18 March 2011

Feature Friday: Em & Femme

The thing I really love about Feature Friday , is meeting the people behind all these fabulous businesses on Face book.  There are so many interesting stories to tell! So without further ado, meet Ilja, the creative designer behind Em & Femme Designs. These dresses are gorgeous...  particularly these little Kimono style dresses.
For some reason, the name Em & Femme caught my attention. It's catchy but not corny, and sounds original so I knew there must have been a reason for the name. So I asked Ilja to explain. It turns out Ilja has two daughters, Emma and Femke (means peaceful little girl) and frequently calls them Em-and-Fem, all in one word...I thought it nice she could shorten their names like that... I just get confused and call the each of my children by the wrong name...which never goes down to well. So Ilja officially decided on Em &Femme, with the spelling of Femme doubling as a French twist as femme means women in French.
So how did Ilja get to where she is now? Ilja originally came to Australia to study, met her knight in shining armour, who whisked her back to Europe to live a life luxury in castles with snow at Christmas, gorgeous cheeses and fresh crusty bread baked in stone ovens.
Ok ok, so I made that last bit up but the first bit was true. Ilja and her husband moved back from Europe to Australia and out of the city and soon Ilja got bored in the bush as she is a city girl at heart. So she started sewing. She made her little girls dresses for a birthday party and everyone kept asking her where she got them.... the rest is history.

Being a mum is a full time job and trying to combine it with any work outside the house is twice as demanding. Many of us try working from home, and quite frankly I don't know how most women do it! Ilja too finds it hard sometimes, getting that balance between being 'at work' and 'off work'. The lines can be blurred when you are physically at home. I struggle to get myself and the kids dressed let alone sit down and make beautiful dresses!

Ilja is a true creative spirit, getting inspiration from everyday things around her. She loves colour, as you can see in her designs and is passionate about making her designs loud and proud....full of colour, patterns and embellishments. She can sit for hours with her fabric, mixing and matching.... I'm sure there are many fabric addicts who can relate to that!

I asked Ilja if she had any advice for us, and the part of her reply that struck me was 'don't be afraid when good things fall apart, so better things can fall together'. That has personal meaning for me... and I think very relevant for people starting out in business.... you think you're on it, and you're not. But you take it in your stride and make it better and then it works, and then you look back and you can see where some good things had to go, to make way for the better things! Just to think, if Ilja didn't move to the bush and get bored, we may never have been blessed with her gorgeous dresses.

You must follow Ilja on facebook and take a peek at more of her gorgeous designs. You can also purchase her dresses through her website http://www.emandfemme.com.au

Happy Friday everyone!

All photos are courtesy of Ilja @ Em&Femme Designs.


  1. What a lovely feature of your blog, spotlighting different artisans. I love to know about the person behind the creations, it makes the online handmade market a very special place to shop!
    Such a special designer you've chosen this week too, people don't get much lovelier, more talented, and more genuine than this gorgeous lady!
    Loving your 'sweet' site too Ms Jamosie xx

  2. omg, that was the sweetest comment ever LEE!!! xox

  3. hihi, I cant stop reading it. I love it!!!!
    Thanks so much Janelle for this amazing opportunity, and you know, your profile pic had me at 'hello' the first time I laid eyes on it! I'm all about visuals and what you create is as beautiful as the dresses I make... Thanks again! xoxo
    ps. Thank you Lee xxxxxxxx

  4. What a wonderful introduction to your blog - Ilja is one of my all time faves on FB! I admire her gorgeous designs and stunning combinations of beautiful fabrics so, so much and always look forward to her pics on FB to see what she has just created.
    I will be looking forward to reading your blog lots more!
    ~ Christine xx

  5. aw your welcome ilja. xo just doin' it for the girls!

    thanks christine! watch out! u might be next! :)


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