Image: Scobel Clothing Draw string bag. Photo courtesy of Nemo Roberts.
There is still time to sign up for the Selvedge Crafting Your Brand course which takes place from 8 - 12 November 2021. Run by lifestyle specialist Marcella Echavarria and Selvedge founder Polly Leonard, Crafting Your Brand teaches how to communicate your brand message with certainty and relevance. Polly and Marcella are industry experts with first-hand knowledge of the vocabulary of techniques, skills, and materials taught. Their experience ranges from product development to brand building, retail, photography, writing, event planning, as well as experience in accessing evolving markets. All courses are for entrepreneurs regardless of what stage of development they are in: brand definition, brand evolution or brand redirection. Read on for an interview with Jackie Parsons of Scobel Clothing, who took part in the Crafting your Brand course and now runs her own textiles business.
Jackie, please tell us a bit about Scobel Clothing. When did you first know you wanted to create the brand?
I found myself noticing more and more that there were too many clothes and yet nothing to wear… That’s how I knew I wanted to make my brand.
What influences you and how did you find your style?
Getting lost in the fantasy of period costume dramas or gazing with curiosity and wonder at images of traditional clothing while trying to stay relevant to living an urban 21st century life.
During my 20s I worked at Brights Costumier and spent much time hunting through Lawrence Corner Army surplus, or searching for that beautifully made vintage gem in a sea of cast offs; hoping for that trigger that could transport me into the dream of another life.
To this day I still strive to capture all these elements and put them into a wardrobe of concise, go-to staples that still contain that elusive magic of timeless dreams.
Image: Jackie at work. Photo courtesy of Margaret Jailler.
What made you want to take part in the Selvedge Crafting Your Brand course?
I felt stuck and adrift among changing circumstances and conflicting ideas, unable to find my way forward. Looking back now, I know I was in danger of losing sight of my ‘why?’.
What did you learn - was there an aspect that influenced you most?
I think it was being asked the question ‘why' I was doing what I do. It was only once I started reconsidering this that something fundamental fell into place as the importance of this question hit home.
How have you developed your business since?
If anything I have been editing and paring things down more. It’s an ongoing process but it feels strangely invigorating and refreshing - drilling to the core and distilling the essence of what is found there.
One of the hardest things for me has been deciding what not to explore. I would love to explore plant dyes but I made the decision to have a 'dry studio’. I would also love to explore creating fabric from plant or animal fibres but again living in a densely populated metropolis is probably not conducive to this practice… For these elements I am open to collaboration!
Image: Photo courtesy Sandi Hudson Francis
Tell us aboout one of your signature garments.
I have been making these little drawstring bags for myself since the age of 18. It keeps those essential items such as keys, money, phone and travel card close at hand. I am still reusing the original cord which was a spare sewing machine belt I found in my grandmother's cupboard - she was a draper and her name was Scobel, hence the name of my business.
In this above picture of me, Marcella suggested I use myself as the model. I am wearing a very simple dress I made for myself but it serves me well and Marcella felt this was significant. I am wearing a larger version of the draw string bag on my back.
The Selvedge Crafting Your Brand intensive virtual course takes place from 8 - 12 November. Find out more and sign up here: Crafting Your Brand
Find out more about Jackie and Scobel Clothing here: Scobel Clothing