Creative Catch Up with Doodad + Fandango

Joining the Finders Keepers lineup this summer is Sydney-based jewellery designer Nikita Majajas, of Doodad + Fandango. Worn by some of the world’s most fashionable, Nikita has been creating her iconic jewellery for eight years, and we’ve loved watching her colourful journey.

After studying Jewellery and Object Design, Nikita created a jewellery brand and now has a worldwide cult following, with some very well-known customers, including Miley Cyrus, Boy George and local cake-baking queen Katherine Sabbath! Her creative journey has also led her to collaborate with brands like Google, Gorman and Romance Was Born.

We’re so excited to welcome her to the Sydney/Eora Lineup this 9-11 December at the Cutaway Barangaroo and share our Creative Catch Up with her below – to tide us over until we can gaze upon her work IRL!

Doodad + Fandango creator Nikita Majas photographed by Liz Ham

How did you start Doodad + Fandango?

I started my business through a process called try and fail… over and over again! After I finished my studies I was determined to make a career for myself as a creative maker and it was through a series of trials and errors that I found my way from being a silversmith to adapting my work to laser-cut acrylics. At the time, though, it wasn’t as saturated a market as it is now, and I didn’t have that much to compare myself to, so I was really excited to express myself in this medium and I’ve had so much fun stretching it to my imagination. 

How has your business evolved over the past year?

Covid was actually quite kind to my business, I was able to respond to the crisis with Covid, a themed jewellery range that people loved, so I was fortunate that I could keep working steadily throughout. Since lockdowns ended, it has strangely become more challenging, people have definitely changed their spending habits, and it’s about being flexible and adapting to the market. I’m planning on making some big changes to my practice next year, as the last eight years have been amazing but exhausting, and I’m finding myself wanting to explore new ideas. 

What’s something we might not know about you?

I wonder if there’s something I haven’t overshared about myself on social media?!! Ok, one silly thing is I’m obsessed with intense arthouse movies about women amid emotional breakdowns. Who knows what that says about me, but it’s a fun genre that includes gems like Butterfly Kiss, The Piano Teacher, Mother, Black Swan, Safe etc. None of these are light viewing, but I find them extremely soothing haha.

Nikita Majajas in her home studio photographed by Katherine Griffiths/City of Sydney

What is your creative guilty pleasure?

I love op shopping! Curating outfits and my home is my dearest form of creativity, and trailing through op shops keeps me feeling like me. The thrill of the hunt, discovering oddities and bargains, chatting with the volunteers, tsk-ing over ridiculous prices, bringing pieces back to life and creating cute looks. All of it makes me happy, and I rarely get the time these days, so it’s a pleasure I have to snatch when I can.

As a small biz owner, what keeps you inspired and motivated?

When you are self-employed, the pressure is always on; you have to keep moving, thinking, doing, trying, hustling, and experimenting, and sometimes you are gifted amazing opportunities from the universe, but most of the time, it’s an exercise in pure grit and survival. I’m addicted to working for myself and living off my wits, so this is the hugest motivation, how to be able to keep doing what I love? As far as inspiration goes, it’s impossible not to be inspired by this incredible world we live in. Inspiration comes from everywhere, I like to gobble up life and experiences and travel, eating, art, performance, nature, and culture; it’s all on the menu. 

It is your first Finders Keepers; what are you most excited about? 

Actually, it’s not my first! I was lucky to do one years and years ago, one of the first ones ever, held at the Paddington Town Hall, maybe nearly ten years ago. It was before I had my business and recently graduated from college. Looking back, my stall was quite amateur, and I’ve really come a long way since then!  I’m excited to be amongst people. Working on my own can be quite isolating, and I get a bit crazy. I can’t wait to chat with people and get out of my studio sweats and into cute outfits!

What can we expect from your stall at this event?

I’m bringing along a new collection, which I think is my cutest! (Sneak peeks below) I thought Finders Keepers deserved a whole new special range, and these pieces are very much an aesthetic I love, inspired by retro fabric design and motifs from my childhood. As well as jewellery, I’ll have some homeware pieces too. I’m so excited to show you all what I’ve been working on!

Connect with Doodad + Fandango:

See you at the markets!

Meet the makers at the Sydney/Eora Market this 9 – 11 December at the Cutaway, Barangaroo. Tickets are available here, or you can grab them at the door.

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