Meet the creators of sustainable fashion brand Beautifully Frank
Article in good magazine, Nov 2020.
Frankie Meaden and Jody Stewart are artists and mums who customise pre-loved denim jackets and have teamed up with charity Eden Reforestation, who plant a tree for every sale they make.
Where are you based?
Mangere Bridge, Auckland. Frankie is from England and Jody is from Canada. We are neighbours!
How long have you been doing this?
Jody: Frankie started the business about five years ago but she specialised in jewellery. She started painting and embroidering jackets at the end of 2019 and it really took off in June 2020, which is when I joined the business.
What are your design backgrounds?
Frankie: I studied art and fashion through school and for a year at uni in London. One highlight of that was having my work displayed for a few months in one of the Tate galleries in London. I love drawing, design, sewing and creating in general.
Jody: I studied art as a minor at the University of Alberta while I got my education degree. I've never worked as a visual artist until now.
What gave you the idea to repurpose denim in this way?
Jody: Frankie and I both love fashion. Jackets are my particular passion, I have so many! When I saw Frankie's embroidered Daisy Jacket I asked if she could paint roses on mine. The rest is history.
Any special instructions for how to care for them?
We use textile ink for painting so the jackets are completely washable. We also take special care in embroidering them to make them very sturdy.
What's your style philosophy?
We want people to be critical about their fashion choices and reuse where they can. We encourage our clients to upgrade their denim jackets into something completely unique and beautiful instead of buying new. We don't want our brand to contribute to the worldwide fashion pollution problem and instead we encourage slow fashion. That is fashion that is sustainable, thoughtful and honest. We have a collection of jackets available and all of our artwork is placed on good quality, pre-loved jackets.
How does the collective Beautifully Frank work?
We work together, We both have young children at home so we meet during the day to discuss upcoming projects, new ideas and delegate tasks while the kids play. We both work on jackets and usually have a few on the go. Currently all the artwork is hand done, which makes it designer and completely unique. There is not one jackets that is exactly the same.
How does it work when someone wants to upgrade an old jacket?
Clients can buy jackets online through our website or message us directly to find more details. For a custom jacket our clients send us their jacket or choose from the quality jackets we have in stock. We ask them to send us photos of the previous jackets we have done that they have enjoyed and an idea of what they would like on their custom jacket. We love working with our clients to give them the best result for their on-of-a-kind jacket.