Introducing Kimbra of Kimbralou!…
We’re pleased as punch to introduce the incredibly hardworking Kimbra, of Kimbralou. Kimbra makes edgy customised denim pieces from all sorts of salvaged materials. She mixes craft styles like embroidery, patchwork and sewing to funk up an item of clothing, turning it into a collaged masterpiece. At the end of 2017 she was scouted at a Brisbane City Suitcase Rummage to showcase her work on the runway, as part of Raw Brisbane. Read on for words from the dynamo herself…
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Without sounding weird, I have multiple work identities… Cardiology Nurse, Professional Make-up Artist, Market Hustler; selling collectible toys and fashion finds from 000 – XL. Currently, I have inadvertently added Fashion Designer of customised denim pieces to the list.
Why do you do what you do? The common denominator underpinning the majority of my work is to creatively restore to prolong life. I am highly motivated to actively search for discarded items and tweak them so that they can be loved again, for another adventure.
Who are some other artists, crafters, creatives that you love? And why? I attribute the evolution of the customised denims to being inspired by a hand embroidery + collage artist @harleyandhanden. I am amazed that from a two hour embroidery workshop, facilitated by Harley, that all these creations have just kept coming out of my studio in the last three months. The customised pieces now seem to be evolving into more collaged images with unstylised text. Collage has always been my main artistic style and meeting Harley legitimised this art form into creating items for sale.
What excites you? The hustling part of the hunt for items and the never knowing what you are going to find excites me. Also, seeing the customers’ delight in purchasing an item, whether it be a bag of matchbox case, a fashion item, or one of the latest customised denims. With regard to the customised denim pieces, I have endeavoured to emotionally connect the customers to them by telling a short story on the recycled t-shirt tag, which links the images and words on the denim. A lady bought the ‘He Loves Me’ denim, as the phrase about “he loves me he loves me not” resonated with her.
We think of a rummage stall as a mini shopfront, how do you make your rummage stall your own? I totally keep to the theme of utilising thrifted items. Here, I lay the ground with three vintage flags and a few old suitcases. I also sit on a bright yellow stool that I once sat on as a child to do my homework. “Very modern piece!” Ha ha.
Can you offer any tips on setting up a rummage stall? A vital tip is to keep it simple. I could sell a lot of things at the Suitcase Rummage but decide to strictly keep it to the customised denim pieces. Of utmost importance is to have a good stock of change, and a good attitude!
What do you like about attending Suitcase Rummage? The Suitcase Rummage has an amazing vibe that comes from being surrounded by an eclectic mix of people and products for sale. It’s very simple to buy and sell with no fuss involved.
What is the next step for you? What does the future hold? I find I live my life like a tumble weed. Not in the context of being aimless, but to be constantly changing as opportunities bump into you. I like to harness the energy that comes from focusing on the many opportunities that come to me.
What’s your favourite place or thing to do in your city? My favourite places in the City are the flea markets and op shops, with the ultimate place, of fairly recent discovery being, the Suitcase Rummage.
Where we can we find and follow you? All the customised denim pieces, plus any amazing fashion find is styles and posted on my Instagram account @kimbralou, or the Facebook page of the same name. I have it set up to permanently trade from a shade on gate 7 at the Caboolture Market every Sunday. Otherwise, my daughter and I will do a concurrent market at a fashion event and will now also regularly be at Suitcase Rummage.