Meet Anna of Anna Devine

Jane: Tell us a little about yourself

Anna: My name is Anna Devine. I am a fashion and textile designer from Melbourne Australia. I have had my label anna devine for six years; starting off with just a simple skirt pattern I made for friends and colleagues to a small business stocked in shops around Melbourne Australia and on-line.

J: What is your craft/brand story?

A: I grew up in a creative home. My Mum is an artist and my brother, sister, and I were surrounded by art materials, and activities growing up. It was always just there, available for us to play around with and have some fun. My favourite room in the house was Mum’s work-room, full of canvases, water colour paper, boxes of paints, brushes, and various works in stages of completion. There were always so many interesting things to look at; I could spend hours in that room.
While I enjoyed this entire environment, my craft story really didn’t start until my first trip to Africa——South Africa and Lesotho, where I first saw African textiles——On my second trip to Uganda and Kenya, I found the fabric shops of Nakasero market and it was a done deal! African fabric became an obsession and I wanted to find interesting ways to use it. I learnt how to sew, illustrate, and completed a certificate in textile design. Bit by bit my label anna devine grew. I have ventured to local markets, online via Etsy, and now boutiques in Melbourne. I am developing more interesting ways to apply these textiles in fashion, and I want to continue to develop and grow with each new design.

J: What are your inspirations and what make your work different from others?

A: For me, inspiration comes and goes. It is often tied to people, experiences, events and their impact on me. Most recently, inspiration has come from a potter I met who has been able to skillfully combine delicate creations with bold use of metals creating a fully balanced design. It was so exciting to see and it triggered a flood of new ideas. But I also have some ‘always’ inspirations. Colour and pattern are constant sources of inspiration. I love the way seeing a certain shade of pink triggers a feeling in me, maybe a memory attached to an emotion, and all of a sudden there is a picture in my head that I have to get down on paper.

J: Where would you love to see your work in about 5 years

A: I’d like to focus on and build my skill and portfolio in textile design. I dream of a label that combines the awesomeness of African prints with my own unique textile designs: creating a whole new look. And it would be a dream come true if I was doing this full time and earning a living from it. While I am lucky to have a challenging and satisfying day job, it would be nice to be able to give it up and focus fully on anna devine!!

J: What has being a business owner taught you

A: My first big lesson as a business owner was to manage my expectations! It turns out other people didn’t think my designs were as awesome as I did! At least at the start. Managing my expectations about how my label should be going versus how it really was going was an important and valuable lesson. Ultimately I needed to remind myself of why I was doing what I was doing. I chose to take it a day at a time; always focusing on the design and its quality, and putting everything else to the side. Being mindful during the process of cutting out a dozen dresses allowed me to really enjoy the process, instead of trying to rush to the end.


J: Any advice for those who wish to start a business of their own

A: I often feel like I’m still a beginner as I’m always learning and changing. It has been a ride and while exciting, challenging, and rewarding, it has gone nothing like I thought it would. Therefore my advice to anyone starting out would be to find the strength inside of yourself with faith and confidence in what you are creating; with flexibility to adapt and change with whatever comes your way. Take it a day at a time and you will find the resilience to keep going through any tough times, and the pleasure of enjoying the good times when they come your way.


Photography by Peter Coulson

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I am a big fan of Anna's work. I actually have a few pieces from her, and I plan to get some more. ^_^
Please find her across the web through the following links:




Comments

  1. I have fallen in love today. So thrilled you shared such AMAZING finds and an inspiring artist. Thanks, Jane!

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  2. Thanks for introducing us to Anna's work. I especially like that top outfit ---- I am never brave enough to mix patterns like that but, it looks fantastic!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like them, Ashleigh. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Love Anna's work!! I too have a few of her pieces and love them!! Very excited for future Anna Devine!

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  4. Wow! These are awesome fabric and clothing designs. I especially love Anna's advice/ what she learned as a business owner. I feel like I'm learning that lesson as I build my coaching practice. Thanks for sharing her work and this awesome interview.

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    Replies
    1. Olivia, I agree. Anna's Advice is applicable to several other practices and life situations.

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