Canvas Rebel Interview with Goose Summer

Canvas Rebel Interview with Goose Summer

Meet Audrey King

Read the interview on Canvas Rebel

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Audrey King a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Audrey, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?

In a way, I have always known. My grandmother, Nonni, is an artist, specifically a painter, and she taught me how to look at the world with a curious eye. I spent most of my childhood collecting what some might call trash and repurposing it into objects (like jetpacks, mini houses, and paintings). My mom raised me to always be conscious of what I threw away, so it is no surprise that some of my first works of art were dyeing the printed out script of the High School Musical Play that I was in with water colors and sewing it together like a paper quilt– it is very interesting to me how in some way this isn’t very far from where my practice is now: dyeing fabrics with plant dye and sewing them into various items. I find it really reassuring when I look back at my childhood and feel like my hopes and dreams haven’t wavered very much. My current artistic practice actually really overlaps with the first project my grandmother did with me, batik, which is an Indonesian dyeing practice that uses wax to create designs on fabric and then you iron or heat the wax off of the fabric after you are done. My grandma would do this with me all the time. We would make little paintings of flowers together.

Audrey, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?

I am the creator behind Goose Summer, a small, sustainable plant dyeing business making naturally dyed silk scrunchies and other accessories in Los Angeles. The reason why I decided to create this brand is because of how magical and beautiful plant dyes are. They are unique and unlike any colors I see in fashion. I also wanted to dive deeper into this craft because the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters, specifically because of synthetic dyes, and I wanted to actively try to not contribute to it. Synthetic dyes have contaminated our waterways and they aren’t healthy on our skin either. So I created Goose Summer as an experiment to see if a business could use solely plant dyes on all their products. And what I’ve learned is that it is definitely laborious and time-consuming, but it is so worth it! Because at the end of the day I can pour my dye baths back into the garden where they started.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?

The most rewarding aspect is fulfillment, as cheesy as that sounds. I feel closer and closer to who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing as my business and artistic pursuits have been deepening. And yes, there are lots of times when it would be a lot easier to quit, or say this isn’t worth it, but if you keep pushing through, it feels amazing to look back and see how many obstacles I’ve overcome. I actually think the goal is returning to the person I was when I was a girl– so focused and driven and wild and prolific. It was definitely difficult and didn’t come naturally at first, but I have learned with having a small business you have to be committed to yourself and true to yourself because at the end of the day that is who I have to keep returning to. I am my own boss and I am learning to love that.

What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?

I realized recently that I am not an e-commerce-girl (my own phrasing). I was having a really hard time selling my products online for a while, and I was watching other business online seem to thrive and gain tons of followers. It took me a while, but I have figured out that not all businesses have to start out online anymore, and that my products are quite tactile and the delicate colors don’t really sing through a camera, so this year I have started to do more in-person markets and craft fairs and I have really loved meeting my customers and creating community! So I think something I unlearned was that I didn’t have to follow the trend of being an internet sensation, and in fact, I have really loved being in-person and meeting new people, especially after the last few years. I love the experience of meeting the person who will have this object I have delicately made, from my palm to theirs. It is actually quite special to return to these traditions of craft that we have lost in our culture– sewing is an incredibly intimate act because after all is the the closest things to us all day long.

If you wanted to see Goose Summer products in person, check out our instagram to find out when our next local market is.

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