We are incredibly excited about our collaboration with screen printer Jann Cheifitz and her company Lucky Fish. We have long admired Jann’s clothing and home furnishings and actually sold her tees in our retail stores. Jann is the ultimate artist and her style and expertise come through in her imaginatively drawn, hand-printed textiles.
Lucky Fish was born out of the imagery and color palate inspired by Jann’s South African upbringing and her global travels that followed. In the mid-1980s, at the height of the struggle against apartheid, Jann’s generation of South African artists were challenged to integrate their political activism and new African identity with their artwork and personal style. Artists could be found printing a new “struggle” T-shirt or banner to support some new political campaign, while also creating dresses or leggings because they couldn’t find the clothes they wanted in stores. Fast forward two decades, add a lot of traveling and a couple of kids, and Lucky Fish is producing clothing in Brooklyn, New York. Jann uses the same perfectly imperfect hand-screen print techniques as she did in the beginning, and she is inspired by the same playful universe of images drawn from nature and culture across the four corners of the Earth. Jann says, “as kids in SA we would say “you lucky fish” to someone who had gotten, done or become something enviable. And that’s what inspired the company’s name. Lucky Fish is committed to small, independent and creative business and design!” Read on for some wisdom on career, inspiration and family life from this supremely creative woman who we loved from the moment we met her designs. How do you imagine the child who wears a Lucky Fish tee spends a weekend day?
Park time, beach time, or party time, Lucky Fish is for playtime. The animal kingdom plays a big role your work. Do you have a favorite animal and why?
Hmmm... Of course I love using animals as totemic images in my designs -- so, my favorites change according to my current mood. Right now, I'm into camels! I suppose I would love to go wandering in the desert. We at Pink Chicken know it can be difficult to balance career, and family and creativity. How you make it all work for you?
Honestly, it's all a bit of a push to get everything done. Luckily everyone in our family is passionate about their own projects, so there is total respect and encouragement for each one of us to persue our passions! And it's lucky that I'm not a perfectionist, making it possible forgive myself if everything isn’t perfect. (Oh, and my husband does the cooking and that helps a ton!!!) What’s the most valuable advice you have received about starting your own business?
The hardest part is finding the courage to get started. Someone said it's like pushing off a big rock, which gains momentum once it starts rolling along. What’s the most valuable parenting advice you have received?
When you hire a babysitter, make sure it’s someone with whom you'd like to spend your time -- that way you know your children will be happy. We travelled miles every day to send our daughter to "Mi Escuelita" daycare in Williamsburg, because I knew she would have the best fun there! And she did! I used to want to hang out there all day when I dropped her off. With all of your responsibilities what do you do to clear your head?
Running along the promenade in DUMBO, the view of the city, the twinkly water, maybe a sunset, nothing makes me happier.