Photographer Georgia Wallace met up with Brisbane babe Clair Emery in her home studio where she designs, produces and runs her online store Planet Hostile. We briefly chatted about her art, running a business and graduating from uni.
1. How did Planet Hostile start?
Once I really committed myself to the idea of making and selling clothing it happened pretty organically. I was always interested in sewing and design as a kid, and could use a sewing machine pretty well in high school, but when I moved to Brisbane I didn’t have access to any of that equipment anymore. Eventually I wrangled some together and just tested the waters, making clothes for myself and friends. I was so petrified of selling my stuff for a while, because I was worried it wasn’t good enough (which was silly and just new adventure jitters I guess). I started on Depop just using my name, and people responded really well, and when I started my Etsy store I stole my personal Instagram account name and made it my Label name as well.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from for your art?
I have never been a very good artist, aha. You can see in the clothes I make that all the art work improves over time, as I get more opportunities to fine tune designs. A lot of the painted pieces – banana, avocado and rose designs – were inspired by emoji’s originally, because I saw them as cute and simple (and about on my artistic wave length aha). I am definitely pretty proud of the improvements I have made in this area though. I love when people message me and ask for different, custom designs and I get to play around with more challenging shapes and detail.
3. What advice would you give to others who are interested in starting up their own business?
I guess, just do it. I sat around for ages thinking about making a Depop and an Etsy and everything else that went along with it and it was just a huge (fear induced) waste of time. I learned so much more from trial and error in the first few months of my store than I would have overthinking and trying to prepare myself. Just go for it, and don’t get yourself down if things start off slowly.
4. You’ve just finished your writing degree (congratulations!), what are your plans now that you’ve graduated?
Thankyou! I don’t have any immediate plans to mix things up too much. I found that studying something I loved took a little of the joy out of it for me, and I’ve been feeling writers fatigue pretty hard in the last year especially. So I think I am just going to take a little break from it for a while and keep reading and sewing and hopefully the passion will flare back up again soon. For now though – on an un-degree related note – I want to keep focusing on building up stock and attending more markets as a stall holder. And of course to keep challenging myself with new tasks so I can continue improving and growing as a creative.
Photography by Georgia Wallace, interview by Sara Nicolette.