YES T-shirts, that is what I predominantly do at 'The Design Room' at the moment, but I am more than just T-shirts.
I have been designing and 'crafting' for many years, I'm sure this all started with winning colouring-in competitions at an early age - I guess I really can stay within the lines when I need to. Paper craft came next. Reminiscing on many a day spent sitting at my Grandma's dining room table creating cards, twilling paper and using her stamps. From there it was a LOT of doodling, growing a love of fabric and sewing.
Through High School and University I made a lot of my own clothes, and would sell a few unique hoodies to friends, or making them as gifts. It appeared my Dad and Brother loved getting a custom hoodie for Christmas.
I moved to Auckland from the South Island, which I NEVER thought I would do, and still sometimes wonder how I got here! It is here I started teaching in a Primary School in Otara. I started sewing a lot more, making most of my own clothes. At one point I counted the skirts I had made myself (all unique and different) totalling a whopping 100+ were counted busting out of my wardrobe!!! I was getting a lot of comments on these and my hoodies, so again I started making them for friends and acquaintances that I met through my travels both teaching and relieving. This is where my label OB-one was born. This brand was based solely at kids, which looking back now is a little strange as I didn't have any kids of my own. I did this for a few years and frequented regular markets. But, I started to feel a little lost with the brand and subsequently stopped doing it.
From then, until now, there have been a myriad of different types of design and creativity happening. From designing for my school, to organising and creating everything for our 'Rustic Lawn Party' wedding. It wasn't until my now husband and I moved into a bigger house with more space that I really got back into designing with fabric again. In this house I have my own room, my own creative space, 'The Design Room'.
Since then I have tried my hand at quilting and patchwork, and in true Cobey fashion I started with something I actually liked, not one matched to my skill level - which was zero when it came to making a quilt. This quilt actually turned out surprisingly well and I have now made 4 in total (2 as gifts and 2 for myself), not to mention all of the paper pieced cushions I have made. Very intricate, but definitely a lot of fun!!
Photography, Body art, mindful colouring and bullet journalling (Bujo) came next, where Pinterest became a source of inspiration as to how to create the most elaborate layouts I possibly could, fashion drawing, and then there was upholstery. You see, there is a story, of course there is. I have a chair, an amazingly gorgeous, well made, feather stuffed, rolled arm chair (sounds exquisite doesn't it) in dire need of reupholstering. No, I was not going to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get done professionally (yes, I looked into it) - surely it couldn't be that hard? Could it? Maybe I should save that story for another time.
Moving on to dress making, and now more recently the mix-matched raglan sleeved tops. And I am sure you can relate, you find a piece of clothing you absolutely love, you decide to buy another only to find that they no longer sell that style anymore. So frustrating! So what is the solution? Well my solution when I find clothing I absolutely love and that fits so well is to take it to my design room, cut a pattern from it and make more. I have no formal training in pattern making, dress making or sewing but they all seem to turn out as I planned.
It was only recently that I made the decision to rebrand. Out with the old, in with the new. But what was I going to call this brand? What was I going to do? Where was I going to take it? I definitely didn't want to be typecast into doing something I couldn't change later down the track. I needed it to be broad, yet catchy. What was it that I really did in my 'design room'. After much mulling over names, it was there, always there, sitting right in front of me all along. My space, my happy place, my design room, 'The Design Room'! And so it was born.
You see, I AM more than just T-shirts, so much more that that. But a brand, my brand has to start somewhere. So for now, as a full time teacher of Design and Textiles, a head of department, a team leader, a wife, a mother to a fur baby and the creative behind "The Design Room" I am content. Busy but content. And I know that I am more than just T-shirts!