We are Inga Priedite and Irena Andrejeva, the artists behind ZIB Textile. We put a little art into everyday clothing. ZIB means “to flash” in Latvian, and that describes us quite well. We are expressive, impulsive and unpredictable. Those qualities are reflected in our creations too; you never know what new design is going to be born tomorrow.
We’ve both been drawing and sewing since childhood. Needlework materials were scarce at the stores then, so we went for splendid creative solutions using anything we could find at home – newspapers, noodles, screws, and so on. We made adornments and clothing for our dolls, and later, ourselves. Handicraft is still our passion, hobby and work. We can’t imagine ourselves anywhere else. We’re in the right place.
We studied at the Art Academy of Latvia’s textile department. I (Inga) recently got my degree, and Irena works as a stand-in teacher the academy. For six years, we were classmates. Now we pool our ideas for this joint effort. We do what we know best – textile and art. It is an enormous joy to put our knowledge and skills to use. Every day is another lesson of success and failure, and we are proud of even the smallest accomplishments and growth. This is the main attraction of creative work – unceasing evolution and infinite possibilities. There are no limitations; we work according to the day’s feel, and tomorrow always brings something new and interesting. It could be said that we like the production process itself – the execution – way more than planning.
The first pair of leggings we made were an unplanned impulse. It was a cool autumn, and I wanted warm and lively leggings to wear under my skirt, but the stores only offered synthetics (I am very fond of fabrics that are soft, natural and breathe well). I was visiting Irena, and I found some fabric cuttings there. I screen printed the fabric, and Irena quickly sewed it all together. The end result brought us so much joy! The very next day we went to the fabric store with our heads full of ideas. That was the origin of ZIB. Now these leggings have a special place in my wardrobe and in my heart – they remind me that to realize your dreams and ideas, you have to begin with the first step; a very small, single step.
The clothing market is enormous, and securing even a small niche is not easy. You have to provide something exclusive. Our productions are handmade and unique; it’s impossible to repeat the exact splash of dye on fabric. Each piece of clothing from ZIB is a little work of art. Irena’s hand-drawn drafts go into a computer and are transferred to screen print. Then with some dye and a few sweeps of the hand, the fabric is changed!
We work with joy, create what we like, and keep changing to grow. This is very important – to be flexible, keep the desire to create something new, to challenge yourself and see where it takes you.
For us, Etsy is a grand chance to show our work to people abroad. It’s a great place for drawing inspiration, learning, and admiring talented people. It is also our chance to grow and reach customers thousands of kilometers away. The most charming thing about Etsy is the personal approach and possibility to see who sells what. It’s a real joy to see that you don’t need a diploma, factory, or enormous piles of money to create wonderful things and set up your own business. The scope and style is subject only to your own desires and ambitions.
Owning our own creative business has changed us in a lot of ways. We’re more purposeful and have become stronger by overcoming obstacles. We have become very good friends and a successful team. We have grand dreams and goals. This may be only the beginning — today, textile design has so many faces that it’s almost boundless, especially when you fuse it with art and design.