Modern Makers Retreat and Make Modern Magazine are a clearly a match made in heaven! There are three of us and three of them; both were ideas born of quilty friends who were frustrated by a gap in the market; both enterprises are Australian made but globally embraced; and we both cater to the modern tribe.
We’ve loved having Kristy, Jane and Lara as co-judges and sponsors for our Modern Makers Cushion Palooza! We thought we already knew a lot about our Make Modern mates, but when we interviewed them it turned out there were a few surprises…
How did the three of you meet?
Kristy and Jane met about 5 years ago when Jane was setting up an “IRL” modern quilt group and Kristy answered the call. We then both became involved in the Facebook group Quilt Club Australia, which was very small at the time, and we met Lara through that. The three of us started a paper piecing bee called Wombat Stew with some other quilting friends. While WS petered out after four rounds, we are all still great friends who chat regularly. As far as IRL goes, Lara and Kristy met for the first time at the Sydney Quilt Fair in July this year, and Jane and Lara have yet to meet. We have big plans for an overseas getaway for just the three of us next year, so fingers crossed!
How did the idea of starting a magazine come about?
One day at quilt group, Kristy and Jane started chatting about the lack of magazines dedicated to modern quilting. As Jane is a magazine journalist with a background in craft publishing, and Kristy has a strong interest in design, we started to talk more and more about it. After standing in the car park at quilt group for an hour talking non-stop, we took it to our Wombat Stew friends to see if anyone was interested in coming on board with us and making it a reality. Lara jumped at the chance and with her tech skills, rounded out the team nicely. Two and a bit years later and we are 13 issues in and still pinching ourselves!
You all seem to have specific areas of expertise with the magazine, who does what?
Jane is our Editor, she edits all the projects and writes most of the articles. She’s a bit of a beast with the virtual red pen, so watch out. Kristy is our Creative Director, AKA design guru who does our layouts and also commissions all of our projects. Lara is our Business Manager, AKA social media genius. She handles all the financials, enquiries, website management and social media. It is really important to have clearly defined roles so we know everything is getting done.
You’ve built an incredible community around you. How important is it to engage with modern makers around the world?
Social media is super important these days to build community. We are only as strong as our community and we want to hear what they’re thinking and see what they’re making. Social media keeps us up with the latest trends and is a constant inspiration. Sadly, this constant inspiration isn’t so good for our wallets or WIP lists!
Do you consider yourselves to be female entrepreneurs? Mumpreneurs? Or just doing something you love?
Craftepeneurs maybe? We are all mums and it is important for us to be able to work around our families. But it’s also really exciting for us to be spending our time working with quilts, which is something we’re all super passionate about.
What have you learnt over the last 2 years of publishing a digital magazine? What are your words of wisdom?
It’s a learning curve, but anything’s doable with great friends. It’s so good to be in a collaboration where we can motivate each other, bounce ideas around and work together to make our product better. There is a lot of learning as we go, but we enjoy a good challenge. And chocolate fixes everything. We are blessed to be able to call talking about quilting our jobs!
If our readers want to get involved, what could they do?
We love love love reader involvement! We love to publish patterns from quilters with a modern feel, regardless of whether or not they’ve been published before. If readers have a story they think might interest us, we want to know. We’ve also just launched a year-long Instagram competition with monthly prizes to encourage our readers to make modern. All they need to do is share what they’re working on right now with the hashtag #makemodern to be in the running for some pretty awesome prizes. Chop chop!
Love Jane, Kristy & Lara