Sadly, for A Fitting Connection our Xanthe, our patternmaker, sampling machinist and garment technician is running away to become a wife and settle down in her hometown in New Zealand, and she is not returning (insert large tears here). It has taken us a little to get use to (almost 12mths) and we lived in denial for a good 3mths or so, as Xanthe was a special find. Okay she found us but that’s beside the point. Xanthe quickly become a wonderful addition to our team and we are sad to see her leave. However, we are truly happy for her and wish her all the best in her future back home in NZ. One job that Xanthe had to complete before leaving us was to find a replacement which was no mean feat. But as both Xanthe and Katrina believe, everything happens for a reason and when it is supposed to, so they weren’t not overly concerned. Then right when it was needed, they were introduced to delightful Karin (another New Zealander).
Every change brings about new possibilities and here at A Fitting Connection we embrace these with enthusiasm. And with that we would like to introduce the newest member of our team Karin.
1. Why do you love doing what you do? I’ve spent years working in the fashion industry and have been exposed to many different facets of production – from large scale offshore factories to thriving ‘backyard’ sewing operations in the suburbs of Melbourne. I’m super proud to be a part of the industry here in Melbourne, where there is a fantastic awareness of ethical, sustainable and slow fashion. I especially love championing small business!
2. How long have you been in the fashion industry? I kicked off my career in the industry as a machinist for Lululemon above their Chapel Street store in 2010.
3. Have you always been a pattern maker? Mum encouraged me to help her sew from a young age, and I was exposed various patterns from the likes of Burda and Butterick. I finally had the opportunity to hone my skills while studying at Kangan Institute and was thoroughly inspired by two fabulous pattern teachers – Lis and Louise. I then went on to participate Barbara Davis’ ICCON course for further study.
4. What are some of the labels/brands you have worked for/with? Lululemon, Tiffany Treloar, DCW Agencies, LM Australia, Cougar Sportswear, Engine Swimwear, Way Funky Company (Funkita & Funky Trunks), Melbourne Opera, VCA
5. What has been your most rewarding job? Every job I’ve had has given me a wealth of wonderful experience. I have to say that the most rewarding to date however has been the past couple of weeks deciding to back myself and pick up what Xanthe has grown, in order to put these skills to practical use!
6. What was the best brand to work for? I really enjoyed working for Cougar Sportswear – where I was an apparel graphic designer. We did everything in-house, from initial sales through to design approval, printing, cutting and machining. It was wonderful being part of a local business providing services to the local sporting community.
7. What excites you about the future in fashion? Consumer mindset shifting to ‘slow fashion’ – where making ethical choices about how and where you purchase your clothes makes a real impact to the environment and every person involved in the supply chain.
8. What would you like to see more of in the industry? I’d like to see more people given the opportunity to get their ideas out there – to know that they have access to the resources needed to grow and promote their business. I want to see local manufacturing thrive again along with consumer awareness of supply chain and the impact they can make with their buying power.
9. What are your favourite brands and why? I believe that leading by example is vital, so any business (large or small) taking a stand for the environment, sustainability and equality has my vote. In no particular order: Magpie Goose, Tigerlily, Patagonia, Salt Gypsy, The Social Studio, Nobody Denim, Cue Clothing Co.
10. Moving away from the fashion industry, what makes your heart sing? Fresh air. Simple really – being outside, walking my dogs; hiking in the Dandenongs or up in Halls Gap. Ocean beaches with waves. Oh, and singing makes my heart sing. I sing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus and adore every moment spent in the company of music.
[Katrina] I’m in envy, very few people know that I’ve always wanted to learn to sing. This year I took the plunge which also ending up including giving conquering stage fright ago. Not sure conquering stage fright actually happened but I did tick off one bucket list item.
Thank you so much for sharing your passion and a little insight to the person that you are Karin. It’s an honour to have you as a part of our team here at ‘A Fitting Connection’.