Our first mini digital interview of 2022! Seeing as that events are starting back up again, I am so excited to be able to start interviews again in person! We have several events lined up, so I'll be even more excited when I'm actually there!
This digi-view would have been done in person at Toronto Comic Con, but I was so busy and didn't get a chance to go ask for a few minutes to answer questions! Thankfully, we have the power of social media and email on our side haha! This local creator makes it her goal to be mindful of eco-friendly and ethical matters, all while channeling her love for nature, flowers, moths, and more! I'd say she's the perfect interview as we welcome in spring~
Selina - Creator of Carmico
I met Selina for the first time at KimiKon in 2018 while she was vending her cute art and small creations! It's been really cool following along her journey all these years and seeing the growth and success! I really enjoy watching people succeed with the things they are passionate about~!
Firstly, I asked Selina how Camico came to be, from the start of it all to the process and creativity.
"I've been creating products since I was 15, starting from making fanart posters to keychains, selling them at local markets and conventions, then from there slowly working my way up from enamel pins to hats! I slowly gained confidence in making and fulfilling bigger products, which eventually led me to making shirts! To be honest, I nearly quit making products in early 2019! I was in college in a major I wasn't super into and my products weren't doing well. That break was exactly what I needed to realise that making things that make people happy is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing!
So, in March of 2019 I made new social media accounts by the name of Carmico, with a quality over quantity mindset in hand, and the goal to make whatever makes me happy, rather than what everyone else is doing! My vision has always been to make wearable quirky clothes that folks of all shapes, sizes, looks and more feel welcome and comfortable in. I'd like to think I've been doing a good job of that!"
(GHOST GiRL GOODS is also created with the goal of keeping our products true to ourselves and not going along with "whats trendy" or "hot at the moment". We want to show you US always and want to connect our heart with yours!)
Selina says her favourite part about designing is turning her drawings and designs into physical creations!
"My favourite part of designing is seeing the thing I designed come to life in person! It's the most magical thing to me that the silly things I draw up not only become real, but then go to folks from all over the world! A little piece of my heart in their hands."
As a creator myself, I also love when Im able to see my drawings come to life through fashion and accessories.
(A peek at all the aesthetically pleasing items displayed side by side on the Carmico webshop!)
I asked Selina a bit more into her feelings towards ethically and eco-friendly made garments / accessories / packagings, ect.! I asked her to share why it is so important for a brand to care about these aspects, as well as some of the struggles or difficulties she has faced in executing a garment both ethically made and eco friendly.
"It's so important for a brand to be conscious of the impact that creating their goods has on the world around us, I think folks definitely shouldn't get down on themselves if they aren't perfect though! Being able to make small steps towards running your business in a more sustainable way, like having your paper goods be recycled instead of new, or ditching plastic in favour of more friendly options like glassine or compostable products are some small ways that make a great impact in the long run.
I think a big part of running Carmico ethically is ensuring our employees and the folks who manufacture my designs are treated kindly and paid fairly! Being able to not rush anyone, have everyone feel comfortable in their living and be inspired and excited by the work is incredibly rewarding. I've personally worked in many spaces that were not even remotely focused on employee wellbeing, which was directly reflected in the quality of work, with upper management scratching their heads on why! The reason was simple; if you were unhappy working somewhere, would you want to give it your all? This is why it's so important to me to make sure everyone is comfy and having fun at Carmico! If it's not a good time, why are you doing it?
Carmico is far from perfect in the sustainability sphere, but every day is another step closer to that goal. I remember the first time I made button up shirts I was shocked at the amount of plastic that came with it! Little clips and backings and wraps, my jaw literally dropped. I instantly asked them to remove all of it and only have a sleeve and to see if they could find a more Eco-Friendly sleeve. They only recently got a compostable bag, which we'll be swapping to, but every line there are more steps taken towards being greener and greener. I feel the fact that we and many others are taking steps towards being more sustainable is all we can ask."
Its always nice to hear about the success of others and I wanted to ask Selina what is one of her success stories:
"To be honest, if I could brag a little, being able to not only bring my dreams to life but also live off of them gives me whiplash in the best way! At least once a week I have a moment of "Oh my gosh, I'm really a fashion designer? I really did this, huh?". I'm not rolling in it by any means, but I truly believe that wealth isn't only financial, but in the joy and fulfillment you get from your everyday life. I'm able to live a comfortable life while also being able to employ my partner and friends with my creations is something I'll endlessly be proud of."
(Various button up tops with cute prints featuring nature's finest: flowers, mushrooms, froggies, and more!)
As always, I ask everyone who I interview what is an important aspect of fashion to them. To be honest, usually everyone answers the same! It goes to show you how fashion really connects people together. Selina gave us her answer: "I've always felt that clothes are the language in which your story is told from afar, I think fashion should be something you feel incredibly comfortable and confident in at the same time! A garment can be as cute as can be but, if it fits poorly or is uncomfortable physically, you won't feel your best! Fashion and Function should never be a compromise!"