Why ‘Quaintrelle Anarchist’?
I chose the name because I thought it described what I like and what I make rather well; cute but crazed, sweet but a little disturbing. I like juxtaposition!
Can you describe your label?
I hand-make clothing and accessories as well as selling hand-sourced vintage items and re-working vintage clothing. I would say the style is rather varied because I like so many different styles myself.
What inspired you to start selling your clothing and accessories online?
I’ve always sewn and crafted and thought for a long time that I wanted to have my own label. It was really a case of finding the right time to set it up! I chose to base my shop online (as opposed to in a market or shop) because I’m always moving around so I need to be able to take my ‘shop’ with me which is easy if it’s virtual.
What kind of person do you see wearing your products?
Anyone who likes them! Most probably someone who likes things that are a little different and unique as I never make the same item twice.
Where are your products most popular?
I’ve sold the most items to America so far and then England.
You are currently reading Oriental Studies and have lived in Japan. Do you think this has had an effect on your work?
Definitely. There are some inspiring subcultures in Japan as well as great crafting supplies and I have new ideas for things to make every time I return. It’s far from my only inspiration or interest though as I’m also inspired by music I listen to, painters and illustrators I like and most other things in between.
How do you manage your business and your studies?
I stockpile by making things for my shop during the holidays so in term all I have to do is list new items on my shop every so often and ship orders so I don’t think it takes up too much time. I have many sewing marathons in the holidays but luckily the holidays are so long.
What kind of response have you had from your friends at your college?
My friends have said good things about my shop which is nice and I don’t think they were surprised I started a shop because I’m always wearing thing’s I’ve designed and made.
Would you recommend having an Etsy/online shop as a part-time job for a student?
Definitely. Because the shop is online you can put as much or little time into it as you want so if you have a busy week you can just ship orders and not put any new items up. I would only recommend having one of you really enjoy making things and have time to put your shop out there on the internet though because that does take quite a bit of effort. I really enjoy it and love finding other people’s shops so of course I’d recommend it.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
I always get excited when I ship an item to somewhere that I’ve never been myself like Brazil or Finland because I think it’s so strange/amazing that someone there will be walking around wearing something I made. Getting really nice feedback is also rewarding as is deciding when you work and being able to look as you please. Then there’s the fact that people will essentially pay you to do something you love, that’s great too.
Will you carry it on after you graduate? If not, what are your plans?
I will not only continue but I plan to expand my shop to include things such as my paintings, more elaborate garments and handmade dolls because I will have more time to work on them.
Photos by Charles Shepherd at RoomC Photography