Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Crafty World of Hip Brown

This week the BrisStyle team caught up with Rachael Honner of Hip Brown, creator of fabulous belts for kids.

How would you describe your work?
I would describe my belt range as colourful, bright, simple and precisely made.

How did your Etsy shop come into being?

The early inspiration for Hip Brown began from my own frustrations as a mother, being somewhat dissatisfied with mass produced, cheaply made and highly themed children’s clothes and accessories.... I knew I could do better so… I thought I'd start in a very simple way by creating a new line of children’s belts that were hand made with attention to detail, and a little love to boot.

I am really interested in labels that maintain this focus rather than those that focus on profits. I do have plans to expand beyond children’s accessories to women’s (itching to create some up-cycled belts and home wares) but I want to do it as time permits & without work load stress. My focus right now is to balance my business with chasing my very fast toddler, school drop offs and enjoying family life.

Who or What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything however I will attempt to articulate this more thoroughly….beautiful fabrics (really love mini sized, nana florals right now), beautifully made goods and creative people. I enjoy reading Frankie and Inside out magazines… both magazines are so visually creative and inspirational. I particularly love all things hand made, it can add an abundance of style, love, character and thought to anything… this inspires me.

Do you ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ as part of your creative process?

I reuse buttons from Op shops because it’s a good way to keep production costs low and recycle at the same time. Op shops also provide an alternative source for fabric. Provided I am inspired by the fabric, can envisage it will work with the Hip Brown range and there is sufficient quantity, I will use it. I spotted the fabric for Hip Charlie in a charity shop. It’s a lovely red vintage upholstery fabric. I like that it was most likely heading for the scrap heap, and all it needed was a tiny bit of imagination. I would never consider myself an intentional greenie, I just like to be open to such things because maybe even selfishly you never know where it may creatively take you.

Can you describe your studio / work area?

My work area is always changing, kitchen, lounge and even a friend's house. However we’ve recently completed some renovations at home which should allow me to have a dedicated area for focusing on my work, which is exciting. I am looking forward to making it a more inspirational space and more “my work area”.

What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?

I would have to say my favorite item in my shop right now is either Hip Polka or Hip Rosie because I love their fabric covered buttons. You can never have too many fabric covered buttons! I like each belt to have its own character even if it’s subtle/ conservative.

Do you have any other places that people can view/purchase your work?

My belts can be found at Rellie Bellies in Paddington, Brisbane and Mumma’s Home in Wilston and on my Facebook page.

Thanks so much Rachael for your time! You can check out more fabulous Hip Brown belts in Rachael's Etsy shop.


Chrisy said...

What a great interview! It's always interesting to read about other people thought processes re their art. Rachel you're a great example of somebody who's got the balance right.

wimcee said...

My thoughts exactly...I love your work Rachel and it's also fascinating to read how you approach it!