HANNAH GROGGS sits by her sewing machine, surrounded by needles, thread, scissors and fabric, and evoking a confidence and passion which make it clear she’s one of those lucky people who truly adore what they do.
It’s a big day for Groggs; the grand opening of her stall Moody Rabbit, part of the MANY group that recently relocated from the old Myer building in Fremantle to Adelaide Street.
“I recently returned from traveling around Europe in a motorhome with my partner and a precious English lop rabbit named Cherry,” she says.
“She had a huge personality, she made us laugh and she would sleep in my bed with me every night.
“She was very spoilt and very moody!”.
It’s clear from the stall’s collection the amount of time, effort, detail and love that goes into producing the beautifully crafted clothes, handbags, homewares and art pieces.
Everything at Moody Rabbit is handmade at Groggs’ Fremantle home, which she confessed “takes up the whole house”. She has two assistants to help churn out the product.
“It’s hard to compete with the imported and mass-produced stuff,” says Groggs.
“I don’t think people can really understand how many hours are spent just making one product.”
Much of Moody Rabbit’s wares reflect the uniqueness of the Australian landscape, with a particular focus on its diverse flora and fauna.
“While I was overseas I just really missed Australia,” says Groggs.
“We have such blue skies here and you don’t see that as much when you’re away, especially in Europe where it’s nearly always dreary and cold.
“I’m a huge bird watcher, so I love to focus on our local birds and their beautiful habitat.”
Groggs says she would love to collaborate with local artists and designers who want to contribute to the stall.
“I think it’s a great little space for them to showcase their work in a relaxed retail environment,” she says.
“I was given opportunities when I first started out and I would like to do the same for others.
“It could really open doors for them into other avenues and I find that really exciting.”
Groggs believes her Australiana products would attract tourists from cruise ships, but admits it is “very hard to break into that industry”, and that the next step is to “secure a stall at the Fremantle markets”.
Moody Rabbit is at 52 Adelaide Street, Fremantle, and online at http://www.moodyrabbit.wixsite.com/shop.
by JASMINE KAZLAUSKAS