Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Kristina Sostarko, and I live in Melbourne, Australia with my partner of 14 years (Jase) and our two cats – Lady Godiva & The Captain. I work in my stuido about 6 days a week, can’t really do much without a strong fresh coffee in the morning (or two) and breakfast at the beach on sundays with the paper is a real treat. I started inaluxe in 2006, and I’m really enjoying being self employed full time.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I was approx nine years old, and was fascintated by the afternoon sitcom ‘I Dream Of Jennie’. I would sit glued to the television and draw her over and over (for about two years) while watching the show. I loved her over the top costume. It was soft, and fluid, and so perfect. I liked the detail and hang of it. I was really proud of my drawings, until I saw them years later as a teenager and was horrified. The proportions were sooo bad! I guess being a kid really rocks – you think you’re the BEST!
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
It’s so many different things, but when it comes specifically to sewing, fabric, and patterns really dictate what I decide to make. It’s the feel, hang and texture that’s important, and of course, I’m really into prints. Reading The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe as a kid really changed me. It was a turning point where the written word finally meant something other than a maths test or geographical facts about land mass. Language was poetic, and moving, and created a whole new outlook for me. Overall, words inspire me. I like giving themes to clothing, I like giving them titles, and importance. Rather than just calling it a “shirt” there is the potential for clothes to really be art, and/or communicate something other than ‘necessity’. Music is another big one for me too.
What are your favorite materials?
I love everything! Well, that’s not totally true. I enjoy working with natural fibres more than synthetic. It comes from personal preference and I always start from myself when making something. There are so many times I see the most gorgoeus prints, but can’t stand the feel of the material, so have to walk away. I like found objects, like dusty old fabric buttons hidden on a shelf in an oppportunity shop that appear abandoned. I enjoy embellishments, and leather alot too. If I had to narrow it down, cotton, wool and silk are my favourite materials. When it comes to painting, I’m a big fan of encaustic.
What is your favorite color?
Definitely red. And all because of red lipstick!! As a child I was fascinated with Chanel and Dior magazine spreads of voluptuous red lips. They were always so perfectly pouted and painted. super real infact. these days I prefer the trashy, bleeding red lipstick. that bitten red glow, smudged, off centre, etc. It’s more action focused and real. I like seeing lipstick that has faded, revealing only a slight hint of it ever being there. Of course, bold and red do work, but it’s all about the setting I guess. I enjoy all colours overall, but red leather, red wool, red lipstick, red leather sofas, definate must haves!
What are your most and least two favorite films?
Hmmmm…. that’s a hard one. I love Hitchcock, but two specific favourite films that comes to mind right now are ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Mysterious Skin’. Least favourite? I was really disapointed with X-Men Three. I loved the first two, but what were they thinking when they made the third? I was so mad when I saw that. Very ripped off! Platoon was not a fave. I’m not really an action war film person… too much movement and not enough Sleepy Hollow.
What are you reading right now?
Grumpy Old Women. I find myself nodding all too often while getting through the pages, and seeing myself everywhere in the book. It’s liberating and slightly scary all at once.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
The biggest thing I would say is to enjoy it. Make what you love, what turns you on, not what you think other people might like, or try to imitate another style or person because you think it is better than your own. Nothing is ever going to be better or feel better than you just throwing yourself into something, Exploring it without fear of what the final product will look like. Believe in your talents, and enjoy who you are. Talk to lots of people and don’t be afraid to ask others what they do, how, etc. Sharing experiences is really valuable.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I used to work as a consultant in recruitment, and also taught part time, but these days, I am self employed full time doing the inaluxe thing. It’s sewing and art for me. The biggest difference was learning things like routine and organising my time. I learn something everyday, and I like this, although when things go wrong, I have to wear it, and this in itself is a learning curve. I work really long hours, sewing and designing, and it’s the first time in years I feel like I’m doing what I ought to have been doing a long time ago. I’m a late bloomer.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
Aside from this, can’t think of a single thing. I love etsy – it’s the most amazing website I know of, and there is so much talent here, and so many sensational things to buy! If I could do my groceries and food through etsy, I would. It’s a brilliant site, and I’m really happy to be here. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, IT!