FK chats to Selina about her fun kids homewares and clothing label Freddy Alphabet!
Tell us a bit about Freddy Alphabet and what products we can expect to discover?
Freddy Alphabet launched in late 2012 because I wanted to make fun clothing and homewares for kids. There is plenty of time later in life to be serious about things. We love it if a kid looks at one of our t-shirts and smiles. If the parent smiles too, that’s an added bonus. At this stage our products range from t-shirts to bags and cushions but it’s constantly evolving. I love practical items and this is reflected in the range. Natural fibres and good quality materials are also really important. The fabric we use on our RAAAAA cushions is a beautiful, heavyweight cotton and the fill is environmentally friendly made from recycled PVC bottles. We like to think of Freddy Alphabet as a smart brand.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I love studying and first trained in design and advertising but then went on to study science. Palaeontology taught me there was a giant world out there filled with dinosaurs and biology showed me a microscopic world most people were oblivious to. Combine that with what you could call an overactive imagination and you get Freddy Alphabet. I have always liked the idea of designing t-shirts but have never had the resources or time to pursue it until my first child was born and I took time off to be a Mum.
What inspires you daily?
A kids approach to life. They have the most amazing concentration followed but a complete lack of it, all in a matter of seconds. As adults, we let routines and everyday objects bog us down, it’s fun to look at things from a different perspective. Sometimes you need to crouch down and pretend you are shoulder height to an ant or put your head inside a cloud for a while. Every time one of my kids colours in the wall or ‘posts’ something in the dvd player it reminds me to stop being so boring.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
I would love to say that my creative workspace is a stunning, white studio with beautiful reference books, natural light, scandinavian style furniture and scatter cushions but it’s not… it’s a disaster zone and is filled with samples, kids toys, screen printing inks, a dog, the occasional chicken and random designs that I am working on. I find my inspiration outside of the studio. I love watching people around town and what they have done. People are really clever and I love the subtle individuality that comes through.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
The main challenge is that there is only one of me. I wish I had a twin, having said that, an evil twin so that I could see things from a different perspective. Time is a luxury, especially when you have kids and you need lots of it when you are starting off. The products you source are so important. There’s no point printing a great design onto a t-shirt you don’t like. You want your suppliers to love their products as much as you love yours. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a new design come together and receiving a great response.
What aspirations do you have for your label in the future?
Remember when you were a kid on summer holidays, sitting in the backyard with your best friend, eating icy poles. You’ve been to the beach everyday and haven’t worn shoes in over a week. You’ve had your favourite t-shirt on the whole holidays and don’t plan to take it off until they finish… I’d like to think it was a Freddy Alphabet t-shirt.