be able to help people realise their dreams in a sustainable, ethical manner, alongside pursuing my own ambitions.