Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' (Woodslane, 2011) and the forthcoming 'Melbourne for Dogs'. Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
As a working-from-home mum myself, I am really inspired by women who manage to utilise their incredible talents in such as way as to accommodate the demands of raising a family. Janine Lawrie, the founder and creative drive behind Jiniku clothes, couldn't find the sort of clothes she wanted to wear, so has put her sharp design mind to the task of creating her own fashion label and marketing it almost exclusively online, though a couple of great boutiques in and around Melbourne are also stock her designs: Shop Sui at 27 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, and I Dream a Highway, at 259 High St, Northcote. Jiniku is also sold via home party direct sales.
Janine is involved in the whole process, from initial concept and pattern design, through to sourcing printing of the fabrics, production, marketing and sale. This whole-of-concept involvement really shows in seasonal collections that work and wear well, hang together beautifully and make you want to go back for more. Janine also has a quirky theme running with each new year's design. See if you can spot her subtle "Chinese Year of the ...." (this year, it's Rabbit) in some of her shirt designs.
Jiniku specialises in funky, boldly coloured and patterned statement pieces of clothing which are cut to really flatter a woman's shape (I know, I have a shape which definitely needs flattering). Whenever I wear one of the Jiniku skirts or shirts, I have women coming up and complimenting me, asking where they are from. This year's range also includes some funky skirts with bicycles - a perfect look for those with a Melbourne 'fixie' (bike). The fabrics are wonderful natural cottons, linens and modal (bamboo), so they both feel good and wash and wear well - what's not to like!