My new interview series Why Thank You I Made it Myself about the business of making explores the non-Instagramable moments keeping that keep creatives’ dreams afloat.

In the latest interview fashion designer Anika Cook of The Gently Unfurling Sneak says learning to understand her brand’s essence and how best to honour it commercially eventually showed her when to say yes and when to say no.

“I’ve had people say, ‘You should go for designs that have the broadest appeal’, which is really the more boring designs,” she says. “Like, I should only do plain clothing or only plain tailored shirts because people need work shirts and things. And for a while I thought, ‘Maybe I should do that because I could get more sales and it might be more profitable that way’.

“I’ve come to realise my designs are on the weirder side and my customers like that. If I give them something boring they’re not going to buy it.”

“For a while there I thought that because people were giving me that advice I should follow it. Now I’ve decided that it is what it is, the customer likes it, I’ve got that niche and I have to be respectful of that.”

Image: Anika Cook cascade-shirt

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Why Thank You, I Made it Myself is a new interview series by Melbourne freelance writer Kath Dolan that explores the nuts-and-bolts of running creative businesses with local makers, craftspeople and artists.

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