One of the most beautiful things about writing for this magazine is finding someone who's really passionate about their work. "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life," said Confucius.
That is Roxy Marj's life. She likes to draw, paint, sew and share her designs and inspirations with everyone. Graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in Fashion in 2009, Roxy spends her life working on illustrations and creating new ideas to share with people.
She designs clothing, cute pillows for kids, fabric envelopes, and apartment accessories. Her first passion is illustration, but she adores everything that involves design.
We talked to Roxy, and she was very sweet by sharing a little bit of her story with us:
When (and why) did you start designing your own products?
"I officially started designing clothing and accessories when I co/owned a vintage-retro clothing shop in downtown Provo on Center Street back in 1999! I mostly made bags and jewelry but also appliqued and painted designs around the hems, sleeves & collars of vintage coats. Nothing ground breaking, but having an actual physical shop to sell my pieces was pretty sweet... and people were actually buying things I was making, so that was reason enough to keep on going."
Butterfly Brooch - $24
Did you always love design and art?
"I have always loved making and creating things. I had a mother who was very creative and I think a lot of that came from having seven kids and not a lot of money. So I learned many things from her. She also sewed a lot of our clothes and I had taken an interest in that just from watching her, so she put me in sewing lessons when I was 10. I made quite a few outfits and entered them in the county fair and received blue and red ribbons, which equaled money. I knew from then on that I wanted to become a clothing designer, but I wasn't aware of the term fashion designer then. However, with that said my childhood wasn't always rainbows and lollipops. Life at home was really contentious actually. I now know, looking back, that art was my main outlet. I was always getting lost in the things I was making, be it: crafting, painting, sewing, drawing... This would block out the bad things going on and actually helped me lead a somewhat normal and happy life of my own."
When did your passion for illustration appear?
"Until my sophomore year of school at Parsons, I had wanted to be a fashion designer. Then all of a sudden, things did a 180. Parsons still teaches you how to design clothes using gouache, where most schools let you use markers or colored pencils. I had never used gouache before and was instantly in love. My fashion illustrations soon turned into stories and my classmates would often comment during critique that 'there was too much illustration going on.' And from that I knew I was in the wrong department. I could have transferred, but I actually dropped out of high school when I was 17 and so I made a decision that I needed to finish with fashion, and that if I still wanted to do illustration, then I could pursue a masters in that later on. Luckily, I didn't wait till after school to pursue illustration. I just started making and selling things outside of school and fredflare.com was so nice and started giving me little freelance jobs here and there. It wasn't until I finally graduated that I realized I wanted to combine both fashion and illustration."
Home Cozy Home Pillow - $30
What makes your products so unique?
"I think what makes my products unique is the fact that I hand paint everything. This automatically creates an imperfection and one of a kind item. I also have a huge children's book [mostly vintage] collection where I grab 50% of my inspiration from and I can definitely see that in my work. I am always trying to create a child-like sensibility in my work, yet make it sophisticated and timeless. Every product is meticulously designed... I first think to myself 'Is this something that will still look interesting in 10 or 20 years?' If not, then there's no point in making it."
What kind of accessories do you design?
"As of right now, my envelopes and brooch's are my only accessories. But, in a month or less, I will have three new accessory items to add to my shop that I am so excited about. So check back soon."
Envelope Clutch - $28
You can order Marj's products at her website or contact her through email at firstname.lastname@example.org