This week Em sat down with Lauren Hernandez, (below right) one half of creative duo Crossing Threads. Having only caught the Weaver Fever last year, Crossing Threads was and is built upon a mutual love of nature, weaving and fibre art. With commissioned wall hangings and weavings for home and commercial environments, their phenomenal business growth is testament to the power of passion, envisioning a dream and working the Instagram market. Talking textiles, creative advice and all things Game Of Thrones, Lauren gives an insight into the wonderful world of weaving that she and Kassandra (below left) immerse themselves in.
Crossing Threads on the girls behind the brand….
At Crossing Threads, Kassandra and I are a sister duo; what began as a passion project for us has now turned into a small business. What we do is purely making; we’re creatives, we make creations from our bare hands. And at the same time it’s not just about that, its about building an identity, building our personality, and both of us have grown to wear different, identifiable hats as the brand has grown. Myself, I’ve become more involved in the marketing and act as head of social strategy, whereas Kassandra has taken over the reigns of production; she is the core maker.
We’re about taking that leap. Both of us still lead busy, full time lives, and its about taking that little spark, that last little thing that makes you feel alive, and turning that into something that’s worthwhile doing.
On the emergence of Crossing Threads….
Crossing Threads begun from doing a textile and weaving workshop in 2015 with Natalie Miller, that Kass gave to me as a birthday present. We’ve always had a fondness for textiles ever since we were little, and so we gave it a shot. We both caught the weaver-fever and since that initial workshop we have been exploring various techniques and trying to come up with defining our own style, for example figuring out what fibres we like to use and basically what works well for us and what doesn’t. Throughout months and months of experimentation, we are at a stage now where we have hit our aesthetic mark, one that can be defined and described as very raw and textural; we use and recycle a lot of different fabrics, we don't restrict our weaves to being fibre built. Since that initial workshop we’ve just kept at it every day, and look at us now!
On how having a full time job affects productivity…..
With both of us having separate full time jobs, time management is crucial and we have to be very military like with it. Outside of our day jobs, we both also have relationships. And a lot of people comment on that, asking how we can come home from a nine hour office day, and then still be picking up our looms and weaving or taking photos, or putting up product listings and assembling quotes. The answer is simple. We want to do it, and if there’s a will then there’s a way, which you can absolutely apply to any aspect of life. We do check in together on a daily basis and we are constantly chatting, communication is crucial. We also set key milestones for every week, and more importantly, realistic ones. We have a production schedule, so right now for example we are working on a big commission, and on top of that we have had to learn to say no to certain opportunities. This was a behaviour trait that we had to pick up quickly, for no-one can do everything. It comes down to who you want to invest your time in, and just knowing what clients you want to work with and what type of work you want to do, alongside with learning to trust your instinct, all of which has been a big learning experience for both Kassandra and myself.
On their ultimate goal…..
The ultimate goal for Crossing Threads would be to see it big enough to go back to the mother land, which is the Philippines, and revisit our heritage and incorporate traditional techniques with the ones we use today. It would also allow us to give back to the community, whether it’s through employing a handful of women and helping to give them a lifestyle and livelihood, and then bringing a part of that back to Australia, and incorporating that dual nature about the brand. So there is a story. Crossing Threads is and always will be a sister label and a family label, and we want to keep it that way. But if there is an opportunity to give back to society in one way or another, we would love to go back to the mother land and support our people.
On imparting creative advice…
You just need to start. No-one is going to action it for you apart from yourself, and there might be a little bit of fear, a little bit of self doubt, a little bit of ‘am I going to take that big leap’, but the best advice I could give to anyone is to just do it, whether it’s warping your first loom or pouring the first cement into a mould. And with that, you’ll start to figure out what feels right for you; trust your instinct, trust your gut, and if you feel something has a positive connotation and positive feelings around a certain decision or opportunity, then go for it. Be smart about it, think about what’s in it for you, what’s in it for the partnership or collaboration, make sure both parties are happy with the agreement and stick to that. Clear communication, whether you're working within your own business or working with other businesses and other opportunities when they arrive, is key.
And on weekends we can find you:
Eating: Vietnamese rolls
Drinking: A lot of coffee, a lot of instant bad coffee!
Watching: Game of Thrones!
Hanging out at: Anywhere outdoors, I like to get my bike out and go riding. And foraging! Of course.
You can find Crossing Threads and more of their work at www.crossingthreads.co and @crossingthreads