What is it like to share a work space with other creatives? We caught up with three Latvian fashion designers to find out how this experience benefited their practice:
Inese: Co-working is first and foremost about people. We have a great exchange of information, ideas and just positive vibes.
Linda: We constantly trade off skills and exchange favours. It happens very organically, but, more often than not, everyone is involved in someone else’s projects.
Liega: Collaboration is the key. As a new enterprise, I can’t always hire a graphic designer or a copyrighter, but a co-working place brings all of these creatives under one roof.
Inese: This is also a great learning opportunity, as I often visit people that do something entirely different, watch them work and make silly comments: ‘What’s this? Why? Oh, I see…’ It suddenly makes it fine not to know.
Linda: I worked from home for several years, wearing pijamas all day, so getting a proper workspace was a big step for me.
I come from a creative family, and my older sister is a seamstress, but it took me years of doing everything from public relations to furniture design to discover my calling for knitwear.
Inese: I have been making clothes for as long as I can remember. Because of the constant deficit in the Soviet Union, this was the only way to get the things you wanted. My grandmother always had her clothes tailor-made and had access to some rare fabrics that were not on the market, so I often borrowed or stole offcuts from her wardrobe. I started cutting and adding details to my clothes when I was no older than nine, experimenting and learning to express myself creatively.
Linda: I never studied fashion design professionally and cut my teeth helping my sister with her homework: drawing, sketching, cutting patterns and sewing. I self-taught most skills I have and every time I sense a gap in my knowledge I simply find a person that does it well and ask: ‘Teach me!’
“Co-working is first and foremost about people. We have a great exchange of ideas, information and positive vibes…”
Inese: I started a family very early and it was my mother in-law who encouraged me to consider fashion design as a career path. I went back to school when my older son was only three years old. It was amazing to see my entire family united in support of my decision – something I never expected and couldn’t do without.
Liega: No good art comes from a good life. I decided to start Lickstarter after an argument with my boyfriend. I long admired the work of Elina Dobele – Latvian shoes designer and maker – and wanted a pair of boots designed by her. I asked my boyfriend to buy it as a present and he said: ‘No, you earn it yourself.’ This was a real trigger – I had to prove I could do it, both to him and to myself.
I was taking a bath when I got the idea for the ‘pussycat underwear’. Two months later we were trading and six months later I was able to buy the boots.