We’re so passionate about supporting and unearthing incredible new creative talent. This week, we have awarded our TVM Startup Stall to Mariela Baeza, the founder and designer of MINIMALIST the label.
Read on to find out more about this new up-cycled and recycled apparel label and you can also come and say hello to Mariela herself, this Sunday 21 June at TVM where she will be having her first ever stall.
“At Minimalist the Label, we choose unique products loved by our ancestors. Garments that may have been part of special moments or are of symbolic value.
We hand-pick the garments one by one using our experience in the fashion industry and the love for our passion.
We only use fine quality fabrics and recycled garments, and redesign them into something new, always having the essence of our minimalistic brand in mind.
LESS IS MORE.”
How did you come to start your own label, do you have a background in fashion design?
I am a fashion designer and in the first 9 years of my career, I worked for one of the biggest fashion retailers in South America. During this period I learnt about fast fashion and during my travels to China, I was able to see the sad reality of the fashion industry.
These experiences gave me the initial idea of combining my passion of designing with sustainability.
I also had a small designer shoe brand and bar built into an old Volkswagen Kombi, which I rented out for weddings and parties.
Is Minimalist the Label your sole income, or is it still a side hustle for you at this stage?
For about 3 months I’ve been running Minimalist the Label full-time.
So I guess the brand name speaks for itself really, can you tell us a little more about this?
My husband and I try our best to live a minimalist lifestyle not led by the consumerism.
We believe in quality rather than quantity, “We all have to learn to do more with less ”. That is why I decided to call my brand “Minimalist the Label.”
Tell us more about the products that you create?
We have jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, t-shirts, blouses, and jumpsuits. At the moment, we are focusing on the female wardrobe.
We also offer our service to up-cycle personal items for customers. A lot of people inherit beautiful garments from relatives or friends but won’t use them because they are out-dated. We redesign the clothes for our clients and give them a new life.
And we make ‘scrunchie’s out of the leftover fabric!
What inspires you creatively?
Generally inspiration strikes when I enter a thrift shop. Every garment inspires me in its own way and if it doesn’t, it stays on the rack.
Another big inspiration for me is street culture. When I see someone who’s style I admire or I remember styles I saw during my travels as a fashion designer.
The major fashion cities like Barcelona, London and New York are super inspiring for me. My favourite was New York.
Do you work from home, an office or creative workspace?
My home is my creative workspace; it is like a tree house in the hills in Currumbin. If you would see it, you would understand what I mean.
You’re obviously a very conscious human and have built your business around sustainability, with your up-cycling and recycling practices. Are there any other sustainable practices you use within your company?
I try to only use sustainable and recycled materials for my brand.
For example, I make my own buttons and the signs for my market stall out of recycled plastic using a 3D printer. I want to incorporate more modern technology in the future.
I believe we should use technology to help the planet and to be more sustainable.
Do you collaborate with any other local businesses?
I buy most of the garments I use from local vintage and thrift shops and I’d love to collaborate with them further in the future.
Why did you choose TVM as a platform for your business?
I love the vibes of TVM and the support that you give to the new brands. I really like to see how the platform connects with the community.
I also believe local shopping and sustainability work very well together. The Village Markets are perfect for that. You are legends guys!
Where’s your favourite local coffee haunt?
Mervyn Roy’s in Bilinga , the place is super cool and the style of the café is inspiring. The girls working there are amazing. I love them!
“The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell.
“Essential” by The Minimalists,
“Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” by Chris Anderson. (My husband forced me to read it hahaha) .
I could not choose just one!
Lately I've been listening to The Minimalists, they discuss how to live a meaningful life with less. I also enjoy Youtubers like VOGUE by Alexa Chung. She talks about the fashion Industry secrets.
Favourite way to unwind?
I love long walks by the beach with my husband, a good conversation, talking to my family and friends in Chile and I really enjoy going camping in the bush or at the beach.
Websites or profiles you love for business inspiration right now?
The pages I use for inspiration are Vistelacalle.com , www.harpersbazaar.com and www.vogue.com, because there I can see street fashion around the world.
I also visit the page WGSN.com to see the new trends in each new season.
What’s your favourite TVM stall, if you have one?
I like “The Good Intentions Co”. I really like their style and they use responsible sources.
Find out more about our TVM Startup Stall initiative, here.