Recapturing the delights of childhood through fashion is Melissa Murphy’s goal. Her creative pursuit of handmade clothing echoes her own mother’s talents.
When did the venture into making baby clothing, children’s clothing, toys and accessories for Smoochy Kiss start?
When my son was at the Community Preschool (6 years ago), I became involved with a group of mums who made craft for the preschool fete. Once the kids moved on to big school, we continued to meet regularly. This is where my passion for anything handmade began.
Then, once my next child, a beautiful baby girl, came along, I became disenchanted with the clothing options available for little girls. In a world where everything is moving too fast, I found that most major chain stores were styling children in fashion that was not age appropriate.
It is my desire to dress my children like little children and yet maintain a sense of style. After making clothes and softies (little funky toys) for my own children and friends’ children, I decided 2 years ago to launch my own label.
What makes you passionate about arts and crafts?
For as long as I can remember my mum has had a pair of knitting needles in her hand. When I was a little girl, she knitted and crocheted all the clothes for my much adored Barbie dolls. I have always appreciated the time, effort and love that goes into anything handmade.
My children appreciate the same; they often present me with pictures they have coloured-in for me and stuck at least 25 stickers on to.
Your pieces are all very funky and unique; what is the inspiration for your handmade designs?
I derive inspiration from many varied sources: Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, The Fabulous Five, skimming rocks at the beach, climbing trees, homemade jam, Disney movies and Mr Plod are just some of my favourites. Craft books are my eye candy. I recently spent a month in Europe and brought back many amazing craft books. While most are not written in English, I just love looking at the wonderful pictures.
My children are forever my inspiration. I understand that they need to always be ready for a ‘fairy tea-party’, or a ‘ballet concert’, or fighting fires in their cardboard box fire truck. I therefore understand the need for clothing that is practical, pretty, easy to get on and off and appropriate for a ‘Princess Ball’ and bushfire blaze.
What are some of the latest additions to Smoochy Kiss?
We have just launched our summer range on our new website at www.smoochykiss.com.au
By far the favourite is the ‘Oh Deer’ crossover dress. On one side we have featured our all-time favourite Bambi print, which brings to mind days gone by frolicking in our childhood backyards – climbing trees and bandaids a-plenty. The sweet little birdies on this print chirp merriment to the prancing deer and her mushroom friends.
On the alternate side of the ‘Deer Me’ crossover dress is a hexagonal print reminiscent of the ‘60s dance floor colours … either way, your little lady will shine in this seriously cute outfit.
For the lads, we have the ‘Giraffe Romper’ reminiscent of days gone by. This romper will make a beautiful keepsake for your little man in the future. It features a big pocket on the front for your little fella to store his trucks and rocks.
Where can we browse pieces from Smoochy Kiss?
Thanks to Zoe and Ollie from XYZ Support, we have just launched our new website. You can find us at www.smoochykiss.com.au
Make sure you watch the owl … we are also at the Artist Market every first Sunday of the month.
What makes the Artist Market a great place to show your designs, and how long have you been attending?
We are one of the original stall holders at the Artist Market and love every minute of being there. Sometimes it feels like we are in our own lounge room and having a lot of friends pop in. It is such a fantastic, friendly vibe.
We are so lucky to be located right next to the band and sometimes even play our own ‘air guitars’ … the Artist Market has been an excellent platform to launch Smoochy Kiss and we are continually humbled by the fantastic support we have received from the beginning.
Thank you Melissa.