HQ MUSE // ANDIE MEREDITH, ANDIE MEREDITH DESIGNS
Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our HQ Muse, Andie Meredith!
1. How was your business born? What led you to follow a life in design?
My design label came about during my final year of study – Bachelor of Design (Fashion), where i developed several design briefs based around my chosen target market. From there i graduated (with a business plan), and an opportunity to attend an emerging designer trade show. As a debut designer, I began wholesaling my seasonal women’s wear collections in short runs.
Over a period of about 6 years I continued to design and produce women’s wear collections, including signature print fabrics. Throughout that time people would often comment on how my designs could be quite suited to pieces outside of women’s apparel. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to explore the idea of developing those designs (that I would have once used as part of garments and accessories) to be used on all kinds of surfaces – including homewares, paper products, light installations, industrial design, shoes, ceramics – you name it. I envisage the designs to be used across many mediums. So with a little bit of planning and lots of enthusiasm, I’ve now steered the direction of my design label toward several niche markets, focusing on surface design.
2. Signature fabric prints are a major feature of your designs, what inspires you to come up with the prints?
My fabric design process also developed during my final year of study. It’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to draw on over the years. The process itself stemmed from my love of the art nouveau period and in particular the artist, designer, and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who design and built the Glasgow School of Art.
I’m also innately quite drawn to nature, organic shapes, raw and ephemeral objects, so that certainly informs my design aesthetic.
While completing my final year collection I was thoroughly immersed in Mackintoshs’ works and quite liked the idea of looking at the materials he worked with – mostly malleable and experimented with ways in which i could reinterpret his processes and works. My process came to be: experimental mark making on paper, using ink, wire and string. From there i chose sections of my artwork (experimental mark making) and created repeat patterns using photoshop. I’d spend hours on end with colour palette (usually constrained and subdued) specifications, and before I knew it I’d have several designs ready for printing.
The actual printing onto fabric process has been an enormous learning curve for me over the years. After spending a substantial amount of time testing several suppliers, both onshore and offshore, and both digital and screen printing by hand, I’d like to think I have found a fellow artist who will continue to support my whacky ideas, share their wealth of knowledge and most of all contribute the highest quality fabric printing.
At present I have just received a bundle of freshly plant dyed, linen and hemp that has been screen printed with a couple of AM classics. The plant dye is unique in colour and offers a lovely depth of character in contrast to the ‘expected’ digital print method. The hemp and linen fibres prove longevity in design and function. I’m looking forward to coming up with some new products and over the next couple of days I’ll be using the fabrics to make up some goodies for the HQ Workshop and Rose Street Artist Market.
3. Who are your role models or muses for your designs?
I’ve always been in touch with the Andie Meredith audience – consistent market research was a large part of my design process – knowing the ‘Andie Meredith audience’ was imperative in designing and making. I like to listen to people and I’m quite observant and perceptive. So with this in mind my audience is quite vast in age and background. The woman who wears and admires Andie Meredith designs is confident in herself, she wants to know the story behind each design, she believes in sustainable living, purchases with a conscience and values ethical production.
4. You have now branched out to accessories and gorgeous homewares, are there any new products on the horizon?
Yes, indeed! I’ve got lots of ideas and planning ticking over in the background, which I hope to be announcing soon.
5. What does your ideal day look like?
I’m somewhat spontaneous, although I also like to have a little bit of a routine in my day-to-day life. I like to explore and try new things, and being in a new city, I have an endless list of things to do! There are some things I like to think are a must… laughing and sunshine are a must.
6. Do you have a life motto?
I find myself reflecting quite a bit. I guess you could say the notion of living and learning really.
7. Where can we source your beautiful products from?
Since recently moving to Melbourne I have started a space at the Rose Street Market, but my instagram feed is my most reliable source for product updates.
8. You create bespoke designs by request, how was the experience of creating a specific design for a wedding?
Yes, the wedding fabrics were the very first bespoke prints and I must say the entire process was a great success. For this particular wedding the fabric designs were the basis of the entire colouring and styling, quite like an ‘anchor point’ for the couple to plan the whole ceremony around. Because of my background in working with fabrics, designing collections and runway events I was able to draw on my knowledge and experiences to gain an understanding of the couple’s vision and also advise on how to implement the designs once they were printed onto the fabric.
It was really quite rewarding to see the entire day come together. I was also fortunate enough to make the dresses and accessories as well as wear one of the (bridesmaid) dresses.
9. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self in chasing your dreams?
Take risks, be confident, trust what you know and know what you trust.