SPREADTHEGIRLPOWER is my new interview series in which I chat to creative girls I've recently discovered on instagram, who either run small businesses or are just starting out in the creative industries. I've gained so many amazing contacts through instagram and been given some brilliant opportunities, so I'm doing my bit to help others gain new contacts and find out about creatives they might not have come across yet.
This month I chatted to Zoey of Cherry and Mint - a colourful clothing and accessories brand based in Cyprus. Zoey's love for fashion and experience in graphic design led her to set up an apparel business and she now runs the company full time with help and input from her husband George. Zoey's sunny photoshoots (in which she usually models Cherry and Mint clothing herself) always catch my eye on instagram and her 90s inspired prints are right up my street.
Find out more about Zoey and her work below...
You're originally a graphic designer right? What made you want to put your designs on clothing and accessories?
That's right, I'm a graphic designer and also have an MA in animation. I was drawn to fashion from a young age but somehow I ended up studying graphic design and animation. I kind of left the thought that I could do something in fashion as well behind, although after my MA I desperately wanted to have a fashion degree. That's when life came in, a full time job and other things that once more made my fashion dreams fade away. So it was always on my mind, I just couldn't see how I could get myself into the fashion industry when I simply was not a fashion designer.
Long story short I started Cherry and Mint as a creative personal blog to push myself to be more creative. During a year of intensive blogging I realised that I love making patterns and that moment was actually the beginning of Cherry and Mint as a brand.
You collaborate with your husband George on a lot of Cherry & Mint work. Can you give us an insight into what George does for the business and what it's like working together?
George is always there for me. He's my photographer and the person who pushed me to model for my own brand in the first place. I consider him to have a very large role in the brand and even when he’s not involved in the creative process I always like to ask his opinion as well. We have made 3 collaboration pieces for Cherry and Mint so far (Flamingo Sunrise, Fruit Punch and Pink Monstera - see them above) which are a total success. We are happy to work together and it's something that we both feel has a natural flow.
You left your job recently to work full time on your business, how exciting! How have you found the first couple of months of self-employment?
Yes I did, about two months ago and now I'm at a stage where I try to balance work and personal life all together. Apart from Cherry and Mint I still work as a freelance graphic designer and working from the comfort of my home is something new to me which I'm trying to get used to.
What's the creative scene like in Cyprus? Do you find it an inspiring place to live and work?
Well I love Cyprus very much but I think people here don't appreciate art as much as they do in other countries and that's sad. Yes I definitely find it inspiring, inspiration is everywhere you just have to look for it.
If you could only wear one Cherry & Mint piece of clothing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
That's a real tough one. I think I would have to choose one of my crop tops, since I basically live in crop tops all summer long.
Can you tell us a bit about your process from sketchbook to screen to garment?
I don't always follow the same process but most of the time I start by drawing sketches of what's in my mind. The patterns I make almost always start from those sketches and are then finalised in a digital form where a seamless pattern design is created. After that, the pattern gets printed on fabric, and depending on what the product will be it's either sewed by professionals or by me to create the final product.
I love your outfit photos, they look like a lot of fun. Do you enjoy them and how to you go about planning your shoots and locations?
Yes we indeed have a lot of fun at photoshoots, we enjoy the process very much. Most of the time we have an idea of what we want, other times we have already found a perfect place to match the aesthetic. There are also times that we just hop into the car, ready for a session, and go scouting until we find something that we like.
What does Girl Power mean to you?
Girl power for me is the support and empowerment towards other women to be independent, strong, confident, true to ourselves and follow our dreams whatever they might be. I truly believe that receiving and giving back that power makes us even stronger.
Thanks to the lovely Zoey for taking the time to chat to me. Since doing the interview she's released some vegan nail wraps and lots of other exciting new things - go and check out what she's doing on instagram and support her by buying from her Etsy shop.
If you want to spread the Girl Power yourself you can still buy one of my Girl Power pins on Etsy!