Here are a few of my favorite Fink designs. Someday my closet will be filled with them! Fink is the collaborative effort of textile artists Karen and Kristen. Both artists design the prints on their textiles, hand print them, make each garment from scratch without patterns, model and photograph their own work. Even more amazing is that they work out of studios in two different states, NY and NM!
I was so intrigued by this business set up, my first question was how they worked out the details of their independent design business with so many miles (and some time zones too) between them. Here is what they had to say:
karen - "we met in the boston area where we were both working on the comedy central animated series dr. katz professional therapist...we became fast friends, kept in touch & after many years of not working together anymore we realized that we really missed it- that we had a particular energy that worked well creatively and that we needed to find a way to make it happen, we did and off we went...."
kristen - "yes, our Boston times were great and it became obvious over time that even though we were miles apart we could make something happen...and here it is"
I asked the ladies how they would describe Fink to someone who has never seen their collection before:
karen - "our tagline says it best for the style---nouveaux flowerchild chic . but more importantly handprinted & handmade from scratch. one of a kind- each item has an incredible amount of work put into it. we can't stress that enough. that enough"
kristen - "yes, everything Karen said. I tell people about our clothes...show them in person when I can and still they say "so, where do you get your fabrics?" even after I told them we print them...then I show them the screens and how we do it and then get the "WOW!!!" "OMG" and "AMAZING!!" stuff. we do our best to explain our work in written words on Etsy and other sites but when our customers receive the the clothes they really get it...and then they come back for more!"
Something that always intrigues me about designers (and bands) is how they come up with their name. Here is what Karen and Kristen have to say about the origin of Fink:
karen - "the usual...just chit chatting & laughing really. it doesn't really mean anything but what it means. it's funny. fink is a funny word and we love people who are finks."
kristen - "well, though we found it by giggling and conversing over cocktails...it makes so much sense. Fashion + Ink...Fink."
When asked about their muse, where they find inspiration for their textiles and silhouettes, they shared the following:
karen - "wow that is a tough one because inspiration is all over the place but a simple answer would be vintage of course- we both love love love vintage, and imagination & of course mother nature for colors & prints- she is a big influence."
kristen - "yes, I agree w/ Karen...vintage is number one. movies, books, music, memories, cocktails, conversations, love...they all inspire!"
I wanted to really find out about what goes on behind the computer screen at Fink. I asked Kristen and Karen to share about some of the hardest aspects of their designing and business. Some of the challenges included space. The solution: improvise, that's what the kitchen table is for. And every creative person's challenge: not enough time. Kristen's thoughts on solutions for shortage of time?
"I don't have the space problem here in Santa Fe and I feel most fortunate about that...for me it's time. that is really a positive thing though...like they say "time flies when you are having fun"...it does. and I am not willing to have less fun so time will keep flying!"
Both Kristen and Karen have been able to dedicate themselves to Fink 110% of the time. They are grateful for the freedom and spontaneity their independent design business has given them and welcome conversations from you!