We chat to Joyti Morningstar in our Fascinating Jobs series – she’s from WE’AR and we find out what she gets up to for a living.
We’ar clothing crafted for living by yogis for yogis! Using the very best of natural and organic fibres we’ar create beautiful pieces designed for freedom and movement, style and comfort!
1. When you were a kid, what was going to be your ultimate job?
I wanted to save the world of course and then I thought I wanted to be a doctor but I think it was mostly so I could wear tailored silk suits to work like our family GP did. She was the epitome of style and grace for me as a little kid. Clearly this carved out my ultimate career path of saving the world one dress at a time 😉
2. What was one of the very first jobs you had when you left school?
I collected fallen, dried out coconuts and pushed them into a pile on the beach to burn. It was very satisfying. Didn’t pay much though.
3. Have you done any papers/study to get your job?
I studied anthropology and ecology at university and both these fields strongly inform what I am developing at WE’AR both in terms of design and social/ecological protocol. I didn’t study fashion design but I feel the aesthetic principles utilized in this aspect of my work can pretty much be be applied to all mediums as long as you build the right technical team to support the prototyping and production phases.
4. Why do you divide your time between NZ & Bali?
WE’AR is a New Zealand brand so it’s important that I spend time and design here so the lifestyle and influence of this country is in my veins and conditioning my work. Bali is home to our creative workshop and this is where we get to play with textiles, develop prints and source new ingredients. I thrive on contrast and change feeds my creative fervor so I think of both islands as key ingredients in the WE’AR recipe.
5. What are some of the greatest myths about what you do in your job that people may not realize?
Saying you live half time in Bali conjures up images of lying around in spas and watching the sun set over pina coladas and although my nails are undeniably in better shape in Bali than when in NZ and potato head does mix a fierce cocktail the greater part of my time in Bali is spent in our workshop or on a yoga mat.
6. What is a typical day “in the office” for you?
It varies so much depending on my location as my office could be one of our stores or in the workshop but it always involves espresso, notebooks, a bunch of people, a thousand ideas and at least a few hugs, possibly an argument and usually some laughs.
7. What is your favourite part of the job?
I actually love designing stuff. Getting a concept and working out how to make it beautiful, how to resolve its challenges and develop it into a story that can be received and perceived on multiple levels. It’s so much fun and totally satiating but I also love that WE’AR building a brand that tells a story of being kind, and acting from the heart -using the clothes and stores as tools that exemplify these values and take them into people’s lives in a practical and meaningful way.
8. If someone was interested in a career as a Creative Director, what could be a good starting point for them?
It’s really an evolutionary process. It’s totally organic but the source point is probably each individual’s creative inspiration -if you can create an opportunity to design or create things that feel relevant to you then they will most likely start to tell a story and you will want to start bringing in other elements or using broader mediums and that’s where it starts to becomes creative direction rather than simply design. Or if you find yourself in a work environment where a story needs to be told your design work can become a voice for that and it will start to unfold and reveal itself.
9. Name some of your most proud moments in your job or biggest highlight so far?
You know WE’AR was originally conceived of as a development project and this moment is pretty in-house, but two weeks ago we had to call an emergency meeting in our creative workshop in response to a scheduling issue and our head pattern maker interrupted our GM and explained that our work needs to be always an act of love. At that moment I felt like we were part of something new and beautiful and that the founding values were enriching the lives of the workers and not just the end user. I felt proud of him and our team and what WE’AR creating together.
Another (perhaps more obvious moment) was our last photo shoot when we finished dressing the models on location in a remote part of Bali and they walked out onto the beach to climb into an old single hull boat. A surprise wave came and crashed it against the golden beach and they all turned around to us with wild eyes and I saw the clothes we’d made in action on these super alive and dynamic people in this drop dead gorgeous location and it was just ‘oh wow…..it’s beautiful!’ to be honest I get this wild delight every time we shoot or show a new collection, maybe it goes away eventually but for me every time there is this moment where my heart just stops.
10. What is one of the hardest parts to your job?
Probably managing people and dealing with people’s own imagined limitations. I am such a believer in individual genius that I constantly want people to be so full all of the time and I think that can be tiring -for the people in question and me! haha..
11. What makes you so passionate about We’ar and the companies philosophies?
I think WE’AR working with humble and sane objectives that really are the basis of surviving current global changes graciously and sensibly. Organic crops, conscious water usage and taking care of each other.
12. What do you do to keep you balanced between work and life? What gets you through tough times?
WE’AR clothing crafted for living by yogis for yogis! Using the very best of natural and organic fibres we’ar create beautiful pieces designed for freedom and movement, style and comfort! It’s really a yoga picnic life for me -yoga and more yoga, in between plenty of good meals with good friends. Taking time to notice the everyday miracles, it’s a cliche perhaps but life is really what happens when you’re doing something else so bringing attention to what you’re actually doing yields this incredible canvas in which to experience actual life. This week I’m loving picking tomatoes in the garden after watering it – the scent of the tomato leaves and the colour of the ripe golden and red skins against the green of the bush is just exquisite.
13. Name someone who inspires you? Someone who maybe helps you keep you doing what you do? Or they are just simply someone you think rocks at life!!!
This year I seem to be really inspired by my buddies and the people I work with. I keep observing how they handle themselves through challenging situations and also the way they accept and advise myself and others around and I think ‘wow -such wisdom!’ I think I might be a very lucky person to be surrounded by so many excellent characters.