profile : giggling gertie

We’re so looking forward to seeing what wonderful things Giggling Gertie produces this year. From her teeny tiny mini purses to the decadent double clutch, her products are perfection. Lovely and limited run fabrics, pretty linings, a good range of size options and the cutest product names (because of course that’s important when we’re talking purses!) This year, we’re pleased to say, Giggling Gertie designer Calista Anderson-Leitch is also producing cushions and lovely collared tops to keep her range of bags company. 

Do you have a day job, if so what is it? 
I am an assistant manager at Spacebar Gallery. When did your business begin and why? Giggling gertie started out as a college graphics project where I designed a look-book and fashion label identity. I made a couple of t-shirts and bags with giggling gertie swing tags and labels. It was pretty fun! I started making wallets and purses for friends and they were a hit! So I approached a local boutique and people actually started buying my purses! In a shop! In 2010 I began my final year of Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology and I had my first market stall. I learnt a lot in the fashion course and six years after that first college project giggling gertie is doing really well. I have lots of plans for the next 12 months too, so, as they say, ‘watch this space!’

Inspiration/design aesthetic? 
I thoroughly admire the era of design from the 1900’s through to the 1950’s. The colours, patterns and fabrics from that era are just divine! Art Nouveau and Art Deco are definitely my favourite movements which have dictated the style of my house, studio and wardrobe. That era also inspires me because of the multitude of changes that occurred, socially and morally, and also within the fashion industry; the epic shift from custom made wardrobes to off the rack is amazing. It inspires me to find a middle ground between the two extremes to satisfy present day wants and needs. The other big influence I have from that era is that the regard for quality back then was a lot higher, as was the importance of endurance in both the design and functionality of products and fashion.

Designers you admire? 
Charlie Harper, Florence Broadhurst, Lisa Gorman, Rodarte, Nancy Bird, Sophie LeBlanc, Lucienne Day.

What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles? 
I really love the satisfaction of making something from start to finish; to see that finished and useful product at the end of the process is a joy! Even more so, I LOVE that customers appreciate what I do. Having market stalls, explaining the features of an item, or telling someone about the history of the fabric pieces I’ve used and sharing my passion, is thoroughly enjoyable. I also love the process of matching the fabrics together for each purse or bag; it involves big piles of fabric, rummaging, consideration and the occasional surprises! The only complaint I would have about what I do is that super-glue is really sticky! That’s the only part of my process which is irreversible and permanent, mistakes are hard to correct!

What can our lovely customers expect to see you exhibiting?
An everchanging collection of purses, as well as some new items such as cushion covers and simple tops with collars too. There will also be a collaboration with a fabulous Tasmanian illustrator and designer, stay tuned to see the results of our work together. And, as always, giggling gertie will be putting the fun in functional.

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Missed our February event? For more interviews with our exhibitors check out our look book.

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