Having started her own brand in Bali back in 2010, this Australian entrepreneur has since designed a range of funky swimwear and we at The WYLD Shop are extremely excited to be collaborating with Kirsty! We had a lovely chat with her to find out more about Maidenlove and what we can expect from her new projects.
Why did you start Maidenlove? And what’s in the name?
Kirsty: I was working in Bali for a leather accessories company and started a store selling imported swimwear as back then (2009) there were not so many designer brands in Bali offering good quality designer swimwear. Next step was a natural evolution for me to begin my own brand. I had always dreamed of it since fashion designer school.
The name Maidenlove took me years to come up with. It is a play on words Made in love, Maiden love (first love), meaning to follow ones love and do what you are passionate about. To me, it is like the name of my boat, the vessel I use to do what I love, and am passionate about, being a designer and making people happy, and bringing them quality products that have come from my heart.
Where do you draw inspiration from to create your designs?
Kirsty: I only make things I want in my wardrobe and would love to wear. I draw inspiration from my environment; people, my travels, books, vintage and second hand markets, anything that makes me feel good and that I LOVE comes into play, whether it be a colour reference, an embroidery technique, a cut or style, or a fabric. As a designer and being someone who is creative, the whole world and it's happenings inspire me and when I find something that makes me feel happy and feel love it's usually the beginning of my design process. I am never short of ideas.
What ‘s been the most rewarding part of being a fashion designer?
Kirsty: Being in the Australian Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2014 was definitely my highlight to date.
How would you say Maidenlove is different from other brands?
Kirsty: I think being a summer focused resort brand offering mostly swimwear and accessories (leather) with a small complimenting apparel collection is unique for sure. Living part time in Bali and Australia has kept the vibrant energy on chasing the sun and a colourful lifestyle whilst focusing on small runs, limited edition with a quality over quantity ethos.
Describe Maidenlove in 3 words.
Kirsty: Vibrant, eclectic, empowering.
How do you juggle being a mum while running your business at the same time? Share some of your coping mechanisms.
Kirsty: Well this is the greatest challenge to date and still an evolving machine. You have to utilise your time wisely. I am much more efficient when I have a window to work to just get the job done. It's important to remain focused on one thing at a time. If I am with my son, I try not to work at the same time on my phone for example as my relationship with him suffers and I can't achieve what I want with work either then everything suffers. It taught me patience and made me reflect on what my priorities in life are, which is really important. Fashion has always been at pace like a speeding freight train for me and I was working around the clock 7 days a week juggling my label and stores before I had my son and it was unsustainable then so it was a big shift for me having a child, getting off the train and assessing how to next navigate moving forward so I could bring up my son and work. It's all a process and one I love, both creating and being a mum so you just have to stay positive, flexible and realistic with your time and find ways to make each day enjoyable.
Why Bali? Do you source all your materials from in and around the region?
Kirsty: I initially moved there to work for a leather accessories company in design and fell in love with the island and its gentle spiritual people. It has such a special energy and is a Mecca of creatives nowadays and a land of opportunities. The factories are small and very hands on so you can do so many different things creatively and it's very exciting and inspiring for a designer. My swimwear lycras are imported from Italy and Australia otherwise I use locally sourced materials.
Most treasured place in Bali?
Kirsty: Bingin beach for rustic local beach experience and Nammos beach club for a touch of Greece and the most amazing private beach with white sand and turquoise water.
Do you have a favourite piece from this collection?
Kirsty: I love the Estelle bikini, in wild thing print. I am a lover of animal print, always!! The bikini shape is really supportive and gives a great lift to the boobs (nice after breastfeeding). You can wear it as a crop with high waisted skirt too. I love versatility in a piece where you get more options than one for wearing.
Kirsty: I am working on a kids swimwear range and a yoga range. Again here you can see the evolution of me within working in my business. You have to do what you love and are passionate about to keep you heart in it really.
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