This week’s Business Ninja features the talented Anna Linklater, designer of beautiful Melbourne brand Violet & I. If you like dreamy, uniquely Melbourne it-girl style you’re sure to love Violet and I which is at once feminine and inventive. Nautical? Dreamy bodysuits? Maxidresses? Tick, tick, tick. I can’t wait to see the Violet & I summer collection called‘Queen of the South’, but in the meantime make sure you come to the Violet & I pop-up shop – details on the Facebook page. Here’s Anna!
1. What makes your business magical, setting you apart from other competitors?
Each collection evolves from some entwined, often complicated story that I fabricate to inspire myself. I like the fact that clothing can have a story behind it. I also don’t shy away from creating beautiful feminine clothing, which I think a lot of women appreciate in a time when the trends have been quite androgynous. Another reason we’re unique is that Violet & I are a corporate sponsor of the Butterfly Foundation which helps peole with eating disorders.
2. What are your maddest ‘ninja skillz’ in design?
Putting colours together and sketching garments. That’s one of my favourite parts of the design process. My favourite colour mash-up in our new Spring/Summer collection is olive & blush.
3. How did your lightbulb moment in creating your business come about?
I was on Chapel Street with my boyfriend, wearing a dress I had made the day before, and literally every shop I went into – the sales assistants complimented me on my dress and asked where it was from. I think it gave me that little boost of ‘you can totally do this’ so I did! I think the next day I started designing the first collection.
4. What is your earliest memory?
My sister is really good at remembering what she did as an 18months old, but I have a really bad long-term memory! I would have to say in my kindergarten days, wearing a multi-coloured pastel dress with a massive collar, sharing my birthday cake with a boy named Robert.
5. What would your last meal be?
Mee-Pok from a hawker’s market in Singapore. Recently discovered, and for $3 it was the most amazing food I’ve tasted!
6. What is your best tip for choosing working partners?
It’s important to work with people that have different strengths to you. I work by myself, which I love, but the people I collaborate with on our photoshoots, lookbooks, websites and marketing are all fun, relaxed and inspiring people! I can’t work with people that take it all too seriously.
7. What is your favourite sound?
8. Who would you like to invite to dinner?
9. What is something unexpected that has come from your work?
Being nominated in the Cosmo Fun, Fearless Female 2011 was awesome! Totally unexpected, it was a very nice compliment.