Based in Abbotsford, Melbourne, Next State Print are responsible for bringing all of the Duckling In Space fabric artwork to life, on gorgeous, locally sourced, ethically and sustainably produced materials. Here I chat with co- founder, Chole Kerr about her inspirations behind the business.
I was inspired to create Next State Print, as I love being in the creative industry, however not working in a distinctly creative roll. After working in textile and print, I acknowledged a gap in the market that Next State could fulfil. Working with designers, artists and students to realise their textile print goals is exactly where I want to be.
The part of the job that I find most exciting is sourcing and developing new textiles to add to the Next State Range. Working on our printers calibration to get the best results for each print is wonderful. At the end of the day I am most excited by talking with our customers and getting to know them and what they do. When I wander down the street, go to a market or an exhibition and see our printing featured, that is pure joy.
Sustainability and the principles of social and environmental best practice are a key focus for us and it drives a lot of our decisions. As a business we need to be responsible for the choices we make and are fortunate to work with customers that also require this as part of their business practice. There is a change as well as an awareness in the way products are produced and viewed by consumers and it is great to be a part of that. We love the terms "slow fashion, made to order, limited quantity, made in Australia and organic", all practices that we apply to our manufacturing at Next State.
The main challenge of being a mum and running my own business is time and balance. You can't have it all and you can't be in two places at once. So its important to just do the best you can with the time you have and to learn to be satisfied with that. Having a two year old and an eight month old is challenging enough without a business to run. I was on maternity leave in 2019 (which meant working nights and doing emails and work every spare moment in the day) so I'm very excited to get back into the office in 2020. My girls are regularly at Next State and I'm beyond lucky to have a talented, capable and brilliant team who are champions of the business.