Designer and maker Steph Watt of Dorkus Designs

In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is another instalment in "Collective Conversations," a weekly series focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to Steph Watt, the Brunswick-based designer and maker behind the brand Dorkus Designs. With a background in industrial design, Steph utilises a fusion of modern technology and handcrafting techniques to create her beautifully unique pieces. The best part is- our store will be stocking Steph's Dorkus Design pieces very soon! Today we chatted to her creative practice, op shopping and living with chronic illness. 

1. Describe yourself in three words? 

Silly, bright, thoughtful.

2. What does heritage and tradition mean to you? 

Being together with loved ones! Together anytime, anywhere, light-hearted to more meaningful- traditions seem to pop up. Summertime is when most of my life long traditions happen, mixed among beach days & late night dinners with family & mates.

3. Something that you’re passionate about?

Accessibility! It’s something I love to see but don’t always see or experience. Living with chronic illness/disability, I have a particular interest in that area. I love that in the internet age I have access to stories directly from clever, funny, sexy, thoughtful, disabled community members anytime. Looking forward to seeing more on & offline. All aboard the accessibility train!

4. Who do you most admire? 

From loved ones to public figures, I have so many people I admire for so many different reasons. World renowned or a local legend, I appreciate them all.

5. What is a weekly/monthly/fortnightly ritual or tradition you do for yourself?

Op shopping! No time limit, try anything, deep dive thrifting!

6. What is something you’re proud of? 

Knowing what’s best for me is what’s best for my creative practice. A big part of this is teaming up with local stores. It began with sister-run dreamland Perfect Splash & has grown, connecting me with a bunch of makers & curators I admire. I love having my pieces out in the community, living alongside other local works. Right now, I’m particularly excited about getting back in the studio to whip up some sweet treats for your beautiful Collective Closets shop!

7. What's something you do to be kind to yourself?

Watch early seasons of Drag Race & eat berries!

8. What are some traditions that you’ve adopted from somewhere or someone else? 

My friends & I throw an oddball end of year party every year. The planning and anticipation is part of the fun. Each party goer is gifted a head to toe outfit to wear for the day, mostly hilariously hideous, occasionally ultra steezey. Always a crowd favourite.

9. How do you align and connect with your intuition?

Backing my creative intuition by making what I want to make. Especially with my more minimal artworks.

10. What's an assumption others make about you?

That I have pierced ears & a big earring collection. I’ve actually never had my ears pierced. I have a collection of fun vintage clip-on pairs but my ear lobes are usually in the nude!

11. Is there an item you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future?

Anything you dream up is fine by me. I’m a far-from-secret admirer! 

You can follow Steph here and shop Dorkus Designs here.