Trying to choose my favourite piece of clothing from Anny Schoo is an impossible task – it’s all those flowing lines and classic shapes reinvented in crispy natural linen – not to mention the delicious choice of colours to be combined at whim…
Her aim is to make simple, comfy clothing, and loves the flexibility of fabric. Trying not to follow too many rules, she “gathers ideas through daily life and puts them into pieces of fabric,” always keeping the image of people wearing and enjoying her clothes foremost in her head when she is making.
Anny is a quiet sort, who likes to “likes to walk, farm and drink tea” and enjoys spending time her family, their seven rabbits, four chickens and the vege garden in their yard. In 2010 with the profits from her handmade business, they put up solar panels on their roof, and now her whole studio and home is completely run by solar.
Describing her studio as sometimes “messy, but also vivid and FUN!”, the open-plan space boasts an orange wall, several sewing machines, a large cutting table and of course, tons of fabric.”I also have various sizes of vacuums to clean as I work. It is a MUST to deal with sewing fiber dust.”
Her first clothing-related project was a red vest that she made for her very first puppy, Lily. “It was a scrap of red cotton I cut out of old clothes. There wasn’t any sewing on it, I just put the cloth on my puppy’s back and eyed for the “right” areas to cut four holes for her legs to slip through. She looked very cute. I still use the same technique for some of my wrap style designs now 🙂 ”
She learnt to sew and draft patterns in high school, but put those particular skills aside to become a craft teacher. It wasn’t until much later, when she moved to the US in 2007, that those skills paid off. She became engrossed in crafting, and spent a lot of time with her young daughter making things they enjoyed – “puppets, pouches, waraji (woven footwear), and the clothing we wanted to wear. I stumbled into ETSY online in 2008 and became a member and started posting things I made to sell.” The online environment was also the perfect outlet for someone who describes herself as “shy in general, but I have lots to share once you get to know me.”
Her business has grown ahead in leaps and bounds, and she has been featured in numerous magazines and online, including the beautiful Peppermint Magazine (Issue 6).
Anny’s father remains one her most enduring influences. A creator and maker, he is also a practising Taoist and philosopher. “As a child, I remembered him telling us, ” One must love oneself before doing anything.” By loving yourself, it means accepting who you are and it is the basic of being in the world.”
Zen practice is now a fundamental part of her daily life and sewing. “Each piece is worked with a piece of calm mind and patience. It has been a blessing doing what I love. It makes me HAPPY to turn my ideas into wearable pieces for people who enjoy them. Working with my customers means that I have also met many wonderful people. If every person is a book, I now have a small library full of interesting stories.”
You can find more of Anny’s wonderful clothing and find out more about her in her shop, annyschooecoclothing.
p.s. Anny says that she loves Australians; “they were a large portion of my customers when I first started selling on Etsy. Australians are BIG supporters for “handmade”, so please pass on my thanks!”