Big oops. The article on Heather Moore was published in the new decor supplement in the Sunday (not Saturday) Argus, so I’m posting the copy here for you to see in case you didn’t get it yesterday.

Local surface designer Heather Moore is the kind of person who can look at a line full of undies that she’s just handwashed, or rows of detergent bottles, and find inspiration for the designs that feature on her covetable textiles and homewares range. Her tea towels, cushion covers and textile range adorn pages of international magazines as they are stocked in decor stores and firm favourites with stylists around the globe.

Produced under the Skinny LaMinx label, Heather’s designs have names like Duiker and Summer Weeds and they come in colours with names like Goldenrod and Shadow Grey. But while these names  suggest a whimsical domesticity, the clear simple lines of Heather’s designs hark to a strong Scandi-design feel; the influence of time spent in the home of her mom’s best friend who had Swedish ancestry. “It was different from other homes. It was simple and uncluttered. There were  things like candles and sugarless biscuits, not very common back then,” she says. “I don’t remember loving it, but it clearly made an impression.” That and a love of of mid-century vintage items and ceramics from the 1950s and sixties invest her designs with a modernist edge.

But there are strong local influences too. Her Lava print was inspired by a graphic display of African pots  that she noticed in the window of a decor shop in Bree Street. “I’d been buying mid-century German ceramics  and there was a resonance between these two that  made me research mid-century German ceramics in more depth. What I discovered was that German artists had been very interested and influenced by Africa, so there was a real synergy there.” This turned into Lava, named for a book on West German mid-century ceramics called Hot Lava. “And the tea towels and cushions  in the Lava print have been particularly popular,” she says.

The serendipity and synergy suggested here seems to be a theme running through Heather’s life. She studied English, Drama and teaching but didn’t end up doing any of those things. Without a clear idea of what she wanted to do she worked as an education illustrator for publishers for a long time. Then she moved into comic script illustration and writing. This job was part time and gave her the space to set up a studio with an artist friend  where she experimented with her cut-outs on paper that are the basis for her designs. “When I started my studio I wasn’t crazy about the way I drew and was looking to innovate and try new things. There’s a certain unpredictability in the end result with cutting on paper that appeals to me.”

Heather’s first sales were of vinyl magnets which she started marketing through Etsy in 2008. By that time she was already blogging and could usher readers to her Etsy shop. This global online market place for crafters and vintage traders remains the main outlet for purchasing directly from Skinny laMinx internationally. But her Skinny laMinx range is also carried through decor stores locally and internationally.

Heather is probably one of the few local designers who has made the online marketplace work for her although she demurs any notions of clever marketing, putting it down to luck. But this savvy is the theme that runs concurrent with serendipity. And she admits that while much of what has happened has been unexpected, she has been open to opportunities  and taken full advantage of them.”I never imagined doing this. It all happened by chance. I’ve had a lot of luck but I’ve recognised when opportunities are good ones and I’ve respected them, and done them well. I don’t take them for granted,” she explains.

A regular trader at the Neighbourgoods Market, with a studio in Bree Street, Heather has recently expanded her local footprint with the opening of her first Skinny laMinx  store in Green Point.

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