Tuesday, 27 April 2010

My interview with Christina from Billy Mac Clothing

I was thrilled to interview the lovely Christina from Billy Mac Clothing. She may be fairly new to the DUST Team and Etsy, but look out for her and her gorgeous creations.
I predict only good things for this lovely clothing designer from Sydney.

1. Tell us about yourself (where you live, your family life, where you grew up)
I live in Sydney with my husband and my 2 girls who are 3 and 18months. My house is quite hectic – the girls are both very active and determined and I run 2 businesses from home so there is always something going on and a mini-drama to deal with. I’ve always lived in Sydney, I moved around a lot when I was at Art School so have experienced life in quite a few suburbs but home for now is the North West of Sydney. I grew up in a reasonably large family – 3 older brothers and I was the only girl, and the youngest! My Dad gave us all nicknames, mine was Bill and as our surname started with a Mc, I became Billy Mac.

2. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Creative, stubborn, ambitious, honest, cuddly

3. When and how did you first start creating/crafting?
I’ve always been artistic. I was always drawing, painting or dancing as a child but when I reached high school I knew that this was it, Art was my ‘thing’. I went to UNSW, College of Fine Arts for 4 years and when I graduated moved around in a few different jobs within magazines and retail advertising where I was amongst very creative people but I wasn’t being creative myself. In the back of my mind I knew that I was still an artist but I had pushed aside the ‘making’. After having my 1st child I started my own graphic design business which meant that I took the lid off my artistic self again and after having my 2nd child I started billy mac clothing. It has been so fantastic to use my creative skills again – with billy mac clothing I am creating my own work and not channeling my artistic side through my clients work. It’s an absolute joy and my kids have great t-shirts to wear.

I found after having my girls that there were fantastic garments for babies, but then for around the 2 years up age group the reasonably priced garments were either printed with Disney or Bratz Dolls licenced images or they were attempting to make girls in particular, dress much older than they were. I needed to find t-shirts for my toddler to wear to Pre-school that I wasn’t too precious about if she got paint on them, had her shoulders covered in case of sunburn when she was playing outside, but also made her look like ‘the coolest kid in town’! I couldn’t find anything within my price range so decided to focus on making my own.

4. Where is your favourite place in the world?
My favourite place in the world is wherever my family and friends are, and hopefully there’s good wine and nice cheese there ... and if there’s not, I’ll bring some with me!

5. Where would you like to travel?
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that my dream is to travel to Europe. I’ve been dreaming and talking and planning my trip for years and years but life keeps getting in the way! My husband works for Qantas so there’s no excuse. Our trip will be a little different now with 2 little girls in tow but we will definitely be going to Europe before they start school. Top of the hit list is Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Paris, Barcelona, London .... I could keep going but they’re the obvious big cities for most travellers!

6. Describe your business in 5 words.
Cool, retro, quirky, bold, fun

7. Where do you create your items and what materials do you use?
My studio is at home, I have a room at the back of our house which at the moment is chaotic as I’m preparing to sell at my first markets. All my designs are done on a Mac using Adobe Illustrator. The design part is my favourite part of the process, they are then printed via a couple of different methods depending on the design and heat pressed onto the garment. All of my t-shirts are 100% cotton and are printed with sturdy vinyl or digital prints. I’m experimenting with a few different print methods and weighing up the options between quality but still trying to keep costs reasonable. I’ve been focussing on short-sleeve t-shirts square cut for the boys and a gorgeous puff sleeve for the girls, but now that the weather is getting cooler I’m expanding the range to include long sleeves, baby onesies and am trying to decide if hoodies might be the way to go?

8. Where and what would you like to be doing in 5 years time?
In 5 years time my girls will be 8 and 6 ... so they’ll both be at school (will this mean I’ll have some free time?). I’d love to be living somewhere near the ocean and near great schools for my girls. I imagine my days will be filled with school drop offs and pickups; and running my graphic design business and billy mac clothing in between. I’m hoping the hard work that I’m putting in now will reap rewards in the future and that life will be a little smoother! Oh and I’d love our house to be filled with all the gorgeous paintings, and homewares and pretty little things that I picked up during our travels through Europe.

Join Billy Mac Clothing's Facebook Page here.

Feel free to check out more Australian Etsy Sellers from the DUST Team


lyptis said...

Lovely designs! Welcome to the team Christina, lovely to meet u!:)

Well done on the interview Mich.

AnastasiaC said...

love her 'boy' range - cute!!!

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