Tinker By Printink Studio


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What inspired you to start your business? How did you go about it? 

I have always been interested in textiles with a strong interest and passion for print. It was after studying textile design at RMIT and working in the industry for a few years that my partner Jason and I decided to start our own studio. Having our own studio allowed us to create and design textiles with a hands-on approach, which is something that I strongly believed in.  Everything that we do is created by hand – from the initial drawings used to create repeat patterns to printing to making and finishing of our products. The studio and space that we have created allows for all these creative aspects and production to eventuate. Setting up a print studio also gave us a commercially viable vehicle for our creativeness. Also back when we first started the business the handmade resurgence was just starting to become popular, allowing us to feel confident that our business could be viable.

Was there a turning point when you knew you were onto a good thing?

When we first launched Tinker in 2005 we had a lot of editorial exposure with our products. However, it has been the continued success and positive response to our own brand Tinker that allows us to feel confident in an ever-changing market. Also, the continual support from our wholesalers who support local designers and have a similar ethos.

What do you find to be the most rewarding part of your business?

We recognise that we are in an enviable position. With all of the tools, skill and space we could ever need at our disposal. We can sample many special finishes, colours, fabrics and combinations of each before settling on our final prints. It’s this process, and what we have created, that makes it rewarding. 

Screen-printing by hand is certainly a niche industry in Australia and after many years of developing our skills, we are proud of where we are at, what we are creating and who we are working with. We get to work closely with a lot of local skilled makers who manufacturer some of our more specialised pieces. This working relationship allows us to support our local industry (which these days is forever decreasing).

What sort of person buys your products?

We design for longevity, while also being individual and unique. Our customers appreciate this in the application of colour, trims and specialised detailing. Our customers are people who understand quality and craftsmanship – people who want a product that is ethically made. People that appreciate process and time spent in production.

What makes your product different? Why do you think it has succeeded?

Designing is one element, but I think we always look to see, within our product range, what can we offer that not everyone else has. We create crafted products with a point of difference, something that makes each piece individual, interesting, fun and unique

Our products are also distinguished by their exceptional quality and handmade touch – they aren’t mass-produced, they’re a part of the slow fashion movement.

Have you identified any design and/or business trends you have had to address in the last year?

The forever changing platforms of social media! Colour trends play a big part of our ranges. We are forever influenced by what is currently in fashion, but then we adapt it with our own twist. And, supporting slow and ethical fashion with the belief that if you don’t support local then one day you won’t have the choice to because local won’t exist.