Thursday, July 30, 2009

Q&A: Holly of Zes Tee Fashion

Today's Q&A with Holly of Zes Tee Fashion comes all the way from New Zealand and I think gives a nice glimpse into the creative world happening on the other side of the world. And quickly, before I forget, I was featured on Eye Spy the Universe yesterday, doing her 20 Questions feature. If you want to know more about me (or just check out her great blog!) head on over there! Okay, here's Holly!

Where do you live?
I live in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tell me a little bit about what you make.
I make one-of-a-kind jewelry made with non-traditional materials from the hardware store, such as washers, nuts, and other interesting items. I also design printed T-shirts, including eco-friendly organic cotton and Bamboo.

How did you decide to start your line?
I was exposed to the world of art from an early age. I grew up with a passion for design after being inspired by my father`s art creations which included painting, ceramic, stained glass and jewelry making. I began painting and took regular courses at the local art studio. I continued to design as a hobby and after working for a short time as lawyer, I immigrated to New Zealand in 2003 and resided in Christchurch. While I was working in the marketing field in New Zealand, I took a business management course. After finishing it, I decided that it was time to follow my original dream and pursue my love of art. I decided to take a leadership of my life and to start my own business and translate my designs into wearable art.

Is this your full-time work?
Yes. Marketing my online shop and doing all the creative work requires me to be involved in the business full-time.

Where do you get your washers and nuts and why do you enjoy working with hardware?
I buy the hardware pieces from a big hardware store close to where I live. I also found a huge warehouse in town that sells fastening items in a wider range than the local hardware store, so I buy there as well.
I love making hardware jewelry because there are a big variety of hardware items that enable me to be creative and original in my work. I like making unique jewelry that no one else has. It’s something different that makes you stand out from the crowd. I like taking “ordinary” and “simple” items such as hardware, and take them to a different direction. Not many people think you can wear hardware bits and pieces around your neck, but I love to prove them that you can
create from hardware something beautiful to wear.

What sets the New Zealand handmade movement apart from the one in the US?
I have found out that in the US there are a lot more forums and communities that give a place to artists to share their work with eachother, it’s more organized. This is a result of the US being a much larger place than New Zealand…

How does your creative process work?
All my T-shirts are printed in New Zealand using the latest cutting edge printing technology that is called “DTG” – Direct to Garment, which uses environmentally-friendly water-based inks. My printer lives not far away from where I live, and this enables me to work closely with him and not in a remote control. All the jewelry is done by me and each piece is one-of-a-kind, so one can rest assured that no one else will have the same item.

What's your current favorite color combination?
When doing hardware jewelry I discovered the color combination of silver and gold together in one piece. Each colour enhances the other and gives more interest to the jewelry. In my T-shirt I like mostly the pastel range of the short sleeve V neck. It looks great on anyone.

What's the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is when I do my creations. It can be in any part of the day, but usually I do the creative work in the afternoon. This is what I love to do most, and it gives me a lot of pleasure.

What do you like to do when you're not working on your creations?
I love painting. In the past I used to paint mainly still life and landscapes, but here in New Zealand I started practicing more abstract painting which allows me more freedom and releases my imagination. Now my walls at home are getting filled with my paintings.

Do you have a favorite product in your shop right now?
I love equally both my jewelry line and printed T-shirt line. They are different from each other, and enable me to develop different aspects in my creativity.


  1. Lovely feature! Will definately be clicking through to check out Holly's shop!

  2. What a nice blog you have..thanks for all this information.