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Why the name FRILLFRANK?
The name originally came about during my university studies of Industrial Design at RMIT in Melbourne (don't let the name fool you, it's just a very broad anything-design degree) where I focused on erotic toy design for my honours year. Classic move. At the time, there were not many female designers creating tasteful sex toys and I wanted to plug that proverbial hole. I designed and created some super minimalist and abstract sculptural 'toys' that you could wear like a ring made from a semi-precious stone, think jade. The kind of object that if someone found it they wouldn't think it necessarily was what it indeed was. Long story short with many sniggers and word play, my range was called 'frillandfrank' to kind of sum up pretty (frill) yet bold (frank) in design and as a reference to the ying/ yang balance of us all.
Who is FRILLFRANK?
I am Joelle, a 30-something year old designer now living on the East Coast of Australia. Grew up in country Victoria and moved to study in Melbourne at 18, where I comfortably stayed for over a decade. It will always be my favourite Australian city and is a fantastic dynamic place to feed your thirsty creative mind.
Where is the FRILLFRANK studio located?
In my home in Possum Creek located in the lush peaceful rainforest of the Byron Bay hinterland, NSW Australia. I live with my two boys; my long term partner Tao and cheeky dachshund 'Soy Boy' Sawyer.
Why not. Why. Not. I stumbled across making one by accident just trying to use up awkward small leather scrap but now I'm obsessed and refuse to get over them. I love how they combine texture, tactility and colour, and then soften and personalise over time. They are so useless and useful at the same time.
Where does the leather come from?
I spend hours sourcing sustainable suede and leather off-cuts; think of all the by-product from handbag manufacturers, leather clothing production and other leather goods. Therefore, 99% of the leather I use is in pristine brand new condition and just comes in awkward shapes otherwise destined for landfill. I have a particular lust for obscure specialty leathers; metallic, embossed, printed etc. The majority of leather and suede comes from Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
What's the making process like?
I am an absolute perfectionist, to the point where it can get the better of me at times and I refuse to acknowledge anything is good enough! I insist on hand cutting the tassels and will not use any automated machinery. I spend a lot of time coming up with each tassel, giving them their own personality (!). I'll meticulously select the colours, textures, beading and hardware. Sometimes I'll custom print the leather first and make my own wooden beads and components.Then it's time to come up with its own suitable name before photographing and listing it online. I'll happily spend hours bent over my work bench crafting the tassels slowly and find it an extremely satisfying process; I'm solving my own self created creative problem for the perfect tassel.
Are the designs all one of a kind?
Yes, each design is absolutely an individual. I can rarely remake an exact copy of any one design even if I wanted to. If you are desperate though, please ask. I always aim to please.
Do you wholesale?
Occasionally to the right place with a similar mindset and aesthetic yes. Please contact me if you are interested.
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