I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Xin of Doinky Doodles. We talked about her experience as an artist and maker, her collection at Doinky Doodles, and her brick and mortar shop by the same name. And we even have a special discount offer at the end of the interview, so be sure to check that out.
But first… Doinky Doodles has been featured in magazines internationally, and most recently her work was chosen by Fred Flare for singer and musician Sliimy. It seems the more I see of Xin’s work, the more I love it, and I hope you will too….
-How did you get started with the Doinky Doodles?
Initially, I was working with my elder sister, and this was around 2006. We were working together on our label called Maki Squarepatch. Back then, I was solely in charge of creating the works while my sister was the marketing person-in-charge. Well, 2 years down the road, I realized we held very different goals for the label, thus I decided to work on my own and to mark that change, the label was given a new name called Doinky Doodles!. So, Doinky Doodles! was started (or rather, continued) from there. I am still learning…with regards to marketing and the economics-side of business.
-Everything you create for Doinky Doodles is made using 100% recycled clothing and fabrics. How important is recycling and reusing to you? And why should other people care?
I grew up being quite fascinated with my maternal grandmother who was quite obsessive in collecting almost anything. But what I really loved about it was when she begin to show me the things she made from the materials or found objects. When I was younger, I never consciously wanted to create in order to be more environmentally-friendly, but now I love what found objects and materials themselves provide for me. Their existing textures are very fun to work with. It is only in recent years with the documentaries, films, media in general…talking about environmental issues that I became a lot more conscious in my working processes. Making sure the work processes produces as little wastage as possible. I appreciate customers care in knowing that I work with recycled fabrics so they have a better understanding when I tell them I cannot duplicate a work. Once something is made here at Doinky, there really is just one of it- in colors and textures.
-Is Doinky Doodles your full time job?
-How did you get your retail space started? Do you only sell things you create there, or are their other designer/ creators as well?
Upon settling on the space, my mom and I took approximately 4 months getting the shop ready. She helped me find the right people to fix up the space. Like people to make the cupboards, fix the lights, construct a restroom, etc. She is really brilliant at that. On my side, I worked at creating the overall look and feel of the space as well as inviting local crafters/artists/designers to contribute their creation to the shop.
-Your paintings and drawings seem to be a direct extension of your handmade goods for Doinky Doodles. They are playful and a little eerie (in a good way) at the same time. Do you prefer one media over another?
I do love both media equally. But when it comes to the act of doing it, I do prefer painting over sewing. Sewing…I get pricked with needles and it hurts like hell! For painting, the accident-risk is near zero.
-What advice would you give to others who are looking to start a craft business? Any tips you can share?
The latest lesson learnt would be—Learn to keep very strong mentally and independently. I used to whine like a baby when the going gets tough. Whine to my friends, family, pets…etc. Till one of my friends told me to buck up and not whine like a baby, and focus, focus, focus.
-Anything else you would like to share with us?
If I am not sewing, I would love to be a dough-kneader at some grandma-grandpa-type bakery. I am in love with freshly made bread at bakeries. The smell, the colors, the shapes…everything about bread is very wonderful.
Special Discount Offer from Doinky Doodles:
-Enter “papernstitch1” as the discount code at checkout for purchase of 1 item. (10% off)
-Enter “papernstitch2” as the discount code at checkout for purchase of 2 items. (20% off)
-Enter “papernstitch3” as the discount code at checkout for purchase of 3 or more items. (30% off)