profile : nara design

Miriam Herzfeld from Nara Design is all for celebrating beautiful textiles…aren’t we all? Miriam celebrates them by making them into stylish, practical and very appealing clothing for adults and children, along with a small range of homewares. Her fabrics for 2012 are indeed beautiful and include organic cotton and wool, low impact textiles, along with some seriously stunning Japanese + vintage fabrics.

Do you have a day job, if so what is it? 
I’m a Mum to my four year old Tibby. I also run my own business working as a consultant in the area of health promotion, community development and population health.

When did your business begin and why? 
I started nara design after the birth of my daughter in 2008. I found it difficult to find warm clothing in Tasmania so I started to search for organic merino wool fabric so I could make my own clothes for her. I particularly wanted to make pants with booties. Market research with mothers in the area gave me further ideas about what people were looking for. And I went on to design other pants, dresses and bedding for little people. About 16 months on, and I with the help of my wonderfully talented and supportive Mum had enough stock to start trading.

Inspiration/design aesthetic? 
I’m inspired by the beautiful textiles that are made both within Tasmania and around the world. I’ve been fortunate to travel to some places that produce amazing textiles including Japan, Uzbekistan, Holland, France and China. I particularly love Japanese textiles such as those produce by Nani Iro and Etsuko Furuya. I also love vintage and retro design and am an avid collector of eclectic wares – everything from vintage chairs to retro brooches. I’m enthused by many things - from Florence Broadhurst wallpaper designs to the colours and wonders of nature.

Designers you admire? 
My Mum, Nani Iro, Etsuko Furuya, Melody Miller and Florence Broadhurst.

What is your favourite part of Tasmania? 
Bruny Island because I love the coast and going on the ferry makes me feel like I’m going to another country.

What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles? 
I love the creative opportunities that nara design and being involved in the market have provided me. I’ve met so many lovely and talented people who are part of the creative community - it’s a real pleasure to be part of it. It’s really nice when you come across a little person wearing something you made and when you get repeat customers who give you feedback. I love working with my Mum for nara design. She’s a fantastic sewer and I owe my love for textiles and sewing abilities to her.

What can our lovely customers expect to see you exhibiting? 
At the beginning of this year we did a lot of research and thinking about where we wanted to head with nara design in 2012. We purchased a large collection of new textiles and developed a range of new designs and ideas. Our designs will be simple allowing the textiles to be the star of our products. We hope to bring a unique and stylish collection of children’s wear, women’s wear and homewards.

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Want to see who else will be at our July event? For more interviews with our exhibitors check out our look book.

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