We expect big things for Cheianna, the talent behind Shy Denim, a blossoming fashion brand that specialises in upcycling items of second hand clothing with simple yet bold embroidery. The pieces are colourful, distinct, and instantly make the wearer at least 50 times cooler. We’re evidently not that cool, so we take comfort in the fact that supporting this local handmade business will give us a few more points in this department. Give our interview with Cheianna a read and then try to challenge us on our stance that Cheianna and Shy Denim is the coolest person in existence. We dare ya!
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? My names Cheianna and I studied a Bachelor of Creative Industries majoring in Fashion Communication, Visual Arts and Journalism at QUT. When I graduated at the end of 2017, I began my own recycled denim label, Shy Denim. I was born into a world of funky fashion and have always been obsessed (and dressed) in denim. My mum and I share a love for everything fashion related & she taught me to sew at a young age. When I started wearing my hand-made/customised outfits to festivals, work etc. people would say “where did you buy that? I want a pair. You could sell these!” It was then that Shy Denim was created. With Shy Denim I use second-hand denim and customise the pieces to create new, exciting products.
Who are some other artists, crafters, creatives that you love? And why? I love Sophia Athas (@hatrikkk) she’s a local Sydney all-round creative gal. She does a lot of denim embroidery (which inspired me to learn), she also makes beautiful pearl bags & swimwear, manages social media pages… the list is endless!
What excites you? I love everything about the fashion industry, from the past to the present: innovative runway shows; epic editorials; thought-provoking fashion campaigns; the list is endless. Creating new ideas for Shy Denim with sketches and inspiration boards excites me. Travelling the world and seeing new places excites me. However, coming back home and being able to work with clothes everyday also makes me happy.
We think of a rummage stall as a mini shopfront, how do you make your rummage stall your own? I totally agree, I wanted to present my stall in a way that communicated what my brand was about. I used a large blue suitcase to compliment the colour of all my product. I laid all my product on towels to keep them in perfect condition. The most appealing features of each item were laid face-up for obvious reasons. As I was on the floor and people were walking by I made two huge signs that had my brand name, a description, & lots of images for marketing purposes. A lot of older people came through and took my business card for their younger relatives that they thought would be interested. So, I definitely recommend having your business cards handy!
What is the next step for you? What does the future hold? I have big plans for Shy Denim. I have been focussing on hand-painted denim pieces as I found this is the most effective way of creating a lot of good-quality product in a short time frame. However, I intend on branching out to more detailed, custom-made pieces, similar to those that I have in my own wardrobe. Then I will expand onto accessories & homewares and in the far future Shy Denim will have custom menswear & children’s as well.
What’s your favourite place or thing to do in your city? I have only just moved to Sydney from Brisbane, so I’m excited to explore all of what this huge city has to offer!
Where we can we find and follow you? @shydenim_ is my main business platform for both selling & marketing at the moment. When I’m a little more established I’ll open a website, but this is easy and effective for now! I have a Facebook page which is Shy Denim. My fashion blog, turned online portfolio (post-university era) is www.cheiannajade.com and you can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org for business enquires.
What do you like about attending Suitcase Rummage? The Suitcase Rummage was a really fun, chill, low-cost, no-hassle way of introducing my baby brand to the world (& to the world of market stalls). I would recommend this to any small business who want to expand their following/audience.