As part of last weeks Kingpins Show online, we chatted with three unique and talented young makers: Maisie Broome, Wuzzy Omiyale and Juliet Johnson about building a brand in the middle of a pandemic, the rise of crafting in collaboration with clothing and one of the biggest topics of discussion was how has Instagram been in terms of a selling and marketing and the response was pretty unanimous, Instagram is one of the strongest selling tools out there.

Myfawnwy is the art and design studio of Maisie Broome. Maisie’s work explores the transformational effects of nature, pattern and emotion through the mediums of sculpture, printmaking, experimental textile, clothing and object design. MYFAWNWY is her middle name and translates to ‘my rare one’ in Welsh. Every item is made by hand in her NYC studio. “I started experimenting with marbling over a decade ago and it’s kind of grown into this art, design, clothing business that I have…and the clothing aspect has really been taking off this last year.” She says the online community of artists and creators has been instrumental in growing her brand. 

“It cultivates a demand;  I’ll make and share something I’m excited about and I’m not totally sure what will happen with it. If there’s a lot of feedback that means I can actually invest in this idea and I’ve already grown a demand for it so when I do launch it there’s already a buzz around it. And I’m working more sustainability; not making extra products, its just one artist behind the brand so I make what I can, the demand is there and it sells out.”

Wuzzy Omiyale is the founder, designer and tailor at By.Wuzzy By.Wuzzy is a eco conscious, slow fashion denim brand, reworking vintage Levis to create original, bespoke garments and accessories. As a recent graduate from the London College of Fashion Wuzzy and explained that

Not a lot of fashion houses are hiring right now so I used this as an opportunity to just jump starting doing my own thing, which is what I’ve been wanting to do for a while. At the beginning of the pandemic I was selling face masks in collaboration with a charity and I didn’t realize the influx of DM’s I was getting and I realized I might need a website then because I didn’t realize how powerful of a tool instagram is for selling.” 

Juliet Johnstone is an artist from Los Angeles who only started painting on clothing this past year in an effort to find new forms of expression. By filling her friends’ closets with more special and sustainable options, her wearable art has elicited an exciting positive response. For Juliet, Instagram as a marketing and selling tool has also been instrumental in growing her brand.

“I started selling everything on instagram, when I started a few months ago I would just say ‘dm for purchase’ and when things really started picking up I couldn’t keep up with all the dming and paypal and moved into doing it through a website. Instagram is what started my whole business. And people want to understand where it’s coming from and have an inside view to the process.”

While her brand is thriving she also explained

“being the only person who can make the product, it is a lot of pressure and a lot of work but being able to work within that model you can work more sustainably and there is no excess inventory, so when it is gone its gone. It’s amazing to not have the overhead and stress of extra products.“

To watch the whole conversation, check out the video below: