A lot of the amazing designers I've been lucky enough to interview in 2012 have been clever and brave enough to bring their patterns to the world by producing their own beautiful product lines. now there a lots of different routes to pattern success though and some designers spread their pattern inspiration by selling digital files of their design work for others to turn into the products we buy, use, wear and love. Ditto Repeats is one such studio, and patternbooth had a chat with designer Molly to find out more...
patternbooth: people might not realise that you are a design duo, and that you and colleen are sisters. What different roles and approaches do you take?
molly: I have been working as a textile designer for 7 years and really love what I do. After many years working in a woven textile mill, I decided to venture out on my own as a freelancer and consultant and wanted to introduce my sister to the wonderful world of textile design! Luckily she is very bright, has a graphic design degree, and is a web and computer wiz! I design all of the collections, and handle all business and marketing aspects of the company. Colleen is my trusty side-kick; whenever I have a website emergency, need something silk-screened, or any other zany request, she is my go-to-girl! I enjoy working with manufacturers, developing my business and creating textile designs as part of my daily routine. Colleen enjoys more hands on tactile studio work, which she can do at her own pace.
patternbooth: what are the advantages and challenges of working both in a duo and with your sister?
molly: I only see advantages to working with my sister! being the owner of my own business means working at all hours of the day and night, and always having my sister available is great (Colleen might see this as a challenge!). It is nice to collaborate in the studio and bounce ideas off of each other. It is nice to work with someone that I trust so much, I don't think it would be as easy to go into business with someone I was not so familiar and comfortable with.
patternbooth: what is the journey of ditto?
molly: I established Ditto Repeats in 2010 after leaving my job as a woven textile designer in a mill in North Carolina. I loved working in a mill setting, but was ready to move closer to my family and have more creative freedom. I loved the idea of working for myself, and building my business with passion and enthusiasm. I was lucky that upon moving back to Cleveland I was approached by a company that was in need of a textile design consultant. Working as a freelance consultant has given me the flexibility I desired and the time to build my business and portfolio. I am thrilled that I now have my portfolio of designs available online for manufactures to license. I love that I can work with many different manufacturers all over the world and continue to grow as a person and a company!
patternbooth: how do you promote your work?
molly: at the moment, I promote my work through my website. I am really lucky that the textile design community is so supportive and it is because of blogs like yours that my exposure continues to grow! I would like to continue promoting my work through my website and continue growing my password protected gallery where my clients can shop for prints year round.
patternbooth: what made you take the route of selling repeats rather than taking your work to a product market yourself?
molly: I really enjoy designing patterns and developing textile design collections all on my computer. I love that I can work with very little over-head. Since Colleen is more hands-on, we are working on a project that highlights both of our specialties. We have set up a silkscreen studio to bring my designs to life through Colleen's passion for printing. We will have some exciting projects to share in the spring!
patternbooth: where will ditto be in five years time?
molly: Everywhere! We would love to see Ditto Repeats' patterns on many surfaces! We hope to continue working with manufactures to create beautiful products in collaboration. We hope to continue to be recognized as a studio that is easy to work with and is a trusted source for beautiful, engaging, graphic repeating textile designs!
patternbooth: who or what influences you?
molly: I am influenced by the great textile designers throughout history that have made this industry so wonderful; Dorothy Liebes, Alexander Girard, Armi Ratia, as well as my colleagues. I love the paintings of Julian Stanczak. I am influenced and encouraged by people who love to wear and be surrounded with color and pattern.
patternbooth: you're still a young business. what do wish you had known when you started?
molly: I wished I knew how to use the Adobe suite when I started. In art school I preferred weaving on a loom and silk screen printing to using the computer. I never pursued computer classes, this would have saved me a lot of time and frustration.
If you'd like to see more from molly and colleen at ditto repeats you can see their site here at www.dittorepeats.com.
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