My name is Juliane Armster. I live and work happily in Berlin, Germany, and have a six-year-old daughter named Leela. I make scarfs, shawls, clothing and jewelry for my label, St. Anderswo.
St. Anderswo is both my dreamy faraway place and my full-time business. I share a spacious studio with four other designers where I complete every step of the process – from brainstorming ideas and making patterns or prototypes to choosing and sourcing materials, printing, sewing, taking photos, shipping products and accounting. It has always been a conscious decision to keep the business at a level where I could still do everything myself – it’s important for my creative process.
I am always most excited about the last things I’ve created. Right now it’s this sculptural wool shawl (pictured above). I’ve been experimenting with origami and smocking for a long time, but never succeeded in creating anything I could imagine selling until now. This scarf is the result of combining diverse techniques that fascinate me.
I traveled the world through my twenties, and my journeys through India, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Latin America and Europe (coupled with living in Italy and Norway for a while) still inspire me. Traditional clothing with folkloric elements deeply influenced my creativity. I loved hunting for fabrics, buttons, and embellishments in the markets of Bangkok, Mexico City and Berlin. The transition from traveling girl and student to working mum hasn’t always been easy. I had to grow up quite a bit, and now I tend to work too much and never really stop. My future goal is finding a better balance and maybe taking time to travel again.
Traveling, getting a degree in fashion design and starting my business just to see if I could do it really surprised me. I never knew I had so much motivation! It still feels like a dream. I didn’t know how much freedom came with working independently. I get to make all the decisions myself. It also makes me extremely happy and proud to be able to make a living using my hands and my creativity.
My work is not a job, but it is still hard work. The creative side of my business was part of me all along, but the rest I had to learn by doing, with a lot of trial and error. Etsy gives me the possibility to connect with customers from all around the world on a personal level – my last few sales went to Singapore, Iceland and South Africa. It’s incredible imagining someone wearing a scarf that I made so far away.
All photographs by St. Anderswo.