The Sydney/Eora Market is coming up in less than 2 weeks and we thought we’d better introduce you to some of our debut stallholders! This week we caught up with THE Frances from Frances Island a beret brand making the cutest and quirkiest head toppers. What started as a hobby has now become Frances’s full-time gig where she creates beautiful accessories that reimagine the classic French beret. Meet the maker and read the creative catch-up below as we get ready to return to The Cutaway, Barangaroo this 29-31 July.
What is Frances Island and how did you get started?
I make classic and handmade berets using a variety of handmade techniques from hand-worked details with a needling felting process, and hand-sewn sequin pearls to detailed embroidery design. I started in university in 2013 as a hobby, and then during the pandemic, I decided to take the plunge to turn it into a full-time business and the Frances Island brand was born—a metaphorical place I wanted to create of self-expression, freedom and imagination where I hope people could express their own individuality.
How has your business evolved over the past year?
Last year we focused on expressing the quirkiness and playfulness of the brand with new photography to meet our audience. We’ve also grown internationally and have appeared in retail shops across the world. Creatively, I’ve been experimenting more outside of wool felting and I’ve just started working with more embroidery designs in our new studio.
What is your creative guilty pleasure and what do you do for creative self-care?
My creative guilty pleasure is sleeping late and my creative self-care is waking up late! My best ideas come up late in the night as well as when I dream so sleep is really important to my process. I can get a tactile feel for lots of new ideas in my dreams. Outside of that, travel and documentaries keep me curious about the world.
What do you love about Sydney?
Sydney has lots of amazing creative people. At the markets, I’ve met a lot of incredibly creative minds who are also incredible business people and that’s inspiring. Also a cliche, but I love Sydney beaches, it’s where I escape to get my energy back
Who are you looking forward to visiting at the markets?
Ceramic artists. Personally, I really love homewares and different varieties of handmade ceramics, something about the final forms that are cemented in sculpture. Very different to the materials I work with.
Being brand new to FK, what can shoppers expect to discover at your stall?
We are bringing a lot of new styles to FK. I am showing my lab experiments and new designs so there will be lots of exclusive designs and designs that I’ve never shown before.