Times are strange and getting stranger as we’ve said in our Letters to Friends and Strangers incentive. With everything that’s happening around the world and inside the borders of our small country, we’re well aware that things are shifting and for most people out there life’s about to get a whole lot harder. In order to help each other as humans and creatives, the NEW EDGE team would like to encourage you to support your local (small) businesses and artists. We’d like to encourage you to invest into innovative and creative work and contribute to the local community instead of turning to mass retailers and consumption. Here’s our week one local brands picks (in no particular order) that you can support, not only in these hard times but especially when this is all over.
Article cover photo by Bitchy Club.
Giakiara is a “one-man” brand run by me (Mateia Kogoj Kajzer). It all started back in 2016 when I had an idea, which turned into more than an idea, for my best friend Mateja Škraba – owner of Frachella – to create a swimsuit. Unfortunately, or fortunately, she said she didn’t have time for that, because her business was blooming back then. And so Mateja suggested that I make it myself but still with a 100% of her support whenever I’ll need it. And that’s how things got real, first designs, first color selection, first photoshooting, first sale and most important first happy customer (which in my opinion is the best reward a designer or a “designer” like me can get).
But enough of my past.
Giakiara swim is a design inspired by an exotic summer spent abroad. I strive to empower expression in the modern way of women’s lives. It’s a combo of simplicity, sophisticated selection of colors and minimalistic designs (some of people won’t agree, but that’s how I see it 🙂 ). It offers a touch of audacity to your swim essentials. Each style is created to compliment the silhouette, providing comfort and featuring the perfect female form in all its variations. It is 100% handmade in Europe, Slovenia.
And as you might know, Slovenia is facing some difficult times right now, as many of other countries around the world (I’m talking about the COVID-19 situation). And so as brand CEO and manager (and everything else is my title for the only one employed in my “company”) I decided to postpone the production of my 2020 collection (hopefully for not too long). My main focus right now is to stay safe and not sorry later. I believe if you’re thinking about buying my swimwear right now (don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate it a lot) you honestly don’t see how bad the situation is and I think you better save your money for when the good and the safe times are back. Then you can buy all of my swimwear :). But If you really feel the need to spend some of your money, then this is the right time to give it to the poor and homeless, donate it to some animal shelter or simply invest it in the medical supplies the hospitals are in lack of (I know it sounds cliché but it still helps).
In the meantime I’ll try to make you some good company on all of my social media accounts (lots of tits and semi-naked girls 🙂 ) and I promise I have a surprise coming up for you very soon.
Stay safe and stay the fuck home is my motto these days, hope it sounds legit to you too 🙂
ŠTRIKULA (knitwear, jewelry, home decor)
I am Maša, an architect by education and Štrikula by heart.
Štrikula is my own brand of handmade knitwear and jewelry + home decor.
I am also a visual content creator, photographer and co-owner of a small cat shelter, a vegan and lover of natural materials.
There’s a lot of us who have found ourselves in the tough situation where we’ve lost income overnight. I feel that we should all support and encourage each other and believe it’ll be okay in the end. <3
ALJA HORVAT (art)
Alja Horvat is a 23 year old illustrator from Slovenia. She’s currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Ljubljana. Art has always been her passion but she took a more serious interest in it in 2017.
She mostly creates on her tablet but loves to wield a brush and paint with guache and oils. She’s inspired by her surroundings, especially nature and museums. As a big fan of the 60s, 70s and 80s she tries her best to incorporate these eras in her illustrations which is why her works often give off a sense of nostalgia.
Alja is part of the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ 2020 List in the Art & Culture category.
“In this time of uncertainty I feel lucky to be surrounded with an incredibly supportive community. I think we should all come together and help each other out in order to come out of this situation even stronger. I hope that when this is all over we’re even more connected than we were before.”
KONCRETE JEWELRY (jewelry)
I’m asking you to think about where you buy from during these scary times and choose the little guy every time.
I have so many friends with small retail businesses who are already struggling, myself included. Many of the shops I sell to can’t buy from us at the moment because no one is shopping in their little stores and were forced to close during quarantine.
I’m hoping online sales will be able to carry us through but it’s going to be tough and I’m still uncertain that this will be enough.
If we support each other, we’ll get through it!
PIRATE PIŠKA (t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks and prints)
What? White hand printed t-shirts and over-sized sweaters, black tote bags and simple backpacks, stickers, badges and sometimes fanzines. Sometimes socks too. But always made with a lot of love for handwork.
Who? Pirate Piška is an independent–one–girl–brand under which Tjaša Piška creates witty and responsible products that make this story true to its origins. Brand is based on the principles of quality workmanship with a minimalist, unisex and sustainable approach in mind. Backpacks are made with local / EU materials, t-shirts are part of Fair Wear Foundation and all products are packaged in plastic-free packaging. Main purpose is to work with respect for the nature and awareness of where the raw materials for making products come from. Designers biggest motivation is the freedom to make everything independently with no outside manufacturers.
FRACHELLA (bags and totes)
It’s so hard to introduce my brand right now. And I think many can relate. Why? Because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Right now it’s not the best time to own your small business.
But anyway, let’s stay positive.
I am a 1 girl band (with the help of many freelance friends) mostly trying to ditch the plastic bags & do a good deed to the world by selling reusable cotton bags. Some bags and backpacks are also available in my online shop + really cool plant hangers and swimwear by my super cool friends Faithfully yours and GiaKiara.
The biggest THANK YOU goes to anyone who supported us before, now at this f***ed up times and forever. Stay safe!
Photo: Mark Kucler
BITCHY CLUB (pink cans of rosé with bubbles)
Bitchy Club is real, unapologetic, sans bullshit. Is a story about a business woman shaking up the wine industry with extravagant pink cans of rosé with bubbles. Bitchy Club is a story about liquid courage which unites women under pink and red colors and sarcastic sense of humour. Bitchy Club is a community of responsible human beings who know that staying at home these days is fucking important but they still bitch about the whole situation all the time. Bitchy Club is a must have accessory for your isolated Netflix marathons and for the rest of your life.
You can read more about the brand in our interview here, and support Bitchy Club by shopping their products here or following them on Instagram. And for free shipping until further notice, use code: FUCKCORONA ;).
Photo: Ana Bacinger
JNŽ STUDIO (ceramics)
The JNŽ studio is changing. Mostly spontaneously and on a daily basis, sometimes thoughtfully and strategically (though, truth be told, it would take me many years of work for serious strategic perspectives), sometimes suddenly, overnight.
Us creators, who mostly work alone and in isolation, didn’t feel the shock of losing human contact in our workplace. Despite all that I feel like I’m working differently these days – I’m writing this in the time of quarantine. I’m working for myself, from myself. After two anxious days of adapting to the new situation, I’ve calmed down. I’ve taken fresh breaths, rolled up my sleeves and embarked on projects that were on the sidelines so far. I understand that the foundations on which our future stands have been shaken up for many, that the financial revenue hasn’t been cut off for the entrepreneurs and creators only, so no great salvation in the form of euros from other sources is to be expected. So, on a cliché but serious note: let’s love our work, be proud of the hands and brains that hold our brand upright and enjoy the day-to-day work chaos. It might not last forever.
Photo: Jošt Dolinšek