Wednesday, September 5, 2012

AmorAmor (interview)

AmorAmor is a beautiful kids brand from Australia and I was lucky to talk to these 3 creative and happy ladies about their passions, inspiration and friendship that is the basis of it all. Please take a moment to read this beautiful interview, I am sure both the interview and AmorAmor designs will brighten your day and have you smile several times more than you planned today:)

1.     For introduction, could you first tell us a few words about yourselves? Who are the people behind AmorAmor?

We are 3 Colombian friends (2 sisters and a best friend) who all left there homeland at different times to follow dreams of building a new life in Australia. We fell in love with the country and of course the people. The way of life here suits us and we now can't imagine leaving this amazing place.
The team comprises of Luisa (graphic designer) Viviana (fashion designer & psychologist) and Juliana (scientist with a big passion for craft and design).
We all went to same high school but reunited here in Melbourne in 2004. We all found love here with sexy Australian men.

2.     How did it all start?

About 2 years ago we revisited a conversation about following our dreams to start a business, something we had talked about for many years as kids in High School. We initially thought it would be difficult to start a business especially in another country where English is not our first language. One of us had a baby and it gave us the final push to pursue our dreams of starting a children’s label. It all initially started as a hobby, something where we could get together, sew and create things and sell at markets. We wanted to get together to create products which kept us creative and a label that highlighted to the world some of the positive aspects of our country, Colombia. Almost immediately we had such a great response to the designs and products that we gained momentum extremely quickly. This kept us motivated and inspired to work harder and put in all the late nights after our full time jobs. A year in now from start up, we’re so happy with how the dream is coming together. Late nights and busy schedules are still present but we love every second of it!

3.     How did you choose the name for your brand?

Choosing our name really wasn’t that hard, we knew that we wanted a name in Spanish that reflected our Spanish-Colombian cultures. We also wanted a name that represented the passion and love we put into each piece we create (Amor Amor means Love Love in Spanish).

4. Do you have kids? How much do they influence your work?

Juliana is an expectant mum of twins. Viviana is still currently enjoying her sleep in’s (for now!) and finally myself, Luisa. I have a 2-year-old  girl called Francesca. Francesca is a great influence on all of us, we test our products with her to make sure it’s kid proof and that she enjoys them. Another big inspiration with the monster designs is our own imaginations, we like to travel back in time and think as kids. We remember what excited us when we were little, the fun we had with friendly monsters who at the time we had as best friends. I, Luisa used to spend hours drawing and painting, I got so excited when we released our Little Monster Artist Kits, it took me back to when I was a kid colouring in and being creative.

  1. Which part of the creative process do you like best?
One of the most enjoyable parts of the creative process is when the 3 of us get together for a business meeting and share ideas. We do various tasks such as printing, discuss new product ideas, sketch, draw and let conversations flow. As each of us concentrates in different areas within the business we all have different interest. This helps the discussions flow into different areas, sometimes the conversation can even be non business related and be; gossiping about latest Colombian music or TV shows we have been watching. We can chat for hours until Luisa reminds the others to get back to business related topics. During meetings we like to enjoy nice tea & beautiful desserts that Juliana makes for us (we love nice food), we couldn’t do it without one or two cocktails in summer as well. We focus on keeping the friendship strong and enjoying our time together and not forcing the creative process.

6. Do you have a 5-10-year plan, or do you just do it instinctively?

At the time we didn’t know we were going to grow so quickly, and now, just a year into business we really had to take a moment to stop and ask ourselves that very question…wow that sounds big “5-10-year plan”, I guess we want to keep creating with lots of passion, we want to see kids wearing our monsters products in the streets, drawing on them, being creative, using there imaginations and flying with monsters into imaginary worlds. We believe kids should continue to be super heroes, be invisible, and get dirty with colours and pencils. I guess that would be our 5 to 10 year dream. Helping create happy imaginative children who can create and inspire others.

7. Could you suggest some other Colombian designers we should pay attention to?

To name just a few here are some of designer-illustrators we love
- We love Marcela Restrepo, illustrator based in Sydney; love her free use of sketch feel lines and bold vibrant colours
- Catalina Estrada based in Barcelona, we are passionate of her use of bright colours and based on a distinctive Latin American folklore illustrations
-And we couldn’t pass the maximalist swimwear designs of Agua Bendita (bright colors and traditional Colombia handcrafted embellishments)

8. How about Australian?

- Melbourne based artist Dawn Tan
She always catches our attention with her watercolour paints, delicate inky outlines and the beautiful work she does with kids to encourage them to draw.
-We love the illustration from Me & Oli  her anthropomorphism features & creatures placed in garments are magnificent, as she says it is a “whimsical & wonderful world”
- Monolog Indie Laden creates screen-printed multi-functional clothing where every piece can be worn a few different ways.
- Paul & Paula Kerstin is German and has also chosen Australia as her new home, her kids clothing is all made by her and here in Melbourne. You can't miss her super cute hoodies; we actually have a one of them.
- AskAlice amazing stationery and super lovely person, we met her at a trade event we did this year.

As you can see we love everything that is based on illustrations and is applied onto garments…they are ‘wearable arts’. We also have a strong connection to those designers who have chosen Australia as there new home, we can really identify with them. 

Thank you ladies, and keep creating!

If you want to keep updated, follow AmorAmor on facebook
They have 25% off the whole store now, due to their 1 year anniversary, so go wild while you can (get the code on their page).

(Read other interviews here)

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