IT ALL STARTED IN 2007 WHEN HEATHER MOORE WAS MAKING PAPERCUTS AND SCREENPRINTS IN HER LITTLE STUDIO, AND SELLING THEM ONLINE. BY 2012, THE BUSINESS HAD GROWN SO MUCH THAT SHE OPENED A SHOP IN CENTRAL CAPE TOWN, AT 201 BREE STREET. UPSTAIRS FROM THE SHOP IS A LIGHT AND AIRY STUDIO, WHERE TEAM SKINNY IS HARD AT WORK, CUTTING, SEWING AND PACKAGING THE GOODS TO SEND OFF TO HOMES AND STORES ACROSS THE GLOBE. EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN FIND THEIR PRODUCTS ALL OVER THE WORLD, THEY STILL MAKE EVERYTHING IN SOUTH AFRICA.
Heather makes all the designs, which the team makes up and sell as a range of home textiles, as well es products made from their fabric, paper goods and stationery. They also sell paper goods and stationery, and do some licensed design and illustration for international companies. Skinny laMinx aspires to a high level of quality in the goods they design and produce, and also in the experience we provide to our customers. When people enter their stores or interact with any of our social media channels, SkinnyLaMinx wants them to discern our commitment to excellence in every aspect of their work. And the name SkinnyLaMinx? Heather and her husband have a skinny little Siamese cat called Monkey, and so the brand name it’s a bit of a nickname for her.
After 10 years of illustration, Heather needed a change, so in 2006 she took a half-day job as a comic’s scriptwriter, and spent the rest of her day messing around in her studio on Long Street. Heather started blogging about her work, and opened an online shop on Etsy. People around the world started reading her blog and buying her goodss, and suddenly she found that she was a designer with a design business. By 2010, her business had grown a lot, and she was very relieved when Pearl Thompson joined the business, taking over the operational side of things. Heather’s business sort of snuck up behind her while she was having fun blogging about things, making stuff, and learning how to try making money by selling it. She has so much admiration for people who have a vision of what they want to do and start a business from scratch. It sounds terrifyingly brave!
Her inspiration comes from ordinary, everyday things like cactuses, teacups, staircases and vibracrete walls. She usually has a notebook with her, where she can make sketches, and she takes a lot of photographs of textures, details, juxtapositions and compositions that seem to give her ideas. Follow Heather on Instagram at @skinnylaminx to find out what I’ve been looking at lately.
It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of a business, and stuck on the email treadmill, so she tries to put aside Fridays as her day for doing non-work-related creative work, where I can simply make whatever takes her fancy.
THE BEST PIECE OF CREATIVE ADVICE SHE HAS EVER BEEN GIVEN? As a self-taught illustrator and designer, Heather used to be nervous about what she created, because she wasn’t sure if it was ‘correct’ or not. Years ago, her husband saw her second-guessing her decisions and told her that she has good instincts, and her first idea is often my best. This advice freed her to trust her judgment, and to simply keep producing things without thinking too much.